Starting a business in Cambridge: VocalIQ

The University of Cambridge spin-out discusses the city's tech support, affordable living costs and great places to take your start-up team...

Company name: VocalIQ
Founder: Blaise Thomson
Founded: 2014
Description: We are building an application programming interface (API) to provide conversational interfaces to any device, allowing you to talk naturally in your own applications.
Website: www.vocaliq.com

What’s great about starting a business in Cambridge?

There is a huge amount of support for any new business starting here such as venture capital and angel funding, and incredibly talented people willing to be advisers.

Additionally the universities offer great technology and lots of new talent to join start-ups. Living costs are considerably low and access to top researchers is accessible.

What business support in Cambridge have you used? How was it?

There are a number of different resources that are available in Cambridge but to name the ones we made use of; Accelerate Cambridge, Enterprise Tuesdays, Cutec, Ignite, CUED mentors – which are all very helpful and informative.

Name the top three reasons to set up a business in Cambridge:

  1. Great people
  2. Technology
  3. Lots of finance

Where could Cambridge be better / what does it need?

Possibly more links to large companies to make it easier to obtain customers, although many are now coming to Cambridge.

How easy has it been to access finance to grow?

Relatively easy here as there are a few different government and private routes you can take, however you need to make sure you have a good business case (like any city I suppose!).

Where do you go to network in Cambridge?

Enterprise Tuesday which a networking event for entrepreneurs and we also attend Meetups. Other business owners will happily give up time to meet start-up founders and there are lots of conferences in the universities you can attend.

Where do you take a client for a business lunch?

Usually to restaurants around the city centre, as there are a variety of great ones. Other times we take them to some of our impressive college business or hotels.

Where’s great for a company night out?

Punting to Grantchester! Other places to go for a quieter company night are the Fitzwilliam museum and cinema.

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