Mills & Reeve’s Question Cambridge event features stellar line-up

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 September 2018

Nick Finlayson-Brown, head of office at Mills & Reeve in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Nick Finlayson-Brown, head of office at Mills & Reeve in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Exhibition and panel discussion at Robinson College is supported by the Cambridge Independent

South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen is on the panel for Question CambridgeSouth Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen is on the panel for Question Cambridge

It has become a key event in the annual business calendar – and this year’s Question Cambridge promises to be a fascinating exploration of innovation and entrepreneurship.

More than 300 people will attend the event organised by law firm Mills & Reeve which takes place at Robinson College from 4.30 to 8.30pm on Thursday, October 4. The event, which is supported by the Cambridge Independent, will explore what lies behind Cambridge’s ranking as one of the top three innovation ecosystems in the world.

An exhibition of 24 diverse stands – including the likes of Simprints and Money Mover – will greet visitors, before they enjoy presentations and an interactive panel discussion with:

■ Heidi Allen, Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire: Elected in 2015 and again in 2017, Heidi, who lives in Elsworth with husband Phil, came into politics from business, having run her own manufacturing company and working for organisations including ExxonMobil and Royal Mail. Having established a reputation as an independently-minded backbencher, Heidi is not afraid to speak out in the House of Commons and regularly speaks up for low-income families and the disabled.

Ben Peters, VP product, FiveAIBen Peters, VP product, FiveAI

A member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, she was voted Conservative Newcomer MP of the Year in 2016 and Conservative MP of the Year in 2017, after being key to persuading the government to agree to take more child refugees displaced by war in Syria.

■ Ben Peters, co-founder and VP product of FiveAI: The Cambridge start-up is developing a full-stack solution for autonomous vehicles to be trialled in London early in 2020 and then deployed in complex European cities. The company has raised $36million in funding, primarily from venture capitalists, and has grown to 110 research scientists and engineers as it aims to build safe driverless vehicles services.

Ben was previously VP marketing at communications start-up Neul, which developed Internet of Things software and chipsets prior to its acquisition by Huawei in 2014. He also spent six years with NCP Semiconductor’s automotive group, where he was responsible for RF, radar and C2X technologies.

■ Rachel Elias-Jones, CFO and executive director at Bango: The company that sorts out the back end when you purchase something via a mobile is Bango, based at the Westbrook Centre in Cambridge. It is a pioneer in mobile payments for global merchants and achieving ever more impressive results.

Rachel Elias-Jones, CFO and executive director at Bango. Picture: Philip MynottRachel Elias-Jones, CFO and executive director at Bango. Picture: Philip Mynott

Rachel is responsible for its financial management, corporate financial functions and relationships with partners. She has been involved in global acquisitions and developing a base of major mobile operators from Verizon to AT&T, plus app stores. A chartered accountant, Rachel spent five years in practice at top five audit firms, specialising in the technology and listed sectors.

David Braben, CEO of Frontier Developments: David is the man responsible for creating the revolutionary computer game Elite with Ian Bell while they were still at the University of Cambridge. He went on to found Frontier Developments in 1994 and has grown it to a successful 380-person company, which floated in 2013, and has a new HQ on Cambridge Science Park. The independent games studio released Jurassic World Evolution earlier this year, selling one million units in five weeks, and is continuing to develop its Elite: Dangerous and Planet Coaster titles, while working on new games.

One of six founders of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, David also supports start-ups through his membership of Cambridge Angels. He was awarded a fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2012 and a fellowship of BAFTA in 2015 – one of only 97 since the first was given to Alfred Hitchcock in 1971. He holds honorary doctorates from Abertay University, the Open University, and York University, and was awarded an OBE in 2014.

Nick Finlayson-Brown, head of Mills & Reeve’s Cambridge office, said: “We are really excited about this year’s event. We want to discuss the formula behind Cambridge’s success and what businesses need to do to ensure they keep attracting the right people and support the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Frontier Developments CEO David BrabenFrontier Developments CEO David Braben

There is limited space remaining. If you are interested in attending, contact events@mills-reeve.com.

Read more

Nick Finlayson-Brown on Mills & Reeve’s growth and Cambridge’s economy

CEO David Braben on Frontier Developments’ new HQ, its Jurassic Park Evolution success and the future

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