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Guest mentors

Becky Balzano

Skills: Coaching skills; general HR; management; resilience training; leadership; emotional Intelligence

As a former Business owner and HR Director of a successful Cambridge business I am well versed at managing small teams and increasing revenue in a fast-paced retail and food sector environment. Continued professional development motivated me to build a second business coaching individuals like myself who run SME’s in particular those who have a passion for food. The shift from running a retail-based company and coaching the teams there to now coaching CEO’s account directors and senior leadership teams gives me a unique insight into being both employer and employee. I now have several years of direct coaching experience at an award winning retail marketing agency, as well as with CEOs of SME’s including Agri start-up food tech companies and talented professionals who recognise increases in performance as a result of holistic wellbeing, resilience and emotional intelligence. My complimentary blend of solid management skills and accredited coaching is bolstered with an authentic passion for companies particularly in sustainable health food sector. With qualifications from ILM, CIPD, Coaching and SFEDI (coaching entrepreneurs qualification) alongside forthcoming ICF accreditation, I can be both empathetic, supportive and motivational. Coaching 1:1 for many years allows me to recognise the delicate balance between coaching, mentoring and managing at all levels from Director to trainee. Developing and delivering effective resilience and well-being training, aimed at increasing productivity in high stress environments ensures that I can also give employees the tools they need to navigate stressful and toxic scenarios whilst remaining focused and calm even across distributed workforces. Additionally, I facilitate the needs of organisations to reduce presenteeism and increase innovation and creativity through focused, time efficient workshops. In terms of personal values, I am passionate about holistic health, personal growth and sustainability and have a passion for hiking.

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Farnaz Behroozi

Farnaz Behroozi is currently a consultant at Deloitte’s London and prior to that was a consultant based in McKinsey0s Istanbul. Farnaz specializes in Life Sciences with nearly 11 years of combined research and consulting experience. Farnaz has management consulting experience leading corporate and business unit strategy, digital transformation, big data strategy, operating model transformation, organizational model redesign, capability design, productivity improvement, business process re-engineering, and business case development for clients. Farnaz primarily focuses on clients in the Healthcare Life sciences space, namely the pharmaceutical sector. Farnaz also has experience serving clients in other industries including: medical device, retail, financial services, consumer packaged goods, nonprofit and the international public sector. Her strong soft skills and work experience at a global level has enabled her to engage with teams and clients at all levels. Farnaz is an active volunteer at United Nations developing partnership and communications strategy for the community hospital construction and operations. She also initiated and currently leads the Next Generation Women in Leadership at Deloitte with the mission of empowering females in becoming future leaders and reducing existing gender gap.

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Nick Carroll

Skills: Strategic drug development, clinical development, digital health transformation, project leadership, line management, functional start-up and capability build, coaching, mentoring

During his almost 37 years at AstraZeneca, Nick has held line management, project management and staff strategy roles within the business. He has worked in multiple countries giving him a rich experience in cross-cultural team building and global working for successful delivery. Most recently he was Executive Director of Transformation within Digital Health R&D. Nick has a strong experience in drug project delivery holding project leadership positions for drug delivery in cardiovascular and Oncology. He has held functional leadership and management roles of teams specialising in project leadership & information management in all therapy areas. He has experience in organisational design and building up teams from scratch to over 120 staff across multiple countries. As head of governance audit for R&D and Global Portfolio Planning & Strategy, Nick gained a sound understanding of the business operations and the balance of business opportunities and associated risks across a significant part of the pharmaceutical development value chain. As chief of staff and Head of Oncology Portfolio & Project Management Nick led the functional build and capability development before taking on his last role leading the Design & Planning team within Digital Health. In this role, Nick developed the vision for how data and analytics could be used to reimagine the traditional study design process, increasing innovation, patient centricity and efficiency and doing this in a way that aligned to the AZ business culture to maximise the success for transformation. Nick secured the business case funding with support from multiple stakeholders and led the building of the team necessary to deliver the product.

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Bingbing Chang

Skills: Investment; negotiations; deal structuring; financial discipline; allocation of scarce capital

Bingbing Chang is a multi-faceted Entrepreneur, Business executive, Investor and Mentor. She managed >£20 billion and led mergers & acquisitions of hundreds of millions £s in the Energy industry and she led ambitious growth agenda of Renewables businesses as CFO.

Bingbing built a multi-million pound property business funded by investors. She holds non-executive board directorship of an early year education start-up with scale-up plan to £100 million valuation within five years.

Bingbing makes space for quality time with her husband and two boys. She confesses, “it wasn’t always like this. In 2015, I went through a personal low driven by the challenges of motherhood and work commitment as senior executive in a large corporate. That pushed me to build my own high-yield real estate business and achieved personal & professional break-through from a successful albeit single-dimensioned career to an inspired and yet multi-faceted life, with a sharp purpose on climate.” She is now on a mission to help start-ups that seek to build profitable scalable businesses while benefiting our planet.

Executive experiences highlights

  • Highest profit in one transaction of >£400 million.
  • Extensive network in the New Energies industry among technical and commercial leaders Real Estate Start-up
  • Founded property business that creates high-end co-living accommodations filling a gap in Cambridgeshire.
  • Return on Equity > 25% with revenue growth of >20% year on year five years in a row Mentorship Success.
  • Hosted educational seminars to 1000s of attendees on scaling while sustaining profitability
  • Mentored entrepreneurs who built own profitable business via acquisitions within nine-twelve months.

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Salvatore Di Maggio

Fast Growing Business Lead, KPMG

Skills: Coaching skills; finance, corporate structure, internationalisation; management; resilience training; leadership; emotional intelligence

Life sciences & Tech have a real sense of purpose, that’s clearer in the COVID-era than ever before. I am passionate working with clients (and colleagues!) that are amazed about the businesses they serve; it makes the interactions more dynamic and the work more rewarding.

I am naturally interested in all economic, tax, financial and business news. I possess a good team spirit and ability in managing resources. I am very reliable and highly motivated person. People that have been working with me alongside my career says I am passionate, proactive, and dedicated professional, able to swiftly establish positive relationships on all levels, endeavouring to treat others with respect and integrity. I have a positive ‘can do’ attitude and am full of energy and enthusiasm. A confident communicator, flexible, adaptive, able to think on my feet and use my initiative creatively, I am eager to try new ideas and find effective ways to support, encourage, motivate, inspire and challenge to promote excellence and achieve potential in all areas of learning and development.

I am an International Tax professional based in Cambridge United Kingdom, currently working with KPMG as Senior Manager leading the Fast Growing Business, responsible to drive the Life Sciences & tech initiatives within Cambridge Ecosystem and beyond. I have started also being visitor lecturer at the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School to their “Accelerate Program” delivering lectures on “Find your way to Funding & Getting Investor Ready” within the Ecosystem, at the Babraham Campus to their Accelerate Program and to Start Codon.

Qualified Chartered Accountant – ICAEW since April 2014 – LLM in International Tax Law from Leiden University – ITC since 2012 and Italian “Dottore Commercialista” (CTA and Auditor) since 2009.

During my career I have been member of the International Tax Committee in Milan Chartered Accountant Association from 2010 to 2013 and have covered different roles as Public Compliance Legal Auditor for the Italia Public Administration.

About KPMG

KPMG is committed to quality and service excellence in all, bringing the best to clients and earning the public’s trust through their actions and behaviours both professionally and personally. KPMG firms operate in 145 countries and territories, and in FY21, collectively employed more than 236,000 people, serving the needs of business, governments, public-sector agencies, not-for-profits and through KPMG firms’ audit and assurance practices, the capital markets. It leads with a commitment to quality and integrity across the KPMG global organisation, bringing a passion for client success and a purpose to serve and improve the communities in which KPMG firms operate.

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Andrew Foxley BA (Hons) MFPM (Hon)

VP and R&D Franchise Head

Andrew’s career in pharmaceutical R&D spans more than 30 years and all phases of drug development. Originally from an arts background, he has worked in cardiovascular and oncology clinical research focused primarily on clinical stage development. Within AstraZeneca, he has held positions in both clinical operations and strategic drug development including project and line management roles and has led groups varying in size from 10 to over 100 staff. His current role involves strategic development and delivery of two of AstraZeneca’s late stage novel oncology therapeutics with accountability for leading the development of business cases to secure internal investment to bring the assets to launch and expansion through life cycle management approaches. He has also represented AZ at interactions with health authorities as part of securing approval for clinical and diagnostic development strategies.

Before joining AstraZeneca, Andrew was part of Nottingham Clinical Research Limited, a university spin-off company established as a CRO specialising in the conduct of large-scale cardiovascular studies which he joined as a graduate recruit in 1988. There, he held positions of increasing responsibility and was appointed an Executive Director in 1997 and served as a member on the Company Board until 2002. During this time, he was responsible for spearheading the definition and launch of new service offerings and the development of novel approaches to the challenges of conducting large-scale clinical studies. Andrew also took the lead in developing a refreshed external identity for the company, securing a grant from the Department of Trade and Industry as part of a government scheme aimed at spring-boarding SMEs.

Andrew is recognised as an expert in the wider research community; he is Co-Chair and a founder member of the UK Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance, Chair of the New Medicines and Data Strategic Leadership Group at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and in 2016 was awarded honorary membership of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians. Andrew is a regular visiting industry mentor at the Cambridge Judge Business School where he provides support to start-ups on the Accelerate program. He has also mentored a number of teams through the preparation stages of competitions for new ventures.

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Richard Leaver

Richard is a Cambridge based founding partner in early-stage technology venture capital firm Boundary Capital Partners LLP, making a number of key investments, now including its latest Impact Fund. In addition, he is a guest Professor at Beijing Science and Technology University (no 3 ranked in all of China), Lead Foreign Academician with Hainan University, China, and in 2018 completed nearly four years as a global Dealmaker for the UK Department of International Trade’s Global Entrepreneurship Programme. He is Deputy Chairman of Image Scan Holdings plc, a Visiting Fellow to the Faculty of Business and Law at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge; an Honorary Entrepreneurship Fellow for Durham University Business School; an external tutor for Warwick University Business School in Entrepreneurship and a mentor for both the Judge Business School in Cambridge and Cranfield Business School. Richard has also been an invited judge for a number of international business competitions and worked extensively throughout Europe, Scandinavia, US. He is particularly active in China and Spanish-speaking countries where he has a degree of language proficiency.

Following a successful 11 year career progression in defence and security with BAE Systems (including development of one of the first UK intelligent telematics vehicles), Richard moved to Cambridge in 1994 to work with the international technology consulting Generics Group (now Sagentia Group). From 2001 with the investment arm of the Group following its successful FTSE flotation, he worked as a fund manager, making investments from a number of funds in diverse areas from nanotechnology to biometrics and vision systems. He then left to set up and lead a new offshore Homeland Security Fund in 2006 and from 2008-2012, was CEO of Blue Star Capital plc, a London based listed company investing in Homeland Security technologies.

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Pantea Loftian

Pantea has more than 15 years’ experience in innovation and strategy consulting that spans various industries including manufacturing, engineering chemicals energy, pharmaceuticals, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). She is a founder and director of strategy consultancy Camrosh, Non-Executive Director of Ridgeway Information, and has served on boards of the Science Council and Pepal. She has a multidisciplinary background in both science and technology with a PhD in Biochemical engineering and MPhil in Technology Policy. She has built and led teams of scientists and engineers to deliver consulting projects while providing inspirational and inclusive leadership, balancing the need for world-class expertise and approachability.

Pantea has a proven track record of working with businesses, governmental and academic organisation to redefine their challenges and find new opportunities. She brings new insights and ways of thinking to complex, hard to address challenges. She also has considerable experience working with startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a mentoring and advisory capacity.

David McMahon

David is a Windsor, UK-based Medical Device Entrepreneur with a focus on helping UK companies to launch into the US marketplace which represents 50% of Global Medical Device Sales by value.

Before making a move to startups David was Business Unit Director for Diabetes Medical Devices at Johnson & Johnson UK & Ireland. In the past 10 years he has been CCO at two UK start-ups – Cellnovo and Entia.

Today, he works with multiple startups across both Commercial and R&D addressing key challenges to get products approved, reimbursed and efficiently launched into the market.

David has worked across multiple therapy areas; ECMO, Diabetes, Emergency Medicine, Interventional Radiology, Nephrology, Nutrition, Oncology, Orthopaedics, Pathology, Pulmonology, Sleep Apnea, Vascular, and wound care.

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Charles Nixon

Skills: Market research; market planning; marcomms; new product launches; branding and strategy

Charles Nixon has 40 years experience in marketing and growing companies. He has successfully navigated through 3 major recessions and 2 tech booms. And has worked in textiles; telecommunications; software; data processing; financial services and education. Working for Courtaulds, IWS, Accenture , Mercury communications, Extel and Societe General. His specialism is marketing and strategy ; encompassing market research ( founding one of the UK’s first computerised marketing intelligence systems), market planning ; marcomms ; new product launches ; branding and strategy. He co-founded a consultancy and Fintech startup in the 1980s and then founded Cambridge Marketing College in 1991, growing it to a dominant position in its sector before retiring in 2016 to run a publishing venture and establish his foundation. He is an author of numerous articles and textbooks on marketing. ( Profile on Amazon ). He is a visiting lecturer in marketing and innovation. He is also vice chair of trustees for the Cromwell Museum. Charles has a degree in Modern History and Economics from Manchester University and an MBA from Warwick Business School. He is on the Advisory Panel of Harvard Business Review, a Fellow of the Royal Society of arts, an advisor for Astia and a Chartered marketer. In 2017 he was voted one of the most influential businessmen in Cambridge.

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Simon Rycraft

Simon is a profit and operations improvement specialist/advisor, Founder of Advisory firm Hacks Capital and author of the best-selling book, Negotiation Hacks. He is a Partner at Genpact and a mentor at the Entrepreneurship program at Draper University. Simon is the former COO and CCO of the startup Reef Technology and he has advisory board positions with several startups (inLieu, Lookthrough, OffTheGrid and ProfVal).

Simon received his MBA from the Wharton Business School and his BA in Business and Economics from Nottingham and an MCIPS from the Chartered.

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Rohit Singh

Rohit Singh is head of Innovation and digital disruption at KPMG’s Advanced Analytics division and brings 20+ years of banking and capital markets experience in data and technology-led innovation. Prior to KPMG, Rohit co-led the banking and capital markets analytics team at Deloitte and has a proven track record of converting new competencies into robust multimillion-dollar businesses. An expert in the field of innovation methods, design thinking and applied intelligence, Rohit specialises in building high-performance digital partnerships and ecosystems. Rohit regularly advises CxO level stakeholders of top financial institutions to leverage new and emerging capabilities in the field of Data Science, Applied AI, regtech and fintech to improve customer experience, reduce cost and increase profitability. Adept at creating a high-performance culture, Rohit is a John C Maxwell certified leadership coach and an experienced Tiny Habits® coach. Tiny Habits is a breakthrough way to form habits, based on 20 years of research in human behaviour by Dr BJ Fogg, Director of Behaviour Design Lab at Stanford University. Combining his leadership methods with principles of behaviour change, Rohit enables his clients to make small changes to have a big impact on their personal and professional life. A strong proponent of developing sustainable competitive advantage through customer empathy, business storytelling and tech-driven innovation, Rohit mentors start-ups and early-stage businesses to launch, scale and grow.

Connect with Rohit if you are looking for guidance on business strategy, customer and market analysis, product/service positioning, design and execution, leadership skills or developing a powerful narrative to raise funds for your business.

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Jan Storgårds

Jan Storgårds is Director and CEO of his company, working on video games-related things. He also does voluntary mentoring for startups in Cambridge and beyond.

Prior to his current role Sector Lead for Digital and Creative industries at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU). Between 2016-2019, Director of REACTOR, program focusing on gamifying products and services. His role at ARU was about making and keeping Anglia Ruskin University as a key player in these sectors by working closely technology startups/small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and connecting them to ARU academics.

Jan’s personal mission is about making creative thinking tangible; he is passionate about working with early-stage technology companies that make innovation happen.

Jan considers himself as an entrepreneur; his experience and interests are in

  • Startups/SMEs, early stage technology and creative companies
  • Entrepreneurial thinking
  • Cluster and entrepreneurial ecosystem development
  • Research, program development, international collaboration
  • Fund raising for research programs
  • Finance and investment readiness
  • Volunteering in supporting young entrepreneurship
  • Games industry
  • Gamification
  • Software industry with all of its aspects eg IoT, Smart Cities, Health

Almost all the companies Jan have worked with have been making software of some kind.

Jan is also a co-founder of several entrepreneurial and education initiatives such as:

  • GAMEX – Game Executive Training Program (Aalto University)
  • Ship – The Startup Festival, Finland
    Cambridge Venture Camp (Finland, several universities)
  • Latvian Cambridge Venture Camp (Latvia among other countries)

Recently Jan also co-designed and ran full 13 module professional MBA for Finnish executives.

Before joining ARU, Jan worked his way up the cluster development and startup ladder as an entrepreneur, founder, and CEO of the sports software start-up company – Suunto Software Solutions. Since then, he has worked on over 500 IT startups in different roles, and 150 development and research projects. He’s built a company from scratch, developed many more and pursued business opportunities across digital, financial, sport and healthcare technology fields.

Although he’s worked across a range of digital technology industries, Jan has particular experience working with wearables, sports software, digital games, health and finance.

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Mike Taylor

Since graduating in Engineering, Mike has worked in Sales within fast-growing information and services startups for almost 30 years – often competing against much larger incumbents, or operating on the bleeding edge of an entirely new concept. This has required a very dynamic, knowledge-led Sales approach encompassing annual subscription, on-going retainer, and project-by-project revenue models.

Mike has built and led global Sales, Pre-Sales, and Account Management functions for a wide range of companies, ranging from startup to 2,500 people, including reshaping and rapidly improving failing sales teams, and has particular experience working with teams in India and North America.

Mike can help startups understand and prioritise their target markets, build strategies to identify and engage with key people and build revenue, as well as giving advice on commercial team structure, reward and targeting.

He is a partner at salesstrategy.tech, helping a wide range of companies build revenue.

Outside work Mike coaches rowing, most recently helping to get the women of Cambridge University Boat Club ready to race Oxford.

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Chris Thomas

Chris is an internationally recognised Company Director and Business Coach with a sustained record of achievement in global pharma, biotech, healthcare technology and management consultancy.

He was UK Sales and Marketing Director at AstraZeneca during a 20-year career and from 2002-2018 provided commercialization expertise and management consultancy to global pharma as Company Director at Oxford PharmaGenesis, an internationally renowned consultancy which was recognised by the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2015 and again in 2019.

Chris has practical hands-on experience in growing and shaping businesses of all sizes and at all stages — new or early ventures, SMEs or Big Pharma — and supporting them in realising commercial opportunities for scalable growth to achieve peak commercial success and maximum shareholder value.

He is currently providing private bespoke management coaching exclusively with CEOs and C-Suite Directors. He is also Mentor and Coach to Life Sciences Ventures at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and The Crick Institute London.

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Miranda Weston-Smith

Miranda helps early-stage biomedical businesses attract investment and develop their business strategy. She founded BioBeat to spur entrepreneurial growth in life sciences and connect entrepreneurs with leaders in the sector.

She has worked with many entrepreneurs on fundraising, business planning and technology transfer. She brings experience as a Technology Transfer Manager at Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge, where she assessed and marketed life science technologies, negotiated licences, and spun-out companies. She was responsible for technology transfer at the University of Cambridge for the Cambridge-MIT Institute. In her five years at the seed capital firm, Cambridge Research and Innovation, she identified and invested in early-stage technologies. Miranda co-founded Cambridge Network with Hermann Hauser.

Miranda studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and has a Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. She is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and has edited eight science books.

Martin Wickham

Skills: Early stage commercialisation; business planning; IP; product positioning

Martin Wickham is accomplished in multi-disciplinary commercialisation and research opportunities within the Food and Pharmaceutical space. Providing direction and innovative expert input into the formation and management of existing or early-stage new technology spin-out opportunities, predominantly in the life science area. Working with academics and incoming management teams to build valuable commercialisation propositions. A recent example includes Reacta Biotech Limited an early stage company exploiting standardised and validated food allergen challenge materials, to be used within tested and safe clinical protocols for routine diagnosis of food allergy. Martin took this technology out of the University of Manchester and built a sustainable high innovation manufacturing company with a current market value in excess of £10M. Martin was previously Head of Nutrition at Leatherhead Food Research, UK, and Model Gut Platform Leader at the Institute of Food Research, UK. Martin is a Biophysicist with over 20 years’ experience in modelling human digestion. His research interests were centred on understanding human gut physiology, through the development of in vitro models of digestion, with particular emphasis on the human response to complex food and pharmaceutical systems. He is a BBSRC/ Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellow, has a PhD from the University of East Anglia and has an MBA from University of Dundee.

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Jon Wilson

Skills: Leadership coaching; team coaching; mental fitness training

Jon brings an entrepreneurial mindset, the experience of 26 years in tech, 20 years in start-ups, and the founding/co-founding of four companies, combined with coaching, training and mentoring to support leaders to operate with peak performance, peace of mind and sustained fulfilment. He primarily works with leaders and teams in technology companies.

He is passionate about the outdoors, adventure and sustainability, and he brings these into his work.

“Most people tiptoe their way through life, hoping they make it safely to death.” — Earl Nightingale

Jon is here to support those who don’t want to tiptoe through life.

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