Case Study: The Cambridge 50

1) Description of initiative(s)
  • The Cambridge 50 supports the scaling up of Cambridge companies by making it easy and transparent to do business with them. Whoever and wherever you are for free. Alternatives are all very costly, if not impossible, because most of the companies driving the Cambridge cluster are private.
  • Specifically, through league tables and company profile pages, users of Cambridge 50 will be able to see the companies that are growing the fastest. This will allow the leaders of these companies to locate staff, partners, investors and customers more easily.
2) What need does this solve for scale-ups?
(1) Coordination, connectivity and promotion
Visitors to the website can more easily find contact details of the fastest growing companies in Cambridge than through other means.
(2) Access to Skills
Being listed as a scale up on Cambridge 50 helps companies to attract and retain the best talent.
(3) Leadership Capacity Building
The map raises the profile of the companies.
(4) Customers (Domestic & Export)
Access to league tables helps to draw attention to scale ups in the market, helping them to gain attention from investors, partners and customers.
(5) Financing
The map allows the fastest growing companies to be found by leading investors from around the world more easily.
(6) Infrustructure
The Cambridge 50 project is a part of the digital infrastructure necessary to support a healthy scale up ecosystem.
3) Which stakeholders in the ecosystem are involved with running this?
The website was developed by entrepreneurs, partly funded by entrepreneurs, and is managed by entrepreneurs
Ecosystem umbrella organisations
Silicon Valley Comes 2 the UK
Government (national/ local)
Private sector
Many private companies are involved in the project, both as founding partners and data providers
Abcam, ARM, Cambridge Heathcare, Marshall, Nesta, SVC2UK
Education providers
University of Cambridge
4) What does success look like? What impact/outcomes are expected?
Success for the Cambridge 50 Website will be judged by traffic metrics. In particular:
  • A significant number of people are visiting the website
  • Companies continue to ask to be included in the service because it helps them to scale.
  • Articles are written by the media who use the website as it allows them to keep on top of the dynamic Cambridge Scene
  • The Service is used by the University and Government to prepare briefings for visitors to Cambridge.
  • Visitors are interacting with the website, indicating that they are getting value from the information provided
  • Users are returning to Cambridge 50 on multiple occasions, showing that it is bringing ongoing value to visitors.