Essex: University spin-out firm UltraSoC secures �1m investment

UNIVERSITY spin-out company UltraSoC Technologies has secured a further �1million in funding from Octopus Investments to roll out new “debug” technology.

UltraSoC, which was spun-out from the universities of Essex and Kent in 2008, was founded by Cambridge entrepreneur Dr Karl Heeks and Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier, research director at the University of Essex’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.

UltraSoc’s pioneering debugging technology will potentially be used by semi-conductor companies around the world for microchips for use in applications ranging from laptops, smart phones and data processing systems to cars.

The funding from Octopus, which previously invested �2m in UltraSoC in 2010, will enable initial commercial activity to help the company take its technology to the market.

Professor David Sanders, pro-vice-chancellor, research and enterprise at Essex University, said: “I am really excited to see the university’s spin-out company becoming so successful, providing vital technology to the industry and demonstrating the impact of our research.”

Dr Heeks, chief executive of of UltraSoC, which is based in Cambridge, said: “We are delighted to receive the continued support of our major investor as we enter into this exciting next phase of the company’s development where we look to bring our product to market.”

Luke Hakes, principal in the ventures team at Octopus, said: “The team at UltraSoC has developed an impressive technology that is set to revolutionise the way people approach debugging.”

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“The benefits it can bring are dramatic and we are confident in UltraSoC’s ability to achieve continued rapid growth as its products come to market. It is becoming clear that companies that select the UltraSoC technology will enjoy significant advantages over their competitors.

“Since we first invested in 2010, the team has delivered on its promise and we look forward to continuing to support the business going forward.”

The core technology being used by UltraSoC was initially supported by substantial funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). In 2009 seed funding worth �400,000 was secured from the South East Seed Fund and Iceni Seedcorn Fund which allowed the company to open an office in Cambridge and progress the research work into a demonstration stage.