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Ignite contributors.

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.

Stylianos (Stelios) Kavadias

Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies in Innovation & Growth


Shazhad (Shaz) Ansari

Professor of Strategy & Innovation

PhD (University of Cambridge)

Paul Bourne

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 David Cleevely CBE FREng FIET

Founding Director of the Centre for Science and Policy

Chairman of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

David Cleevely is an entrepreneur who has founded a series of companies including Abcam, Analysys and the award winning restaurant Bocca di Lupo.

He is the Chairman of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, founding Chairman of the Cambridge Science Centre, Founding Director of the Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge and an advisor to local and national government. He also co-founded Cambridge Network, Cambridge Wireless, Cambridge Angels and Cambridge Ahead.

Othman Cole

Senior Faculty in Management Practice (Finance)

PhD (University of Cambridge)

Chris Coleridge

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.

Sophie Costello

Director, Costello Medical

Sophie Costello is co-founder and CEO of Costello Medical, a consultancy providing scientific support in the analysis, interpretation and communication of clinical and health economic data to the pharmaceutical, MedTech, public and charity sectors.

Costello Medical remains privately owned and has grown from a team of two to over 170 people headquartered in Cambridge, with further offices in London and Manchester, Singapore and Boston. In her role as CEO, Sophie provides strategic guidance and scientific direction to the company. She is responsible for overseeing the leadership team and ensuring that everyone at Costello Medical is working in line with the core values of exceptional scientific quality and commitment to outstanding customer service.

She is particularly driven by the opportunity to help the talented team at Costello Medical realise their potential, and is passionate about ensuring that company culture is preserved and enhanced. Sophie holds a first class masters degree in chemistry from the University of Oxford and a masters in bioscience enterprise from the University of Cambridge.

Vincent Mak

Professor of Marketing & Decision Sciences

PhD (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Nicholas Milner

Managing Director, Milner Strategic Marketing

Nick gained a PhD in occupational medicine/ergonomics from the University of Nottingham in 1985 and then joined BT’s Human Factors Division as a research scientist. Following an MSc in Management, he moved into the commercial side of the company as a product manager and then spent four years in BT’s global M&A team working on deals in France, Italy, Ireland and Japan.

During the era Nick was the Chief Marketing Officer at Firstmark Communications and then at Azure Solutions which was acquired in 2006.

He started a business consultancy in the same year specialising in market analysis, strategy and communications for medtech and high tech companies. His company has advised over 150 clients in Europe, North America and Asia.

He is currently part-time CEO at an AI/mental health company and teaches on the QTEC programme at Bristol University. Nick is also part of a research team at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Pawel Piotrowicz

Partner, Venner Shipley LLP

Pawel has over 20 years of experience advising on intellectual property, representing a wide-variety of clients including universities and research institutions based in the UK, the US and in Asia.

He specialises in high tech fields including electronics and software. Pawel prepared and prosecuted the Pedestrian simulation/CONNOR case which was referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal at the European Patent Office, the Office’s highest court, and which is only the second software case ever to be referred to the Enlarged Board.

Pawel has been commended in the Legal 500, Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars and IAM Patent 1000.

John Ridley

Director, 4R Digital

Director of 4R Digital, founded with a view that huge opportunities exist through the combination of connectivity and digital finance, 4RD works together with its partners to discover and incubate game-changing products and services. 4RD especially focus on emerging economies where digital can have immense impact.

Previously as Director of M-KOPA Labs Jon established the new business unit focused on product R&D which within five years developed new products delivering a significant percentage of the company’s revenue (including the PAYG smartphone that has sold more than 90,000 units in nine months).

Prior to running Labs Jon had a long career in international development focusing on private sector development and Innovation Fund, including designing and managing Innovation funds for DFID, the GSMA, the B&MGF (all funding early stage business ventures leveraging technology for social and commercial benefit). In an earlier life Jon co-founded Coral Cay Conservation, and award winning eco-tourism business.

Anthony Rose

CEO, SeedLegals

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.

Jamie Urquhart

Personal projects

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 the ESCO Council.

Jamie is a Fellow of the IET and an Honorary Fellow (Entrepreneurship) of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Richard Vellacott

Former CFO of Horizon Discovery Group

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 Yeomans

Angel Investor

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.

Emmanuel Carraud

CEO, appChocolate

Emmanuel Carraud is an entrepreneur and investor in mobile application, digital marketing and property industry. He is the co-founder and CEO of AppChocolate, the festive mobile apps publisher.

AppChocolate’s most famous app for iPhone and Android, Advent Calendar – 25 Days of Christmas, offers 25 games and gifts for free each year and reached over two million users on iOS and Android.

As a serial entrepreneur, Emmanuel co-founded, the apps discovery specialists, in 2009 and reached over 50 million downloads, ranking number one on the iTunes App Store in over 40 countries.

As a property investor, he manages Maison Invest, which run a portfolio of residential properties, single lets, HMOs and serviced accommodations across the UK.

Emmanuel has over 20 years’ experience in consumer marketing and mobile advertising across Europe. We worked previously as a Brand Manager for Danone and Galbani, a Market Research Consultant for Nielsen, and a Category Manager for Auchan, a leading global retailer. Fluent in French, Spanish and English, he has a masters degree from Sciences Po, Paris, and an MBA from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

He is also helping the next generation of entrepreneurs as an investor and as a mentor for the Masters in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School, since 2015.

Adam Collier

Head of Business Operations, Spirea

Adam is currently the Head of Business Operations for Spirea, an exciting young Cambridge University spin-out biotech developing antibody drug conjugate cancer therapeutics. He is also a business development consultant to other young biotech companies including Antiverse, a company focused on using machine-learning to radically improve the discovery of novel antibody therapeutics.

Adam started his career in academic research with postdoctoral fellowships in virology and oncology and then as a drug discovery scientist and project manager at Vernalis in Cambridge. Having completed his MBA, Adam founded Horizon Discovery, helping to secure early licensing deals and seed funding. After Horizon, Adam held senior business development and management positions at Medimmune, Ablynx and Isogenica where he lead and secured numerous significant technology licensing and collaboration agreements. Adam holds a PhD from the University of Bath and an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School.

Peter Cowley

Angel Investor

Peter Cowley, a University of Cambridge graduate, founded and ran over a dozen businesses in technology and property over the last 40 years.

He has a portfolio of 75 angel investments with ten good exits and thirteen failures.

Peter is a board member of the Global Business Angel Network (GBAN), President Emeritus of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN), former chair of the Cambridge Angels and was UK Angel of the Year 2014. He is a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School and is a public speaker on entrepreneurship and angel investing throughout the world.

Gaynor Fryers

Independent Consultant

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.

Richard Green

Chairman of 8Power, CorrosionRadar, RoboK; Advisor, Senseye; Mentor

Richard is passionate about innovation and helping teams to turn disruptive ideas into market leading product based businesses. He is currently Chairman/Non Executive Director/Advisor of a number of early/growth stage businesses.

He has successfully raised over £50 million in private/public markets and built and exited technology-based companies. Richard was the founder and CEO of Ubisense, the world leader in real time location systems, listed on the LSE in 2011 under Richard’s leadership.

Richard was also the 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.

Nicolas Huber

CEO, ProteinLogic

Nicolas is experienced management executive, with a demonstrable history of delivering within the healthcare industry. He holds a PhD in space science, and have worked in academia, defence, healthcare and software platform development. A generalist by nature, he is skilled in innovation management (particularly in medical devices, including regulatory landscaping), R&D and business strategy. Nicolas combines a strong technical background with strong business acumen.

As the CEO of a biotech startup, he understands the challenges of deep-tech companies, and, wants to give something back. Nicolas has been mentoring startups in medtech/healthtech through a number of accelerators, such as Wayra and RG.

Rafik Jallad

Mentor and Coach, Entrepreneurship Centre

Director, CompanyDeep

Rafik is an international entrepreneur with telecom, high-tech and Internet of Things (IoT) experience. Rafik has the skills required to transform innovative IP into successful and profitable businesses. Rafik latest experience was founder and CEO of BlueCreation, a company focusing on the Internet of Things (IoT). Rafik grew BlueCreation with an international customer base and sold it to NASDAQ listed Sierra Wireless ( in November 2016.

Previously Rafik was Vice President at CSR (now part of Qualcomm) responsible for its automotive division and part of the team elaborating strategy and managing post-merger. Rafik other experiences include Business Development Manager at Ubinetics (Telco company acquired in 2005 by CSR). Rafik has also previously worked at McKinsey on various mainly Internet strategy and operational projects worldwide.

Rafik holds a telecoms engineering degree from the Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from INSEAD. Rafik is a part-time coach and mentor for startups at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Richard Leaver

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.

Alan Platt

Business Strategy and Leadership Consultant

Co-founder and COO, CyberHive

Alan graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1997 with a degree in Engineering. Alan started his career as an electrical engineer, managing infrastructure consuming more than 1% of the total UK electricity supply before moving on to a career in robotics and technology. His experience now covers a wide variety of industries from heavy industry and pharmaceuticals to TV broadcasting and cybersecurity. He has held executive and board roles in engineering, sales, marketing and general management.

Passionate about technology, Alan combines a strong technical background in 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 turnarounds and rapid growth.

As a consultant and sometime angel investor, Alan currently advises several early-stage tech companies. He also sits on the board of several companies, both large and small, holding executive, non-executive and advisory roles.

Steve Watts

Founder and Managing Director, CambridgeIQ

Steve is an entrepreneurial technologist who delivers business results to clients through innovation, product development, business strategy and IP commercialisation. He is the founder and Managing Director of CambridgeIQ, a small technology and management consultancy company. Before CambridgeIQ, Steve spent 20 years at PA Consulting Group where he led the electronic platforms group and worked with clients globally on leading edge technology development.

He focuses on the interface of technology, commercial management and people to help businesses to succeed. He is particularly active in the Internet of Things and sustainable technology across sectors and is passionate about (re)designing businesses around new innovation.

Steve is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Haydn Green Institute, Nottingham University where he mentors entrepreneurs and supports Nottingham University Business School.

Graham Wyllie

Partner, Omera Consulting

Graham has more than 20 years’ experience delivering strategy formulation and transformation engagements. He is a leading supply chain expert and high-tech and telecoms strategist. He has lived and worked across Europe, USA, Africa and the Middle East.

Graham holds a BSc in Engineering, a Sloan Fellowship from London Business School, a postgraduate diploma from the University of Cambridge, and is currently studying for a masters in sustainability leadership at the University of Cambridge.

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)


Dates: 3-8 July 2022

Format: in person in Cambridge (if no restrictions)

Deadline: 12:00 noon, 31 May 2022


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