Plextek, the youthful Cambridge tech-mafia start-up is, incredibly, 30 years old. The renegade upstarts Tim Jackson and Colin Smithers broke out from PA Technology in late 1988 and in the secret move were contacted by customer Ian Murphy, claiming: “I’ve heard you are leaving – you need me!”
Today Plextek continues to operate as a highly regarded technology consultancy but has also spawned multiple successful spin-outs.
Plextek was originally set up as a specialist communications product and system design house, exploiting the founders’ core competences. Over the years this has evolved from cordless phones, data links and propagation expertise into adjacent areas such as Stolen Vehicle Recovery (SVR) tracking devices, radar and sonobuoys and ultimately to medical products.
The first spin-out was Radiant Networks in 1997, which pioneered advanced mesh networks for broadband connectivity to the home using directional beams prior to the 2001 tech crash. This also represented the founders’ venture