Board

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Chairman, Co-Founder, Mr Ian Vance MBE

Ian is a seasoned telecom leader. He was formerly VP and Chief Engineer for Nortel Networks in Europe and before that Managing Director of the world famous STC Laboratories in Harlow, UK where fibre optics was invented. He was also responsible for the disposal of Nortel’s patents which was a $4.6 billion transaction. More recently he has been involved with consulting in telecommunication, electronics and management communications as well as due diligence for leading VC’s such as Amadeus.

 

karl-bwCEO, Dr Karl Heeks

Karl has over 20 years of experience in senior roles within blue chip organisations, SMEs and start-ups including GEC, CDT, UltraSoC and Metrarc. He is an experienced founder and grower of high technology companies. He won the RAEng MacRobert Award in 2002, at the time the largets and most prestigious engineering prize in Europe and 1st (UK) and 4th (Europe) in the Deloitte and Touché Technology FAST 500 (revenue growth). He has around 25 granted US patents.

 

CTO, Co-Founder, Professor Daping Chu

Director of Centre for Photonic Devices and Sensors and Director and Chairman of CAPE. He is a Director of Research at Cambridge University where he leads the research in the area of photonic devices including LCoS WSSs. In addition to a highly successful academic research career he spent some years in industry as Executive Researcher at Epson research lab in Cambridge. He is a fellow of Selwyn College, CEng, FIET, CPhys, FInstP.

 

Tania Balsa

Non-Executive Director, Tania Balsa

Tania works as an Investment Manager at Cambridge Enterprise since 2015. Previously, she worked in the venture capital sector in Spain investing in technology spin outs from universities and research centres for over six years.  She was responsible for analysing new investment opportunities and managing several portfolio companies in sectors such as ICT and nanotechnology.   After moving to the UK, Tania worked briefly in the BioQuarter (University of Edinburgh), where she gathered intelligence on key performance indicators of the company’s portfolio.  Tania holds an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School (University of Cambridge) and degrees in Finance and Economics from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

 

Non-Executive Director, Dr Phil O’Donovan

Phil O’Donovan, as founding Managing Director, helped grow CSR plc from a start-up of nine in 1999 into a highly successful FTSE 250 listed fabless semiconductor company. As a technology start-up, CSR is one of the UK’s biggest commercial success stories, employing more than 2,000 people in 23 locations around the world in 2014. Within four years from 1999, CSR became the largest global market supplier of Bluetooth chips and was acquired by Qualcomm in September 2015 for $2.5billion.

Phil is now a Cambridge-based angel investor in technology start-ups and an advisor to Universities on the commercialisation of their IP. He is also a frequent conference speaker on topics concerning entrepreneurialism and fund-raising. His mission is to help emerging companies exceed £billion in both revenue and market capitalisation whilst continuing to grow as independent globally operating UK-based entities.

 

Non-Executive Director, Sara Irvani

Sara Irvani is a Vice President at Granite Holdings. Previously, Sara consulted Fortune 500 companies with Monitor Group in New York City, San Francisco, and Zurich. Irvani speaks English, French, German and Farsi and holds the distinction of being a “Global Shaper,” a group of young leaders working with the World Economic Forum. Along the way, the 29-year-old executive earned a bachelor’s degree with high distinction in philosophy from the University of Virginia, a Master’s of Finance from University of Cambridge, and an MBA from INSEAD.