Case study

Signal Media: start-up transformed by university collaboration

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Signal Media and the University of Essex has led to both business growth and personal success.

Dr Miguel Martinez-Alvarez, Professor Udo Kruschwitz and David Benigson
The successful KTP partnership of Dr Miguel Martinez-Alvarez, Professor Udo Kruschwitz and David Benigson

Media monitoring company Signal use KTP to grow their business

Media monitoring company Signal use KTP to grow their business

Signal Media, based in Tech City, East London, partnered with the University of Essex and researcher Dr Miguel Martinez-Alvarez in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

The aim was to bring the latest innovations in text analytics and data science to a new business providing online information monitoring and tracking for other businesses.

From 2 to 30 staff in 2 years for Signal

The KTP has transformed the business so significantly, it was named the best KTP of the year in the 2015 KTP awards. Signal has grown in just over 2 years from 2 people working in a garage to a business employing 30 in offices in East London.

Signal attracted over £3 million more investment

It has attracted investment of $3.2 million and counts the likes of Twitter, Jamie Oliver and British Transport Police among its customers.

Miguel’s impact has been so profound he became a co-founder of Signal Media, head of research and a key player in attracting investment.

David Benigson, chief executive and co-founder of Signal Media, said:

The KTP has enabled us to grow and develop the research arm of the business and led to a far superior product to our competition.

We have been able to raise $3.5 million of venture capital, grow the business to 30 full-time employees and build a set of incredible clients.

KTP kickstarts Miguel’s career to become Signal co-founder

Miguel added:

It transformed me from being an academic writing papers to being the head of research and co-founder of a company that is leading the way in machine-learning and artificial intelligence in the UK and Europe.

KTP benefits for University of Essex and Professor Udo Kruschwitz

The KTP also brought significant benefits to the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex, including evidence of practical applications for its research, work placement opportunities for students, and lectures and workshops in collaboration with Signal.

Academic lead Professor Udo Kruschwitz said:

This KTP was outstanding for 3 reasons. We started with a practical problem; we were doing the right kind of research to address it; and we found a KTP associate who was a perfect fit. The project finished this year and we keep collaborating.

Published 8 February 2016