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Mentors

Mentors and coaches are essential to the development of ventures at an early stage as they provide both specialised and general advice. They support businesses and help them grow. Their expertise and investment helps to create the next generation of meaningful ventures out of Cambridge.

Interested in mentoring our Accelerate Cambridge ventures? Sign up online 

Amelia Armour

Amelia Armour

Specialities: fundraising, venture capital, financial modelling, business planning.

Bio

Amelia has been with Amadeus since 2009 and is an analyst focussing on the Early Stage Funds.

Having initially joined the finance department she moved into the Investment Team to provide support to the partners in the management of their portfolio companies. Being based in Cambridge she has a particular interest in supporting and nurturing spin-outs from the University and is an active observer on the board of VocalIQ, a leading dialogue management company.

After qualifying as a chartered accountant with Deloitte in the corporate tax department, Amelia moved to Australia to work in structured finance at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. On returning to the UK she moved to Barclays Investment Bank as a manager in the structured capital markets team with responsibility for running a portfolio of multi-jurisdiction transactions.

Caroline Austin

AstraZeneca mentor - Transaction Director

Bio

Caroline is a Transaction Director within the Business Development Operations function at AstraZeneca and is based in Cambridge. She has been working in Business Development for 14 years and has worked on search and evaluation of opportunities, negotiation of a variety of deal types including academic partnerships, licensing of discovery and development stage assets as well as on market products, divestment and acquisition, and has also led alliance management and business integration activities. Caroline has broad experience of working in transactions in many different therapeutic areas including respiratory, inflammatory, cardiovascular and infectious diseases. Prior to working in Business Development, Caroline worked in R&D in the Respiratory and Inflammation Therapy area at AstraZeneca. Caroline's academic qualifications and experience include: PhD in Pharmacology, University College London and post-doctoral research at the Institute of Otorhinolaryngology, University of London and in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Jonathan Barker

Jonathan Barker

Bio

After leaving Heriot-Watt University in November 1972 with a science degree, Jonathan Barker obtained a postgraduate diploma from Birmingham University in commerce. He started his career at Lloyds Bank and qualified as a Member of the Institute of Bankers in 1974. He left Lloyds Bank in 1976 and joined the Marshall Group in the Company Secretarial Department. He became a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in October 1978. He was appointed Company Secretary of Marshall (Cambridge) (now Marshall Motor Group) on 24 April 1984. From 1993 to 2012 he was Company Secretary of the Marshall Group of Companies.

On 18 June 1996 he was appointed Managing Director of Marshall of Cambridge (Airport Properties) Limited and MGPH. On 27 March 2012 he was also appointed a Director of Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings). Jonathan is Treasurer of the Cambridge Blue Plaque Association and an angel investor.

Emma Barton

Emma Barton

AstraZeneca mentor - Alliance Management & Integration

Bio

Emma has over 15 years' professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Before joining AstraZeneca's Alliance Management and Integration team, heading up cross functional teams responsible for smooth transition of products between company pipelines, she spent two years working in Corporate Development responsible for search, evaluation and business case preparation and delivery for transformative deals including mergers and acquisitions across established and emerging markets and pharmaceutical landscape reviews across a number of territories. Previously, Emma was part of the AZ Oncology business development team, evaluating opportunities and transacting across a variety of deal types and phase of development with academia, biotech and peer pharma companies. Emma started her career with AstraZeneca in a scientific capacity working in the Cardio Vascular and Respiratory & Inflammation therapy areas; prior to AstraZeneca Emma worked for MSD and Rohne Poulenc Rorer and received her PhD in Organic Chemistry from Southampton University in 2000.

Jonathon Bell

Jonathon Bell

AstraZeneca mentor - Due Diligence Director

Bio

Jonathon Bell's experience includes five years as a management consultant conducting strategy work and technology evaluations in the early biotech space, followed by eight years in AstraZeneca's UK Marketing Company, where he became head of Licensing and New Product Development for the UK. From 2010 to 2015 he worked in Eisai and GSK in Business Development and R&D Aligned Commercial Roles. He rejoined AstraZeneca in July 2015 and works in Global Business Development Operations as a Due Diligence Director.

Karol Biernacki

Karol Biernacki

AstraZeneca mentor - Deal Finance Manager

Bio

Karol joined AZ’s Business Development Team in 2015. In his current role of a Deal Finance Manager, Karol is responsible for evaluating financial aspects of potential transactions such as partnerships, collaborations, in/out-licenses and divestments. His primary objective is to understand the key issues, risks and value drivers in order to build a robust financial case and propose the optimal deal structure.  

Before joining AZ, Karol completed the Finance Graduate Leadership Scheme at Rolls Royce plc and held four finance roles across its Civil Aerospace, Marine and Energy businesses. Karol has also completed a 2011 summer internship at PwC’s Consulting Division, during which he supported a strategic transformation project for a large IT & Nanotechnology enterprise.

Originally from Poland, Karol moved to the UK in 2007 and completed his BSc Degree in Management (2011) and MSc Degree in Business Analytics and Consulting (2012) at the University of Warwick. As part of his BSc Degree, Karol spent a semester abroad studying corporate finance at Vienna’s University of Economics and Business (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien).

Karol gained CIMA qualification in September 2015 and his areas of interest include financial evaluation & strategy, investment appraisal techniques, performance & risk management and the role of management accounting in shaping corporate strategy. Having lived in four countries, Karol has a good understanding of cultural and international aspects of the current business environment.

Christian Bunke

Christian Bunke

Bio

Christian Bunke, Managing Director at Basck, is an expert in the commercialisation of Intellectual Property (IP) and disruptive innovation. Following his MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School he was part of various management teams and co-founded a number of start-ups in areas such as biotechnology, clean tech, ICT and IP services. Christian is passionate about innovation and technology so founded Basck to allow start-ups to have access to the best advice in intellectual property rights for early stage ventures.

Suranga Chandratillake

Suranga Chandratillake

Bio

Suranga joined Balderton as a General Partner in 2014. He was previously an entrepreneur and engineer. Suranga founded blinkx, the intelligent search engine for video and audio content in Cambridge in 2004. He lead the company for eight years as CEO through its journey of moving to San Francisco, building a profitable business and going public in London where it achieved a peak market capitalisation in excess of $1Bn. Before founding blinkx, Suranga was an early employee at Autonomy Corporation - joining as an engineer in the Cambridge R&D team and ultimately serving as the company's US CTO in San Francisco.

Suranga has a MA in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge. He holds patents in the area of video discovery and online video advertising and was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering's annual Silver Medal for his work in the field. He was also elected a Fellow of the Academy in 2012 and was chosen as one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders in 2009.

Julie Charlton

Julie Charlton

AstraZeneca mentor - Director, Scientific Project Management, Oncology Translational Medicine Unit

Bio

Julie joined AstraZeneca in April 2015 from Prostrakan/Kyowa Hakko Kirin.  She has a BSc in Biology, is a qualified teacher and gained a PhD in the Physiology Department at King’s College London (including a case study with Zeneca) predicting transport across the blood-CNS barriers, working with Professor Mike Bradbury.  She has completed postdoctoral research and teaching at the Welcome Surgical Institute, University of Glasgow from which her work was published in Nature Genetics.  

Julie has managed oncology drug discovery programmes for University of Newcastle Spinout Company, E-therapeutics plc, including the company’s lead oncology development compound ETS6103. She was Operational Manager for the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre in Newcastle, UK for 5 years and later managed the Newcastle Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) and was a member of the Northern Institute of Cancer Research (NICR) Executive Board at Newcastle University.

Susanne Chisti

Susanne Chisti

Bio

Susanna Chisti is CEO & Founder of FINTECH Circle, Europe's first Angel network focused on FinTech opportunities. A Senior Capital Markets Manager, entrepreneur and investor with strong financial services expertise, she is aware of new trends across the FinTech sector, B2C and B2B growth opportunities and regulatory requirements. She has more than 14 years' experience across Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley and Accenture in London and Hong Kong. An experienced leader and non-executive director for FinTech start-ups, she has a positive, "can do" attitude and enthusiasm to solve complex capital markets challenges. Her focus is on corporate strategy, finance and the successful launch of innovative products and services while providing access to senior leaders in the City/Canary Wharf for investment (angel investors) and business advise (non-executive directors).

Victor Christou

Victor Christou

Bio

Dr Victor Christou is a Venture Advisor, Europe at Wellington Partners Venture Capital since he joined in March 2011. He joined the Venture Advisor team in March 2011. He was a Venture Partner at Carbon Trust Investments. Victor joined the firm in October 2009 as a Consultant. He was a Senior Investment Manager at Oxford Capital Partners, where he was responsible for cleantech, medtech, materials, engineering, photonics, and chemistry related sectors. Victor is an expert in spun-out businesses and works closely with universities and other institutions to support emerging businesses.

During the four years he was at Oxford Capital he led 16 investments in rounds totalling over £45 million. In 1997 Victor founded the University of Oxford spin-out Opsys and became its Technical Director. Over the following five years, he was a key part of the management team that built the company from scratch to one of the world's leading OLED technology developers. In 2002 Victor sold Opsys to Cambridge Display Technologies. He is a named inventor on several patents and was the Royal Society of Chemistry Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002. Victor serves or has served on the Boards of Helveta, Concurrent Thinking, Veryan Medical and Microbial Solutions.

He served as Director of Green Biologics. He has a PhD in inorganic chemistry from Imperial College of Science and Technology, London and has held a research fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the Department of Chemistry in the University of Oxford. Victor gained a MSc in Management Science as a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Kaye Coleman-Rooney

Kaye Coleman-Rooney

Bio

One of the original coaching team, Kaye has worked with Accelerate Cambridge ventures since 2013. 

Kaye focuses on helping entrepreneurs define and articulate their value propositions, working with ventures to develop imaginative communications alongside successful marketing strategies. She’s also a Pitch@Palace elevator, and has played a leading role in coaching Accelerate Cambridge ventures from Bootcamp to St James’s Palace.  

Parachuted into the business world after a successful career as a programme maker with the BBC, Kaye offers strategic communications, marketing, PR and media expertise. She's worked in UK, Saudi Arabia and Thailand for utilities, housing and healthcare providers, engineers and professional services, and as Vice Chair on the Board of Jeddah Prep and Grammar School, was responsible for overseeing senior team recruitment and business development.

She has delivered award-winning branding strategy; led on transformative engagement and tone of voice initiatives and is generally first to put her head above the parapet in the interests of effective human-to-human communication. 

Kaye’s day job is consultancy Doing Words Communications. She’s also is a co-founder of arts curators and commissioners Acuity Arts and an advisor to Smartbells and SigmaForge. Kaye holds an Honours degree in English, a postgraduate diploma in public relations, and is an accredited practitioner with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. She’s also very proud of her Certificate in Buddhist Studies (Advanced).  

kaye@doingwords.co.uk

Visit the Doing Words website

Sabina Cosulich

AstraZeneca mentor - Director of Bioscience, Oncology Innovative Medicines

Bio

A senior leader with 18 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. The field of expertise throughout my career has been Oncology. My responsibilities have included managing, leading and delivering pre-clinical research to support a number of drug discovery projects aiming to deliver compounds into clinical development. I have led cross disciplinary teams as well as small to medium size groups of scientists (PhD level, Master degrees, postdoctoral scientists and graduates). I have initiated, directed and delivered research projects as well as drug discovery projects working in partnership/collaboration with a number of academic institutions, non-profit making organisations and biotechnology companies.  

I obtained my first degree in biochemistry from Imperial College and my PhD in biochemistry from Cambridge University. Following my studies, I went on to research the role of p53 in cancer and subsequently the mechanism of action of the Bcl family of proteins in apoptosis. My main focus at AstraZeneca has been to study cellular signalling, particularly PI3K/AKT/mTOR and ER/AR signalling in cancer. I have contributed to the development of a number of compounds that are now in clinical trials. After 14 years at AstraZeneca, I moved to Switzerland to take up a role of director of Oncology Drug Discovery at Novartis. In 2014, I moved back to the UK to take a role at AstraZeneca leading a new bioscience department in Cambridge, UK.  

Gordon Coutts

Gordon Coutts

Specialties: strategy, leading change, strategic market access, market placement and optimisation.

Bio

Gordon Coutts is a Chief Executive, qualified doctor, Harvard business education, and healthcare sector specialist. He has senior leadership experience across three continents, in large businesses in the private, private equity and public sectors. He has held P&L responsibility for £350m+ organisations and leadership experience of headcounts exceeding 4,000. Gordon has worked as an advisory board member and non-executive for a variety of organisations, and has co-chaired international business associations for the past 15 years. 

Experience:

  • Board experience - operated as a Chief Executive, Managing Director and Non Executive Director within the NHS and multibillion dollar pharmaceutical companies. 
  • Organisational leadership - proven track record leading large complex organisations within heavily regulated environments. 
  • Governance - operated within a unitary board environment.
  • Strategic capability - operated at a strategic level on three continents having led significant business units and functions in the US, Europe and Asia.
  • Organisational change - driven change agendas that have created new industry business models and transformed corporate culture. 
  • Financial leadership - successfully conducted financial turnaround of underperforming business units. 
  • Commercial development/partnerships - led joint ventures in Japan, USA and Europe and hands-on experience of mergers and acquisitions in the private and private equity sectors in the UK.
Peter Cowley

Peter Cowley

Specialities: angel investment, charity governance, mentoring, entrepreneurship, software and electronics technology, property/construction.

Bio

Peter Cowley is a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Peter has a University of Cambridge degree in engineering and computing science, lived in Bavaria for five years and owns technology and construction businesses. He returned to Cambridge 10 years ago. In total he has founded 12 businesses, since the first in Bavaria, in 1981.

Peter has personally been investing in high growth start-ups for many years and is a board member of the Cambridge Angels. He is the Investment Director at Martlet - the Corporate Angel division of Marshall of Cambridge (a £1.3 billion sales, 4000+ person engineering company). He has run the Computing Laboratory Ring mentoring scheme for 10 years and is chair of the ideaSpace supporter group. 

Peter has over 30 angel investments in the biotech, medtech, ICT, web, fire safety, electronics, mobile data, aerospace, printing and instrumentation sectors. He is a non-executive director or board observer of eight of these.

Peter is a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School and is on the Investment Committee of the Angel Co-investment fund.

Over the last 14 years he is and has been treasurer and chair of several charities in the advice, healthcare and education sectors. He has also undertaken several property development and construction projects.

Peter was considered one of the "10 business angels all entrepreneurs should know" by AngelNews as well as one of the "21 business angels you need to know about" by iBusinessAngel. He is one of the top 100 Global Corporate Venturers.

Visit Peter Cowley's website

Sally Curran

AstraZeneca mentor - Sally Curran

Senior Patent Director for Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmune (RIA)

Bio

Sally is Senior Patent Director for the Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmune (RIA) therapy area, as well as being the IP lead for AstraZeneca's open innovation portal and Discovery Sciences group.

Sally joined AstraZeneca in 2010 after more than a decade in private practice IP firms handling drafting, prosecution and defence of IP in the pharmaceutical industry. In private practice Sally's global client base ranged from large pharma to universities, spin-outs and start-ups. In her current role Sally is accountable for defining and implementing the IP strategy for all of AstraZeneca's pipeline and on-market products in the RIA area, including the major brands Symbicort and Pulmicort and the IP arising from AstraZeneca's recent deal with Almirall and the 2013 acquisition of Pearl Therapeutics. Sally leads a team of attorneys with experience of all stages of the patenting process, from drafting and prosecution of key chemical entity filings, through life cycle management strategies and patent term extensions, to loss of exclusivity projections and contentious proceedings. A key part of the AstraZeneca IP department's role is to advise on the strengths and weaknesses of third party patent portfolios in advance of deal negotiation, as well as being closely involved in the forecasting models for our internal assets, competitor products and potential licensing or acquisition targets.

Sally holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Christ's College, Cambridge, as well as being a qualified European and UK Patent Attorney.

Marco Donzelli

Marco Donzelli

Bio

Marco is currently Chief Operating Officer at HLB International, a global network of accounting and advisory firms with combined turnover of USD $2bn, a presence in 130 countries and a focus on international SMEs and has been with the company since 2012. He earned his MBA at Cambridge Judge, where he also participated as a mentor in the 2010 edition of the Ignite Programme, and his Non-Executive Director Diploma at the Financial Times (2015).

In 2010 Marco conceptualised and co-founded Guestaurant, a food tech business, in 2011 worked with MagicSolver, a Cambridge-based mobile innovator, and later became an advisor to SDNA Global, an IT Consultancy, and to other technology start-ups.

He worked for seven years in Consumer Financial Services with Deutsche Bank in both commercial and internal consultancy roles and for one year as Engagement Manager in a management consultancy. In addition to board-level, and conflict management/negotiation experience across different cultures, his fields of expertise include business development, project management, business strategy and facilitation of strategy sessions, international management, consumer financial services, mobile and food/lifestyle.

Marco is fluent in Spanish and Italian and is a member of the Financial Times Non-Executive Directors' Club.

Nick Dunscombe

Nick Dunscombe

AstraZeneca mentor - Head of Alliance & Integration Management

Bio

Nick is the Global Head of the Integration Management Group at AstraZeneca where he has over 26 years' experience. Over the last three years Integration and Divestment has become a major focus within AZ, resulting in Nick leading many large integrations and divestments across the AZ portfolio and regions.

Prior to this role, Nick has worked across many business areas within AstraZeneca including Business Development, Global R&D (Leader for Breast Cancer portfolio), Global Marketing (Leader for Seroquel, Zomig, Anaesthesia, Infection and the Early Pain portfolio) and Regional Business Management where he was the Commercial Director for Asia Pacific North and established the JV in China and the Zeneca legal entities in Korea and Taiwan.

John Easton

AstraZeneca mentor - Head of Business Operations

Bio

John holds a BSc and a PhD in Physiology, both from the University of London. After a post-doctorate position at the London Hospital Medical School, John joined the CNS team at May & Baker (then a division of Rhone Poulenc) in 1985. In 1988 he co-founded a start-up CRO (Campbell Charles Associates), moving on in 1992 to be Clinical Research Director at Bios and then again in 1996 to join IBAH (later Omnicare Clinical Research, now Theorem) where he held a number of positions including Vice President, International Business Development and Regional General Manager for Northern Europe.

John joined PAREXEL in 2001 to head a customer business unit and moved to HQ in Boston early in 2002 to run the global sales organisation for the Clinical Research Services division. He joined AstraZeneca in 2004 to head Global Clinical Outsourcing and then joined the newly formed Strategic Partnering & Business Development team at AstraZeneca in January 2007. He has held a number of roles as the Business Development team has evolved and is currently the Head of Business Operations for BD, a role which encompasses most of the back-office functions for BD in addition to leading the Due Diligence team.

Lorna Ewart

Lorna Ewart

AstraZeneca mentor - Head of Strategy and Enabling Services

Bio

Lorna Ewart is currently Head of Strategy and Enabling Services in AstraZeneca's Drug Safety and Metabolism function and is based in Cambridge. Her current role is to ensure successful externalisation of all safety and metabolism studies through key strategic partners as well as smaller contract research organisations and/or academics. She also oversees the data and information integration for the function as well as capacity and resource management. Lorna has set a strategy for the function and is managing its implementation via scientific collaborations and key stakeholder inputs. More recently she has been leading a team across innovative medicines exploring the future of drug discovery and development with a particular focus on translational models such as microphysiological systems. Lorna has over 17 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry primarily in the respiratory and inflammation therapy area. She has a unique blend of experience driving the efficacy (pharmacology) and safety (toxicology and metabolism) aspects of drug discovery and development. She received her honours degree in Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen and her PhD at the William Harvey Research Institute, London.

Vincenzo Garzya

Vincenzo Garzya

Bio

Vincenzo is the Director of Patient Centricity (PaCe) at AstraZeneca (AZ) in Cambridge, UK. In this role, Vincenzo leads PaCe Excellence for R&D within Global Medical Affairs where he has been responsible for delivering the PaCe capabilities and for implementing the current framework which allows AZ teams to embed patients insight for the fast and efficient study delivery.

Following his passion for advancement of medicines for patients, Vincenzo has led several projects within the pharmaceutical industry in both therapeutic area-oriented and business roles. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Vincenzo held a number of leadership positions at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK-UK) in the Centers of Excellence for Drug Discovery, in Global Project & Portfolio Management, in World Wide Business Development and in Global Medical Affairs. Vincenzo has patented several inventions in R&D, successfully led the in-licensing of gene-therapy treatments and built the global strategy, operations and governance framework for Externally Sponsored Research.  Vincenzo also collaborates with the University of Cambridge-UK. Vincenzo became a doctor in medicinal chemistry in Italy and took his international project management accreditation in London. Vincenzo holds an MBA in strategic management.

Richard Green

Bio

Richard Green is passionate about innovation and helping teams to turn disruptive ideas into market leading products and sustainable businesses. A founder and CEO of award winning Ubisense the world leader in Real Time Location Systems, listed on the LSE in 2011 under Richard’s leadership. Richard was a founder of Smallworld, an enterprise geospatial software company which listed on Nasdaq in 1996 and was acquired in a trade sale by GE in 2000. Richard is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and was Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 Science and Technology winner. Under Richard’s leadership Ubisense was awarded multiple DTI grants, featured multiple times in the Deloitte Fast50, and was awarded both the Queen’s award for Export and Innovation. In 2011 Ubisense was technology IPO of the year, and won Business Weekly International trade award in 2013.  

Richard is engaged with early stage companies as mentor, consultant and non-executive principally in the Location, IoT, and Mobility space.

Tony Harris

Tony Harris

Bio

Tony is a seasoned entrepreneur and inventor with a 35-year background in business and technology. His expertise spans international corporate governance and business development, product management, technical sales and international exporting, as well as systems software development and intellectual property management and licensing.

In 2007 Tony successfully exited an international software company which he co-founded in 1989. The company won four Queen's Awards, appeared in The Times' 100 FastTrack and ProfitTrack and had offices in three continents. Twice a finalist for Ernst & Young's 'Entrepreneur of the Year', he appeared on USA and UK television, was profiled by The Sunday Times and received a Prince of Wales award for technological achievement.

Since 'retiring' Tony has won a BA (Oxon) in English Language & Literature, an MA in Medieval Studies, qualified as a national rowing umpire and is currently working on a PhD at Cambridge. When he's not getting a significant buzz out of mentoring and developing entrepreneurs, he likes to cycle, umpire at rowing events and fly helicopters and light aircraft, although not all at the same time!

Andrew Hatcher

Andrew Hatcher

Specialties: strategy development, communication and implementation, innovation management, and strategic marketing.

Bio

Andrew is the Managing Director of MAPP,  a company that develops visual planning tools for developing and sharing plans of all kinds. 

Andrew has a long history of identifying, developing and managing innovation within corporate environments and notably created an implemented a comprehensive and international innovation management system while working for Reuters, the European media group. His career at Reuters culminated in a role as CEO of an Asian-based Internet trading corporate spin-out in Singapore which he took through initial VC funding and on to a trade sale.

As author of Inventuring - why big companies must think small (McGraw Hill, 2003), which tackles the subject of corporate venturing from a practitioners perspective, Andrew brings with him the experience of over 200 companies that were researched for the book as well as his own extensive experience in the areas of business start-up and in the specialist area of innovation management and corporate venturing. 

With a personal corporate history that includes journalism, software development, project management, marketing and strategic sales. Andrew draws on a wealth of experience in all aspects of business management gained through working internationally, predominantly in the US and UK.

Andrew received both a Bachelors in Engineering and an MBA in international business from the University of London and is a Fellow of Cambridge Marketing Colleges.

Lennart Hergel

Bio

Experienced entrepreneur and senior manager with proven success in building businesses from foundation to creating high-value finance deals and corporate strategy consulting. Successfully led and funded multiple client projects with in-depth negotiation, business development and leadership across early stage, SME’s and major corporates, in industries ranging from investment banking, aerospace and technology.  Special interest in social enterprise: identifying new business opportunities, mentoring ventures, developing investor networks, building new strategic partnerships and networks. 

Jenny Horsfield

Jenny Horsfield

AstraZeneca mentor - Transaction Director

Bio

Jenny is a Transaction Director within the Business Development Operations function at AstraZeneca and is based in Cambridge. She has been working in Business Development for seven years and has worked on search and evaluation of opportunities and the negotiation of a variety of deal types including early stage collaborations, on market products, divestment and acquisitions across many different therapy areas. Jenny also has significant experience of working on commercial partnering deals and has Asia expertise having lived and worked in Japan and China. Jenny has a commercial and finance background and is a qualified management accountant.

Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston

AstraZeneca mentor - Deal Finance Manager

Bio

Mark is a finance professional with experience across the pharmaceutical value chain. He currently works as the finance lead for AstraZeneca’s Discovery Sciences and Drug Safety Management business units, the areas of the AstraZeneca R&D organisation responsible for identifying and developing safe and efficacious drugs prior to their use in human clinical trials. Prior to this, Mark has worked in Business Development, Portfolio Strategy, Commercial and Corporate Reporting roles. Mark uses his finance training (ACMA/CGMA) and broad understanding of life science businesses to help AstraZeneca’s R&D science leaders manage the financial performance of their organisation and prioritise their investments in new technologies, capabilities and drugs. 

Maarten de Jong

'Coach' in Residence

Bio

Maarten de Jong has advised entrepreneurs building technology companies for the past 15 years through all stages of growth including strategic advisory, VC fundraising, corporate development, M&A and IPOs and has completed over 60 transactions in Europe and the US. He spent the early part of his career in San Francisco with Robertson, Stephens and Hambrecht & Quist before moving to London with JPMorgan where he led the emerging Communication Technologies effort in Europe. Following JPMorgan Maarten was Managing Director and Head of TMT for Bryan, Garnier in London and most recently headed the Technology practice as Managing Director for Kepler Equities Landsbanki in London.

Andrey Kessel

Andrey Kessel

Specialities: start-ups, business development, sales, financing/fundraising, investor.

Bio

Andrey Kessel is an investor and entrepreneur with 20 years of experience of high-tech venture investing and operational work with high profile technology start-ups. Experience includes 15 Board roles, involvement with about 100 companies (close work with 30+), 50+ financing transactions, three IPOs/listings, multiple completed M&A deals/exits (both private and public), involvement with 10 venture funds of various sizes and focus and a blue chip venture capital firm. He co-founded several start-ups and has substantial international operational experience covering most aspects of establishing and running a business, business development, managing offices, teams or projects. Companies Andrey worked for include Amadeus Capital Partners, Scala Business Solutions (sold to Epicor), PanTel (KPN), Nextra (Telenor), Baltic Communications (Cable & Wireless). Some of the companies Andrey has been involved with as an investor include Solexa, Openbravo, Squirro, TeraView, twingz, Veebeam/Staccato, Solarflare, Valista. He holds an MBA from INSEAD and an MSc in computer science gained in Russia.

Access Andrey Kessel's LinkedIn profile

Mainda Kiwelu

Mainda Kiwelu

Specialities: digital products and publishing, IP and innovation management, marketing/brand strategy, business development, e-learning and training.

Bio

Mainda draws inspiration for taking new products and services to market from the vibrant, fast-evolving technology and media scene in East Africa where she grew up, coupled with her background working for national and global organisations in the UK for over 12 years. She has industry experience in publishing, information technology, television, travel, education and legal services. She has predominantly worked as a marketer with global portfolio responsibility and has successfully supported key business development initiatives in the US, South America, Europe and Asia.

Having a keen interest in intellectual property issues and the creative industries, Mainda has been involved in various initiatives and projects supporting individual practitioners to commercialise their work. She also ran a professional network, hosting speaking programmes and advising on policy.

With a strong belief that we all benefit as individuals and as a society when we are empowered to: Make. Be. Do, Mainda is looking to be involved with enterprising individuals whose inspiring ideas, when developed, impact our lives - our physical well-being, the way we learn, how we are entertained, engage with others or experience the world around us.

In addition to the start-up scene, Mainda enjoys travel, fitness, art, drumming, coffee and cafes.

Craig Lambert

AstraZeneca mentor - Director of Clinical Pharmacology

Bio

I am a delivery focused and collaborative scientific leader with proven adaptive leadership experience with a record of leading change and developing an innovative, enterprise culture within organisations.  I am excited by new ideas and thinking.  I have greater than 20 years working experience in all phases of the drug development process from lead optimisation through to life cycle management of established brands.  Currently I am working in Early Clinical Development as a chief of operations in Quantitative Clinical Pharmacology which builds mathematical models based on biology to guide drug development decisions. Responsible for outsourcing decisions and experienced in supporting recent start up contract research organisations in UK, Sweden, Switzerland and Russia.

Previously, global head of Clinical Pharmacology Science leading a team of >40 PhD level scientists across 3 regions.  Experienced in building large scale business plans for change within the business.  Previously worked in discovery in drug metabolism and worked in close collaboration with toxicology and biopharmaceutics.  I have principally worked in respiratory and oncology therapeutic areas.  Experienced in evaluation and due diligence activities both out-licensing and in-licensing (eg. Lynparza team member). 

I have worked previously in a small virtual drug development company. I have a degree in Pharmacology from Aberdeen University and a PhD in Pharmacology from Liverpool University.

 

 

Jack Lang

Jack Lang

Bio

Jack Lang is a serial entrepreneur and business angel with high-tech and Internet companies based in Cambridge, where he is Entrepreneur in Residence, and Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School, an affiliated Lecturer at the Computer Lab and a bye-fellow of and Director of Studies in Management at Emmanuel College. Jack's recent ventures include the Raspberry Pi, an ultra-low cost computer for education, and Moviestorm, which makes 3D animation systems.

Greg Mueller

Greg Mueller

AstraZeneca mentor - Deputy General Counsel, International & Japan

Bio

In his current role as Deputy General Counsel, International & Japan for AstraZeneca PLC, Greg has responsibility for managing all commercial legal risks for the company outside of the US, Canada and the EU. His geographic responsibility includes Asia-Pacific, the Middle-East & Africa, Russia & Eurasia and Latin America, a combined region in which AZ employs over 20,000 people and generates almost USD 10 billion in annual revenue. 

Prior to his current role, Greg was the Regional Legal Director for AZ’s Asia- Pacific region and before that, he was the Legal Director for AZ’s Canadian affiliate. Before joining AZ, he worked for Blake, Cassels & Graydon, LLP, and a law firm, based in Toronto, Canada, where he practiced Corporate and Commercial law, with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry. 

Greg holds a Bachelor of Commerce specialist degree (B.Comm) from the University of Toronto and a law degree (LLB) from Queen’s University in Canada. 

He has worked and lived in Canada, Singapore and China and is currently based in Cambridge, UK with his wife and two children.

Robert Marshall

Robert Marshall

Bio

Robert was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Marshall Group of Companies in January 2012. Marshall is a fourth generation family company with annual sales of £1.3 billion. The company's primary businesses are aerospace and defence systems and motor retail. It also owns and operates Cambridge International Airport and has extensive property holdings in Cambridge. The company is based in Cambridge and employs 4,400 people. It is a founder member of the Cambridge Network of high-tech companies, promoting new business using the skills uniquely available in the Cambridge region.

After attaining a First Class Degree in Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Robert spent some time in the USA as a Scientific Research Associate with Lockheed Martin, later founding a business designing and manufacturing specialist equipment for use in microbiology laboratories.

Robert joined Marshall of Cambridge in 1994, initially working for Marshall Aerospace with responsibility for all engineering projects. In 2000 he was appointed Chief Executive of Marshall Specialist Vehicles and in 2006 took on the role of Development Director for the Marshall Group. In January 2010 Robert was appointed Chief Operating Officer for the Marshall Group of Companies.

Robert is enthusiastic about engineering and the education and training of engineers in the UK. He retains a strong interest in the University of Cambridge Engineering Department and sits on the Board of the EEF. Marshall is a major employer of engineers and has one of the longest running apprenticeship schemes in the UK.

Robert is an Alumni of Harvard Business School and a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He is also a keen aviator and holds a Private Pilots Licence.

Garry Pairaudeau

Garry Pairaudeau

AstraZeneca mentor - Head of External Sciences

Bio

Garry Pairaudeau is currently Head of External Sciences at AstraZeneca with responsibility for Open Innovation, external collaborations in the chemistry and hit identification areas and discovery chemistry outsourcing.  He obtained his PhD in chemistry from the University of Southampton in 1991, followed by post-doctoral work at UC Irvine California.  He joined AstraZeneca in 1994 as a medicinal chemist and was part of the medicinal chemistry team that discovered Brilinta. He has experience leading projects through all phases of Drug Discovery contributing to multiple clinical candidates in the respiratory inflammation and CV areas. He has a long standing interest in lead generation, hit identification and diversity screening.  Prior to taking up his current position in 2012 he was Director of Chemistry for the cardiovascular group at Alderley Park.

Jo Parfrey

Jo Parfrey

Bio

Jo is an experienced and successful investment professional with more than 10 years in the private equity industry. A qualified accountant, ACA, by training, she has worked in the corporate finance departments of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies.

Having been a member of the Investment Committee of a leading private equity house, Jo is experienced in investment appraisal. Skilled in the evaluation of businesses, her strengths include identifying value creation opportunities at both a revenue and profit level. Having supported businesses in growth through investment and cost management, Jo has a wealth of knowledge to assist in positioning businesses to maximise their potential. She brings experience of developing business plans and working with businesses to secure appropriate financing.

Passionate about growing businesses, Jo has worked closely with entrepreneurs/management teams. She has a wealth of experience of arranging, working with and managing complicated shareholder structures, including a broad range of stakeholder groups. She has a proven track record of working with businesses to drive strategic initiatives and deliver outstanding financial results. 

Jo has had significant board exposure, having held a number of non-executive posts. She has a chemistry degree from Oxford University.

Charles Payne

Charles Payne

Specialties: business planning, business strategy, growth, improvement and development, succession planning, quality, interim management, management coaching and mentoring, and non-executive directorships.

Bio

Enabling the strategic growth of businesses in the East of England, Charles Payne is an experienced senior executive with a strong background in business strategy, business growth and development, and management coaching and mentoring. He focuses on achieving personal and business aspirations for clients. Charles enables improvement, development and growth in client companies. He has held strategic roles in interim assignments and non-executive directorships. 

As an experienced consultant/adviser, Charles also has experience of working with innovation in start-up ventures and mature companies, guiding them through the whole business life cycle. His experience includes working at Board level, nationally and with international companies and assignments in the overseas market.

Having worked for companies with major international interests, during his successful career Charles has developed an in-depth understanding of the key skills that growing businesses need including growth strategy, raising finance, embedding operational management into 'market-ready' companies and improving the profile of businesses and their products. 

His career commenced as a Chartered Company Secretary, developing into a broad-based business management role with public and private companies including international business experience. Along the way Charles acquired skills in business development, coaching and mentoring, and the business excellence model, as well as a postgraduate qualification in management.

Charles is an registered and approved Growth Coach for Growth Accelerator and Growth Through Innovation, helping ambitious businesses achieve rapid and sustainable growth.

Marion Pierfitte

AstraZeneca mentor - MBA Business Planning Manager

Bio

A recent INSEAD MBA graduate currently working in Global Strategic Planning at AstraZeneca, Marion brings strong planning, simplification and critical skills from her current position and academic training. These skills have so far been useful in elaborating creative and lean solutions to operational issues as well testing concepts and pilots. 

Before INSEAD, Marion worked for ZS Associates, a sales and marketing consulting firm serving primarily the healthcare industry. During her time with ZS, she worked on a series of projects ranging from go-to-market strategies to more operational organisational designs.

Areas of expertise:

  • Industries: mostly healthcare, including big pharma, oncology, diabetes, rare diseases, vaccines, plasma-derivate products, generics, contact lenses, gluco-meters…
  • Geographies: Europe, with a specific focus on UK, France, Spain and Italy, Latin America with project experience in Mexico, familiar with South-East Asia at a regional level

Functions:

  • Sales: Commercial organisation design, sales force sizing and deployment
  • Marketing: go-to-market strategy, customer segmentation, customer interviews and focus groups, multi-channel strategy
  • Other: project management, change management, simplification

Areas of interest:

  • Healthcare
  • Business model innovation
  • Customer centricity

 

 

Alan Platt

Bio

Alan graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1997 with a degree in Engineering. His experience covers a wide variety of industries Broadcast and Film through to Pharmaceuticals and Software. He has held executive and board roles in Engineering, Sales, Marketing and General Management.

Passionate about technology, Alan combines a strong technical background in software, electronics and mechanical engineering with experience of solving real world problems for non-technical customers. He has developed and launched numerous new products and has strong international experience, having managed teams in the US and Europe and taken products to market across the globe. Alan has led change management and strategy development programmes on numerous occasions, leading to several successful business turn-arounds and rapid growth. 

As a consultant, angel investor and active member of Cambridge Capital Group, Alan currently advises several early stage tech companies. He will also join Bradford and Sons Ltd, a leading group of companies in the building industry, as non-executive director in 2017.

Saira Ramasastry

Saira Ramasastry

Bio

Saira Ramasastry, Managing Partner of Life Sciences Advisory, is a seasoned industry insider with extensive transaction and advisory experience. Prior to LSA, Saira helped found and establish the leading life sciences franchise on Wall Street at Merrill Lynch and was responsible for emerging biotech coverage for over a decade. Prior to Merrill Lynch, Saira worked in M&A and Restructuring at Wasserstein Perella.

Saira is a recognised thought-leader on public-private alliances and is frequently called upon as a speaker. She serves on the Industry Advisory Board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, the Board of the American Liver Foundation, and was recently appointed as an Advisor to the World Dementia Council and G8 Dementia Initiatives. She also serves on the Boards of Sangamo Biosciences (NASDAQ: SGMO), Pain Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PTIE) and Repros Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RPRX).

Saira has a BA in economics from Stanford University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and advanced degrees in management science and engineering and management studies from Stanford University and the University of Cambridge. She is a guest lecturer for the Bioscience Enterprise Program and serves on the Advisory Council of Cambridge Judge Business School. Saira was named to the 2011 Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal's "40 under 40" list.

saira@lifesciencesadvisory.com

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Terry Reed

AstraZeneca mentor - Alliance Manager, Scientific Partnering and Alliances

Kathy Rooney

Kathy Rooney

Specialties: commercially focussed business development and growth; publishing; digital; management; strategy.

Bio

Kathy has over 30 years' experience in publishing including digital development and innovation. She played an important role in the development and commercial success of Bloomsbury Publishing where she worked for 28 years initially as Editorial Director of Reference Publishing and latterly as Managing Director of one of the company's four global divisions. Kathy has worked extensively in Germany and the Middle East, as Managing Director of Berlin Verlag from 2005 to 2008 and as the Head of Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing and QScience.com (in partnership with the Qatar Foundation) from 2008 to 2014.

Hitesh Sanganee

Hitesh Sanganee

AstraZeneca mentor - Director of Emerging Innovations

Bio

Dr Hitesh Sanganee is currently a Director in the Emerging Innovations group. His main role is to participate and execute the open innovation strategy within the innovative medicines function in AZ. This involves collaborating with academic institutions such as MRC (UK) NIH (US) to identify novel uses for our medicines and hence build a portfolio of projects. He has also been involved in internal ideation events (open innovation within a large company setting) in AZ.

Previously his role was in the science function within AstraZeneca. His main role was as a chemistry cluster lead inputting into external and internal drug repositioning projects and potential in-licensing projects. Other roles also have included CDL (candidate drug leader) working on regenerative medicine, and a Team Leader in the respiratory & inflammation therapeutic area. He originally received his degree and DPhil from Oxford University in chemistry and subsequently held a postdoctoral research position at Florida State University. He joined AstraZeneca as a Medicinal Chemist in 1999 conducting research within respiratory & inflammation related disease areas and has led teams to successful milestone transitions in all phases of drug discovery. He has over 40 patents and publications.

Thomas Sawyer

Thomas Sawyer

Specialties: Private equity; fundraising, strategy; corporate finance; technology; biotechnology.

Bio

With a background in academic research and 12 years of experience in starting businesses, consulting and private equity investment in biotechnology, IT, logistics and natural resources in the UK, US and Africa, Dr Sawyer is enthusiastic about creating new ventures, discovering and helping to develop exciting projects. Having been involved in all stages of the business cycle from bedroom start-ups to corporate structuring, IPOs, mergers and raising significant capital, he brings a breadth of experience gained from the lessons learned at every stage, as well as a pragmatic and supportive approach. Thomas is based in London and graduated from the University of Cambridge's Executive MBA programme in 2012 and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Exeter, teaching Corporate Finance and Behaviour to MSc students. His most recent project has involved raising capital, corporate structuring and strategy in a private equity backed US/UK based biotechnology company.

Pierre Socha

Pierre Socha

Bio

Early stage investor, Amadeus Capital Partners. Pierre has a current investment focus on healthcare IT, medical technologies, internet of things, big data, cloud computing and cybersecurity. He is a non-executive director or observer on the boards of TrialReach, Qinec, Congenica, PhoreMost and oversees investments in Organox, Axol bioscience, Repositive and AlgoDynamix.

Pierre brings operational experience to the portfolios, having grown and turned around several life science businesses in Asia and Europe. Over a decade with biotech Avesthagen, he guided the group's strategy and European activities, contributing to acquisitions, joint-ventures and exits. Pierre started his career as an auditor with KPMG in France and subsequently worked as a financial engineer at Natixis and as a research fellow in health and urban microeconomics.

Kay Tait

Kay Tait

AstraZeneca mentor - Transaction Director

Bio

Dr Kay Tait has worked in the UK pharmaceutical industry for approximately 15 years and currently works as a Transaction Director in AstraZeneca's Business Development and Operations team. Kay is involved in all aspects of transaction negotiation and execution across multiple therapy areas. Prior to that, Kay worked as a Business Development Director covering both search and evaluation, as well as transaction, for AstraZeneca's Oncology business. Kay has a wealth of business development experience ranging from in and out-licencing, acquisition and partnering activities from early stage discovery through to on-market commercial opportunities. Before her business development career, Kay worked in R&D at AstraZeneca. She also holds a PhD in molecular biology and a first class honours degree both from the University of Manchester.

Robert Tansley

Robert Tansley

Bio

After seven years working in hospital medicine Dr Robert Tansley joined the pharma industry, gaining broad experience in development, regulatory and commercialisation at Sanofi, MHRA and Roche before joining Cambridge-based company Arakis as Medical Director until its £106m sale to Sosei Inc. Since that acquisition, Robert has been involved in a number of start-up companies, including founding the malaria-focused company Treague, being founding CEO of the University of Copenhagen spin-out Avilex Pharma and being part of the founding management team of KalVista, which is developing the first plasma kallikrein inhibitor for diabetic macular edema in collaboration with its scientific co-founders from Harvard Medical School.

Robert qualified in medicine from University College London. He is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, and has an MBA from London Business School and an MPhil in Biostatistics from the University of Cambridge.

Since January 2014, Robert has been Investment Director for Life Sciences at Cambridge Innovation Capital. Cambridge Innovation Capital combines a strong relationship with the University of Cambridge with deep financial and industry links, and aims to invest its initial capital of £50 million in Cambridge companies. The company strives to build leading businesses using a long term return strategy - removing the pressure to deliver the early exits associated with the traditional venture capital model.

Chris Thorne

Specialties: biotech, marketing (digital, content, brand, automation).

Bio

After completing his PhD in Cell Biology at the University of Liverpool in 2010, Chris jumped straight from academia into industry joining a young 25 person startup called Horizon Discovery in Cambridge. The rapid growth of the company allowed Chris to try on many hats - research and development, operational, customer facing - but he ultimately settled in marketing where he found he was able to combine a love of science, communication and analytics. Subsequently he drove implementation of marketing automation and good content marketing practice, and helped build a digital platform from which Horizon now launches and sells many of its products and services.

Chris recently left Horizon (then 250 people) to join another startup - Cambridge Epigenetix - as senior product manager. He now oversees the company's existing and developing product portfolio - working with customers, research and development and sales to ensure products are fit for purpose both scientifically and commercially.

Simon Thorpe

Simon Thorpe

Specialties: angel investing, coaching, mentoring, consulting, non-executive directorships, research focused on the technology and finance sectors, chartered accountancy.

Bio

Simon is an angel investor, coach, mentor, and acts as non-executive director to and growth consulting with, technology companies. He runs his own business, Delta2020, is a senior advisor to Eleven Canterbury, a member of Cambridge Capital Group and Angel Academe. 

He is a participating mentor at the University of Manchester, Accelerate Cambridge and Angel Academe’s female entrepreneur program, and actively supports female entrepreneurs.

‘The digital revolution is the new industrial revolution’.

Sports/outdoor enthusiast, cyclist, skier, petrol/electric head, volunteer litter picker, traveller.

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Steve Twait

Steve Twait

AstraZeneca mentor - Vice President of Alliance and Integration Management (AIM)

Bio

Steve has responsibility to continue to shape AstraZeneca's alliance and integration strategy and capabilities in line with more diverse and varied externalisation deals. 

Steve recently joined AZ from Lilly's Alliance Management and M&A Integration group with responsibility for acquisition integration as well as alliance management for development, commercial and manufacturing alliances. Steve was a founding member of Lilly's Office of Alliance Management and over 14 years played an integral role in worldwide partnerships with BMS, BI and Daiichi Sankyo. Steve's experience also includes the post-acquisition integration of ImClone Systems, Alnara Pharmaceuticals, and Avid Radiopharmaceuticals. 

Steve holds an MBA, Marketing from Indiana University - Kelley School of Business and a BSEE, Electrical Engineering from Valparaiso University.

Alex Van Someren

Alex Van Someren

Specialties: mentoring, bootstrapping start-ups, early-stage evangelism, executive leadership, entrepreneurship, commercial negotiation, private equity raising, M&A, UK public company corporate governance.

Bio

Alex is an early-stage technology investor at Cambridge- and London-based venture capital firm Amadeus Capital Partners.

Previously, he has been a serial entrepreneur specialising in IT software and hardware product development businesses. Two of his businesses have had exits through IPOs - AIM:ANTP and LSE:NCH.

Reetu Venn

AstraZeneca mentor - Business Development manager

Bio

Reetu Venn is currently a Business Development Manager in AstraZeneca where she is responsible for securing global partnerships on oncology programs in up to early clinical phases. Prior to this, she spent several years in technology transfer and commercialisation of early stage research and so has an appreciation for the interplay between scientific knowledge and business creation. She considers herself a world citizen having lived, studied and worked in multiple countries since young. Outside of her professional career, she has interests in music and applied arts.

Paolo Vicini

Paolo Vicini

AstraZeneca mentor - Senior Director & Head of UK Clinical Pharmacology and DMPG (CPD)

Bio

Paolo Vicini joined MedImmune in August 2015 as Senior Director and head of the Cambridge, UK Clinical Pharmacology and DMPK (CPD) department. This is one of three global Medlmmune sites providing translational and clinical pharmacology and bioanalytical support for the biotherapeutic products pipeline. His responsibilities include establishing strategy, direction, and objectives for the CPD site and all aspects of CPD for products at discovery, nonclinical and clinical stages of development.

Paolo holds a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the Polytechnic of Milan and a MBA from the University of Southern California. His previous affiliation was with Pfizer Worldwide R&D in San Diego, where he was a Research Fellow in the Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism – New Biological Entities department. His research was on quantitative pharmacology approaches in support of various discovery stage programs, with emphasis on translational PKPD (molecularly targeted agents in oncology) and systems pharmacology. Before Pfizer, Paolo was a faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, with a joint appointment in the School of Pharmacy. At the University of Washington, he worked on the development of data analysis software (including the SAAM II software system) and the application of computer modelling techniques to clinical and preclinical data analyses in diabetes and cancer.

Paolo served on the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics Study Section from 2005 to 2009. He was elected Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in 2011. He published to date 120 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, American Journal of Physiology, Drug Metabolism and Disposition, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Clinical Cancer Research, Annals of Biomedical Engineering and BMC Systems Biology. He is an Associate Editor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics: Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology and is on the Advisory Editorial Board of the Journal of Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics.

He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, the International Society of Pharmacometrics, the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics, the American Diabetes Association and of Beta Gamma Sigma.

Julie Wallis

Julie Wallis

Specialties: value creation; business development; commercialisation; executive coaching.

Bio

Julie is Founding Director of Meomics, based in London, working with senior biopharmaceutical executives to accelerate business growth and value creation.

Julie’s experience spans over 20 years in healthcare and the biopharma industry. Julie has held business development and commercial leadership roles in biotechnology, life sciences and global pharmaceutical companies, building and leading teams to commercialise science and technology, ultimately pursuing better options for patients. Julie began her career as a research and clinical scientist in reproductive medicine and fertility.

Julie received her BSc (Hons) Pharmacology from the University of Edinburgh, PhD in Reproductive Medicine from the University of Leeds, and Executive MBA from the University of Cambridge

Lorraine Webber

Lorraine Webber

AstraZeneca mentor - MBBS Senior Director and UK Head, Emerging Innovations

Bio

Lorraine Webber is the UK Head of the Emerging Innovations Unit within AstraZeneca R&D. This is a small, externally-focussed R&D group primarily involved in drug re-purposing through pioneering ‘open innovation’ partnerships with a global network of external investigators, as well as internal drug repositioning.  Lorraine has a broad background in drug development and, prior to joining the Emerging Innovations team, led drug projects in early clinical development in a number of therapy areas including respiratory, dermatology and women’s health. Lorraine has also held roles in the global commercial organisations at AstraZeneca and Novartis. Lorraine holds a degree in Medicine (MBBS) from Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospitals, London.

Miranda Weston-Smith

Miranda Weston-Smith

Specialities: fundraising, biotech, business strategy, technology transfer, marketing.

Bio

Miranda helps early stage biomedical businesses to attract investment and develop their business strategy. Miranda founded and runs BioBeat, a programme to inspire the next wave of bioentrepreneurs and business leaders.

Miranda has worked with many entrepreneurs to grow their early stage biotech and healthcare ventures. She is experienced in fundraising, business planning and technology transfer. 

She brings experience as a Technology Transfer Manager at Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge, where she assessed and marked 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 holds an MA (Cantab) in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and holds the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants' Diploma in Management Accounting.

Ro Wickramasinghe

Ro Wickramasinghe

AstraZeneca mentor - Evaluation Director, Oncology

Bio

Dr Ro Wickramasinghe joined AstraZeneca in 2015 as an Evaluation Director in the Oncology Business Development team. He is responsible for leading the evaluation of new in-licensing and out-licensing (divestment) opportunities in late stage oncology (assets with Proof of Concept data in Phase 1, or from Phase 2 onwards). Most recently, he led the divestment of AstraZeneca's rare disease thyroid cancer therapy Caprelsa to Sanofi/Genzyme for up to $300m from the Oncology Search and Evaluation side.

Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Ro was Associate Director of Business Development at Creabilis SA, a European clinical stage biotechnology company developing drugs in dermatology, inflammation and pain. Whilst at Creabilis, Ro led interactions with multiple Business Development contacts in Pharma and negotiated several term sheets. He also led two successful grant applications totalling €4m in non-dilutive funding for clinical-stage assets and drug discovery projects, and has co-authored several publications.

Ro received his PhD in Oncology from Trinity College, Cambridge on a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and has an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School.

Mark Wigglesworth

Mark Wigglesworth

AstraZeneca mentor

Bio

Mark Wigglesworth holds a BSc. degree in Neuroscience from Nottingham University and gained his PhD at Leeds University by completing a project on forced evolution. This project was sponsored by British Biotechnology, attracted Ministry of Defence funding and was subsequently pitched for VC funding. Since then he has worked for both GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, focusing on early stages of drug discovery, target validation and screening applications.  He now leads AstraZeneca’s Global High Throughput Screening Centre and is an active member of the European Laboratory Research and Innovation Group (ELRIG) including co-director responsibility for their Research and Innovation conference. Mark has contributed to numerous publications in the field of GPCR pharmacology, hit identification and Compound Management including editing a book describing the Management of Biological and Chemical Samples for Screening Applications. In his current role he leads a team of more than 20 scientists dedicated to identifying novel chemical starting points for drug discovery programmes and maintains a collaborative interest in Synthetic Biology.

Jonathan Wingfield

AstraZeneca mentor - Principal Scientist

Bio

Graduated from University of Wales, Cardiff in Microbiology with Genetics before gaining a PhD from the School of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Wales in 1990. After taking the opportunity to work overseas came back to the UK in 1994 to work for a research institute in Oxford funded by a Japanese Pharma and was seconded to Mike Waterfield’s lab at the Ludgwig institute for Cancer Research working with SH3 domain containing proteins. In 1996 the parent company decided to focus the UK institute on drug discovery and I took the opportunity to build a HTS assay development function, this included the installation of the first UK Beckman core automation system. Joined AZ in 2000, as part of a team responsible for delivering automation solutions and technology into the disease area teams post HTS. Was invited to establish a Lead Generation Automation team within Oncology and this evolved into a centralised biochemical screening team in 2006. The centralised team utilized leading edge technology to deliver high quality data to global projects, this included delivery of acoustic droplet ejection technology and the first European installation of a HighRes Biosolutions automation system. To achieve our broader objective we established a LIMS platform, the value of this system was recognized with the 2008 Microsoft Innovation in Pharma award. When the Discovery Sciences function was established within AZ, I moved into a science role supporting across a wider range of functions beyond biochemical SAR. I remain interested in landing technologies that can add value to our core business, one such example is the acoustic mass spectrometry collaboration between Labcyte and AZ. This project won the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening Innovation award (2015) and has generated a significant amount of external interest. In addition I have an interest in applications for Nanotechnology in drug discovery and 3D printing.  

John Yeomans

John Yeomans

Bio

John is Chairman of Cambridge Angels; of Wazoku, an ideas management software business; of Zanran, in numerical web search; and of Merchanta, a performance marketing and real time bidding specialist. He is a director of FirstCapital, which finds investment for and sells technology ventures; of SharedBand which offers faster, more reliable internet communication on fixed phones and smartphones; of Lungfish which makes scuba diving rebreathers; and of Find the Rabble, a new style of fun exercise. He specialises in business software, digital media and communications, and has skills in engineering, marketing and finance.

He was a founder of an office automation start up in the early 1980s, exiting successfully. At Mitel, a high growth entrepreneurial digital communications business, he gained product management, sales and marketing experience. He was a strategy consultant at KPMG, with clients such as BT, C&W, Hughes, Oftel, Verizon and Vodafone, and at Regis McKenna, where the technology book 'Crossing the Chasm' was written. He became Global Head of Telecom, Media and Technology Corporate Finance at HSBC, leading international M&A deals and IPOs. Clients included Hutchison, Telenor, NTT DoCoMo, MTNL, OTE, Orange, Esprit Telecom and MSI and he ran deals worth over $40bn.

He mentors entrepreneurs and is a regular conference chairman and speaker.

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john@yeomans.org.uk

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Duncan Young

Duncan Young

AstraZeneca mentor - Academic Alliances Manager

Bio

Duncan is Academic Alliances Manager in the Scientific Partnering and Alliances team at AstraZeneca - responsible for oncology and open innovation interactions but also acting as a point for contact for the University.

Duncan has a wealth of experience in technology transfer and translational research. Duncan joined MRCT as a Business Manager involved in the identification, protection and commercialisation of MRC intellectual property. As MRCT business model changed, Duncan moved into a newly created role of Business Development Manager to promote MRCT's collaborative drug discovery capabilities, find new collaborative projects within academia and industry, and then source a commercial partner to help develop those projects to the clinic. These roles gave him experience in establishing and managing a wide variety of contractual relationships with academic, research charity and industrial partners, including shared-risk research, consortia models and licences. In recent years, Duncan has been responsible for sourcing over £3m in non-dilutive funding for translational project, commercial licences of over £25m in value, and led with Alzheimer's Research UK on the formation of the Dementia Consortium, a novel business model to bring together the charity and Pharma sectors to drive new therapies to the clinic.