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Networking Comes of Age as Cambridge Network Turns 21

12 June 2018

The concept of formalised business networking was a new one when the Network was set up in 1997. Fast forward 21 years and networking is commonplace – Cambridge alone has more than 60 diverse organisations dedicated to the practice – but their forerunner, the Cambridge Network, remains.

And it continues to flourish, having evolved over time to meet the changing needs of its members.  In fact it grew by 15% just last year.

The Network was founded by an influential group comprising the then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, now Lord Broers, with, among others, businessmen and entrepreneurs Hermann Hauser and David Cleevely. Both continue to sit on the Board of Directors of the not-for-profit limited company which supports the Network.

It began as a simple idea, to emulate what was arguably the first formal network, San Diego Connect, by bringing together business and academia. The University of Cambridge had already spawned some innovative companies and the university had a busy technology transfer team, but the Network’s founders knew there was scope to do more.

David Cleevely comments: “When Hermann Hauser, Alec Broers and I first discussed the idea of a networking organisation for Cambridge none of us had any idea how successful or long lived it would turn out to be."

“Before Cambridge Network, rivalry and tribalism were the order of the day.  Now Cambridge leads the UK in showing how a city can use collaboration and networking to deliver sustained growth and a hugely successful economy, due in no small part to the connectivity and support which Cambridge Network has provided for 21 years now.”

As part of the birthday celebrations, the Network has a gala dinner in July for top level members and is planning a party open to all members later in the year.

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