Board

Dr Phil O’Donovan – Chairman

The founding Managing Director of CSR PLC, which he grew into a highly-successful FTSE 250 fabless semiconductor company before being acquired by Qualcomm in September 2015 for $2.5 billion.  Phil is now a Cambridge-based angel investor in technology start-ups, and advises universities on the commercialisation of their IP. 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.

Dr Karl Heeks – CEO

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 and was 1st (UK) and 4th (Europe) in the Deloitte and Touché Technology FAST 500 (revenue growth) in 2002. He has over 25 granted US patents.

Professor Daping Chu – CTO, Co-Founder

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-based 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 and FInstP.

Tania Balsa – Non-Executive Director

Tania has worked as an Investment Manager at Cambridge Enterprise since 2015. She previously 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.  Tania holds an MBA from the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and degrees in Finance and Economics from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Sara Irvani – Non-Executive Director

Sara Irvani is a Vice President at Granite Holdings. She previously consulted for Fortune 500 companies with Monitor Group in New York City, San Francisco, and Zurich. Sara 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. She has a bachelor’s degree with high distinction in philosophy from the University of Virginia, a Master’s of Finance from the University of Cambridge, and an MBA from INSEAD.

Christopher Hall – Board Observer

Christopher has had a career in spanning telecommunications, technology, finance and law over more than 30 years, working in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In early 2017 he stepped down as a senior finance partner in the London Office of Latham & Watkins, a global law firm. He was previously an Executive Vice President of a pan-European data communications company with ‎responsibilities including mergers and acquisitions, joint venture development, and capital markets issuances. Christopher is now a partner at Oxford Investment Consultants, and serves on the Boards of a number of companies in the technology sector, specialising in FinTech, EdTech and HRTech.