Our visiting Guest Mentors are essential to the development of the ventures at an early stage, providing both specialised and general advice.

The guest mentoring team

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.

Visit Nick’s LinkedIn profile

Fiona Cross

Director of Tax Advisory, Principal, Finerva

Fiona is a Corporate Tax expert and has advised on tax matters for 30 years across a wide range of industry sectors from start-ups to large multi-national groups.

As a Chartered Tax Adviser and Fellow Chartered Accountant, Fiona’s experience includes advising on corporate reorganisation, acquisitions and disposals, companies seeking investor funding (including Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS)), employee share schemes (including Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) and valuations), Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs), and Research & Development (R&D) Tax Relief.

Fiona enjoys the challenge of the ever-changing technical aspects of tax, together with working with people, sharing their passion for their business.

Visit Fiona’s LinkedIn profile

Ann Davidson

Entrepreneurship Centre Head of Practice

Ann is Head of Practice at the Entrepreneurship Centre working across the Accelerate, Ignite, Venture Creation and Envision programmes. Prior to joining the Centre, she was Enterprise Programme Director at the Scottish Institute for Enterprise, working across all Scottish Universities and Colleges to kickstart and support entrepreneurship and innovation.

Her areas of interest include helping new founders develop a purpose led venture, identifying, and working with company values and prototyping and iterating into your value proposition. She is also a certified Design Futurist and Foresight Practitioner with expertise in helping ventures design and operate resilient, sustainable, and innovative business models.

Andrew Foxley BA (Hons) MFPM (Hon)

VP and R&D Franchise Head

Andrew has been a visiting mentor for the Accelerate scheme for more than 5 years. Despite his day job as a VP R&D Franchise Head at AstraZeneca, he covers a broad range of business areas and feedback indicates that start-ups particularly value his ability to critique and validate proposed/evolving business models, honing pitch decks and other materials and bringing a fresh perspectives to problem-solving. Prior to joining AZ, Andrew was an Executive Director on the board of start-up company and took a leading role in the development and launch of new service offerings and a brand re-fresh for the company identity. Andrew is advisor to the board for a number of start-ups across a diverse range of businesses and has been invited to join the board of Spliceor Therapeutics a former Accelerate start-up.

Chris Gibbs

Investment Manager, Cambridge Enterprise

Chris is an Investment Manager in the Seed Funds team focusing on spin-out opportunities emerging from the physical sciences.

Chris has spent over 15 years in UK high tech spin-outs and technology transfer. While Head of Engineering at CMR Fuel Cells in Cambridge, Chris led multi-disciplinary teams developing and delivering cleantech products to major multinational partners. He also co-founded Amalyst, a spin-out from University College London where, as Chief Technology Officer, he led its efforts in novel catalyst development for the energy transition. Chris joined UCL Business as a Senior Business Manager in 2016 where he helped commercialise a broad range of technologies from the physical sciences including the successful spin-out Bramble Energy.

Chris studied Chemical Engineering earning his BSc at the University of Tennessee with a magna cum laude distinction and his MSc from the University of South Carolina. He is passionate about the 21st century energy transition especially increasing hydrogen as an energy vector.

Chris joined Cambridge Enterprise in September 2020.

Visit Chris’s LinkedIn profile

James Edward Goode

Founder, Cambridge Xyz

James is the founder of Google Ads and Google Analytics digital marketing agency, Cambridge Xyz, a Google Premier Partner which is ranked in the top 3% of Google Partners.

Cambridge Xyz has invested tens of millions finding traction by building Google strategies for brands including Mars Inc, Pandora, RAC, and University of Cambridge, alongside 100s of start-ups. James is Masters of Entrepreneurship alumnus of the class of University of Cambridge 2017-18.

Anthony Harris

Business Angel and Business Coach

Anthony (Tony) Harris is an experienced business angel, entrepreneur, technologist, and thirty-year tech-industry veteran. After working in systems software and product management in the USA he co founded Software 2000/Software Imaging UK and the company’s OEM software revolutionised colour desktop inkjet and digital copier printing worldwide.

After exiting in 2007 he completed an MA (Oxon), an MA(Res), and a PhD (Cantab). Tony is a Fellow at Claire Hall, Cambridge and a visiting academic at the Department of Computer Science and Technology (Cambridge).

Tony has an established track-record in technology start-ups, software development, intellectual property, revenue generation, and financial turnarounds. He is a non-executive director of various Cambridge companies, a member of Cambridge Angels, and sits on the board as treasurer.

His areas of expertise include software development, building successful teams, financial turnarounds, corporate finance and taxation, audit oversight, income stream generation, international sales and marketing (OEM and retail), royalty and licensing models, and intellectual property licensing.

Rodney Kelly

Senior Advisor, Health Innovation East

Skills: Business Planning, Innovation, Marketing, Networking, Product Development, Raising Capital, Sustainability

Results-driven Senior Advisor with a track record of fostering innovation in healthcare and infrastructure predominantly in the APAC region. Proven expertise in building strategic partnerships, and promoting global innovation through building a diverse network of stakeholders bridging the private and public areas.

Adept at developing market access and commercialisation strategies for diverse organisations with a key focus on market intelligence and alignment. Committed to creating a positive impact on healthcare and the environment and supporting western companies understand and engage with the exciting, diverse and rapidly expanding markets in the Asia Pacific region.

Visit Rodney’s LinkedIn profile

Chris Keen

Partner, Taylor Vinters

Term Sheets: Chris will provide an overview of the key elements of a typical fundraising term sheet.


Chris is a partner and head of the emerging companies team at Taylor Vinters. He has over a decade of experience advising early-stage and fast-growth businesses, particularly in the technology sector. He practices both as a corporate lawyer and commercial and IP specialist, and splits his time between offices in the golden triangle of UK innovation; Cambridge (where he lives), London and Oxford. Taylor Vinters’ market-leading technology practice advises on over 150 fundraising transactions every year acting for both growth companies and angel, venture capital and corporate investors.

Visit Chris’s LinkedIn profile

Sheila Kissane-Marshall

Founder & CEO, Boutros Bear

Skills: Designer, Startup management, Risk Management, Business Development, Stakeholder Management, Large Scale Infrastructure Project Management / Director, Portfolio Management, Budget and Commercial Management, Mentoring, Public Speaking

Sheila Kissane-Marshall is the founder and CEO of hybrid healthcare venture Boutros bear Ltd. Sheila has raised significant investment from a number of Cambridge based investment funds and angel investors. The company is now planning to scale in the UK and make it’s entry into the the US.
The company was founded after Sheila’s own diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. Albeit the treatment included the latest cutting edge therapeutics including targeted therapies, there was little available to support mental and physical rehabilitation and return to work.

Prior to this Sheila’s career started with a degree in Engineering (Aeronautical, Mechanical and Civil) from Queen Mary and Westfield (part of UCL). After graduating in 1998 she specialised as a Civil Engineer and joined AMEC, on their graduate training programme.

Over the course of her 20 years in the construction sector she gained a breath of experience working as; Contractor, Designer, Consultant and Client. Project Managing a vast portfolio of projects, from; Runways and Taxiways (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Dublin, Edinburgh) to tunnelling (Westminster station, Jubilee line extension) to rebuilding the M25 and M11 and associated bridges, and the Shard at London bridge. She also worked as the Infrastructure director for a privately owned Aerospace and manufacturing company, supporting the development of a major rehabilitation of the runway, and an upgrade to the fuel farm.

Sheila has a love for building infrastructure, the manufacturing sector and all things engineering. She’s enjoying a new wave of learning now about platform development and applying large scale project management to scale her own venture. She is also passionate about encouraging the next generation to explore engineering and manufacturing roles as exciting industries to work in.Sheila Kissane-Marshall is the founder and CEO of hybrid healthcare venture Boutros bear Ltd. Sheila has raised significant investment from a number of Cambridge based investment funds and angel investors. The company is now planning to scale in the UK and make it’s entry into the the US.

The company was founded after Sheila’s own diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. Albeit the treatment included the latest cutting edge therapeutics including targeted therapies, there was little available to support mental and physical rehabilitation and return to work.
Prior to this Sheila’s career started with a degree in Engineering (Aeronautical, Mechanical and Civil) from Queen Mary and Westfield (part of UCL). After graduating in 1998 she specialised as a Civil Engineer and joined AMEC, on their graduate training programme.
Over the course of her 20 years in the construction sector she gained a breath of experience working as; Contractor, Designer, Consultant and Client. Project Managing a vast portfolio of projects, from; Runways and Taxiways (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Dublin, Edinburgh) to tunnelling (Westminster station, Jubilee line extension) to rebuilding the M25 and M11 and associated bridges, and the Shard at London bridge. She also worked as the Infrastructure director for a privately owned Aerospace and manufacturing company, supporting the development of a major rehabilitation of the runway, and an upgrade to the fuel farm.

Sheila has a love for building infrastructure, the manufacturing sector and all things engineering. She’s enjoying a new wave of learning now about platform development and applying large scale project management to scale her own venture. She is also passionate about encouraging the next generation to explore engineering and manufacturing roles as exciting industries to work in.

Mainda Kiwelu

Independent Product and Creative Lead

Mainda grew up in East Africa before moving to England. She is an International Law and Business graduate with over 15 years of product management and marketing experience in multinational companies and startups covering various industries including publishing and education; professional services, shopping television, retail, travel, and the public sector.

Mainda is passionate about working with entrepreneurs, makers and young people to help build successful ventures. Using her skills and expertise in commercial, technology and intellectual property management, she has been supporting students and entrepreneurs through programmes at Cambridge Judge Business School; the former The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme and other community engagement initiatives covering girls’ education, trade, bio-innovation and food security in Africa.

Visit Mainda’s LinkedIn profile

Richard Leaver

Non-Executive Director, Dept. Chairman, Image Scan Holdings Plc

Skills: AI, Engineering, Investment Management/Private Equity, Software/Tech

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.
Visit Richard’s LinkedIn profile

Diana Lee

Senior Science and Data Manager, Deliveroo

Diana is a data science leader focused on empowering organisations to use data and analytics to define strategy, improve operational efficiency and achieve sustainable growth. She manages multi-discipline teams to unlock business impact and value by leveraging data, analytics and models to deliver insights and drive decision-making.

Diana’s experience spans multiple industries, including food/tech (Deliveroo), banking (Goldman Sachs and Barclays) and insurance(AIG and Aviva), multiple geographies (North America, Europe and Latin America) as well as the private sector, public sector (The World Bank), consulting (The Boston Consulting Group) and academia. Diana is passionate about building teams across data disciplines and skill sets and believes in investing in teams’ learning and development through coaching and mentoring.

Diana holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University and graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics. She has lived in Argentina, the US and the UK and has working experience in the US and the UK.

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Struan McDougall

Founder, Cambridge Capital Group

Struan McDougall is the founder of Cambridge Capital Group, the first private investment network in Cambridge, founded in 2000.  He has led the growth of the network and its portfolio for the last 22 years.

We specialise in providing investment through our group of Members to promising early-stage hi-tech ventures emanating from Britain’s leading innovation clusters.

The Group has enjoyed successful exits with 10 exits in the last six years alone.  Cambridge Capital Group are often the first external group of investors to invest in a start-up opportunity and we also co-invest with other leading groups.  We are connected with many of the early-stage funds in the UK.

David McMahon

Entrepreneur

Skills: Advertising, Marketing/PR, AI, Consulting, FMCG, Hardware, Healthcare/MedTech, Pharmaceuticals, Research.

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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Darren Mitchell

Darren Mitchell, Partner, Potter Clarkson

UK and European Patent Attorney, Patent Attorney Litigator

Building IP Strategies to Secure Investment: Darren’s session will walk you through 7 tops to make your business investible and due diligence ready.


Darren works with both innovative and ambitious technology driven start-ups and the investors who provide the funding they need to progress. His extensive insight into the way both sides work allows Darren to instantly see the situation from his clients’ respective perspectives so that he can provide them with the very best advice.

For start-ups this means building the robust IP strategy that will ensure they secure investment and increase exit valuation. It means ensuring that technology driven businesses looking to attract a buyer or additional investment have an IP portfolio that is “due diligence ready” so sale or investment progresses smoothly.

For investors it means conducting comprehensive IP due diligence that stress-tests the assumptions others have made about valuation and uncovers any associated IP risks in the most pragmatic and cost-effective way.

This avoids investors being asked to pay over-the-odds for their stake or taking on unknown risks and liabilities. It also makes it much easier for them to integrate the target business into their portfolio.

Darren’s decades of experience protecting technological innovations as diverse as explosive detectors, performance apparel, and cardiac ablation devices, means he can quickly build trust and confidence between the parties as he leads them to a deal. He will show that underlying innovations are sound and can be protected, that IP is correctly managed, and that the risks relating to IP have been identified, evaluated and tackled.

Darren also has considerable experience before the UK Intellectual Property Office and overseas Patent Offices, both in relation to patents and designs. As a qualified Patent Attorney Litigator he has also been involved in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes.

Charles Nixon

Business mentor

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. 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

Business mentor

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

Business mentor

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.

View Rohit’s LinkedIn profile

Kamilla Spark

Corporate finance specialist

Kamilla Spark is a corporate finance specialist with more than two decades of experience as an advisor, investment manager, and non-executive director of large industrials and public sector institutions.

Prior to founding her own corporate finance advisory practice, Kamilla was a Director of Mezzanine Management, the largest mezzanine investor in Europe. Before that, she was a banker with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Senior Advisor to a closed-end, listed private equity fund. In these positions, she sourced, structured, implemented, and oversaw debt and equity investments in various companies from both public and private sectors.

Kamilla also has extensive experience as a non-executive board member. She was a Non-Executive Director of Giza Polish Ventures (a regional venture capital fund), Chair of the Audit Committee of PCC Exol (a leading Polish-American producer of industrial chemicals), and Non-Executive Director of Kety Group (a listed manufacturer of aluminium joinery and flexible packaging with more than EUR 1 billion in revenues). She also served her community as a Governor and member of the Audit Committee of Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge and as a Trustee and member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the National Union of Students UK (NUS UK). As a Fellow of the Judge Business School, she led finance workshops and taught Intrapreneurship Practice from 2018 to 2020. Kamilla has been a mentor in the Master of Studies in Entrepreneurship programme and at Accelerate Cambridge since 2018.

Kamilla received her MBA (Finance and Accounting) from Columbia University Business School in New York. She has been a UK Chartered Director and Fellow of The Institute of Directors since 2010.

Jan Storgårds

Director and CEO, Cambridge Gamechanger

Skills: Advertising, Marketing/PR, AI, Banking, Consulting, Education, Financial Services, Gaming, Healthcare/MedTech, IT, Internet/eCommerce, Research, Software/Tech

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 Venture Camp (Finland, several universities)
  • Latvian 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.

View Jan’s LinkedIn profile

Mike Taylor

Partner, SalesStrategy.tech

Skills: AI, BioTech, Consulting, Financial Services, Legal, Research, Software/Tech

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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Stephen Tunnicliffe-Wilson

Director, Alliance Strategy Consulting

Skills: Consulting, Engineering, Hardware, IT, Manufacturing, Printing/ Publishing, Research, Software/Tech

As a graduate Engineer, Stephen Tunnicliffe-Wilson worked for Cambridge Consultants before spinning out Inca Digital Printers as one of seven founders. At Inca, he ran the Research and Development team for 15 years before becoming CEO in 2019. After turning the business around during the COVID pandemic, Steve oversaw the sale to Agfa in June 2022. Steve is now Director at Alliance Consulting, who offer advice on growth and exit to technology start-ups.

Stephen is an Engineering and Masters Graduate with CEO / CTO experience in leading growth, change and M&A in a technology business.

He brings a combination of business experience and technical knowledge to help your company succeed.

Shailendra Vyakarnam

Founding Chair, TerraWaste

Skills: Business Planning

Shai has had a mix of business and academic experiences making him an educator, mentor and entrepreneur. There is a long history which can be shared over a coffee. For now – He is actively involved in mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs, to help build teams, define clear messaging of the technology, networking with experts and a large part of his work is to provide a combination of a reality check and self-belief to entrepreneurs. Shai has made one excellent exit so far, many of his investments are making progress and the start turn at present is Corrosion Radar. There are three other software companies in his portfolio and one deep tech industrial engineering company. Working with Cambridge Enterprise on the Business Plan competition and also as Associate of the Senior Combination Room judge on the Kings College Business Plan competition. Recently co-founded The Quiet Accelerator. More about that when you meet!

Visit Shai’s LinkedIn profile

Miranda Weston-Smith

Business mentor

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.

Jon Wilson

Business mentor

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.

Visit Jon’s LinkedIn profile

Jeff Zucker

Jeff Zucker is an experienced business executive, team player and innovator, relentlessly focused on organizations that are committed to consumer engagement and respecting the voice of the individual. Most recently CEO for 14 years and co-founder of healthcare disruptor ADVault and MyDirectives.com, he exited in 2021. Jeff is a frequent public speaker and advocate of the critical need for the individual’s voice in true problem solving, specifically in a person-centred, values-based healthcare system. Jeff sits on the HIMSS Global Innovation Committee, is a judge for Cambridge University’s Pitch & Judge entrepreneurial competitions and is active in other industry leadership groups and start-ups as an investor, advisor, and public policy influencer. A business veteran with two previous exits (one in digital consumer engagement and another in health and wellness), and a former bank officer who took a leave of absence to work on public policy and engagement strategies for a presidential campaign, Jeff earned his undergraduate degree with high honors from the University of Michigan and his MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School.

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