One of our core values is to involve experienced and new entrepreneurs, practitioners and service providers in the delivery of all programmes, as they have the credibility to teach entrepreneurship through sharing their own experiences and knowledge and inspiring future entrepreneurs. This creates direct links between students and the business community.
All the contributors to the Ignite week are actively involved in the creation and development of new ideas and ventures. In all, there are 80-100 Contributors; most of them are leading entrepreneurs, innovators and professionals who have gone through similar types of experiences that you yourself are currently facing.
Fellow in Creative Engagement, Cambridge Judge Business School
Paul works in creative engagement in three key sectors; as a professional theatre director, as a University teacher and as a consultant & coach in creative communication, storytelling and presenting.
In Executive Education and teaching of entrepreneurship, his key areas of interest are working alongside artists exploring creativity in the workplace, enterprise thinking, collaborative working, communication impact and transformational leadership.
He has most recently worked with a wide variety of retained clients focusing on two key areas: cultural shift with the Dubai Stock Exchange (DIFC), Liverpool Football Club, NIKE and Sberbank (Russia), and communication impact programmes for management and staff with Fairtrade, United States Armed Forces and McLaren Formula One Racing.
His work as a master coach in EPIC Presentation and Pitching Skills has been utilised by Chief Executives and Board Members of Arctic Start Up, Universum, Novartis, Procter & Gamble, NIKE and Philip Morris. As well as being a Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Paul is a Professorial Fellow of the Moscow School of Management and the Stockholm School of Economics.
Dr Robert Wardrop
Management Practice Professor of Finance
Director & Co-founder of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF)
Senior Faculty in Management Practice, Cambridge Judge Business School
Chris is Senior Faculty in Management Practice at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. A former entrepreneur, for 15 years he has been teaching and carrying out advisory work in strategy.
He has won multiple awards for his teaching, sits on numerous startup advisory boards and advises corporates on partnering/ecosystem strategy. He holds an MBA from London Business School, an MSc in Social Psychology and a PhD in Management from the London School of Economics.
Anthony is a technical and product visionary whose career has included 3D graphics, P2P music, internet video, social TV and online communities. In 2016 Anthony co-founded SeedLegals, a revolutionary new legaltech platform that lets startups and investors complete the legals needed to build, grow and fund their business, at a fraction of the cost of using a law firm.
In 2015 Anthony founded 6Tribes, a world of communities based on shared interests. 6Tribes was acquired less than a year later. Previously, Anthony co-founded Beamly, a social and content network for television, which was acquired by Coty in 2015.
Known as “the man behind BBC iPlayer”, Anthony ran the iPlayer and other BBC services from 2007 to 2010, taking the iPlayer from pre-launch to major success story.
Anthony’s patent portfolio includes patents for distributed online rewards, content discovery and interactive television.
Until recently Jamie was a Venture Partner with Pond Venture Partners, investors in early-stage companies in the fields of semiconductor, communication, wireless and software. His current interests are IoT and the development of embedded control systems.
He has a BSc from Bath University in Physics and Physical Electronics and started his career in analogue and digital chip design at Plessey Research (Caswell), Jamie left Plessey to join Acorn Computers in 1984 to start on the implementation of the ARM processor, later managing the VLSI Design team. Jamie was part of the founding team of ARM Holdings from its inception in November 1990 until November 2002.
At ARM he undertook a number of roles, including VP of Sales and Marketing, Chief Operating Officer when the company floated on NASDAQ and the LSE, and latterly Chief Strategy Officer. After ARM he was an angel investor, before joining Pond Venture Partners as a Venture Partner.
He has experience of working with public companies and startups in operational and non-executive roles. He chaired the ESCO Steering Group whose report in 2013 led to the formation of theESCO Council.
Jamie is a Fellow of the IET and an Honorary Fellow (Entrepreneurship) of Cambridge Judge Business School.
In seven years as deputy CEO, CFO, COO and Company Secretary, Richard was instrumental in growing Horizon Discovery Group from an emerging private company of £3 million revenue in 2012 to a recognised global leader in gene editing delivering revenue of £60 million at a valuation of £350 million. Richard stepped down from the Board of Horizon in January 2019 to pursue other interests.
From 2010 to 2012, Richard was Vice President, Finance at CSR, a dual-listed FTSE 250 technology company with $1 billion of revenues. Previously, he was a director in Deloitte’s life sciences practice, working with leading companies such as AstraZeneca, Vectura, CAT, Acambis and Abcam. He specialised in capital market transactions including numerous IPOs, M&As and fundraisings on AIM, Main Market and NASDAQ.
Richard is a qualified chartered accountant with a first class degree in biological sciences from Durham University. Richard is a life science thought leader, has advised the European Committee on funding for life science companies and is a mentor of aspiring talent.
John chaired Cambridge Angels from 2013-2016. He specialises in growth data and communications businesses. He is chairman at Wazoku (software for ideas management) and Rabble, which makes fitness fun. He is a director and trustee of onebillion, which provides primary tablet-based learning in maths, reading and writing across the third world, and which won the Global Learning XPrize sponsored by Elon Musk. He is also director of Hybrid Access Technologies, which offers faster broadband; and of Rovco, which uses AI and machine learning to perform undersea surveys using advanced vision and location (SLAM) systems.
John is also chairman of the First Capital advisory board, an investment bank specialising in growth technology businesses. John mentors entrepreneurs. He is an engineer whose career was in telecommunications, involving contract research; a startup in office automation; product management, sales, marketing at Mitel; consulting at KPMG and investment banking at HSBC, where he led their global TMT corporate finance team.
Becky helps teams increase productivity and decrease presenteeism. For companies who want to invest in their employees to help prevent burnout and build resilience, leading to increased wellness, productivity and emotional agility. Taking the burden off HR departments she delivers effective workshops and coaching for impact in under 10 hours.
The driving force behind Becky’s practice is direct experience of building resilience in NHS and fire service teams alongside corporate organisations, wanting to help equip others in high stress roles with the tools to bounce back from the inevitable challenging stages within organisational development, personal and professional spheres.
Being ILM, CIPD qualified and in the process of ICF accreditation and having also coached a broad spectrum of people from entrepreneurs and consultants to artists and food writers, Becky helps her clients to uncover underlying limiting beliefs.
Now an independent consultant, Gaynor was previously Vice-President of Business Development at AstraZeneca. Her UK and US teams were responsible for identifying, evaluating and negotiating opportunities in the areas of oncology, infection, personalised healthcare and science & technology licensing.
Gaynor joined AZ in 2007 from Cambridge Antibody Technology, where she was the VP for Business Development. Before joining CAT she worked at Bespak and at Bio Products Laboratory.
Gaynor has a wide range of experience in healthcare organisations, including licensing, merger, disposal and company acquisition. She has worked for large and small organisations, the public and the private sector, and has established startup and JV businesses.
Gaynor has a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford and an MBA from Manchester Business School. She regularly coaches for Cambridge Judge Business School and lives near Cambridge with her husband.
Partner at Boundary Capital Partners LLP
Guest Professor at Beijing Science and Technology University
Richard Leaver is an experienced Cambridge-based CEO and non-executive director with perspective and insight into creating and sustaining value in technology-rich growth businesses at all stages of investment and with an absolute focus on growing revenues through effective business development. He has board experience ranging from CEO of a listed PLC, to a number of non-executive directorships over the last decade in a variety of private and public companies.
Following a successful 11-year career progression in defence and security with BAE Systems (including development of one of the first UK intelligent telematics vehicles), Richard moved to Cambridge in 1994 to work with the international technology consulting Generics Group (now Sagentia Group). From 2001 he worked as a fund manager. He then left to set up and lead a new offshore Homeland Security Fund in 2006 and from 2008-2012, was CEO at a London-based listed company investing in Homeland Security technologies.
Richard is a founding partner in early-stage technology venture capital firm Boundary Capital Partners, making a number of key investments. He is a non-executive director of Image Scan Holdings, a Visiting Fellow to the Faculty of Business and Law at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge; an Honorary Entrepreneurship Fellow for Durham University Business School; an external tutor for Warwick University Business School in Entrepreneurship and a mentor for both Cambridge Judge Business School and the Cranfield Business School. He is particularly active in China and Spanish-speaking countries where he has a degree of language proficiency.
Andrew has a long history of identifying, developing and managing innovation within corporate environments and notably created and implemented an 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.
He has been involved in the creation and development of a series of companies including Investing for Good, Working Knowledge and The Mapp and is involved as a non-executive director at several growing technology companies.
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 is an accomplished author including, Inventuring – why big companies must think small (McGraw Hill, 2003), Services (Kogan Page 2013), Marketing Metrics (CMP 2015), Innovation in Marketing (CMP 2016), Marketing Strategy (CMP 2016) and Contemporary Challenges (CMP 2017). These books reflect Andrew’s extensive experience in the areas of business start-up and in the specialist area of innovation management, marketing and corporate venturing.
He is currently Head of Practice and a Mentor in Residence at Cambridge Judge Business School.
Accelerate Cambridge Mentor, Cambridge Judge Business School
Reinhard Eschbach has more than 30 years’ significant practical experience, specifically focusing on digitalisation, digital marketing, business development, change management, and restructuring areas, such as e-commerce, product development and IT within several industries like travel, financial services, retail (food and other consumer goods).
He has worked in several senior executive roles up to board level, implementing cultural and organisational change with a strong focus on business improvement combined with key strengths include setting strategic directions, problem solving combined with sound technical understanding and the ability to translate business requirements into technical solutions.
A subject matter expert with the skills, knowledge and confidence, to lead and implement highly complex and sophisticated projects from start to finish being able to make effective judgement and prioritisation calls and influence at all levels. Several developments and implementations from new business ideas into a proper operation.
Accelerate Cambridge Mentor, Cambridge Judge Business School
Babita Devi is a coach and entrepreneur with nearly 30 years’ experience in marketing, strategy, and business development. Babita started her career in Enterprise Resource Planning where she successfully built pipeline through clearly defined strategies with measurable outcomes. She quickly progressed into management in her early 20s and then went on to work for the world’s largest optics company. As part of the European Marketing team, her role encompassed brand strategy, communications development, and implementation planning.
In 2004, Babita emigrated to Australia and set up bStrategic. Whilst in Australia, Babita’s work ranged from developing strategies for the launch of a major Civic Centre to raising investment for a major art complex.
Babita now resides in the UK where bStrategic has been operating since 2006. Clients have included the University of Birmingham where Babita was responsible for a complete overhaul of all commercial services offered by the university and successful implementation of a program that led to a direct increase in bookings. Other clients include Opus5K (clinical monitoring software) where Babita was responsible for identifying opportunities for commercialisation in the NHS. Babita has also worked extensively in the licensing industry during her time at Amscan International, where she advised on marketing and mentored the marketing team. Her role transitioned into Head of Strategy and quickly grew license revenues through product and market development in EMEA. She also set up a technology company in 2015, where she created an app to improve communication between communities, has lectured on entrepreneurial marketing at Anglia Ruskin University and Lincoln University Business School and has co-authored a book aimed at female entrepreneurs.
Babita is an advisor to several organisations in technology, medtech and games. As an independent consultant, Babita supports personal and business development, to scale up high potential, innovative start-ups and SMEs through Accelerate, Oxford Innovation and more widely across the UK, through Barclays Eagle Labs. Babita is part of several networks focused on supporting female founders and entrepreneurs and is a connector, bringing together strategic partners and supporting and growing networks of innovators, thinkers and change makers.
Chris has significant experience in pharma, biotech and healthcare, and is an internationally recognised Company Director and Business Coach with a sustained record of achievement in global pharmaceuticals, healthcare technology and management consultancy.
He was UK Sales and Marketing Director at AstraZeneca and from 2002-2018 provided commercialisation and management consultancy to global Pharma as Company Director at Oxford PharmaGenesis, an internationally renowned health science communication consultancy which was recognised by the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2015. His expertise includes global launch excellence and strategic brand planning for more than 15 brands across a wide range of therapy areas, driving commercial excellence and new selling models, and providing management coaching on a one-to-one basis exclusively with chief executive officers and board directors.
Chris has practical hands-on experience in growing and shaping businesses of all sizes and all stages – new or early ventures, SMEs or top ten pharma – and supporting them in realising commercial opportunities and developing business models for scalable growth to achieve maximum commercial success and shareholder value.
Chris has experience in Europe, US, APAC and LATAM and is particularly interested in personalised medicine, genomics and wearables, encompassing access to doctors, access to medicines and advances in early diagnosis.
Lord Karan Bilimoria
Founder of Cobra Beer
Vice President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
Karan Bilimoria is the founder of Cobra Beer, Chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership Limited, a joint venture with Molson Coors, and Chairman of Molson Coors Cobra India. In the Monde Selection, one of the most prestigious quality awards in the world for beer, the Cobra range have collectively been awarded a total of 111 Gold and Grand Gold medals since 2001, making it one of the most awarded beers in the world.
Lord Bilimoria is the Founding Chairman of the UK India Business Council, a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, a former Chancellor of Thames Valley University (now the University of West London); he was the youngest University Chancellor in the UK when appointed. Karan was a former Senior Non-Executive Director of the Booker Group now TESCO PLC (2007-2016); he is one of the first two visiting entrepreneurs at the University of Cambridge; he is a founding member of the Prime Minister of India’s Global Advisory Council. In 2006, Karan Bilimoria was appointed the Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, making him the first ever Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the House of Lords. In 2008 he was awarded the Pravasi Bharti Samman by the President of India.
Lord Bilimoria is an honorary fellow of Sidney Sussex College Cambridge and previously Chairman of the Advisory Board of Cambridge Judge Business School, Cambridge University. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young and graduated in law from the University of Cambridge. He is also an alumnus through executive education of the Cranfield School of Management, the London Business School and the Harvard Business School. In July 2014, he was installed as the seventh Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, making him the first Indian-born Chancellor of a Russell Group University in Great Britain, and he is the President of the UK Council for International Students Affairs (UKCISA). Since 2017 Lord Bilimoria has been a Bynum Tudor Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford.
Lord Bilimoria is an Honorary Group Captain in 601 Squadron Royal Air Force. In June 2019, he was appointed Vice President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)