Meet the Scaleup Directors who'll help you

Our team have impressive credentials. When you enrol in the programme you’ll have a designated Scaleup Director, but access to all of them.
Mark, Director of ICAX with his Scaleup Director, Steve, at its proof of concept.

Meet our Scaleup Directors, who work with clients on the Scaleup Programme.

Adrian Allen
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Adrian Allen

Adrian brings to the team over 30 years’ experience in product development, intellectual property management, and investment support for SMEs.

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Specialising in Design for Manufacture and Assembly and integrated product development, Adrian has assisted companies from hardware and software start-ups, to managing the IP portfolio of a multi-million-pound organisation.  

Having worked with leading design consultants in Denmark, user-centred design is second nature.  He has a passion for helping businesses develop practical, efficient, solutions, and is adept at identifying innovative commercialisation models and routes to market.  Adrian also helps companies raise investment.  

Previously he has played a significant role in business support infrastructure development, including the establishment of a regional proof of concept fund, setting up and managing an incubator, launching a Knowledge Transfer Programme (KTP) service, and working with multiple stakeholders to establish a new business park.

In addition to innovation and Scaleup Programme roles, Adrian also manages the UKIPO IP Audit grants scheme for London.

Aldo De Leonibus
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Aldo De Leonibus

Aldo is an experienced entrepreneur, business owner and investor. He is currently the director, shareholder/investor in 10 businesses that span from business support, renewable energy, residential and commercial property, food, accountancy, HR, and IT and across multiple countries. 

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Aldo has a strong ethical vision of business and for this reason, he founded a company to support the development and commercialisation of innovative products and services that have a positive impact on society, the environment and humanity and to support the growth and international expansion of technology-based businesses.

Over the 17 years’ work experience in growing and scaling businesses, Aldo worked directly with over 200 businesses supporting their scaleup journey, their entry and expansion in national and international markets and in raising more than £45m of finance. 

Through the growth of his businesses and client support, Aldo gained practical knowledge of growth business models, commercialisation, internationalisation, sales, finance, and growth strategies. 

Aldo was instrumental in the creation of the Innovate UK Scaleup Programme incorporating the best practices and methodologies gained over the course of this professional career. 

Aldo has a technical background in Mechanical Engineering (MEng) and a Master in Entrepreneurship (MEnt) from Alliance Manchester Business School. He has lived and worked in the US, UK, France, and Italy and is fluent in four languages. 

During his spare time, Aldo enjoys travelling, reading, downhill mountain biking, skiing, horse riding and pretty much any other activity that can be done outdoors. Above all Aldo loves spending time with family. 
 

Angela Hodgson
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Angela Hodgson

Angela has 15 years practical experience of transformation and innovation, she specialises in Organisational Development, Strategy formulation and strategic change management.  Her experience is complemented by her first-class honours degree in Business Information Systems and Post Graduate Diploma in Business Improvement.  
 

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Angela has worked across both the private and public sectors supporting larger organisations and SMEs.  She is sector agnostic having previously worked within automotive, software development, maintenance, housing, local government, and charity organisations.  

For the last 9 years, Angela was part of the Senior Leadership Team at Bentley Motors driving forward transformational change globally. Throughout her career, Angela has won multiple external awards including Global PMO of the year, Best HR Impact, Best Change Management Initiative and Contribution to the Community.

Angela has a personable style and likes to build relationships with businesses to really understand them.  She is passionate about people and helping businesses to maximise talent within their own organisation to drive exponential growth.  She collaboratively uses a range of tools to identify areas for improvement and develop innovative future strategies.  She acts as a Coach to businesses to embed improved capability and consistent usage of innovation tools to drive repeatable business success.   

Angela is also passionate about helping charities in terms of fundraising, helping them to shape future strategies and volunteering her time.  She also volunteers to provide coaching and mentoring to nurture future talent.  

Angela is a Scaleup Director on the Innovate UK Scaleup Programme.  She actively supports a range of business to implement impactful and sustainable change.

Brian More
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Brian More

Brian is an experienced Intellectual Property Director, technology transfer and business growth consultant with a demonstrated history of delivering value to businesses through intangible asset management. An enthusiastic professional skilled in Negotiation, Business Planning, Innovation Management, Analytical Skills, and Coaching.

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Brian was awarded the 2009 Lord Strafford Technology Transfer Champion Award for work in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

Brian has overseen the scaleup of manufacturing businesses through research, development and full-scale commercial production and worked extensively with the venture capital sector on early-stage funds. Brian has worked on multi-million-pound IP valuations for Guernsey-based wealth management companies and helped businesses in the UK and North America looking to raise capital on their IP assets, resulting in investments of over £150 million.

He is passionate about the use of IP as a business asset and was the founder of the UKIPO Master Class on IP, designed to up-skill business advisors on the commercial aspects of IP. He has taught over 600 business advisors and company executives and works closely with the banking sector on recognising the true value of intangible assets as security backing for loan or investment deals.

Brian is currently advising the European Commission on equity fund management and investment into healthcare-related technology and is a consultant to the Malaysian Government in technology transfer best practice, including the strategic management of intangible assets within the HEI sector.

Brian holds a DPhil in nuclear spectroscopy physics from Sussex University (1986), a BSc in physics from the University of Stirling (1981) and an MBA from Coventry University (2008).

Brian has been responsible for starting 25 companies, including Europe’s largest AIM-listed consumer product business for safety products.
 

Charles Ward
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Charles Ward

A business graduate, Charles has 30+ years commercial experience across a variety of industry sectors and has been coaching and facilitating regularly since 2014. 

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His career includes marketing and sales roles with multi-nationals 3M Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson and De La Rue leading to senior European positions in Digital and Compaq. In the latter cases driving the pivot from technology to service-based propositions which involved leading on major change programmes. In 2000 Charles became director of techUK, the industry body for the UK’s ICT sector, delivering services to 850 member companies, mostly SME’s.

Charles’ business coaching credentials are derived from his time at techUK through working with a variety of businesses, professional advisors, and investors.  During this period, he led several business growth initiatives that provided him with a unique insight into the performance drivers and KPIs of successful tech SMEs as well as deep understanding of common scaling challenges.  In parallel he has been an advisor to New Zealand Trade & Enterprise since 2005 supporting over 30 globally ambitious Kiwi companies with UK and European market entry.  

With go-to-market strategy and internationalisation as areas of expertise Charles applies business design thinking to the core management priorities in helping clients to create fit-for-purpose business models for rapid growth.  

Charles is well-networked and has had spells working in the US, Switzerland, and South Africa. His style is collaborative and collegiate yet challenging when needed.

Charles is an active NED of an IoT software development company targeting international defence and health sectors; itself starting the scale-up journey.  He also has interests in MedTech as well as a niche food delivery platform founded by his entrepreneurial daughters.  Charles is a keen sports follower and, in his heyday, captained amateur cricket and football teams.

Chris Ellis
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Chris Ellis

Chris has lived and worked in the Cambridge area for 30 years, moving from London after an early career in publishing with Centaur Communications, having played a central role in the launch of Design Week Magazine – sister title to Marketing Week.
 

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He has held interim Marketing Director roles with several businesses, in FinTech, Construction and Cold Chain sectors and has extensive experience of working with Food Brands, Financial Services providers and technology businesses, investing in one tech venture which AIM-listed.

Before joining the Enterprise Europe Network business support ecosystem in 2018, Chris was Head of Marketing & New Business for a software development business which specialised in Red Hat (now IBM) middleware technologies.

A Scaleup Director since August 2019, Chris brings a wealth of practical experience to the commercialisation challenges facing scaling businesses, with demonstrable expert knowledge of strategic marketing, direct and indirect sales channels, digital transformation orchestration, IP protection, brand building and the identification of appropriate tactical initiatives designed to deliver ROI. His empirical learning has been supported by development work at Cranfield Business School and via membership of the IDM (Institute of Digital & Direct Marketing).

Having spent 4 years achieving HCIMA professional management qualifications in the hospitality industry, Chris blames an early 80’s stint in the offices of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Agency with Sodexho, for triggering the career change into creative industries and remains continuously fascinated by the power of branding…done well.

When not supporting innovation-led businesses at work, Chris is a keen golfer and has twice served on the Management Committee of Ely City Golf Club where he has been a member for 28 years. As the father of three talented daughters all working in the creative industries in London, he keeps up to date with the latest ManTech platforms and moans hypocritically about the amount of screen time his family clock up.

Chris Price-Jones
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Chris Price-Jones

Chris has 45 years’ experience in manufacturing, leading and being part of Research and Development teams turning ideas into commercial reality in both large corporates and SMEs.

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His ethos and approach to scaleup is that it is best characterised as a team activity, the most multidisciplinary initiative any company can undertake.

He started his career as part of the Boots Company management development programme. Chris joined the company in 1975, shaping his interest in innovation, development and scale-up.

Chris has managed scaleup projects from “bench to board” level, for blue-chip companies such as Boots, Cadbury, Beecham, Callard & Bowser Group and Leaf Group. He has managed truly transformational growth projects, including taking Smith Kendon to become Callard and Bowser Group (from 100 to 2000 people).

He is chairman of BIC Innovation, who have been helping companies to “scaleup” for over 15 years, turning ideas into something tangible that is of real commercial value. He is an MRSB, MILM, and gained most of his management training through corporate programmes, additionally trained in achieving world-class manufacturing standards.

As a University Lecturer in Innovation, Chris has a deep understanding of the skills and people challenges that being a scaleup business brings.

Even for relaxation, Chris is interested in how things work - so restores motorcycles and cars in his spare time. He is a keen biker and has been known to indulge in a track day burn or two!

He also follows rugby and cricket and helps to look after the family menagerie of 3 horses and 2 dogs.
 

Chris Speakman
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Chris Speakman

Chris specialises in Business Development and Marketing Strategy, Finance Strategy and Leadership Development, with a Senior Management career spanning over 25 years within both Corporate and SMEs. Having held positions including Head of Operations, Head of UK Sales, Head of Risk, Operations Director and Director of Business Development, Chris brings his wealth of knowledge in building successful Corporate Divisions and SMEs to complement our Scaleup Director Team.

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Initially a Building Surveyor, Chris moved into Finance, leading the key Joint Ventures division within the Bank of Scotland, working alongside, and growing partnerships with Scania, Heidelberg, JCB and Barclays. In Underwriting Finance for the likes of Porsche and Ferrari Maranello, he progressed to managing Risk within three years, holding a personal £1m and joint £10m mandate. Chris then accepted the challenge of building two businesses within ICT; a c£1.2m Turnover SaaS company which he helped grow to over £3.5m and a full Managed Serviced IT business which also grew from c£2m to over £5m.

He progressed in joining BT Business to build an Enterprise Business Division, where he introduced and lead new technical business development teams, processes, procedures, and key partnerships to grow the division from zero base to c£40m Revenue and 34% GM. Chris joined EE’s largest outsource partner to drive them to achieve their ambitious 3 x growth. Heading up their 90 seat North West Business, under Chris’ leadership they grew to c300 staff, and he introduced a new management structure, implementing 10 Sales and Service Managers, 5 Operation Managers and 200 Account Managers. Turnover increased threefold.

As a current Director of Business Development, he believes strongly in growing successful partnerships, delivering the right values in driving the right culture, and supplementing these with a clear strategy, direction, and support.

Out of work, Chris spends his time with his two wonderful children, Olivia and Daniel, and family, becoming quite the den builder along the way. In believing he has already experienced the heights that Manchester United are going to reach in the foreseeable future, he now only attends a couple of games a season.
 

Craig Huntingdon
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Craig Huntingdon

Aged 24, Craig led a £1.1m MBO to acquire his first business, a wallpaper manufacturer. The business expanded rapidly through internationalization, doubling turnover within 6 months. The business scaled beyond £10m thereafter and Craig successfully exited via a trade sale in 1999.
 

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In 2000, Craig was appointed Trading Director at Aldi, a position he held for over 10 years. He oversaw the repositioning from 'Dirty Discounter' to 'Household Hero' followed by exponential UK growth beyond £2 billion, one of the most talked-about success stories in recent times.

With a keen interest in disruptive business models, Craig self-funded the launch of a dental group having identified that market requirements were not being met. Following a successful pilot, private equity was raised to support a national roll-out. 

Seven practices across the UK and Dubai were opened within two years, via an innovative franchise model and represented some of the fastest growing in the sector. This was recognised with Craig named Runner Up in the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards - Emerging Talent category in 2013. Following an aborted trade sale in 2016, the practices were disenfranchised and now continue to operate successfully as individual entities.

Craig has since invested in several businesses across the technology, healthcare, hospitality, and recruitment sectors working hands-on with Boards, management, and leadership teams to build value and drive growth. 
More recently Craig has taken on some selected business support and advisory roles which he finds incredibly rewarding given his engaging, creative and collaborative approach.

A northerner, educated in Newcastle, living in Durham with a lawyer wife and teenage son ensuring he never wins an argument or stops fixing punctures. 

His interests include all things sport, especially football, rugby, and golf. He has a love-hate relationship with a loyal but destructive Labradoodle called Stanley.

Emma Douglas-Beet
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Emma Douglas-Beet

Emma has co-founded several businesses over the last 18 years, including a Marketing Agency, Grant Support organisation and Equity Investment (Investment Readiness) business. Through her knowledge of sales and marketing, she has not only supported founders to launch, scale and grow new innovations, but also guided them to secure over £20m equity funding from Angels, funds, and crowdfunding platforms. Over the last few years, she has built a black book of investors and has personally worked with 100’s of companies over her career.

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Emma’s core skills include access to finance, sales and marketing and building partnerships for growth. As an ex-business owner, she understands the ups and downs of the business journey and is an empathetic advocate of the founders she has supported, based on real life experience.   

Her ability to connect individuals has led to many long-term partnerships built up over the years. Emma has organised events that connected over 1200+ businesses, Angel Investment Summits, Pitch events and has reviewed 1000’s of investment decks. Her deep understanding of what investors want to see and hear makes her not only a great all-round mentor but also the potential key to unlocking your next fund raise.

Having joined Innovate UK EDGE when it was known as EEN in Nov 2019, her knowledge of the Government's landscape of support, both financial and actual, has grown tenfold. This has led to several of her clients unlocking hard to find funding that is not always visible to the general viewer.

Emma has two children, Phoebe (11 years) and Sophie (10 years), a Dogue de Bordeaux (Turner & Hooch dog) and is a very keen cook, having graduated from the famous Prue Leith Cookery School.

Heather Abrahams
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Heather Abrahams

Heather has over 25 years’ experience in senior roles within both the private and public sectors. Her roles have included Client Development Consultant, Commercial Manager, Regional Business Development Manager, Account Director, Programme Director, and Investment Executive with organisations such as Capita, Logica, HSBC, QPC Group, Welsh Government, and the Development Bank of Wales.

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In her current role as an Innovation & Growth Advisor with BIC Innovation Ltd, Heather helps businesses to identify barriers to growth and overcome innovation challenges to scale internationally. 

She is passionate about supporting SME’s reach their full potential and has great admiration for the dedication and tenacity inherent in these businesses.

Heather’s key personal successes include securing an £8m contract providing a next-generation wide area network for six Local Government partners and securing substantial sales for a first to market software solution for the global telecoms market whilst working for a UK scaleup company. 

Having assisted many SMEs to access funding including Angel, debt, mezzanine, and equity investment as well as her experience gained working at a senior level in a scaleup company, Heather understands the challenges from both an institutional investor and scaleup company perspective and is ideally placed to assist the companies on the scaleup programme.

Heather is a member of CIPP and CIPFA. 

In her spare time, Heather enjoys spending time with family, yoga, playing the saxophone, walking, and researching local history.
 

Jim Doherty
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Jim Doherty

Jim is a focused and commercially experienced finance professional having worked in both small and large organisations within the SME sector. With over 25 years’ experience of financial delivery both at senior management and board-level Jim brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the need for strategic financial planning and delivery. His roles have been varied and cover multiple sectors.

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Key skillsets and knowledge base are centred around financial management, processes, and planning. Jim understands and appreciates the financial needs of SME’s, managing internal and third-party stakeholders as well as a deep knowledge and experience of the corporate finance world. Jim has a significant network of contacts covering all sources and types of funding including Angel networks, HNW individuals, Venture Capital firms, Private Equity, Debt providers and the ever-growing Alternative Finance sector. 

Jim can deliver both strategically and in a “hands-on” way helping scaleup companies to formulate and develop financial modelling for funding as well as offering a high degree of expertise in deploying financial strategies.

Jim understands the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and their team having founded a lift manufacturing company in his late 20’S, growing to 45 employees, 2 million turnovers within eighteen months, clients included Thyssen, Kone, Otis, Fujitec, Mitsubishi and Schindler. 

Jim has been instrumental as an SME Finance Director, in closing significant funding rounds from a variety of providers.

Jim also has interests in two technology companies having helped them to achieve early-stage seed and series A funding. Jim has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Sheffield Hallam University.

Jim has five wonderful children (mostly adults now) and a beautiful granddaughter whom he dotes on. Other interests away from work include Ornithology, a passion for reading and ongoing learning and Liverpool Football Club supporter.
 

Jim Tunstall
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Jim Tunstall

Jim is an experienced business executive, entrepreneur, and business advisor. He has over 35 years of main board experience in large corporate and SME environments, holding CEO, Managing Director, Commercial Director, Divisional Director and Sales & Marketing Director roles with organisations including Paperlinx, Reed Elsevier, Bunzl plc and Stora Enso Oy.

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Additionally, Jim has served on the Supervisory Board of the £2 billion turnover distribution division of a major global paper manufacturing and distribution group, defining best practice, advising on education, and monitoring performance.

Subsequently, Jim built his own small group of SME companies from a zero base to over £10 million turnover and has experienced the high and lows of developing a business in often unforgiving economic and political environments. 

Accordingly, he has great empathy with entrepreneurs and business owners for the challenges they face, particularly in navigating the often confusing and complex business support landscape.

A multi-disciplined executive and sector agnostic, Jim adopts a holistic approach to business growth and development, operating as a generalist practitioner and catalyst bringing constructive objectivity, and adding real value. Specialisms include Strategy, Leadership Development, and Commercialisation.

Jim holds a first degree in education (BEd Hons) from Lancaster University (1972), an HND in Paper and Printing Technologies (1975), and an MBA from the University of Salford (2010). 

A Fellow of the Institute of Paper, Printing and Publishing, Jim is a certified and accredited behavioural analyst and practitioner (TTI Success Insights DISC) and business coach, with a commitment to both life-long learning and promoting authentic leadership. 

Relaxation these days for Jim involves his four adorable grandchildren, following all sport, playing duplicate contract bridge and high stakes rubber bridge, and both supporting and lamenting his beloved Manchester United. 
 

Joanne Phoenix
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Joanne Phoenix

Joanne has a passion for helping technology-based and IP-rich companies and over the last 20 years has worked in a variety of consultancy and business support roles which have all revolved around helping companies position themselves for growth and access to funding. 

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She has nine years of academic research experience; industrial product development experience (senior scientist, clinical nutrition company SHS International); strategic business development and multiple Board experiences with VC-backed start-ups and is familiar with all aspects of the challenges faced by high growth potential technology and IP-based businesses. 

As a specialist Business Consultant, experienced CEO and Board Director, Joanne works with early-stage SMEs, start-ups, organisations seeking growth and University spinouts. With a strong network of contacts, Joanne has successfully built and supported operations in both private and public sectors in fields as diverse as medical devices, educational software to consumer beauty products and latterly established the Liverpool University Enterprise Zone, Sensor City, where sensor developments, big data, AI, and Smart City approaches were all part of the day-to-day activities.  

As CEO, she was responsible for the first commercially available automated diagnostic for diabetic eye disease; helped to deliver the Access to Funding Growth Accelerator programme as Growth Manager in the North West and was part of the Life Science team at BAFI. She has created strategy and business plans, delivered commercial support, raised funds, and put the vital relationships in place for organisations to achieve growth, harness competitive advantage and achieve profit.  Her approach to supporting companies is one of friendly challenge and her key strengths are in identifying opportunities and positioning for fundraising. 

Joanne holds first (BSc Joint Hons Medical Cell Biology and Biochemistry) and second degrees (PhD, Dept of Medicine) from the University of Liverpool and is continually immersing herself in new technologies and ideas through her work as Non-Executive Investment Director on behalf of Deepbridge Capital and as an External Board Observer with the Technology Venture Investments team of Development Bank of Wales. 

Relaxation for Joanne is firmly rooted in walks in nature, particularly in North Wales, and indulging her creative side with painting. 
 

Kathryn Green
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Kathryn Green

Manager in a range of industries enabling profitable growth and challenging norms. In the last 14 years, she has worked with Tech Start-ups as a hands-on leader, providing a clear vision for teams and building consensus to accomplish strategic goals, adaptable to change. Skilled in Business Transformation, Investment & Grant funding, Growth Scaling, Value Creation, Stakeholder communication, Business & Financial Planning, Tax Accounting, Critical thinking, Implementing Policies and Processes and Leadership. Kathryn has strong professional consulting skills. 
 

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She gained a BA Hons in International Business & Italian from Brunel University and Masters. Then went to work in various senior positions at NatWest, 3M, AOL, and Bupa. Responsible for turnovers from £3-£400M.

More recently Kathryn joined Reach Robotics as Finance Director, set up the international finance structure and secured investment and grant funding of over £10M.

Working on the recent Covid19 business support programme, she has helped companies pivot into new sectors and geographical areas. Kathryn has supported businesses to realign their strategies, understand new potential product and services, key drivers, route to market, value propositions, whilst preparing companies to be in a good position for future investment and funding.

She has joined as Scaleup Director to be part of a network of experienced consultants. Kathryn brings a wealth of Finance and Commercial experience to the team but is also a generalist. She is excited to work with some of the most ambitious disruptive companies in the UK and be part of their journey to scale up success.

Kathryn loves working with Start-up, growth scaling businesses. She enjoys meeting new people, understanding their business vision, and adding value to help them reach exponential growth.

In her free time, she enjoys going out with her teenage daughters, travelling, learning languages, playing tennis, going to the gym, and walking her dog a West Highland Terrier called Rigsby.

Malcolm Cohen
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Malcolm Cohen

Malcolm has a PhD. in Cellular Immunology and over 35 years of experience in business and advisory work. This includes more than 25 years running a group of companies manufacturing cabinet doors primarily for kitchen and bedroom furniture manufactures / distributors. 

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This business was in the UK, North America, Europe, and China. Malcolm was Group Finance Director and subsequently, Executive Chairman overseeing many acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Strategic Alliances and Greenfield start-ups. He managed an IPO, fundraisings and an MBO. 

Over the past 10 years, he has focussed on providing high-quality International Trade Advice to SMEs in London and in the South East and, more recently, on leading a large team of Advisers covering both International Trade, Innovation and Business hubs. 

He recently established a joint venture to promote a soft landing for UK and International SMEs looking to set up a base in the USA. Malcolm is now the Managing Director of a large Advisory Team of 140 staff. 

Malcolm was appointed a JP in 1992 and spend 25 years on the Adult, Youth and Family Courts as well as leading the Administration of the Magistrates’ Court Service nationally until it was merged into Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service. He is married with 2 children and 5 grandchildren. 

Malcolm is well equipped to advise growing SMEs on a wide range of issues to support their scaleup journey and business growth. 
 

Ian Donald
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Neil Donald

Neil started his career at GEC Alstom, obtaining a degree in Microelectronics & Microprocessor Design Engineering from Salford University. He then joined Lucas Automotive as a manufacturing engineer, adding process engineering to his skills set (Kaizen, Kanban, JIT, Lean 6-Sigma and Cell Manufacturing).

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A move into consumer electronics saw Neil transition into a European Sales & Marketing role at TDK FAS, working with brands incl. Sony, Toshiba, Nokia, Motorola, JVC, Ericsson, Sharp and Pace Microelectronics.

From there Neil applied his skills-set to the printing & packaging industry (conventional & digital), progressing up the value-chain into the Brand Marketing industry. This move coincided with the proliferation of digital consumer-facing technologies, giving Neil a distinct advantage in this emerging discipline.

Now working as an independent consultant, Neil was able to combine his expertise in technology, complex process mapping, marketing content creation, sales activation strategies and behavioural economics to deliver holistic and transformational client solutions.

Neil guided leading B2B & B2C brands on the implementation of impactful and sustainable change, the likes of Xerox, Royal Mail, ASDA, Lloyd’s Banking Group, NHS & Pets at Home benefitting from his insights on digital transformation (DX) projects.

Simultaneously, Neil recognised the need to nurture the next generation of innovative UK businesses and is a long-time advocate for this, working in a voluntary capacity for several incubator / accelerator programs, sacrificing professional and personal time to act as Mentor for innovation start-ups. This passion burns strong as ever, with Neil now providing the benefit of his experience as a Director on the Innovate UK Scaleup Program.

Neil is a keen volunteer with Canal & River Trust and The Friends of Castleton Station and is often to be found enjoying a ride, a run or just a walk along the banks of the Rochdale Canal.
 

Paul Jenkinson
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Paul Jenkinson

Paul is an experienced Non-Executive Director, investor, and business advisor. He has a degree in Civil Engineering and an MBA from Manchester Business School. Paul has twenty years’ corporate experience with Blue Circle Cement, BPB Industries, British Gypsum (Plaster & Plasterboard) and Anglian Water in group strategic planning and line management roles. At British Gypsum he led the start-up of a gypsum-based flowing floor screed business. 
 

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For the last fifteen years, he has worked with many SMEs, helping them with their growth via strategic and business planning, investment readiness and fundraising, with extensive contacts into the Business Angel, Venture Capital, and Crowdfunding markets. 

Paul has worked for Beer & Partners (Business Angel Network) and Connect Midlands, part of Warwick University, which ran investment readiness programmes. He has invested in Shadow Foundr, a crowdfunding business and was, for a period, on their Advisory Board. 

More recently Paul has worked as a consultant and a Non-Executive Director and has to date personally invested in twelve high growth companies. Paul has an interest in SME Board performance and improvement and holds a distinction in the IOD Diploma in Company Direction. 

Paul is an experienced Business Mentor and a Member of the Association of Business Mentors. He is currently studying for an ILM Level 7 (Masters level) qualification in mentoring. He has a passion for helping companies grow and helping entrepreneurs/Directors develop themselves. 

Paul originates from Yorkshire, but lives in exile in Leicestershire, is married, has a border collie and flat-coated retriever, is a keen golfer and flat green bowler. 

Steve Smith
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Steve Smith

Steve has over 30 years' experience as a technology and business consultant working since the late ’80s at Board level. Steve has worked across Europe and the USA leading technology businesses large and small.

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Steve has led multi-million-pound fundraising campaigns for and on behalf of a range of diverse, primarily technology businesses - from large fibre management through to computer gaming but also life sciences, education services and manufacturing.

He championed the Digital Sector for the Liverpool City Region helping drive equity investment into high growth companies and acted on behalf of both the Liverpool Seed Fund and Merseyside Special Investment

Fund working closely with the Chief Executive and specialising in the digital and software firms within their portfolio.

Recently he has acted as Interim CEO and Chair for several technology firms including a significant spell with an international software firm.

Steve conceived, developed, and delivered the international pitching event format “Software City” and ran it in Silicon Valley, Boston, London, Helsinki, and Liverpool bringing a wide range of technology businesses to the UK and European investor community.

As well as a broad knowledge set and vast network, Steve has considerable experience in managing relationships at board level. Comfortable at Board and C-suite level Steve offers the Scaleup Board a wide range of experience in growth finance, sales and business development and international expansion.
 

Tony Brooks
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Tony Brooks

In 2002 Tony formed an electrical engineering business and went on to scale the company from £155K TO in year 1 to £5.5M TO in year 13 with over 55 employees. 

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Tony then led the sale of the Company to VINCI Energies at the end of 2015. He then stayed with the business for a further 3 years helping with the integration into the corporate business whilst assisting further acquisitions. 

Tony grew the business year on year, he went through the pain of growing a team and developing a structure, managing the finance, making sure they got paid and managing all contractual & financial risks, they moved properties and had to develop the infrastructure to support the business needs and then made the business sustainable before successfully selling it. One of Tony’s specialities is Business Development. 

For the past 20 months, Tony has concentrated most of his time on the Scaleup Northeast programme as a Scaleup Partner, working with the Senior Leadership Teams in the SME community to help develop the action plan for the client scaleup journey. 

During this time Tony has assisted 80+ companies across the region, they have had some great results, worked with a wide range of companies, and found that they have common challenges regarding the strategic growth, they are usually: leadership & planning, sales & marketing, finance, infrastructure, and skills & talent. 

Tony moved to the North East in 2012 and has fallen in love with the area. He lives in Morpeth and is married to Lian and has two young girls Amelia and Alexis, he also has two older children in Nottingham, Laura, and Ben. He loves football, golf, tennis, F1 and pretty much all sports. He has also recently completed one of his long-term goals which was to complete his first self-build project.
 

Viney Chauhan
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Viney Chauhan

Viney is highly passionate about innovative technologies that could have a positive impact on society. Over the last 7+ years, Viney has supported, as an adviser, over 150+ innovative SMEs around innovation, commercialisation, and growth strategies. 
 

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In his current role as Operations Director, Viney is helping the company to address all the issues relating operational functions and keep abreast of latest developments to ensure that the company maintains its competitive position whilst growing regionally and internationally. 

Viney has managed and delivered several multimillion European projects over the last 5 years. He has a demonstrable track record of delivering profitable client partnerships based on building strong working relationships. Adept at articulating critical business challenges, synthesising ideas, and creating innovative strategic plans to exploit business growth opportunities.  

Viney has gained extensive market research experience while working with innovative SMEs. Leveraging the power of data analysis and market research, Viney has facilitated several commercial partnerships between clients and international partners. This includes connecting with one advanced manufacturing client with Ferrari’s Racing Division in Maranello.

In the current Scaleup programme, Viney is supporting clients by providing them with a holistic view of different access to finance schemes available regionally and nationally. Providing investor profiling, pitch deck analysis, and facilitating discussion with Investors for Scaleup clients who are looking to raise money through the equity route. In addition, Viney has helped several innovative SMEs in raising over £7m+ in funding through the Innovate UK and European grants. 

Born and raised in India, he comes from a family of innovative farmers. His academic background: - Bachelors’ in Software Engineering and Masters’ in International Business Management. Cricket is Viney’s religion, avid reader of autobiographies and his moon-shot project is investing in the research of paddy varieties which can grow in every drought-prone area in India. 

What our clients say about us

Mark Hewitt ICAX

We’re thriving in a disruptive sector with Innovate UK EDGE support. Its strategic input has been invaluable to help grow our business

Mark Hewitt
ICAX