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

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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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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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.

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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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Chris Keen

Partner, Taylor Vinters

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.

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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.

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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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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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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[email protected]

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.

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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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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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.

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.

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Mainda Kiwelu

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. Currently, she is working in a computer vision and 3D tech company focused on the fashion industry.

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.

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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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Sam Ofori

Sam Ofori is a mentor and consultant specialising in venture creation, fundraising and sustainability. He works with recent graduates, academics and business schools to develop and deliver global brands and programmes. Sam is a mentor on Accelerate Cambridge, and a business supervisor on the EnterpriseTECH programme, both at Cambridge Judge Business School. He was also invited to mentor on the CRoSS programme at Cambridge Enterprise earlier in 2023. Sam also mentors at LSE Generate, and on the MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a mentor-in-residence on the MSc Entrepreneurship at Bayes Business School, and a principal mentor at UCL Hatchery, University College London. He has previously mentored on incubator programmes at Queen Mary University of London and at City, University of London. Sam has been invited to sit on judging panels at Bayes Business School and Queen Mary. His recent and current assignments include developing knowledge exchange and business engagement platforms at Brunel University London, consulting on the startup and growth of a global venture capital services company, consulting on commercialising a women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment research project, and the re-structuring of the Museum of Entrepreneurship, a groundbreaking spinout at Bayes Business School. Sam holds a Master of Laws degree in Venture Capital.

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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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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Stephen Tunnicliffe-Wilson

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.

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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