The rise and rise of Raspberry Pi
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Local impact ventures making a difference
DOING GOOD & DOING WELL
Co-working hubs & conference venues
Creative ideas for team-building success
SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT
The latest from the Cambridge cluster
O N T HE P UL S E O F T HE C I T Y â€™ S B U S INE S S C O MM UNI T Y
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04 NEWS & EVENTS
News and events including a look at the top local networking meetups.
08 THE LIFE OF PI Home to Europe’s largest technology cluster, our diminutive city has become a world leader in the fields of science and high technology; a hotbed of ideas, innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit recognised on a global scale. Cambridge Catalyst aims to chronicle that – from the fizzing start-up scene and the social enterprises making an impact to the small, independent businesses that bring character to the city’s high street. In this, our launch issue, we meet Eben Upton, founder of Raspberry Pi – the Cambridge-born microcomputer that sparked a revolution in computer programming and a success story which perfectly captures the unique dynamism of the Cambridge Cluster. Launched in 2008, this little wonder has now sold more than 25 million units worldwide, with the company recently opening the doors to its first bricks and mortar shop right here in Cambridge. We learn more about the remarkable life of Pi so far and find out what the future holds over on page 8. Elsewhere in the issue, we hear about some of the inventive approaches companies in our area are taking to team-building exercises, discover how Dyslexia Box is creating life-changing technology from its hub at Allia Future Business Centre, and get Sano Genetics to give us their business pitch. Enjoy the magazine and keep an eye out for issue two, which will be hitting stands at the start of July.
Catalyst meets the man behind the gamechanging Raspberry Pi.
13 CRACK THE CODE
Fire Tech on creating a diverse future generation of digital creators.
14 SPACE EXPLORATION
We explore business spaces in the area, from co-working hubs to conference venues.
19 PITCH PERFECT
Local start-ups give us their pitch. Up first: Sano Genetics
21 THE NEW AGE OF NETWORKING Joe Glover on hosting and attending networking events successfully.
22 THE SPIRIT OF CAMBRIDGE
A chat with the founders of local ginmakers, Cambridge Distillery
26 GOING GOOD & DOING WELL
The Cambridge social ventures making an impact.
30 TECH BYTES
The latest news from the fizzing Cambridge Cluster.
35 TALENT SHOW
Busy Bee Recruitment on getting the best talent for your business.
36 SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT
We take a look at how local companies are taking a creative approach to team building.
NICOLA FOLEY EDITOR IN CHIEF
45 BRAVE NEW WORLD
Autonomous cars are coming. What’s it like being in the ‘driving seat’ while the car does it all for you?
EDITOR IN CHIEF Nicola Foley 01223 499459 email@example.com CHIEF SUB EDITOR Beth Fletcher SENIOR SUB EDITOR Siobhan Godwood SUB EDITOR Felicity Evans JUNIOR SUB EDITOR Elisha Young
SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE Sammi Bull 01223 499460 firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck
CONTRIBUTORS Douglas Ross, Charlotte Griffiths, Charlotte Phillips, Joe Glover, Kayleigh Bysouth, Matthew Gooding, Sue Baker cambridgecatalyst.co.uk @cambscatalyst
DESIGN & PRODUCTION
DESIGN DIRECTOR Andy Jennings EDITORIAL DESIGN Alan Gray AD PRODUCTION Man-Wai Wong email@example.com
CAMBRIDGE CATALYST IS A MAGAZINE BY BRIGHT PUBLISHING, MAKERS OF CAMBRIDGE EDITION CAMBRIDGE CATALYST Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ, 01223 499450 cambridgecatalyst.co.uk All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of the publishers. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of CAMBRIDGE CATALYST or Bright Publishing Ltd, which do not accept any liability for loss or damage. Every effort has been made to ensure all information is correct. CAMBRIDGE CATALYST is a free publication that is distributed in Cambridge and the surrounding area.
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48 GOING PRIVATE
All us to introduce you to the city's top private dining experiences.
55 OUT & ABOUT
A history festival, a day at the races and more in store.
56 OUT OF OFFICE
Weekends away that will make the most of your annual leave.
58 CAMBRIDGE STYLE
Contactless shirts, plus the local cyclewear brand that will make you the envy of the peloton.
WANT TO RECEIVE COPIES OF CAMBRIDGE CATALYST? Get in touch with the team!
The latest developments in the world of Cambridge business, innovation, start-ups and networking
CETC FINTECH EVENT Cryptocurrencies, exotic financial instruments and the future of banking will be up for discussion at Cambridge Enterprise and Technology Club’s (CTEC) Financial Technology event on 23 May. A number of speakers will be discussing developments in the world of FinTech, including Hamish Anderson (CEO of Money Mover),
Benjamin Dives (CEO London Block Exchange) and Louise Eggett (Head of the Fintech Hub, Bank of England). This will be followed by a panel Q&A and refreshments. The event takes place at Metro Bank on Christ’s Lane and runs from 4pm to 6.30pm, priced at £15 or free to CETC members. cetc.info
Cambridge Network Recruitment Fair Taking place on 3 May, the Cambridge Network Jobs Fair promises a varied showcase of job opportunities from a range of sectors, plus an afternoon of networking and workshops. Taking place at the Postdoc Centre at Eddington, exhibitors include tech consultancy Plextek – which is currently recruiting across many levels, as well as hiring for summer placements – as well as Bridge Fibre, TTP, Archipelago Technology,
SUMMER ISSUE 01 2019
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Linx Printing Technologies and Hamillroad Software. Guests can also explore roles within commercial, marketing, sales, admin, HR, technical, scientific, IT and finance at all levels, as well as pay a visit to the Career Zone for careers advice and CV tips. The Fair is free to attend and begins at 12pm. You can register online at Eventbrite. cambridgenetwork.co.uk
A community of founders, innovators, advisers and investors, ideaSpace welcomes back its popular B3 series on 13 May. An opportunity to hear from a successful entrepreneur and the three professionals who were integral in helping them grow their business, the events also include networking, with pizza and beer to finish. This month’s guest, who will speak on The Basics of Building a Business, is Jason Mellad of Start Codon. Geared towards leveraging the unique resources of the Cambridge Cluster to identify, seed-fund and drive the success of truly disruptive healthcare start-ups, Start Codon offers investment, coaching and access to state-of-the-art labs and office space. The event is free to attend, and you can register your interest via Eventbrite or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. ideaspace.cam.ac.uk
Smart marketing for your start-up
FUTURE HIGH STREET
How can our high streets continue to meet the needs of the community? Join the discussion at Future High Street, an event hosted in partnership between Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) and Cambridge Network. Taking place at The Tamburlaine Hotel on 5 June, the event will look to both the challenges facing the high street and the opportunities afforded by a new era, such as using this urban hub as a space for art and entertainment. Also up for discussion will be the gathering of data on how people use the spaces, in order to inform future facilities and transport. cambridgebid.co.uk
Join Emma Stevens from Cambridge Startup Help for a free, informative session on marketing your start-up. Helping you understand methods for reaching your ideal customer in the right place at the right time, the workshop covers strategic versus tactical marketing, the customer journey, creating on-brand marketing content, and different channels available to business owners. You’ll be in safe hands with Emma, who has a wealth of experience working with start-up businesses and SMEs, assisting growth through integrated marketing. The session takes place on 7 May at 6.15pm at Cambridge Central Library. eventbrite.co.uk
Independents’ Week Celebrating entrepreneurial spirit and showcasing the city’s independent businesses, the Cambridge BID Independents’ Week returns from 4 to 7 July. For punters, it’s a chance to explore the city’s indie scene and discover new gems on their doorstep, while local independent businesses are encouraged to get involved with ideas, special offers and experiences, such as music and entertainment, workshops and street activity. Find out more at cambridgebid.co.uk
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Top local networking events and meetups you need on your radar
The Marketing Meetup Launched in 2016, The Marketing Meetup: Cambridge is a well-attended and well-organised monthly event that has now expanded to ten different locations across the UK following its success in our city. Providing a place
to network and discover more about relevant topics, it pulls in a solid line-up of speakers and takes place on the first Tuesday of each month at The Bradfield Centre. Register at themarketingmeetup.com
TECH AND BEER
Promising attendees the chance to meet awesome people and get tons of free website-improving, traffic-increasing, customerconverting SEO goodness, Optimisey is a meetup that comes highly recommended. The next event takes place on 23 May and includes a talk from local SEO consultant Tim Capper, plus plenty of beer, wine and nibbles.
Founded by a passionate group of tech community leaders, Tech and Beer offers a relaxed networking environment that aims to connect innovators and leaders, pint in hand. With music, inspiring speakers, entertaining hosts, beer and pizza, there’s an atmosphere of professionalism, fun and engagement that’s a million miles away from those dull-as-dishwater networking events everybody loathes. The next date for your diary is 27 June – find out more at techandbeer.io
CAM CREATIVES A collective of more than 3500 connected creatives, this group hosts regular networking events with special guest speakers. camcreatives.com
Learn more at optimisey.com
Creators Club Taking place at Cambridge Space, Creators Club is a vibrant community of creatives, freelancers, small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Each event, the group explores a different theme through talks and practical activities, and enjoys refreshments. Up next: Authentic Confidence on 8 May. Find out more at cambridgespace.co
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Cambridge 100 Club A long-established business club made up of senior executives, entrepreneurs, innovators, scientists and technologists, which meets at quarterly dinners at Jesus College. Expect opportunities to meet prominent business figures and regional innovators and investors, hear insightful speakers and enjoy a delicious dinner. The next event is on 9 May. cambridge100.org.uk
MOVERS & SHAKERS
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MOVERS & SHAKERS
WORDS DOUGLAS ROSS
Douglas Ross meets Eben Upton, founder of Raspberry Pi s one of the youngest but fastest-evolving industries in the world, digital tech is catching us all off guard. In fact, we can no longer call it an industry. It permeates our lives and continues to develop in unforeseeable ways. All companies want to be a tech company, and nowhere more so than in Cambridge. Just off Hills Road, a short walk from the Botanic Garden, the Raspberry Pi Foundation was created in 2008 by Eben Upton, who at the time was director of studies in Computer Science at St John’s College. Four years later, the foundation started producing lowcost, programmable minicomputers known as the Raspberry Pi, or Pi for short. A simple circuit board that fits in your hand and can be encased in a plastic shell, the Pi was originally constructed to be an introduction to the fundamentals of computer programming. So why did its release take several years? “I think some of it is about the perils of distraction,” Eben admits. “There were periods in that window where there were so many things to do in each of those areas of academia, business and tech that I found myself distracted. If you have a magpie mind, it’s very easy to never get anything done!” Occupying these very overlapping sectors — academia, business and tech — helped Eben to identify how a non-profit could navigate the various challenges that occupy the terrain and come out with a viable solution to a major problem: tech literacy. But the popularity of the Pi was something that nobody in the foundation predicted. cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
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Today, there have been over 25 million Raspberry Pi sold worldwide. “We have customers buying tens of thousands of the minicomputers to network together as a training research platform,” Eben explains. “We designed this little machine to go into kids’ bedrooms; we didn’t imagine it would end up being used in high-performance computing research.” The allure of the Raspberry Pi is the unforeseen manifestations that such a simple, programmable computer has produced. For Eben, one of the most interesting adoptions of the platform has been its recent use in highperformance research, as he explains. “Most supercomputers are built of connected medium-performance machines, forming one highperformance machine. Raspberry Pi is nowhere near as powerful as the machines you put into a supercomputer, but if you take a bunch and network them together, you get a device that provides –in a scaled-down way – the development challenges for modern supercomputers. They become great tools for training and experimenting with new approaches.” The Raspberry Pi’s origins are appropriately simple. Noting a marked decrease in student applications for computer science degrees at
The popularity of the Pi was something that nobody in the foundation predicted. Today, there have been over 25 million sold worldwide" ISSUE 01
MOVERS & SHAKERS
the university, Eben and others in Cambridge identified a slow-burning crisis. Silicon Valley was racing ahead of Europe. The decreasing interest in technology in the UK augured a growing skills gap – the ramifications of which stretched far beyond Cambridge’s blushing limestone. Global consulting firm Accenture estimated that the UK stands to lose £141.5 billion of the potential GDP growth that could come from the investment in (and adoption of) intelligent technologies. In Cambridge, decreasing applicant numbers in computer science degrees were a symptom. We were becoming detached from technology’s tactility; our relationship with it slipping from active engagement to one of passive acceptance. Within just a decade or two of Steve Jobs dismantling and reassembling his first rudimentary computer, the magic of tinkering with tech was being lost. “We talk about Raspberry Pi being a hypothesis test, really,” Eben reflects. “We had this hypothesis that, originally, we weren’t getting our people from formal education, but kids who were programming in their bedrooms. When the opportunity to do that went away, so did our applicant stream. We thought that if we could build a machine to house those properties, maybe our applicants would come back. And they did. Applicant numbers exceeded those in the late nineties and were up to approximately 1100 last year.”
Eben does not shy away from the role Raspberry Pi has played in bolstering Cambridge’s position as a tech hub, but he is aware that there are many working within the city to influence its placement as a global tech centre. Asked whether he sees tech ‘hubs’ as short-lived phenomena, he is less sure that any sort of technological innovation can be done just remotely. Instead, central hubs may be key to the growth of satellite contributors. While the engineering design of the Pi is done in Cambridge, the industrial design is outsourced to Bristol, the manufacturing of the plastic components to Dublin and the West Midlands, and the electronics manufactured in South Wales. “It is important that you have clusters and that they can talk to each other. You probably can’t put all of these clusters in one place, and it’s a nice way in which a centralised area for tech can create employment in locations that may be more associated with older industry types,” Eben says. Continuing to build on this tradition of the tactile importance of computer science, Raspberry Pi opened its first retail store in Cambridge’s Grand Arcade early this year. A physical space where visitors can play with the computer, the store has been a long-standing aspiration for many in the foundation. Its purpose is to talk to the people who use the computer and to learn from them directly. For Eben, the
Noting a marked decrease in student applications for computer science degrees at the university, Eben and others in Cambridge identified a slow-burning crisis"
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IMAGES The Raspberry Pi store in the Grand Arcade is a physical space where customers can play with the computer. The store is divided into six pods, with each one demonstrating a different use for the Raspberry Pi
past few months have confirmed the shop’s utility. “We’ve been running it for nearly three months now, and we are seeing people come in and decide to have a go – and also those who come in and decide not to, and we have the chance to ask them why. If we didn’t sell a single Raspberry Pi in the store, there would still be a lot of value to us in finding out why,” he explains. The store’s design is segmented into six pods, with each one demonstrating different uses for the Raspberry Pi. In the few months it’s been open, the company has noted how strongly visitors respond to those applications of the platform that produce visible and physical results. This, and the scale of international interest in the computer, demonstrate that people have never, and possibly will never, lose their innate interest in the mechanics of digital tech. It may be up to those building cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
MOVERS & SHAKERS
tech to stay conscious of this need for active participation in and autonomy over it. At a time when the digital world increasingly plays with and inhabits the physical, keeping this tactility may be key for many products’ success in the future. The 8GB of storage in the original iPod wasn’t what made it so popular, but the effort put into its physical design. And the malleability of Android software continues to propel companies like Samsung forward. For Eben, Cambridge continues to transform as a destination for some of the brightest minds in computer science and engineering. Some changes are plainly obvious and some more complex. For example: “We are working less with silicon, which is sad for me as a person from the silicon industry. On the other hand, we are working a lot more with software and a lot of hardware at the next level up. cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
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We are also seeing a lot of changes in salaries. American companies have historically treated the UK as a mediumcost destination. The thirst for talent in Silicon Valley has become so extreme that people are now paying Silicon Valley salaries in Cambridge. This is great in that people are compensated, but it might be making start-up life a little harder. If you want good engineering talent of any kind, you have to compete. And then, of course, we have a new pivot to biotech ... “I came here in 1996 to study and I never envisaged being here 23 years later, but it’s such a compelling place. In terms of how people think and approach technology, there’s a different flavour to Cambridge than the U.S. The students make a big difference – having all of these bright young people crammed into a few square miles makes it fun and keeps you young,” he smiles.
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Fire Tech explains how it’s taking on the tech world to create a diverse community of future digital creators – and why it matters omen make up only 15% of people in STEM roles, and this figure falls to just 5% for leadership roles, according to a recent PwC study. Tech has a gender-gap problem – and something needs to be done about it. When one group dominates the design and build of new products, those products are – unsurprisingly – made for that demographic. We find tech designed with men’s needs prioritised, with smartphone screens made for man-size hands, and mainly men (or men’s ideas of women) as video game heroes. Diversity is about to get even more important as we move
Diversity is about to get even more important as we move into a world of artificial intelligence, where bias can wind up entrenched in algorithms"
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into a world of artificial intelligence, where bias can wind up entrenched in algorithms. Imagine what tech would be like if the designers and producers reflected the general population in all its diversity! A broader range of lived experiences would deliver brighter, more creative and more useful new ideas to the world, for everybody. Who knows what great inventions and products we have missed out on so far? The statistics tell us that some women and girls have been discouraged (openly or otherwise) from pursuing studies and careers in STEM. But it wasn’t always like this. In fact, the first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace, was a woman, and in many countries, women make up 50% of tech students. It is important for young women to see tech as a discipline that is welcoming, creative and fun. More than that, we need to pump up their access to experiences in order to build their confidence, give them better access to role models and introduce them to a wider community of likeminded creators. At Fire Tech, 28% of students are female. That’s twice the national average, but still not good enough. That’s why #AllGirls courses have been introduced alongside the mixedgender courses. Fire Tech is building an environment where women can explore their interest in tech and build valuable digital skills in an environment that is social, open, supportive and empowering specifically to them. This is because education is one of – if not the – most powerful tool in our arsenal for change. Fire Tech’s founder, Jill Hodges, says: “As the founder of Fire Tech, I see how much girls enjoy tech and coding when they come to our classes. We have one
of the highest girl participation rates around, from six year olds up to 17 year olds. But I also know that we get a lot of calls from girls or their mums who are concerned about being the sole girl in a class.” She continues: “We don’t think tech needs to go ‘pink’ to attract girls, but we do think more girls will feel excited about coming to a course where they know they’ll meet women studying STEM subjects, and get to build their projects alongside likeminded young women. We can’t wait to see how these girls work together to problem-solve, create, communicate and build a community of tech-enabled young women.” She concludes: “Fire Tech is building a community of future digital creators and leaders and we want to make it as easy and exciting as possible for young women to be a part of that.” Fire Tech runs camps and courses for ages 9 to 17, teaching kids to code, build, tinker and create. Find out more at firetechcamp.com
We explore Cambridgeshire’s top business spaces, from co-working hubs and start-up incubators to conference venues and meeting rooms
THE OFFICERS’ MESS If you’re in the market for a unique, history-steeped workspace, the Officers’ Mess could be ideal. A Grade II building located at the Duxford Airfield, this building began life as the dwelling of RAF officers including Douglas Bader, the World War II spitfire ace with a reputation as one the Royal Air Force's most skilled pilots. Last used by the military in the sixties, the building was given a £2 million refashioning in 2016, transforming it into a unique business centre with a range of sleek offices and meeting spaces. A blend of historic and modern, the refurbishment retained many original features, giving nods to the building’s fascinating past while also creating a bright and contemporary business hub boasting top facilities. The heart of the building is a light-filled atrium perfect for some blue-sky thinking, while other spaces include the former officers’ quarters, or The Stores, allowing you to soak up some impressive history while you work. Operated by Mantle, which runs a range of business centres in the region, the Officers’ Mess has a variety of options available, from private or virtual offices to co-working desk space and meeting room hire. Whichever you choose, you’ll be able
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to take advantage of not only a handy location (under half an hour’s drive from Cambridge city centre and less than a minute from Junction 10 of the M11), but also appealing features including a relaxed cafe, enclosed courtyard, ample parking and on-site staff. One of the centre’s big draws is its affordability – a crucial consideration for cash-strapped start-ups and small businesses – and the centre prides itself on its clear pricing plan and valuefor-money offering. There are options for companies at all stages: grab your laptop and use the co-working space for £10 a day, or if you’re looking for a virtual address before your company has a permanent home – ideal for giving fledgling companies credibility and a feel of professionalism – that can be yours for £45 per month, with call answering for £75 per month. When you’re ready, you can take on a small
IMAGES The Officers’ Mess boasts a historic character while offering sleek, light-filled spaces and top facilities
The building was given a £2 million refashioning in 2016, transforming it into a unique business centre with sleek offices"
office space with a minimum contract of three months, allowing you to level up without taking on a huge financial commitment. Another bonus is the connections you can make at the Officers’ Mess, which hosts bimonthly networking events that give tenants the opportunity to meet other businesses from Mantle’s various centres. If you like the sound of all this but need a more central venue, Mantle also runs CB1 Business Centre on Station Road, which offers serviced offices, coworking, dedicated desks, virtual offices and meeting rooms. Find out more at mantlebusinesscentres.co.uk
Serviced offices, virtual office options, co-working facilities, cafe & parking IS IT FOR ME? If you’re a start-up looking for low-cost, flexible options or a good-value co-working space, and like the idea of a unique, historic working environment rather than an identikit office, then this could be for you HOW MUCH? Co-work for £10 per day, virtual address for one or more locations from £45 per month (rolling monthly contract), call answering for £75 per month or £99 + VAT for both
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MURRAY EDWARDS COLLEGE Boasting not one, but two fullyfledged conference centres, Murray Edwards College is a popular choice for businesses and organisations from a wide range of sectors. The college itself was founded in 1954, with New Hall Events, its commercial arm, celebrating its 20th anniversary in April this year. Murray Edwards has spent the past two decades refining its offering as a thriving conference and business venue, adding facilities and welcoming hundreds of events, from residential and day meetings to product launches, lectures and training sessions. Buckingham House is a modern and flexible space, featuring a lecture theatre that can seat up to 140 and additional adjacent syndicate rooms, plus a foyer with sliding doors on to an outdoor deck. If you’re planning an all-singing, all-dancing presentation, there’s state-of-the-art AV that covers all requirements, plus you can book a package that includes the filming of your event. Meanwhile, the Kaetsu Centre comprises seven flexible meeting rooms located across four floors, plus a lecture theatre that seats up to 150. When it comes to feeding your delegates, the options are impressive. The spectacular Dome Dining Hall, one of the largest dining rooms in Cambridge, features art-lined walls and serves fine-dining fare, while drinks and
Murray Edwards has spent the past two decades refining its offering as a thriving conference and business venue"
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WHAT’S IT GOT? Two conference centres, overnight accommodation for more than 300 delegates, a range of dining options & parking IS IT FOR ME? If you’re looking for a venue with heritage, firstclass facilities, experienced staff and ample overnight accommodation
canapé receptions can be served in Fountain Court Walkway, which offers beautiful views over the illuminated fountains at night-time. Alternatively, the College bar, overlooking Fountain Court, provides a more contemporary space with modern furniture and drawings by Quentin Blake. This venue is also home to the New Hall Art Collection – the largest collection of women’s art in Europe, which began in the early nineties when the college wrote to 100 women artists asking them to each donate a piece of work. The donations continued and the renowned collection now includes work by many eminent female artists including Tracey Emin, Barbara
Hepworth and Elisabeth Frink. Event organisers can take advantage of this unique feature by incorporating a private art tour, taking delegates through the impressive collection, which features paintings, drawings and sculptures. Artworks also feature in many of the public spaces, such as breakout rooms and areas for dining and networking. If you require overnight accommodation for guests, you’re well served in that department, too, with the college offering more than 300 bedrooms (during vacation periods), the majority of which are en suite and have been recently renovated. Find out more: murrayedwardsevents.co.uk
BARCLAYS EAGLE LABS Offering co-working and office space, mentoring, events designed to help businesses grow, and access to new and emerging technologies, the Barclays Eagle Lab network now has 21 hubs across the UK. The Labs are designed to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and the digital transformation of the UK by providing start-ups and scale-ups with the conditions to create and grow. The original Eagle Labs concept was conceived to utilise under-used branches and office spaces and turn them into thriving business and community hubs, promoting digital skills and helping develop the UK economy. In late 2015, Cherry Hinton in Cambridge was chosen as the location for the first Eagle Lab, followed more recently by an Incubator space on Chesterton Road. The Lab in Cherry Hinton is a dedicated a Maker Space that’s equipped with digital fabrication equipment and a dedicated engineer who’s on hand to help businesses and entrepreneurs gain a foothold
into the world of Industry 4.0, which includes the Internet of Things, sensor technology and augmented reality. The Maker Space is a place where you can make an idea a reality, and it’s specially designed for rapid prototyping, technical projects and workshops. Once you’ve received a free induction, anyone can pay per half hour to use the equipment, which includes a laser cutter, 3D printer and a vinyl cutter. The Maker Space also offers practical and fun corporate away days, which can be tailored to your company’s digital goals, incorporating team building and problem solving. Meanwhile, over on Chesterton Road, the Eagle Lab Incubator Hub offers a co-working space where users can pay for a part-time desk, a full-time desk or a private office, with membership including 24-hour access and office necessities such as superfast Wi-Fi, printing and unlimited refreshments. What’s more, tenants get the opportunity to tap into an innovative
The Labs are designed to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and the digital transformation of the UK by providing the conditions to grow" cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
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WHAT’S IT GOT? Incubator Hub in Chesterton with co-working and office space. Maker Space in Cherry Hinton with digital fabrication equipment and a dedicated engineer IS IT FOR ME? If you’ve got an idea you want to make a reality using equipment like a 3D printer, head to the Maker Space. If you’re after a hot desk or office space and access to a community, check out the Incubator Hub HOW MUCH? £99 + VAT per month for hot-desking and £299 + VAT per month for full membership at the Incubator Hub. From £36 per hour, get one-to-one support from the Maker Space engineer to make your design a reality
community, taking advantage of mentorships from the Cambridge Judge Business School, as well Barclays growth specialists. Another advantage of working with a brand like Barclays is access to financial support – both in the form of funding help and loans, and the financial expertise and connections the company has. The results speak for themselves, with Barclays proudly pointing to the number of ‘graduates’ who’ve flown the nest, outgrowing the Hub and moving on to their own office space after successfully taking their business to the next level. Find out more at labs.uk.barclays
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Local companies give us their pitch. Up first, Patrick Short from Sano Genetics, a personalised medicine research platform putting the patient in the driving seat What’s your pitch? We are a platform for genomics with privacy and transparency at its core. We help people discover more about themselves and get access to the latest findings in genomics, and give researchers access to patients and data needed to do transformational research. What’s your background? I am originally from North Carolina in the US, where I studied biology and mathematics. I moved over to Cambridge about five years ago for my PhD – that’s where I met my cofounders Charlotte Guzzo and William Jones. We were all doing our PhDs at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, one of the world-leading centres for genomics research, and discovered a common interest in entrepreneurship and new models for research that had the potential to be faster and more empowering to research participants. What makes you unique? We are trying to help solve one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century – making medicine more personalised. We have a radically different approach to most companies, which is based around data privacy and transparency. We provide research participants with full access to data and insights and our goal is to give researchers access to data and advanced analytics ten times faster and cheaper than cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
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other alternatives. As a company, we are an interesting blend of deep science, machine learning and patient engagement. Biggest achievement so far? Growing our base of users from zero to more than 1,000 in less than a year. It was really exciting to see the MVP that we built getting people excited about participating in genomics research and learning more about their DNA. Biggest challenges? Reaching tens of thousands of users for our platform. In genomics and medical research, you need a lot of participants to do great science. As a science-driven company, we want to get to the point where we can facilitate transformational research; getting to the scale of participants to do that takes time and building trust with patient groups and other partners. Which individuals or companies are your biggest inspirations? I worked previously at Invitae, a genomics company in San Francisco – while I was there, the level of transparency that the leadership showed around the vision and mission for the company was really inspirational. It is something we are trying to do at Sano. We want to make sure that everyone – both within the company and outside of it – has ownership in the company
We are trying to help solve one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century – making medicine more personalised""
mission, understands what our goals are and has visibility with how we are conducting ourselves, particularly with regards to data privacy. Where do you want the business to be in five years? Our goal is to bring about personalised medicine using a model that empowers individuals, rather than exploits them. In five years, I would like to grow our base of participants to over 1 million people, and to be making significant strides toward data-driven personalised medicine in several major disease areas. Find out more about Sano Genetics at sanogenetics.com
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Joe Glover, founder of The Marketing Meetup, on how Cambridge groups are leading the way for networking events etworking has always been important to business growth. Through collaboration, we can be better than the sum of our individual parts. And yet, somewhere along the way, networking events have become lost in a quagmire of complicated formats, rigid recommendation structures and a focus on job titles instead of human beings. In short, we’ve tried to create shortcuts and processes to create a connection. The result is that networking events have gained a bad rep and can be tiresome. The standard complaints of ‘I just get people selling to me all the time’, ‘I don’t want to recommend someone I don’t know’ or ‘the group was just plain unwelcoming’ are fair. But it’s not all doom and gloom. The times, they are a-changin’ – and Cambridge is leading the way. In our city, we have an incredible array of networking events that are doing things in what feels like the ‘right way’. But what is the right way? Well, may I be so bold as to propose where I think networking events are going? Here, I present you with three new norms for attending a networking event. Listening The pressure is real when you walk into a room of strangers and feel like you have to make an impression. Even worse is when you feel like you have to be the smartest person in the room. How often have you experienced someone speaking to you and switched off halfway through because you’re panicking that you have to think of something clever to say in response? Take the pressure off by reminding yourself that networking is an opportunity to learn, too. If you don’t understand something, ask the person you’re talking to. By asking questions, you’re keeping the conversation going – and showing the
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person you’re speaking to that you’re interested in them, not just yourself. Humans over job titles I think we have focused on job titles for determining the value of a human being for too long. My contention is that open networking is actually a very inefficient way of getting new business, and you should therefore embrace the randomness of the interactions you make and commit yourself to those conversations, almost regardless of who the person is. Through a breadth of interactions with all kinds of people, we become richer in experience and have our eyes opened to new worlds. While the person standing in front of you may not have immediate ‘value’ to your business, you never know when you may need to call on them or the information they’ve imparted to you. Value first, business later Do you know what people hate? Being sold stuff they don’t want. I’m not anti-sales. In fact, salespeople bringing a solution to a problem is welcomed. But the traditional methods of selling to anyone who has the misfortune to be standing nearby is no longer acceptable. The people hanging on to the methods of a bygone era are easy to spot, as you can almost see the pound signs flash in their eyes as you speak. The new way is to stop, listen and actually care about the conversation you are having at the time. Ask where you can help, and then give value upfront, looking for returns later on. Joe Glover runs The Marketing Meetup, a networking group now in ten locations across the country, with 100 events per year for a community of over 5,500 marketers. Find out more at themarketingmeetup.com
Somewhere along the way, networking events have become lost in a quagmire of complicated formats, rigid recommendation structures and a focus on job titles instead of human beings" ISSUE 01
MOVERS & SHAKERS
WORDS CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS
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MOVERS & SHAKERS
We meet the duo behind Cambridge Distillery, the local gin-makers putting our city on the map
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fter a conversation in a field while walking their much-loved Labrador Darcy, Lucy and Will Lowe decided to quit their jobs, start making gin and set themselves up as the Cambridge Distillery. At the time, Will was working in London as an educator in the wine trade, while Lucy worked at the Judge Business School in central Cambridge – but despite their busy careers the two were confident they’d eventually get round to creating a business for themselves. “We always knew that we’d end up powered by our interests,” says Lucy, “Ever since I was little I’d wanted to do my own thing: I always hugely disliked routine, and didn’t want to be at a desk from 9-5. I loved the opportunities and freedom offered by working for yourself.” The couple started out by distilling
IMAGES The Cambridge Dry Gin is a classic and was created from botanicals found in the couple's garden and in the fields where they walk their dog, Darcy
gin in their living room in Histon, which was certainly one of the UK’s smallest distilleries if not the tiniest (a shed in Scotland also claims to be in the running for the crown). The lack of available space played a part in their choice to approach distillation via vacuum, rather than large, hot, splashy copper stills, but it also gave Will and Lucy fine control over the process, and enabled them to extract maximum flavour from even the most delicate of botanicals. Each botanical is distilled individually, in volumes of less than two litres at a time, to ensure that the freshest possible characteristics of the plant, flower, spice, fruit or berry – or whatever – are preserved: it’s not the fastest route to creating gin, but it guarantees something rather special at the end. “We were working every evening and weekend at the start. It was exciting – it was this little secret we had,” says Lucy. That same year the couple presented Will’s father with his very own gin as a birthday gift, created specifically to challenge his long-standing complaint that no gin was dry enough. The couple gave the creation the fitting name Professor Lowe’s Raspingly Dry Gin – and it was this spirit that caused the moment when the Lowes realised they’d struck on something special. “Will’s uncle was staying with Will’s father, and they’d
MOVERS & SHAKERS
CAMBRIDGE DISTILLERY IN NUMBERS Founded in Sites in Cambridge
Countries sold in
Coldest point in distillation process Current staff
Gins tasted by our master distiller in 2018
run out of the gin we’d made,” explains Lucy. “They offered Will’s uncle any one of all the other gins in the cupboard, but in the absence of ours he refused, choosing a beer instead. That’s when we knew.” First came the tailored gins, created (as the Raspingly Dry Gin was) specifically for individuals to meet their unique tastes and requirements. Tailoring clients sit down with Will to sample different botanical distillates, while he works slowly towards blending the client’s perfect gin. It's a service still offered to this day, to some extremely high-end businesses including British Airways, many Cambridge University colleges and the House of Lords, as well as discerning individuals looking for the ‘pinnacle of spirits personalisation’. The couple are steadfastly discreet about the famous faces that have come through the distillery’s doors, but will reveal that Olympians, actors and “national-treasure-status” TV presenters are among the distillery’s alumni. After tailoring came the Seasonal Gins: biannual, limited-edition spirits first exclusively stocked by London’s Selfridges, created from botanicals harvested in the preceding six months. Lucy and Will had collected seasonal botanicals to use in the creation of their clients’ tailored gins, but realised these distillates had extra potential as sapid recordings of the passing years. Despite their relatively low profile (“We had a Twitter account, and I think this was around the early days of Instagram, so nothing was happening there – and we had a website, which Will built – but that was basically it,” says Lucy), the sheer quality of spirits being
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IMAGES The Cambridge Gin Laboratory in the city centre provides gin tastings and the opportunity to blend your own bottle of gin
Looking at the Distillery's creations, it's easy to understand why it's been named three consecutive times as the most innovative spirit-makers in the world".
Individual distillations to create one bottle of Watenshi
created were starting to attract national attention. It was clear the couple would have to make some changes. “In 2012, Will went part time with his job in London. I was first to give in my notice, so I could do all the admin behind the scenes,” explains Lucy. “We needed Will for the tailorings, of course, and then I did everything else around that – the bookings, invoicing and so on – and even distilling while he was still working. I remember giving in my notice and I was shaking, because it was such a big step for us. My manager just went: ‘Oh, that’s a shame, but best of luck’ – it was such an anti-climax,” Lucy laughs. In 2014, the Seasonal Gins were followed by Japanese Gin, the first in this now hugely popular sector, created from delicate Japanese flavours that were
MOVERS & SHAKERS
extractable via vacuum distillation and had been previously uncapturable in gin form. Then came the classic Cambridge Dry Gin, created from botanicals found in the couple’s garden and the fields and hedgerows where they walked Darcy. There’s also a gin made from ants, one of the world’s most expensive gins, a truffle gin designed as a digestif, and a never-ending line of monthly experimental spirits in the form of a limited-edition Prototype series. Looking at the distillery’s list of creations, it’s easy to understand why it’s been named three consecutive times as the
We've got big plans. We're proud of our beginnings in the living room, but while we're a local company, we have global aspirations"
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BELOW The distillery's Japanese gin has delicate Japanese flavours previously uncapturable in gin form
most innovative spirit-makers in the world. The days of churning rotary evaporators burbling happily in the Lowes’ living room are long gone: nowadays the couple head up a team of 30 across three sites – the Cambridge Gin Lab in the city centre, which teaches keen gin enthusiasts about the spirits they create, how to taste gin like a pro and even blend their own bottle; and the Grantchester-based showroom and distillery itself. Lucy now heads up the branding and marketing side of the business, while Will leads
on product development and works closely with his sales team, developing relationships and introducing clients to the ever-growing range of exceptional spirits – all still distilled, bottled and sealed by hand back in Cambridge. So, what’s next? “We’ve got big plans,” says Will. “Collaborations with names such as the Botanic Garden and Cambridge Satchel Company are helping us reach new audiences, while communicating how we achieve previously impossible quality standards: fresh botanicals, individually distilled and expertly blended. We’re proud of our beginnings in the living room but while we’re a local company, we have global aspirations. Cambridge has always been an international benchmark for academic quality: it’s about to be known for world-leading gin, too.” As you might expect, building a business together as husband and wife can mean it’s tricky to keep work and home life separate. “We have regular meals out together and try to keep Sundays as a family day,” says Lucy, “with big roast dinners and dog walks – they’re as sacred as they can be.” No matter where the next few years might take this Cambridge-grown success story, there’s one thing that’s certain: they’re still happiest where the business began, out in the fields with Darcy, watching the seasons change.
WORDS MATTHEW GOODING
In the first of our series on Cambridge-based impact ventures, we profile Dyslexia Box, an Allia Future Business Centre-based company providing life-changing workplace technology for disabled people In Partnership with
yslexia Box operations director Ben Lewis is in possession of a very expensive pair of glasses. Actually, it’s not the glasses themselves that come with the hefty price tag, but the attached technology, an advanced ‘artificial vision’ device for blind and partially sighted people. Developed in Israel, the system, OrCam MyEye, is the most, er, eye-catching item supplied by Dyslexia Box, which provides assistive technology and services to help people with disabilities in schools, universities and workplaces. “It’s a camera that sits on the side of your glasses, attached with some really powerful magnets, and can read aloud pretty much any text anywhere,” Ben explains. “It can read words on products, it can recognise faces when you’ve programmed them in, and can recognise objects and barcodes, so it’s really helpful in a supermarket, for example. We’ve done a lot of demos with it and there’s always plenty of interest.” Costing £4,200, OrCam MyEye represents a significant investment, but Dyslexia Box provides plenty of other solutions for its clients, which range from big corporations such as Volkswagen and Haribo to a plethora of schools, universities and the NHS. “Our flagship offer is to provide reasonable adjustments for dyslexic and disabled people – things which allow them to go about a job where their disability is holding them back,” Ben says. “The law states companies have to make these reasonable
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FAR RIGHT Ben Lewis from Dyslexia Box demonstrates the OrCam MyEye artificial vision system
adjustments where necessary, so our workplace needs assessors will go out, do an assessment, then provide a report with recommendations for the changes which are needed. “These are usually in the form of pieces of technology, such as a textto-speech converter. So if I’m dyslexic, my boss is sending me emails all the time and I’m struggling to read them, text-to-speech will read those aloud to me. Dragon, our most popular product, does it the other way around – I can speak into a microphone and it will convert that into text.” Ben and his business partner, Larry Jenkins, founded the company 18 months ago to build on their previous experience in the sector. With 3.7 milllion disabled people now in work, an increase of 800,000 over the last six years, the market for assistive technology is certainly a growing one. “We usually deal with HR or purchasing managers, who often panic when they’re asked to look after a team that includes someone with a disability,
because they don’t know what to do,” Ben says. “They come to a company like us, and we almost take care of that employee for a while, train them, build their confidence and get them working. “Companies invest a lot of money in this area but often end up buying all the things separately – their purchasing is all over the place and that’s not good for the purchaser or the end user, who has to see loads of different people and might not even get the best technology to help in their situation. We provide an end-to-end solution for workplace adjustments, we don’t just run away once we’ve made a sale. “There are more disabled people in work and wanting to get into work than ever before. Access to work is growing every year, with the Government giving more money to help people get back into jobs. We think that’s going to continue.” Dyslexia Box has been based at the Future Business Centre on King’s Hedges Road for the last year. The centre is run by Allia, an organisation
There are more disabled people in work and wanting to get into work than ever before. Access to work is growing every year"
Â© Keith Heppell
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We have people ringing us up all the time, particularly from schools and universities, to thank us for our work" that has helped hundreds of impact ventures – companies wishing to make a positive contribution to society – grow and flourish since it was founded in 1999. Ben is in no doubt the centre is a great place for his firm. “We knew the manager here, and she was always telling us about the centre, and when we looked into it we could see it was a no brainer to move in,” he says. “It’s a fantastic place, you meet people in the canteen who are doing amazing work and going through the same things as us. It’s a really inspiring and supportive environment.” Ben says the company is expanding to meet demand, taking on more trainers and assessors across the UK and around the world, as well as exploring automated methods of assessment which it can offer
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to clients. “I don’t have dyslexia or a disability myself, but I like the sense of satisfaction from helping people out,” he says. “We have people ringing us up all the time, particularly on the schools and universities side, to thank us for our work. I went out to do a demo of Dragon once, and had someone crying because she didn’t know those kind of systems even existed. The technology we provide really can be life-changing.” Find out more at dyslexiabox.co.uk
Allia Future Business Centres offer flexible workspace, business support and a vibrant community for those who are creating change. Its four centres in Cambridge, London and Peterborough are dedicated to supporting businesses that have positive impact on people, planet and place to start, develop and scale. Find out more at futurebusinesscentre.co.uk
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WORDS MATTHEW GOODING
The latest news and updates from the Cambridge Cluster
HEAVEN’S VAULT A new adventure game four years in the making is inviting players to uncover a lost world and decipher a forgotten language. Developed by Cambridge’s Inkle Studios, Heaven’s Vault is an open-world adventure where players assume the role of the archaeologist, Aliya Elasra. She and her robot sidekick, Six, investigate The Nebula, which is an ancient network of scattered moons. Along the way, the pair discover lost sites, freely explore ancient ruins and translate inscriptions to reveal the secrets of The Nebula’s past. Depending on the translations the player chooses, the story alters. The game has a non-linear design that allows players to approach the story in any order. This is backed up by Inkle’s narrative engine, Ink, which remembers every choice made and every path followed – or not followed – and feeds this into the main story arc, creating a unique experience for each player.
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Inkle’s narrative director and co-founder, Jon Ingold, said the team at the studio has been working on Heaven’s Vault since 2014. Creating a 4,000-year-old civilisation is no small feat, after all. He added that the team drew inspiration from a wide variety of ancient societies, as well as sources as varied as the barter systems of the Polynesian islands and the intricate trade routes of the Silk Road. Visually, Heaven’s Vault is stunning, and represents Inkle’s first foray into 3D gaming. Founded in 2011 by Ingold and Joseph Humfrey, the studio has previously focused on purely story-driven titles. It received four Bafta nominations for its criticallyacclaimed 2014 game, 80 Days, an interactive tale based loosely on the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days. Inkle Studios is hoping Heaven’s Vault can enjoy a similar level of success. The game is out now for Windows PC and Playstation 4. cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
SMELL OF SUCCESS
ABOVE Heaven’s Vault, developed by Cambridge-based Inkle Studios, is an open-world adventure that combines 3D environments with hand-drawn 2D art
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The developer of a unique odourerasing spray is enjoying the sweet smell of success. Supramolecular chemistry firm Aqdot’s recentlylaunched Oderase product is the only fragrance-free odour-erasing spray on the UK market, and has been given the thumbs up by several consumer groups, including Good Housekeeping, since its launch through online supermarket Ocado. It’s based on the company’s proprietary AqBit chemistry platform, which Aqdot says has a unique ability to capture, hold and release materials as required. The success of Oderase has helped Sawston-based Aqdot secure a not-to-be-sniffed-at £6m in Series B funding. The cash injection has come from existing investors, including Parkwalk Advisors and IP Group. CEO Tim Wright said plans are afoot for the introduction of further products in the Oderase range, while partnerships with leading household and personal care companies are also in the pipeline. “We are grateful to our shareholders for all of their support as we launch new products. We are excited to accelerate the build of our own commercial team while, in parallel, actively seeking new commercial partners,” Wright said. Alastair Kilgour, co-founder and partner at Parkwalk, added: “The Aqdot team has made rapid technical and commercial progress. We are pleased to support them as they move into the growth phase of the company, pursuing revenues in numerous business verticals.”
NEWSFEED Cambridge tech start-ups drove a sharp increase in venture capital investment in the region in the first quarter of the year. Companies in the east attracted £125m of funding from VCs spread across 19 deals, 15 of which involved city firms. The figures, from the latest KPMG Venture Pulse report, compare favourably to the 12 deals worth £36m recorded in the same period of 2018. The biggest investment was in liquid biopsy specialist Inivata, which received £39.8m, while Featurespace, developer of an AI system that detects fraud, attracted £25m. Innovators in the region are being invited to help the NHS get to grips with new technologies. The Cambridge-based Eastern Academic Health Science Network, an organisation driving innovation in the NHS, has launched TechBuddy, which pairs up tech industry figures with healthcare staff. It aims to bridge the gap between the technology skills and the needs of the NHS by sharing knowledge and improving understanding for the benefit of patients. For more details about taking part, email email@example.com Software development agency Softwire is the latest firm to join the Cambridge Cluster. The company, which provides digital design and software engineering services, has set up a base in Cambridge Science Park after a period of sustained business growth. Managing director, Zoe Cunningham, said: “Cambridge is a booming target for tech start-ups, providing a wonderful opportunity for business growth. Encompassed by a vast hub of students, there is great potential to unlock the talent of today and turn more people towards the tech profession.” CW Unplugged is returning for 2019, with a focus on air, earth, fire and water. The first workshop, Tech for Air, takes place on Thursday 16 May at the Bradfield Centre, Cambridge Science Park. It looks at how technologies can be used to monitor air quality networks in developing regions. Delegates are split into teams and help create solutions to specific challenges currently faced by start-ups working on tech for air. Tech for Earth is on Wednesday June 19. To find out more, visit cambridgewireless.co.uk
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AI INSURANCE FROM CYTORA Insurance is the latest sector to be touched by artificial intelligence, thanks to a University of Cambridge spin-out that has just raised £25m to scale up its operations. Cytora, which has developed an AI system for commercial insurers, has received the cash in a Series B round led by the EQT Ventures fund. Other participants include existing investors Cambridge Innovation Capital, Parkwalk Advisors and a number of angel backers. The funding will be used to accelerate
We're looking forward to widening our impact and helping accelerate the industry's digital transformation"
ABOVE Cytora was founded in 2014 by machine learning scientists, data engineers and strategists, including Richard Hartley (left) and Aeneas Wiener (right)
expansion of Cytora’s product suite and help it target new countries. Richard Hartley, co-founder and CEO of Cytora, said: “We’re looking forward to widening our impact and helping accelerate the insurance industry’s digital transformation.” Founded in 2014 by a group of Cambridge University machine learning scientists, data engineers and strategists, Cytora is using its AI platform to modernise the world of commercial insurance underwriting. Traditionally, applying for this type of insurance is slow and complex. Cytora’s system analyses public and proprietary data, including property construction features, company financials, and local weather, and combines it with an insurance company’s internal data to make the process quicker and more accurate. The company’s software is already used by large insurers, including QBE, AXA XL, MS Amlin and Starr. “We’re enabling insurers to underwrite at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods, and price policies more accurately,” added Hartley. “Over the next 24 months, we’re going to scale across the insurance value chain and move into new geographies. The EQT Ventures team brings unrivalled expertise and it’s supported the growth of some of Europe’s leading businesses. We’re looking forward to partnering with them on the exciting journey ahead.”
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Finding the right candidate for a role can be tough, but follow a few tips and you’ll be scouting out the top talent in no time, says Busy Bee Recruitment director, Kayleigh Bysouth Going it alone In today’s job market there are many direct approaches to finding staff for your team, from digital routes – such as advertising on sites like indeed.co.uk or social media – to using your own connections and, of course, internal promotions. You may find you have success with these approaches, and question how and why bringing an agency into the mix adds value. I would say that the key benefit of using a recruitment agency is that it saves time: a good agency will spend hours, if not days, sifting through hundreds of CVs in the hunt for the right person to join your team. An agency will filter the CVs down to the most relevant skills to match your requirements, as well as finding a personality to fit your team and company culture by conducting the first interview for you. This allows you to spend time interviewing only the cream of the candidates, leaving you free to focus on your business. A helping hand Just as finding the right candidate for your role is crucial, so is finding the right agency to fill it for you. There are a glut of agencies even just in Cambridge, and you need to look for professionals who are willing to truly invest their time in understanding and becoming part of your business. If an agency doesn’t understand what your company is about, it doesn’t have a hope of finding the best people to help you grow your team. Ensure that the agents are experts in your sector and will go the extra mile to source or headhunt the very best candidates. And make sure that the consultant you are working with also has the necessary tools to do this, including access to big job boards like reed.co.uk, CV-Library and Total Jobs, but also connections with the top local bodies, such as Cambridge Network. Furthermore, I’d strongly recommend working with a consultancy that is industry accredited and affiliated with governing bodies, eg Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) or the Institute of Recruitment cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
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Professionals (IRP). Before committing, you should enquire as to whether the agency holds their Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) certificate, enabling it to securely handle both candidate and client data under GDPR regulations. Ad value It’s hard to overstate the importance of getting the job advert right: this is your opportunity to sell your vacancy and your company to prospective candidates. You need to bring the role to life to attract the right applicants, while also making your requirements crystal clear – after all, you’re looking for quality over quantity, and it’s always better to have 20 suitable responses than 500 irrelevant or substandard CVs. A good recruitment agency will be able to assist you with the preparation of your job ad, but if you’re creating it yourself, you need to include the following as a minimum: job title; a succinct description about the vacancy to include responsibilities, tasks and duties; a description of the company; the location; any USPs that make the role appealing; salary and benefits, plus details on how to apply and any deadlines that candidates should be aware of. Twenty questions You’ve got your top candidates cued up and it’s interview time. But how do you get the most out of these pressurised chats? The kind of questions you need to ask can be broadly grouped into two categories:
It's hard to overstate the importance of getting the job advert right: this is your opportunity to sell your vacancy and your company to prospective candidates" biographical (which are used to investigate the candidate’s working history) and competence-based (which determine specific behaviours, characteristics, knowledge and skills). Good routes of questioning for biographical information include discussions about employment history, education, training, work cultures the candidate has experienced and their flexibility and personal motivations. This style develops a comprehensive picture of an individual and is most commonly used by organisations. For competencybased information, key things to cover are knowledge, skills and attitude. A competence-based interview is most beneficial when an ability to perform the specifics of the role is more important than the candidate’s personality aligning with the company culture. This interview style is less commonly used on its own and often undertaken after a biographical interview. Busy Bee Recruitment is an accredited agency with the (REC) Recruitment & Employment Confederation, holding an ICO certificate and able to provide written advertisements and interview guidance on a more in-depth level. busybeerecruitment.co.uk
WORDS CHARLOTTE PHILLIPS
SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT
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SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT
Love it or loathe it, team building is crucial to creating a positive, cohesive company culture. Charlotte Phillips speaks to local firms about their creative approaches eam building arouses a range of emotions, some positive, some less so. It can embrace anything from airborne swinging through the trees to Lego days, where employees work together on assorted creative tasks a million miles away from their day-to-day working lives. One thing team building isn’t, is an exact science. For every piece of research demonstrating that teams who build together, stay together, there’s another, from an equally credible academic, suggesting that most corporate events do nothing but make staff miserable, denting the bottom line in the process. According to a Wakefield Research Study commissioned by the US cloud technology company Citrix, a third of employees cordially dislike team building activities. Anyone who’s been on the receiving end of a meaningless, sometimes even embarrassing corporate away day, where the only thing they’ve bonded with is the taxi service that enabled them to sneak onto the early train back home, will understand why. Talk to the dynamic firms in our area, however, and you’ll soon find that team building, like so much about corporate life in these new-style companies, has had a fairly fundamental makeover. There’s spontaneity, creativity and, above all, a sense of fun. No longer is team building an occasional bolt on that may, or may not, be attuned to the company’s corporate culture. In many cases, team building events grow organically out of a firm’s beliefs and values, and are developed with so much input from the workforce that the planning process itself could probably count as a team building exercise all on its own. “The key thing is to actually think about what is relevant to the individuals in that particular team,” says Emma Donaldson-Feilder, an occupational psychologist, director and co-founder of Affinity Health at Work. “I don’t think there can be a one size fits all. It’s cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
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important to look at what you’re trying to achieve with the team building, what’s going to suit the individuals within the team, where their current strengths are and where their current dysfunctions are – the things that aren’t working so well and how best to address that.” Perhaps the biggest change is that team building isn’t an occasional large production event but – as one firm puts it – baked into the fabric of the building – and a core aspect of day-to-day working life. Weather permitting, PiP Architecture lays on a Friday lunchtime barbecue that is cooked by the boss, while staff at the Cambridge office of law firm Penningtons Manches take part in the Penn50 Exercise Challenge, running, cycling and swimming to raise money for charity every day. At Simprints, which offers rugged, low-cost biometric fingerprint scanning to enable the millions of people who otherwise lack any formal identification or records to access education and healthcare, team building is huge, according talent manager Christie Civetta. “What we try to do is encourage a lot of interpersonal relationships, which is a way of saying that we’re just friends,” she says. The company allocates a budget that can be used for social activities, accessible by anyone at any level.
BOURN GOLF & LEISURE Challenge your business or team with a day or half-day event for between eight and 104 people at Bourn Golf & Leisure. Sports and activities on offer include archery, bushcraft skills, assault courses and pitch and putt, as well as a championship golf course. Training on Motivational Mapping is also available, helping participants improve working relationships and communication skills. For anyone finishing their round on the 18-hole golf course early, there’s always the pool, sauna and spa – as well as first-class food – to while away the time while you wait for everyone else to catch up.
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SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT
Perhaps the biggest change is that team building isn’t an occasional large production event but – as one firm puts it – baked into the fabric of the building – and a core aspect of day-to-day working life"
LOCKHOUSE GAMES If you’ve ever felt your team could benefit from working together to save the Earth from a giant meteor, journeying to Egypt to defeat evil Anubis (your arch nemesis) or planning to escape from a secret house hidden beneath a Cambridge street, LockHouse Games could be the perfect solution. Teams, consisting of between two and seven people, discover clues, solve problems and open locks in a bid to free themselves and humanity as well. Expect to see several new, exciting escape games appearing over the next few months.
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An intern recently organised evening drinks so that she and several other newcomers could get to know the rest of the team. About 25 people showed up – a sizeable chunk of the workforce. Redgate, whose products are described by Jeff Foster, head of Product Engineering as “software you actually want rather than have to use”, is another company to create a culture that’s light years away from “a factory style of management where the person at the top is just telling everyone what to do and how to do it”, says Jeff. The talented teams who create the software need “freedom to act, a clear purpose and a drive to learn”, he explains. This involves giving them the means, and agency, to do whatever they need to solve the problem. Everything is designed with this in mind, from the cooked breakfast and lunch – available to all – to the cunning positioning of the only coffee maker on the ground floor, not to reduce caffeine intake but to get people congregating in the same place and encouraging them to talk to each other. Ad hoc discussions
on the comfortable sofas downstairs are a day-to-day part of the team-building process, while formal meetings also have a different feel, with an emphasis on fun with a purpose. And you can forget the stereotyped notion of solitary software engineers sticking their headphones on, not talking to another human being and then going home, stresses Jeff. “That couldn’t be further from the truth.” Friday afternoons at Redgate is ‘10 per cent time’ (literally so, as it’s a tenth of the working week), when different teams share their experiences, good and bad. “If a team is playing with a particular new technology that’s working really well, we want that across the company. Equally important, if a team has done something that hasn’t worked, we want everyone to learn from that experience as well,” says Jeff. Building on this is the monthly Redgate ‘unconference’ – like a conference but with an empty agenda. “People suggest talks and then collaboratively create a programme of events for the afternoon,” Jeff adds.
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SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT
At Arcus Global, not only do its apps help major organisations transform the way they communicate with their customers, but team building is taken so seriously that there’s a special staff group called Awesome. Standing for Arcus Workspace Environment Social Organisation Management Executive, it’s well named given the level of imagination that goes into organising team events. From Thirsty Thursdays, where team members nominate a nearby venue for after work get-togethers to Pot Luck Lunches, where people from a range of different countries bring classic dishes to sample, Arcus events are many and varied. Take games night, where one of the highlights is based on vintage TV show Knightmare. It involves someone, whose head is covered by a helmet, being
We address whether everyone believes in the work we're doing, if the values still ring true and if our mission statement works for us and we talk about what sorts of pains we're experiencing as an organisation" CAMBRIDGE COOKERY Founded in 2008, Cambridge Cookery offers an extensive range of corporate team activities, encompassing everything from fun away days to office parties and team building activities. Learn how to make sushi, canapés and chocolate or take part in a masterchef event that can be as competitive as you’d like it to be. Dining events for business customers cover a range of international cuisines, with themes including the Italian, the Souk, the French, the Scandinavian, the Thai and the Far East. And if you’d prefer your own bespoke event, that’s no problem either.
QUY MILL The team building packages from Quy Mill Hotel & Spa enable companies to make use of its five-acre field, the perfect place to host outdoor team building games. There's also an indoor conference room to continue the fun and focus on skills including communication, planning, problem-solving and conflict resolution. First-class catering, high-speed internet and ample free parking make the experience a stress-free occasion for the organisers as well.
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guided round obstacles and through a series of tasks on the office ground floor with the help of instructions and encouragement relayed to their headset by an enthusiastic audience watching from the first floor. In addition to the day in, day out emphasis on team building, firms in our area run larger-scale events that involve going off-site. Format and scale vary widely because here too companies choose activities that underpin their ethos and atmosphere. Arcus Global celebrates its company birthday every June with a summer gathering, while its Christmas party tends to involve a lot of dressing up – recent themes have included heroes and villains and characters from the world of books. Once a year, Simprints’ whole workforce goes off-site. In the firm’s early days, one member of staff would host the event in their own home, conveying a real sense of family and friendship. Today, with 30 employees, a much bigger venue is required but the sense of belonging and collaboration continues. “We all stay together for five or six nights and spend the entire time thinking,” says Christie Civetta. “We address whether everyone believes in the work we’re doing, if the values still ring true and if our mission statement works for us and we talk about what sorts of pains we’re experiencing as an organisation as we grow.” Redgate, meanwhile, now hosts an
annual Level Up conference – though here too, it’s an event with a difference, with potential speakers from within the company putting forward their ideas and staff voting for their favourites. Around 100 ideas have been suggested in the past. Ask any one of these companies whether team building activities adds to a firm’s success and the reaction is universally positive. For example, the Redgate conference is all about creating an event that “would work for everyone, whether you’re a designer, engineer or in management,” says Jeff. Christie Civetta at Simprints agrees. Successful team building events enable people to detach from day-today issues, she believes. “It’s about reminding ourselves why we’re here and what we’re doing,” explains Christie. “We take a step back, put it into perspective and then we can put all that into action as a company.”
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MOTORING DINING FASHION OUT & ABOUT TRAVEL
Autonomous cars are coming – are you ready to let tech take the wheel?
Allow us to introduce you to the city’s top private dining experiences.
A history festival, luxury outdoor hot tubs, a day at the races and more in store.
Weekends away that will make the most of your annual leave.
Contactless shirts, plus the local cyclewear brand making waves.
BRAVE NEW WORLD
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OUT & ABOUT
OUT OF OFFICE
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Autonomous cars are coming, but what’s it like being a passenger in these futuristic self-driving vehicles? Sue Baker finds out
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pivotal moment in British motoring is expected to happen this year. By the end of 2019, the first autonomous cars (self-driving, driverless, call them what you choose) will begin trials on UK roads. Until now, completely autonomous, fully driverless cars have only been tested on a limited scale on roads in the US and Europe. Now, the Department for Transport has announced advanced trials before the end of this year, with the aim of pushing the UK to the forefront of this pioneering technology. For several years now, the latest models of new cars have been loaded with semi-autonomous features: automatic braking, lane-keeping tech, adaptive cruise control, cross-traffic alert and braking – all designed to protect the car in changing road conditions, but also preparing for a driverless future. At least one car, a Mercedes, is already capable of being driven autonomously, but this ability is disabled in order to comply with current regulations. Most drivers have yet to experience what it’s like as a passenger in a
self-driving vehicle, and indeed, keen motorists may not relish handing over a skill they enjoy – having control behind the wheel. As someone who really enjoys driving, I’m with them on that. But this is the future, and many of us would be happy to let the car do the work along a boring stretch of motorway, while we read a newspaper or browse the internet on phone or tablet. So, what is it like to be a passenger in a car with nobody driving? Weird. Brave new world. Initially like something out of science fiction. I first experienced it four years ago, on a busy ring road around Gothenburg in Sweden, the home city of Volvo. Back then, many of us had routinely sniggered at the rather strangelooking, peculiarly upright little Google autonomous car that had made headlines around the world when it was showcased in California. It looked like a bit of a joke car, and it all seemed a very long way off, both time-wise and geographically. So, when I received an invitation from Volvo to go to Sweden and experience
a self-driving car in action, I assumed we would be heading for the test track, where so much of the development work is done. Surely such a vehicle wasn’t ready to take a driverless trip on the road yet? But it was. No boxy little Googlemobiles here. On a day that will be forever etched in my memory as a motoring milestone, I settled into the passenger seat of an ordinary-looking Volvo V40 with Jonas, a Volvo electronics engineer and autonomous driving specialist, in the ‘driving’ seat. It was early days for autonomous cars, and still a legal requirement that company personnel must be behind the wheel, even when the car was self-driving. With Jonas actually doing the driving to begin with, we threaded out through busy Gothenburg traffic and onto the main dual carriageway. Then, with the car set in cruise mode, he pressed a switch on the dash, took his feet off the pedals, moved his hands away from the steering wheel and hey presto: the car was in charge. It felt weird and rather unsettling to be in a car with no human involvement in its progress, going at 50 mph along a busy road among other traffic. As this was a prototype being operated by a big box of electronic wizardry installed in the boot, Jonas sat alert and ready to intervene should the need arise. But it didn’t, and we ‘drove’ for miles with the car doing all the work, while we sat relaxed and chatting. Also, slightly agog. It seemed unnatural, but it was really happening. Autonomous driving has already come a long way since then, and almost every car maker around the world is working hard on developing
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IMAGES Citroën’s motion sicknesscuring glasses (below), a modified Renault Twizy driving using Wayve software (above) and the Volvo 360c concept car (above right and right)
driverless-capable cars that will go on public sale within the next few years. This is also encouraging rapid growth for smart technology companies, such as Cambridge-based Wayve, working on pioneering artificial intelligence software for self-driving cars. Founded by a team from the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering, Wayve is taking a fresh approach to autonomous vehicles, using its research in reinforcement learning and computer vision to develop efficient and adaptable software for driverless cars.
This is encouraging rapid growth for smart technology companies, such as Cambridgebased Wayve, working on pioneering artificial intelligence software for self-driving cars"
Initially at least, driverless cars will look much like any others. They will still have a steering wheel and forwardfacing passengers. Eventually, though, autonomy will bring changes to a car’s interior. The steering wheel will disappear and passenger orientation is likely to become more inwardly focused. With no particular need to look at the road ahead, the cabin can be repackaged with some seats rearward facing. All of which my result in a new problem: kinetosis. Car sickness, in other words. It may well be a problem that travelling in a car driven autonomously will increase the risk of making passengers nauseous. It’s a problem that motor manufacturers are taking seriously in preparation for autonomous cars actually arriving in our lives. Passenger nausea is nothing new. It typically affects young children travelling in the rear seats with a restricted view of the road ahead, and it also afflicts some nervous adults who would feel better behind the wheel than seated alongside an enthusiastic driver. Some 5 to 10% of the population are susceptible to car motion sickness, with 30 million people across Europe afflicted – so it’s an issue that is focusing industry minds on what to do about it. That includes the UK Autodrive project, cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
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the government-backed consortia of automotive businesses, local authorities and academic institutions dedicated to supporting the introduction of selfdriving vehicles into the UK. Jaguar Land Rover is one of the companies involved, with a team of engineers and cognitive psychologists working in a Future Mobility division. Claiming industryleading motion sickness research, JLR has amassed 15,000 miles of motion sickness data and used it to create an algorithm that generates a ‘wellness score’ for each passenger. It is now working on a system that can automatically personalise an autonomous car’s driving and cabin settings to reduce nausea risk, it claims, by up to 60%. The research includes developing satellite navigation that considers the car’s speed, distance travelled and energy forces to determine an optimum wellness route. JLR’s Future Mobility team includes a wellness technology researcher, Spencer Salter, who explains: “As we move towards an autonomous future where occupants have more time to either work, read or relax on longer journeys, it’s important we develop vehicles that can adapt to reduce the effects of motion sickness in a way that’s tailored to each passenger.”
Citroën has taken a different route to tackle the same problem, developing cannily-named and patented Seetroën spectacles, comprising a bizarre quartet of white roundels edged in bright blue, with moving liquid inside the rings around the eyes. They look like a gimmick, but when I asked a car sickness sufferer to try them on a journey, we were both amazed that they worked. While the brave new world of autonomous cars brings issues as well as advantages, smart engineers are already coming up with solutions. You’ll be ‘driving’ one sooner than you think!
Looking for a little luxury? Allow us to introduce you to the area's top private dining experiences
The latest addition to Bedford Lodge, The Mews takes things to the next level, and not only has its own dining area, but three luxurious bedrooms, too"
THE MEWS AT BEDFORD LODGE ABOVE The Mews has one executive suite, two superior rooms and a private dining area, to accommodate six or seat up to eight
The four-star Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa has a solution for when a private dining room just isn’t enough luxury for you: your own private house! The latest addition to this Newmarket hotel, The Mews takes things to the next level with not only its own dining area, but three luxurious bedrooms, too. Hire it on an exclusive basis (prices start at £1200) and you can enjoy all the trappings of the hotel, but in your own intimate
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setting. Come dinner time, you have the option to dine in your own private space (seats up to eight) or at the hotel’s Squires restaurant. Either way, you’ll be treated to the creative flair of this 2 AA Rosette eatery. As well a special meal, The Mews can also be hired for hen parties, bridal parties and groups of wedding guests looking to elongate their stay. bedfordlodgehotel.co.uk
THE PUNTER Across the courtyard from The Punter pub is The Barn: a rustic dining room filled with paintings, plants, candles and charmingly mismatched furniture. You and your group (of up to 40 people) can enjoy exclusive use of the space starting from £200, and the food on offer is elegant, exceptionally tasty pub grub: think decadent duck confit with potato dauphinoise and epic burgers. thepuntercambridge.com
RESTAURANT TWENTY-TWO The buzz around this restaurant – which reopened in March last year with new owners, an elegant new look and an exciting new food offering – is yet to die down. And it’s little wonder that tables continue to be booked up far in advance and the national press continue to fawn: food, service and ambience are all exquisite at this Chesterton Road establishment. If you’re after a location for a really special meal, it’s pretty hard to beat in the city – and has become a favourite choice for those in search of a venue for birthdays, weddings, graduations and corporate affairs that pack a punch. The private dining space, the upstairs Chesterton Room, seats up to 12 people and there’s no cover charge unless there are fewer than eight of you. restaurant22.co.uk
RIGHT Restaurant 22 is perfect for corporate affairs that pack a punch. Photos by Charlotte Griffiths
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The Ivy brand’s design nous transformed this Trinity Street building from humdrum high street shop to exceptionally goodlooking restaurant, decking out the space with marble flooring, a glittering onyx bar and a profusion of colourful artworks. Pretty as it all is, if you want to escape the hubbub of the 160-cover restaurant upstairs, check out The Boat Room downstairs, which boasts panelled walling, vintage paintings and jazzy botanicalinspired seating. It’s ideally suited to groups of between 10 and 16, and makes a great location for a business meeting or special meal. There’s no minimum spend or room hire fee, and it’s available from breakfast through to dinner (with no need to pre-order food). The menu is all about modern British classics, with signature dishes such as The Ivy shepherd’s pie and truffle chicken sandwiches. There’s a luxurious afternoon tea menu, too.
Overlooking Parker’s Piece, the fourstar Gonville is another Cambridge hotel that’s undergone an impressive refashioning in recent years. There are stylish bedrooms, the light-filled, colourfully furnished Atrium Brasserie, plus fine-dining restaurant Cotto to enjoy, not to mention the secluded spa in the hotel’s walled garden. There are
a variety of options for private dining, with two function rooms (seating 14 and 28, respectively), plus the Atrium can be hired out on a semi-private basis. There’s a range of menus to choose between, all created and prepared by the acclaimed Cotto chefs. Expect inventive fine dining fare served with flair. gonvillehotel.co.uk
If you want to escape the hubbub of the restaurant upstairs, check out The Boat Room downstairs, for between 10 and 16" 50
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A large, candlelit dining table takes centre stage, surrounded by floor-toceiling bottles from the d'Arenberg vineyard in southern Australia" STOLEN Formerly known as d’Arry’s, this King Street favourite may have a new name and a new look, but the popular private dining room – housed in its own building to the side of the main restaurant – remains. A large, candlelit dining table takes centre stage, surrounded by floorto-ceiling bottles from the d’Arenberg vineyard in southern Australia (the wine of choice for many years for this restaurant). Food-wise, expect a menu of stretched sourdoughs and salads, plus large plates including salmon fillet in lemon, thyme and chilli. stolencambridge.co.uk
RIGHT If you want grandeur and history, the University Arms Ballroom seats up to 180 guests
THE UNIVERSITY ARMS For large events, there are few halls in Cambridge that compare with the grandeur of the University Arms Ballroom. Offering sweeping views across Parker’s Piece, this light-filled space boasts huge, stainedglass windows decorated with college crests, with statement chandeliers overhead. Mahogany panelling frames the room, which is centred by an original marble fireplace. There is space for up to 180 seated guests, or it can be divided with a solid oak wall to form two separate rooms – the Crick and the Watson. Eat here, and you get a taste of Cambridge’s hottest culinary sensation: Parker’s Tavern, the University Arms in-house restaurant, presided over by chefdirector Tristan Welch. Expect a fully bespoke private dining occasion, with a feast of British classics made using the finest Cambridgeshire produce. universityarms.com
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HOTEL DU VIN A handsome converted town house, Hotel du Vin has long been a go-to for those in search of a luxurious overnight break or special occasion dinner. There’s now more competition than ever on the local restaurant scene but, with its classy, Parisian bistro feel and indulgent Gallic dishes, it still remains a favourite. For a private dining experience with a bit of old-school glamour, check out Lombard, which seats up 24 and features a huge bespoke mural, plus original features including an old range cooker. Or you can also enjoy drinks and canapés feeling like a true Cambridge don in The Library, surrounded by books and leather chairs. For smaller groups, the Common Room offers a light-filled space for up to eight diners. hotelduvin.com
THE CROWN & PUNCHBOWL THE TAMBURLAINE HOTEL For sheer wow factor, The Tamburlaine Hotel takes some beating. Only a few steps from Cambridge train station, it’s a gleaming new landmark in this once rundown corner of the city. The fit-out is stunning, from the bold chandeliers and plush furniture to the dramatic marble bar that forms the centrepiece of the expansive dining room. There are a variety of private dining spaces to host more intimate gatherings, including the beautiful Garden Room, which can seat between 24 and 90 (up to 150 for drinks receptions), and features a colonialinspired design. The food menu changes regularly, but current dishes include roasted cauliflower with pickled dates, capers and mint oil, and seared cod, cockle and leek risotto with parsley oil. thetamburlaine.co.uk
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Cocooned in the chocolate box village of Horningsea, The Crown & Punchbowl is a quaint country pub, restaurant and inn with an impeccable reputation. It’s part of the Cambscuisine group, a definitive seal of approval on the local dining scene, and serves indulgent, classic British and French fare: think sumptuous slow-cooked pork belly, truffle risotto with celeriac and parmesan, and sticky toffee puddings. A semi-private dining option gives you your own space without being closed off from the ambience of the pub. The building, which dates back to the 17th century, offers a choice of the Oak Room, which can seat 10 to 20 people, or the Front Room, which is slightly larger, accommodating between 10 and 24 diners. If you’re after a cracklingfireplaces-and-timber-beamed bit of rural charm for your event – corporate or social – C&P could be just the place. Expect to pay £16 for a two-course lunch and £25-30 for a three-course à la carte dinner. thecrownandpunchbowl.co.uk
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What's hot and happening in the local events calendar
OFF TO THE RACES
See the past brought to life next month at Wimpole History Festival, a weekend-long feast of talks and activities at the Wimpole Estate. Taking place from 20 to 23 June, the event is seeing in its third year with its most ambitious outing yet, adding a second marquee and serving up a huge lineup of high-profile historians, authors, journalists, broadcasters and more, as well as interactive fun including sword and archery workshops. A fun and enlightening event with something for all ages, speakers include TV historian Lucy Worsley, straight-talking intellectual Melvyn Bragg and Bafta-winning TV producer Sally Wainwright.
With exhilarating racing, luxurious hospitality, live music and a cracking atmosphere, Newmarket Racecourse’s QIPCO Guineas Festival returns with a bang this month. Taking place on 4 and 5 May, this event sees the Flat racing season accelerate into top gear, bringing two days of world-class sport. Highlights include the 2000 Guineas, where the trainer of Too Darn Hot is aiming to follow up the colt’s success in the Dewhurst Stakes last autumn and cement his status as the horse to watch. You can also expect the names Quorto and Just Wonderful to crop up a lot. On 5 May, there’s more edge-of-yourseat action in the 1000 Guineas; a race won in 2018 by 66-1 outsider, Billesdon Brook. Away from the racing, you can feast on fine-dining fare at Chez Roux or pay a visit to the new Parade Ring restaurant, which offers stunning views and a private bar. Over on the Hyperion Lawn, you’ll find live music and a variety of bars and food stands, and make sure you stick around after the final race for the renowned Après Racing parties. All racegoers get free entry to dance the evening away and as it’s a bank holiday weekend, there’s no excuse not to enjoy the fun!
PAUS. FOR THOUGHT Escape to a hilltop in Bourn for a day of R&R at Paus., a Scandinavian-inspired ‘bathing and breathing’ retreat nestled in the Cambridgeshire countryside. Offering outdoor wood-fired hot tubs, a barrel sauna, an assortment of workshops and delicious food and drink at the the Hilltop Terrasse, it’s an ideal spot for making the most of your cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
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weekend. Coming up in June, Paus. is hosting a Father’s Day bushcraft session with Wildly Curious on the 16th, a family friendly day where the kids can take part in activities (including building a fire for toasting marshmallows), while the grownups enjoy the bathing retreat, before everyone comes together for a fireside picnic. pauscambridge.com
Stunning landscape plus great places to eat – what’s not to love? or a UK mini break, the Lakes are hard to beat. Quaint villages, a wealth of great gastro pubs, restaurants and breweries, a rich literary heritage and of course, truly jaw-dropping scenery make it one of the most popular tourism destinations in Britain – and well worth the four or so hours’ drive from Cambridge. After a day of windswept rambling on the fells, The Wild Boar is the perfect base for some relaxing and indulging, offering an assortment of treasures which includes a microbrewery, luxurious rooms and an acclaimed restaurant and smokehouse. The location Nestled in the peaceful Gilpin Valley, this 19th Century inn is surrounded by woodland, giving a feel of total seclusion while being only a few miles from must-visits such as Lake Windermere and Castlerigg Stone Circle. You’re well-placed to enjoy the short, but rewarding, Orrest Head walk, which affords impressive views for minimal effort. Begin by the A591 at the Orrest Head sign and follow the lane upwards for a swift 20-minute ascent to the summit, where you’ll be greeted with a sweeping vista of undulating mountains and shimmering lakes.
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The food The pub takes its name from local legend Sir Richard de Gilpin, slayer of a particularly ferocious wild boar which terrorised villagers in the middle ages, and today you can conquer a swine of your own with the rather epic Wild Boar Burger. A juicy 8oz patty smothered in pulled pork and Monterey Jack cheese, this behemoth will satisfy any burger lover. The theme appears elsewhere on the menu, too, in dishes like a decadent wild boar and damson scotch egg, or you can even sample the Wild Boar Pale, a hoppy, citrusy ale that’s made in-house. It would be a mistake not to sample the wares of the on-site smokehouse, which is tucked behind the inn and offers courses in the art of smoking food to guests. The generous deli platter gives a tour of the highlights, with exquisite smoked salmon, cooked ham that packs a flavour punch and some lip-smacking relish. Predominantly made up of traditional, hearty dishes, served with flair, diners can expect a wide array of excellent pies and steaks, including the king of cuts, the Chateaubriand, which here weighs in at a whopping 20oz and is carved with ceremony at your table. The service is supremely attentive, and the gallery kitchen makes
Diners can expect a wide array of excellent pies and steaks, including the king of cuts, the Chateaubriand, which weighs in at a whopping 20oz"
IMAGES Work up an appetite for The Wild Boar’s mouthwatering food and drink with a hike in the beautiful Lakeland surroundings; or alternatively just curl up in front of a roaring log fire!
CLOSER TO HOME
HEAD FEN COUNTRY RETREAT If you’re looking for an escape to the country within hopping distance of Cambridge, check out Head Fen Country Retreat, which offers selfcatering lodges on the banks of a private fishing lake in Little Downham, near Ely. With sweeping views across the Fens, your own hot tub and a cosy wooden lodge with all mod cons to bed down in for the night, it’s the perfect spot for some blissful downtime without the faff of a long journey. If you want to get out and about and do some exploring, the retreat sits close to the borders of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, making it a good base for exploring nearby Ely Cathedral and Welney Wetlands Centre, plus you can fish on the lake. It’s a 30-minute drive from Cambridge and you can choose a lodge that sleeps from 2-6 people, or book Egret House, a two-bedroom cottage. headfencountryretreat.co.uk
you feel involved in the action as head chef Miroslav Likus and his team bustle about preparing your feast. Another treat is The Wild Boar’s ‘alternative afternoon tea’, which does away with delicate finger sandwiches and sugary confections in favour of Wild Boar sliders, ox cheek nuggets and pork scratchings. The rooms While downstairs is every inch the traditional Lakes inn, complete with crackling fires, oak beams and weathered chesterfields, the bedrooms have a more modern feel. We stayed in the rather palatial White Room, which boasts its own balcony and a vast bathroom complete with freestanding copper tub, rainforest shower and luxurious toiletries. After a long trek around the lakes, a happy afternoon was spent curled up by the woodburning stove in the centre of the room, thumbing through the classic books that line the shelves. The ludicrously large and comfortable bed proved cambridgecatalyst.co.uk
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hard to leave come morning, while the refreshments provided in the room were a lovely touch. What to do Cocooned in the cosy comfort of The Wild Boar, it’s hard to motivate yourself to do much of anything apart from enjoying Grade A downtime, but there’s plenty on offer in the area if you want to get out and about. Explore Swallows and Amazons land, complete with a trip to Wild Cat Island, on a boat trip on Lake Windermere, or step inside the magical world of Peter Rabbit and co at the Beatrix Potter museum. Also in Windermere, The Fizzy Tarté offers whimsical cocktails and gorgeously crafted sweet treats which make the perfect reward for a day’s hiking. The Drunken Duck, one of the Lake District’s most acclaimed eateries, is around half an hours’ drive, or you can book a clay pigeon shooting experience at The Wild Boar’s on-site shooting range. Prices start at £121 for bed and breakfast. Find out more at englishlakes.co.uk/the-wild-boar
Cambridge-made fashion brands making waves
Looking for some new cycling togs? Check out This is Cambridge (TIC CC), a super cool local brand that offers a range of jerseys, caps, jackets, bib shorts, socks and more. Created here in Cambridge for road athletes “looking to achieve extraordinary things”, the products marry style and function, using top technical fabrics in a range of bold colours with eye-catching designs. Prices start at £26.95 for caps and £96 for jerseys and can be ordered online at this-is-cambridge.com
CONTACTLESS CLOTHING Tech meets fashion with Dresscode: a collection of unique shirts from Cambridge-based designer Andy Boothman. Look a little closer and you’ll see that the patterns take inspiration from the digital world, resembling cursors, binary code, pixels and other coding icons. That’s not all – Dresscode recently revealed the latest of its innovations: the cash cuff. A contactless payment module, controlled via an app, it enables wearers to pay for things with a swipe of an arm. The first time that contactless payment has been used in clothing, the makers plan to offer corporate solutions where shirts can be designed to reflect a brand’s values or aspirations; but we think they’d also make the perfect gift for the stylesavvy tech geek in your life. Find out more at dresscodeshirts.co.uk Twitter @dresscodeshirts
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On the pulse of the city's business community.