The firm was created by Sheffield-based Fusion IP, which turns university research into business. Fusion owns 48 per cent of the company.
Seren Photonics uses research by Dr Tao Wang from Sheffield University.
Dr Ainsworth has been chairman of IQE since 1999. He was also the founder and managing partner of Gambit Corporate Finance where he led the acquisition teams which purchased Peters Food Services from Grand Metropolitan and Prestwick Airport from Stagecoach.
Dr Carl Griffiths, managing director of Seren Photonics, said: "We look forward to working closely with Godfrey and bringing Seren Photonics' technology to market."
Dr Ainsworth added: "I have been very impressed with the quality of the IP portfolio and spin-out companies in the Fusion IP Group and Seren has the potential to be a huge success."
He added: "The solid state lighting sector is about to undergo explosive growth and we believe that Dr Wang and his team has what could be a hugely exciting technology, capable of significantly improving the efficiency of LEDs."