Start Ups and Scale Ups

Edward Inns

Investment Manager, Williams Advanced Engineering

Roderick Beer

Roderick Beer, Managing Director, UKBAA

Roderick’s career spans over 15 years of managing, founding and growing angel groups and investment platforms that have collectively deployed over £100m of equity investment in more than 500 startup and scaleup businesses.

He started his career at Beer & Partners, one of the first and largest angel groups in the UK, and later helped form and grow a corporate finance firm as their COO.

He is now the Managing Director of the UK Business Angels Association, the trade body for angel and early-stage investing, representing over 200 organisations and 18,000 investors around the UK.

Chloe Harvey

Equity Campaigns Manager at Crowdcube

Chloe is an experienced Account Manager and advisor previously working with international companies such as Castrol and Mondelēz. Over this time, she’s managed Marketing campaigns, supported on strategies to scale brands and project ventures, and has also worked with companies to build and strengthen corporate communications and company culture, understanding the importance of a passionate, frugal and courageous team. She now applies her experience consulting with start-ups who are looking for corporate finance via Equity Crowdfunding with Crowdcube, working with entrepreneurs to understand the true value of their business, reap the benefits that inherently come with crowdfunding, and build effective strategies for a successful fundraise and opportunity to scale.

Oliver Woolley

CEO of Envestors

Oliver co-founded Envestors, the digital platform enabling networks and fundraising companies better connect with investors. With over 80 partners licensing the white-label funding software, a total of 10,000 investors have registered across all platforms and have invested over £100m into 200 early stage ventures.

Oliver is a Board Director of the UKCFA and a Member of Court at Imperial College London. He was previously a Board Director of the UK Business Angel Association (UKBAA 2008-14).

Prior to co-founding Envestors in 2004, Oliver built a healthfood business (Woolleys Healthfoods) comprising three retail catering outlets in central London and three organic sausage shops and a factory in the south-east of England, which wholesaled to 200 establishments including Harrods. In 1997 he sold the business to Northern Foods and moved into early-stage investing.

Tom Kennard

Director, Granted Consultancy

Tom is one of the Granted Consultancy Directors. Specialising in disruptive technology solutions, Tom brings clarity to the alignment between strategic goals and funding requirements to ensure successful outcomes and achieved goals. In the past 5 years he has helped companies raise over £50m in non-dilutive grant funding and crowdfunding.

David Solomides

David Solomides is Expert in Residence at the University of Exeter Innovation Centre

Following a career in banking, David created his own tech group and then returned to banking as Global Head of Business Services with Deutsche Bank. Since this time, he has created and run businesses within Clothing, Consultancy, Education, Recruitment, Risk, Software Development, Technology and Training. He is also an experienced Non-Executive Director and has sat on the boards of businesses involved in: Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Libraries, Young Enterprise, Conferences and Events, Education and Business Consultancy, a Free School and university spin outs. David is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, a Professional of the Institute of Operational Risk and is a past SETsquared Business Mentor of the Year.

Philippa Roberts

Co-founder and CEO at Binit Group Ltd

Philippa is an innovator and entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Binit. A specialist in the circular economy and particularly in resource flows of waste and water, she set up Binit to bring about change in the waste management industry. Binit provides brilliant recycling and rubbish services for businesses in the South West.

Roger Killen

Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence, University of Exeter

Roger is a Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence, a role in which he is seeking to accelerate the transition of University research into impactful commercial enterprise. He is hosted by Prof John Terry at the Living Systems Institute.

Roger is a serial entrepreneur. He founded The Learning Clinic (TLC) where he invented the category of electronic hospital observations, a category in which TLC (VitalPAC) are the clear global leader. Prior to founding TLC, Roger was co-founder of Dr Foster Ltd, which rapidly became the market leader for research into medical outcomes, and the number one hospital benchmarking company in the UK. He has been a serial entrepreneur since earning an MBA from Stanford Business School in California in 1990.

Steve Kitson

Founder and CEO IMPAX Consulting Ltd

Steve Kitson is an entrepreneur and a physicist. In a career that spans academia, government, multinationals and start-ups, he has developed technology ranging from quantum optics to adaptive camouflage that changes colour. In 2013 he founded Folium Optics and grew it to £1m revenue without taking external investment. The business developed a plastic display technology that is paper thin, robust and highly efficient. In 2019 Steve successfully exited the business – he has now founded IMPAX consulting which helps early-stage tech companies build effective businesses that can bring game-changing technologies to market.

Jon Williams

Director at Granted Consultancy Ltd

Jon, Director at Granted Consultancy, has 20 years’ senior commercial and financial management experience, including 15 years in senior commercial roles at prominent UK biotechnology, medtech and functional food companies. He has helped over 125 innovative SME businesses, from a variety of sectors, identify and secure substantive funding awards.

Kirsty Semple

Start Up Advisor, Fund Raising and Investment Mentor

Kirsty is a trusted, accomplished chartered accountant and subject matter expert in commercial and public sector accounting, staff management and cross-functional partnering, perfected from over 20 years leading high performance finance teams at prestigious UK and US organisations.
Kirsty has worked across all sizes of business, from advising UK-based owner-managed start-ups to restructuring North American, Asian and EMEA territory offices to achieve maximum growth and profitability. She is currently working as Fundraising Mentor, Growth Advisor and Non-Exec Director to various entrepreneurial and high growth start-ups in the South West.

David Fry

CEO Brain in Hand

David started his career at PwC, where he trained as an accountant, before becoming a business consultant. David then moved to PA Consulting Group for 10 years, where he was a partner in its Government Business, advising on developing new business and partnerships between the public and private sector.

David has been a director of several healthcare companies, advised on social enterprise and innovation, and is an associate of the Social Research Unit, an independent charity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of children.

Whilst at Brain in Hand, David has taken the company from early product concepts through rigorous market testing, to commercial launch. David continues to work closely with the Department of Health, leading Autism organisations and an abundance of individuals to ensure the company stays close to its vision and continues to deliver solutions that meets the market’s needs.

Toby Mottram

Founder of Milkalyser

Professor Toby Mottram FREng, FIAgrE, PhD,BA(Hons), BSc. is the founder of three companies and a prominent figure in the UK agricultural engineering sector holding the inaugural position of Douglas Bomford Trust Chair of Farm Mechanisation at the RAU, Cirencester, 2012-2017 where he taught wireless sensor data capture and analysis to farm students. He began as a working herdsman in the 1970s and retrained as an engineer. During his academic career he co- invented robotic milking, developed cow breath sampling, in-line milk analysis and the rumen telemetry bolus. After Silsoe Research closed he focused on the pH bolus producing a commercially viable bolus product which has sold worldwide since 2011. The eBolus provides continuous and accurate data from within a cow’s rumen to aid researchers and farmers improving dairy cow management. It is supported by a web enabled data management system. He completed a BBSRC/Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship in 2016 to develop Milkalyser and subsequently raised £1.2m to develop the prototype which has now been demonstrated at Agri-EPICentre. The company is currently raising finance to take the Milkalyser product to market in 2020.

Kezia Williamson

Knowledge transfer manager, specialising in business innovation and development at Innovate UK

Kezia is an experienced knowledge transfer manager, specialising in business innovation and development through access to funding and finance. She has facilitated numerous collaborations and helped companies and consortia to secure innovation funding. She has also overseen EU-funded research projects. Kezia was previously part of KTN’s agri-food and bioscience teams, where she managed an FP7 project, 3SR (Sustainable Solutions for Small Ruminants), and coordinated the SPARK Awards scheme. She has a degree in Biological Sciences.

Jason Hayward-Jones

Director, RegenFARM

Jason has had a successful career in the agricultural sector, working for a number of not-for-profit, commercial and government entities, in developed and developing country contexts. Jason brings all this collective experience to bear on the issue of regenerative agriculture and how it might be promoted to provide benefits for all stakeholders. Jason has been an advocate of regenerative agriculture for over 20 years and have inserted it into program and business design wherever appropriate. I have hands-on experience over a 25 year career in agricultural development and agribusiness, working internationally in a variety of different production systems. Jason has redesigned 1 million hectare cattle stations in Western Australia using regenerative agriculture principles, 0.5 hectare school/community farms in UK, and many other different types and sizes of agriculture and land use projects. The principles for all Jason’s design and development work are the same with a collaborative participatory approach, local ownership and self-determination key factors in success. Jason has formal educational qualifications in Agriculture (BSc Hons) and Agronomy (MSc) completed in UK and USA.

Mandy Nyarko

Managing Director and Advance Programme Manager at Exeter Velocities

Mandy leads the Exeter Velocities team developing the startup support programmes, and focusing on the long term strategy, as well developing strategic relationships with relevant partners both public and private sector. With 8 years’ experience in banking, Mandy has developed skills within Operations, Management and Customer experience. Her most recent experience within the last 5 years has centered around startups, which has given her the opportunity to work with hundreds of entrepreneurs across various different sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, fintech, clean tech, medtech, foodtech, biotech, and many more. Her core skills within the startups industry has been designing and delivering accelerator/incubator programmes, coaching, investment readiness, and building a relevant eco system.

Kathryn White

Innovation Manager at the Environmental Futures & Big Data Impact Lab

Kathryn currently works in the Impact Lab, matching local SMEs with the skills and resources available within the university and across the programme partnership. The Impact Lab supports SMEs to develop innovative new products, services or processes which exploit Big Data technology and have a positive impact on our environmental future.
Kathryn has extensive experience in corporate and startup innovation, including eight years with Royal Bank of Scotland, with three years in Silicon Valley working on Open Innovation with startups and larger technology companies. She recently took a year to carry out on-the-ground research into innovation ecosystems in emerging markets, travelling through 20 countries in 8 months across 3 continents. You can view some of this research at

Jake Ronay

Investment Lead, SETsquared Scale Up Project

Jake has over 15 years’ experience leading digital and technology projects, teams and businesses. He has an MBA and a successful track record developing and deploying new technology projects between £5million and £1billion. Jake has led large-scale innovation and change programmes across multiple sectors, working for blue chips – Tesco, Greater London Authority, Dixons Retail – and high-growth digital start-ups.