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Successful PA Consulting and ERBI Cambridge seminar for emerging companies points the way to economic recovery

25 February 2010

A seminar and dinner held on 26 January at Clare College Cambridge for emerging companies and their investors focusing on Adapting to life in the new economic environment – the challenge for start-ups attracted full attendance, demonstrating that venture-backed companies may be ahead in planning for the future and leading the UK out of recession.

This premier networking event was aimed at mid to late stage start-ups and their investors, and discussed the challenges they currently face - exit routes are farther away, funding is more difficult to obtain and trade partners are less willing to sign deals, all set against a backdrop of technical and development obstacles and the need to make limited funding stretch further.

Around 100 attendees – companies, investors and service providers – listened to thought-provoking talks on:

  • The view from investors by Hermann Hauser, Partner and co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, who remarked on the high volume of good quality deal flow activity there is currently, attributing most of this to serial entrepreneurs, and the UK’s attraction for worldwide management talent to lead emerging companies.

  • Living in a zombie economy by Mark Thomas, strategy and marketing specialist at PA Consulting Group and author of The zombie economy: leadership in uncertain times.  In his talk Mark described the current economic model as one where banks, companies, governments and consumers are stuck in a vicious circle – not quite dead, but not functioning as they should, preventing a return to business-as-usual.

  • Learning from biotech by Ronald Openshaw, Chief Executive Officer of Lucia Capital, who provided the ‘top ten’ rules for management of emerging companies.

  •  Tactics for success by Stuart Hendry, Chief Executive Officer of Sphere Medical Ltd, who gave a humorous and frank insight into the practicalities of running an emerging company in these difficult economic times.

An audience survey showed most think business in 2010 will be no better or slightly better than in 2009, taking until at least 2012 to return to 'normal' - if at all.  More optimistically though, the survey revealed:

  • all companies are taking steps to combat the current economic climate, such as changing their product or funding strategy, or by reducing costs.

  • 14% are using the current climate to look for good deals on companies or technologies to buy.

In addition, several companies reported recent successes in raising significant finance, suggesting that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that high tech, emerging companies may be among the first to recover from the recession.

For more details and to view videos of the evening’s talks, please click here.

For further information contact, please email Stewart Fox or Bev Adams


To visit our Technology and Innovation pages, please click here.


NOTES FOR EDITORS:

About PA Consulting Group

PA Consulting Group is an independent, employee-owned, global firm of 2,700 people, operating from offices across the world, in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. We have won numerous awards for delivering complex and highly innovative assignments, have technology development capability that few firms can match, deep expertise across key industries and government, and a unique breadth of skills from strategy to IT, HR to applied technology.

• defence & security • energy • financial services • government and public services • international development • life sciences and healthcare • manufacturing • telecommunications • transportation

• strategic management • innovation and technology • IT • operational improvement • human resources • complex programme delivery


About Living with zombies: leadership in times of uncertainty

Living with Zombies: Leadership in times of uncertainty is written by Mark Thomas, head of strategy and marketing at PA Consulting Group, with contributions from PA sector and function specialists.  The book is based on a detailed analysis of the 2009 half-year results for over 600 US and UK companies, using data drawn from the Bloomberg database.


About ERBI

Established in 1997, ERBI is a not-for-profit membership organisation for international life science and healthcare companies. We are based in Cambridge UK, the heart of Europe's largest cluster. Our 370 members include pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech companies and associated technical and commercial Service Providers.

ERBI's mission is to maximise the global growth and competitiveness of our members. For our science and technology-based members, that means being global leaders in the research, development and commercialisation of healthcare innovations that radically improve the quality of people's lives around the world. For our business and professional services members, it means delivering exceptional services that significantly enhance the business performance of their clients.

www.erbi.co.uk

   
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