Suffolk well-positioned to profit from tech boom, says entrepreneur and tech investor Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch in the grounds of Kesgrave Hall.

Mike Lynch in the grounds of Kesgrave Hall. - Credit: Archant

The Suffolk economy has a “great opportunity” to reap the benefits from an expected technology boom, according to one of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Mike Lynch outside Kesgrave Hall.

Mike Lynch outside Kesgrave Hall. - Credit: Archant

Tech investor Mike Lynch OBE, who is most well-known as the co-founder of Autonomy Corporation, which was the UK’s largest software company before it was sold to Hewlett-Packard for £11bn in 2011, believes that Suffolk’s close vicinity to the technology hotbed of Cambridge and its good transport links means it is well-positioned to provide sites for start-up companies based on innovation developed in the city.

Mr Lynch says technologies such as augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are set to revolutionise society and, as the sector grows, companies will seek new places to base their businesses beyond Cambridge’s borders.

He said: “Cambridge is a world leading technology centre - literally bursting at the seams - and Suffolk has a great opportunity to attract companies.

“The county already has Martlesham, where there is a lot of advanced high tech activity already taking place, and it has a direct train into Cambridge. It is also a great place to live and today tech people are mobile and like to be based in nice places.”

He added: “It will require the right leadership but there is a greater understanding of how important it is to attract new business to the area than there has been in the past.”

Mr Lynch made the comments after speaking on Friday at a lunch event held by the Ipswich Suffolk Business Club, a members club made up of Suffolk’s business community. At the event, he spoke about his investments in technology companies through his US$1bn Invoke Capital fund. Businesses he has backed include cyber security firm Darktrace and Sophia Genetics, which specialises in clinical genomics,

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And Mr Lynch, who lives in Suffolk, said every company will be touched by forthcoming technological advancements.

“If you take a technology like AI – where a machine can learn like humans - that will bring changes,” he said.

“Even people in traditional businesses will need to adapt. Businesses who think that they can stay the same for the next 20 years without changing will find it hard.”