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New Chair for Cambridge Enterprise Ajay Chowdhury assumed leadership of the Board in January, overseeing the strategy of Cambridge Enterprise, which is tasked with supporting the commercialisation of the ideas that emerge from the University of Cambridge.

The University of Cambridge is amongst the most important university sources of new deep-tech ventures and promising therapeutics in the UK and internationally.

Ajay Chowdhury

Chowdhury has 25 years of start-up venture experience, building disruptive, new digital businesses in a wide range of industries. He has particular expertise in mobile, e-commerce, digital media, data analytics, digital retail and government as well as strong functional expertise in sales, strategy development, product development and fundraising.

Chowdhury is Partner and Managing Director in the London office of BCG Digital Ventures. Prior to joining BCG, he was CEO of Seatwave, a European online ticketing marketplace that was sold to Ticketmaster. Before joining Seatwave he was CEO of ComQi, a global omnichannel retail technology company that was sold to AU Optronics.

Chowdhury was a founding partner of IDG Ventures Europe, a $100 million (£77 million) European venture capital fund. He also served as Chairman of Shazam, a $1 billion (£770 million) mobile audio recognition company, and invested in and served on the board of Lionhead, a games developer sold to Microsoft.

Selected as one of the Asian Power 100 – the 100 most influential and powerful Asians in the UK – Chowdhury has also been recognised with the 2015 Dealmaker of the Year award from M&A Magazine, Top 100 Asian tech stars and selected as one of 2016's Sunday Times top 100 BAME business leaders in the UK.

Chowdhury has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA. He serves on the board of the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Professor Andy Neely, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations, said: “Cambridge Enterprise has played a critical role in the development of the Cambridge cluster, supporting a wide array of University spin-outs and start-ups. As digitalisation continues at pace, Ajay’s background and experience will be invaluable to Cambridge Enterprise and the wider University.”

Chowdhury said: “I am delighted to be joining Cambridge Enterprise as its Chair. Knowledge exchange and technology transfer are important and increasingly vital parts of the mission of universities in general. The University of Cambridge is amongst the most important university sources of new deep-tech ventures and promising therapeutics in the UK and internationally.”

Tony Raven, CEO of Cambridge Enterprise, said: “We are indebted to our outgoing Chair, Sir Keith O’Nions for his role in the development of the organisation and the Board over his five-year tenure. We look forward to welcoming and working with Ajay.”

About Cambridge Enterprise

Part of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Enterprise supports academics, researchers, staff and students in achieving knowledge transfer and research impact. We do this by helping innovators, experts and entrepreneurs use commercial avenues to develop their ideas and expertise for the benefit of society, the economy, themselves and the University.

Liaising with organisations both locally and globally, we offer expert advice and support in commercialisation and social enterprise, including help with academic consultancy services, the protection, development and licensing of ideas, new company and social enterprise creation, and seed funding.

Find out more about Cambridge Enterprise


04 March 2020


Ajay Chowdhury