The Cambridge Start-up Billion Pound Scale-up Challenge

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The Bradfield Centre

Milton Road




United Kingdom

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Why Don't Cambridge Start-ups Become Billion Pound Companies?

What Can You Do to Make Yours Grow to Billions, not Millions?

  • Would you like advice on growing your business from the former CTO at HP Autonomy?

  • Or perhaps the former MD at Yahoo! Europe could give you some insights?

  • Perhaps one of ARM VP's advice would be useful too?

If you're a Cambridge start-up facing a growth challenge, perhaps:

  • Wondering how big you can be and if you should sell up to that corporate offering to buy you out

  • Wondering if you should go for series B or C of investment (raise money to grow faster but end up owning less of your company; or bootstrap for longer, owning more but perhpas growing slower)

  • Feeling unsure about how to build and lead your teams through significant business change, as they are spread across continents (hiring people who can scale, hiring people who are unlike you (e.g. salespeople for tech founders and visa versa), hiring abroad in different cultures, etc.)

  • You are launching in new markets (if it requires investment and time, how do you open up offices in other places, like the US).

  • Have other growing pains you may be experiencing that you'd like advice

Bring your growth challenges to the Investors and Executives who have been there and done it!

You'll have the chance to pitch your challenge* (max 3min) to the panel and get answers from the panel on 3 actions you could take to help you grow.

*Only Cambridge startups that have secured a min of £250,000 investment (or min £150,000 bootstrapping), are growing, may have even reached millions of pounds turnover but have challenges as a result of growth.

Event will be chaired by Adelina Chalmers, a.k.a. The Geek Whisperer.

Panel of Experts that will answer your questions:

  • Suranga Chandratillake - former CTO at HP Autonomy in San Francisco, has grown startups to billion pounds, now Angel and VC Investor passionate about growing to billions of pounds Cambridge startups

  • Martina King - runs the fastest growing tech start-up in Cambridge (Feature Space) and has run billion pound companies in her role as MD for Yahoo! Europe

  • Monika Biddulph - VP Planning and Delivery, IPG, at Arm Ltd - one of Cambridge's biggest startup successes and a multibillion pound company. Monika is experienced in leading multi-million dollar contract negotiations as well as commercial discussions with customers in industry segments such as IoT, Industrial, Robotics, AI and Automotive, in Asia, EU and US. She is a proven leader of change management with experience in building and leading international high performance teams.

  • Adelina Chalmers a.k.a.The Geek Whisperer - helps engineers at billion pound Cambridge startups like ARM grow with the company. She is passionate about nurturing engineers and scientists to help start-ups grow sustainably when scaling.


09:30 - 10:00: Arrival and networking

10.00 - 10.30: Hear from our experts on reaching a billion pounds

10:30 - 11:00: Real Scale up Challenges - first round of challenges pitched to the panel followed by Q&A and 3 actions for the scale up to take away

11:00 - 11:15: Break

11:15 - 12:00: Real Scale up Challenges contd. - second round of challenges pitched to the panel followed by Q&A and 3 actions for the scale up to take away

12:00 - 12:30: Networking and close



Suranga Chandratillake is the founder and president of, an Internet video search engine. In 2014, Suranga joined Balderton Capital, the London, UK-based Venture Capital firm, as a General Partner. In September 2017, the Prime Minister appointed Chandratillake as one of five new members of the UK's Council for Science and Technology, which "advises the Prime Minister on strategic science and technology policy issues that cut across the responsibilities of individual government departments". Prior to founding blinkx, Chandratillake held a variety of roles in technology, sales and marketing at Morgan Stanley, netdecisions and anondesign.He was also the US Chief Technology Officer of Autonomy Corporation, responsible for growing Autonomy's research and development division in the United States. Suranga Chandratillake founded blinkx in 2004 and launched the company in 2005. He took blinkx public on the London Stock Exchange on May 22, 2007. On April 8, 2011, Chandratillake and blinkx announced the acquisition of Burst Media, an online media and technology company headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts.


Martina King is CEO of Featurespace and joined the company in 2012. Former Managing Director of augmented reality company Aurasma, Martina has an extensive career in media technology, including leadership roles at Yahoo! Europe and Capital Radio. Martina is non-executive director of Debenhams, and was named one of the Top 40 powerful women in tech by Silicon Republic.

Monika Biddulph is VP Planning and Delivery at Arm. Based in Cambridge, she is responsible for driving the execution of the product roadmaps and 10YP across all lines of business and central engineering, to ensure appropriate decisions are made on priorities, balance of resource allocation and product roadmaps. Since joining ARM in 1998, Monika has worked in a variety of technical and commercial positions, including most recently as general manager of software and systems group, as general manager of partner enablement group, and in IP and tools licensing, product marketing and application engineering. Prior to ARM, Monika completed her PhD in experimental high energy physics at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. From July 2014 to July 2015, Monika was a non-executive director on the Board of Linaro.


Adelina Chalmers is known as The Geek Whisperer® because she transforms interpersonal skills into algorithms, protocols and formulas engineers and scientists easily understand. The first engineer Adelina helped improve the way he communicated his ideas became a multimillionaire within 3 years and she helped most of the science and technology Cambridge University startups pitch their ideas and secure investment. Adelina works with some of the top software engineering corporates in the world, such as ARM, and fast growing startups such as Feature Space and Repositive helping their engineers and scientists get from “no, it won’t work” to “yes, it could work if…”. Adelina has won numerous speaking competitions and speaks five languages fluently.

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The Bradfield Centre

Milton Road




United Kingdom

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