Britain's Millionaire Dons

Entrepreneurship Is Flourishing in Britain's Academic World

A hush descends over the timbered dining hall of Corpus Christi, one of Cambridge University's 31 colleges. The master, wearing a long black gown, says a prayer in Latin to end the evening meal. Afterward, the dons and dignitaries retreat to a private, wood-paneled room lit by silver candelabra. As port, elderflower cordials, and cigars are passed around, the conversation swings from medieval manuscripts to a less scholarly subject. David J. Greaves, a tenured lecturer, leans across the table and confesses he made a mistake with his first business venture, in high-speed phone and data networks. "Next time, I'll demand equity," declares the 35-year-old computer scientist.

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