Irene Graham OBE
Irene is the CEO and a board director of the ScaleUp Institute. A former senior banker at Standard Chartered Bank where she held both European and global managing director roles, she set up, ran and scaled several of the bank’s key client and product businesses and led several global M&A activities. Before joining the ScaleUp Institute she was Managing Director at the British Bankers Association (BBA) responsible for Commercial Banking. She led the Business Finance Taskforce set up by the CEOs of the UK banks which resulted in the creation of the BGF, the Enterprise Research Centre, the SME Finance Monitor, and Mentorsme as well as many other key export and business policy initiatives on which Irene advised Government and industry. She is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University and sits on the advisory boards of the UK Business Angels Association, Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative and Stratford Circus Arts Centre.
Irene has a small, permanent staff who also draw on the expertise of the ScaleUp Institute’s supporters and partners. The ScaleUp Institute has a high-calibre board and a wealth of committee members and ambassadors drawn from renowned entrepreneurs, academics, captains of industry, leading financiers and corporates all of whom will help steer its work and growth.
Sherry Coutu CBE
Sherry is an entrepreneur, investor and advisor who currently chairs the Financial Strategy Advisory Group for the University of Cambridge, the Scale-Up Institute and Founders4Schools. She is a non-executive director for the London Stock Exchange Group and Zoopla. She also is a Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London and serves on the Science, Industry and Translation Committee of the Royal Society. Sherry was awarded the CBE for services to entrepreneurship in 2013. In 2014 she authored the Scale-Up Report from which the Scale-Up Institute has been created.
Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne is a chef and entrepreneur. After completing her degree in Physiology at Queen Mary’s, University of London, she went on to train at Leith’s School of Food and Wine, before honing her skills at Conran’s Bibendum Restaurant. Lucinda’s entrepreneurial breakthrough moment came when one of her sons was diagnosed as gluten intolerant and she discovered there was no tasty gluten free bread available. She resolved to develop this badly needed product herself. On the back of this ground breaking innovation, she founded Genius Foods in 2008 and launched her bread nationwide a year later. Since the first listing of Genius bread, Lucinda has overseen the creation of Britain’s leading “free-from” bakery brand, revolutionising the industry and normalising the lives of millions of people who have to or choose to live on a gluten free diet. Genius now exports to Europe, Australia, and North America from its bakery in West Lothian.
Lucinda is a Non-Executive Director of both the National Skills Academy of Food and Drink and of the ScaleUp Institute. She was also recently nominated as one of the Maserati Top 100 Innovators and named in the top 100 Women to Watch in the annual Cranfield University Female FTSE Board Report 2018.
Simon Calver is Head of Investments at BGF. Simon is best known for his 7-year tenure as CEO at LOVEFiLM, one of the successes of the UK venture industry – leading the eventual exit to Amazon in 2011.
He went on to become CEO of Mothercare plc, kickstarting the turnaround plan and accelerating international expansion in over 30 countries. Before this he worked at multi-nationals such as Unilever, led PepsiCo in the UK, and was General manager at Dell. He is also currently chairman of Moo.com and chemistdirect.
His degree was in Computer Science – although he does say technology has changed a little bit since then.
Sahar Hashemi OBE
A former lawyer, Sahar Hashemi founded Coffee Republic, the UK’s first US style coffee bar chain with her brother and built it into one of the UK’s most recognised high street brands with 110 bars and a turnover of £30m.
She left the day-to-day management of Coffee Republic in 2001 and published a bestselling book, Anyone Can Do It, Building Coffee Republic from our kitchen table, which has been translated into 6 languages and is 2nd-highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson.
In 2005 she founded Skinny Candy, a brand of sugar free sweets which was sold to confectionery conglomerate Glisten PLC in 2007.
In June 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE for services to the UK economy and to charity.
She is currently co- chair of the Government Scale Up Taskforce and is actively involved in the roll-out of Change Please, a social enterprise that trains and hires homeless people to run coffee carts. She is finishing her third book, “Start Up Forever, 10 ways to behave like a start up when you’re not a start up” based on her experiences of working with large organisations.
Investor and entrepreneur, Thomas is the founder of Arts Alliance, Arts Alliance Media and the Met Film School. He oversees a portfolio of high-growth businesses in the creative sectors, and directs films and theatre under the name Torstein Blixfjord. Thomas sits on the boards of Kenshoo, the Met Film School, Kebony, and Plan-UK. He is a visiting professor at Kanazawa Institute of Technology and from 2013 has served as a trustee of the Wim Wenders Foundation.
Charlotte is Head of Corporate Engagement, EMEA at Goldman Sachs. She oversees the 10,000 Small Businesses programme in the UK as well as the Office of Corporate Engagement which leads the firm’s impact investing and philanthropic work.
Previously, Charlotte was the Chief Executive of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation where she was integral in devising, building and developing all the Foundation’s global programmes as well as leading the strategic vision of the Foundation. She also serves on the Board of the Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience.
Luca Peyrano is responsible for primary markets activity in Europe for London Stock Exchange Group and is Managing Director of ELITE, LSEG’s innovative support program for inspiring growth businesses. He has over 16 years of experience in the industry. Luca started at Borsa Italiana in 1999, responsible for admitting companies to list on the Italian market and then moved on to manage the SME market offering until 2007. Following the merger with London Stock Exchange, he took on his current position as head of primary markets Europe. Prior to Borsa Italiana, Luca worked in the consumer goods sector and in the automotive industry. He holds a degree in Business Administration from Bocconi University in Milan and received an MBA from IMD in Lausanne. Luca is a lecturer at several business schools and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for OIV, the Italian organization to set and update Italian Valuation Standards applicable to companies, financial instruments and tangible assets.
Tamara is an entrepreneur and founder of Live Better With, a healthcare e-commerce start-up for patients with long-term conditions. She has been published widely on high growth entrepreneurship and on what it takes for start-ups to scale to their fullest potential. She has presented on these topics at several global forums including MIT, the G8 Innovation Conference, the World Bank and Bloomberg. Tamara is a former partner at McKinsey & Company who led the firm’s knowledge and client work on entrepreneurship in life sciences, digital and technology.
Dr Andy Richards CBE
Andy is an entrepreneur and investor with an established track record in founding and scaling up innovative Biotech and Healthtech companies in the UK. He is Chairman of Arecor, Congenica, Abcodia, Closed Loop Medicine and The Babraham Research Campus and is a Director of Silence Therapeutics plc, Ieso Digital Health Ltd, and Owlstone Medical. He is also a director of Cancer Research Technology, a member of CRUK and on the advisory board of the CRUK Early Detection Centre. He is an advisor to several investment funds including Cambridge Innovation Capital, Albion Capital and the UCL Technology Fund and was, until recently, a director of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Andy is a Cambridge Graduate with a PhD in Chemistry and an early career spanning positions with ICI (now AstraZeneca) and PA Technology. He was a founder and executive director of Chiroscience plc until its merger with Celltech in 1999 and since that time he has founded, invested in and helped to scale more than 25 innovative ventures including companies such as Vectura, Arakis, Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd and Geneservice. Andy is also a founder member of the Cambridge Angels, and received a CBE for services to life-science investment in 2015.
Sancho is a partner at Smith & Williamson, the accountancy and financial services group. He and his team provide a full range of commercial, financial and taxation services to entrepreneurs and their companies, from earlier stage to fully listed entities. Sancho’s client portfolio focuses on scaleup businesses across a variety of sectors, many of which have international operations. He is Chairman of the Nexia International audit committee and a member of the ICAEW.
Jon is Public Policy Manager, EMEA at Google where he works on economic issues across Europe, demonstrating the economic impact of the Internet and building support for entrepreneurs and scale-ups across the region. He serves on a number of advisory boards including the Camden Business Board and the Knowledge Quarter. Before moving to London, Jon served as Deputy Communications Director for US Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and on political campaigns including John Kerry’s 2004 run for US President and Hillary Clinton’s first campaign for US Senate.
Peter was appointed Peter Moores Dean and Professor of Finance at Saïd Business School in July 2011 and is a Professorial Fellow at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Prior to joining Oxford, Peter was a faculty member at the Harvard Business School for 22 years. He is a prolific scholar and course developer, a seasoned academic leader, a social entrepreneur, and an advisor to business. In 2000, he founded (and now chairs) the Doorways to Dreams Fund, which works with partners to help low income households successfully manage their financial needs.
Our Committee members
Talent and Skills Committee
Access to Markets Committee
Managing Director, External Innovation, BT
Finance and Risk Committee
Founder, Invoke Capital
The ScaleUp Institute is a private sector, not-for-profit company focused on making the UK the best place in the world to scale up a business.
We are governed by our Main Board which comprises independent directors and directors from the membership as well as the CEO. Day to day operational management is delegated to the CEO.
Main board meetings are held quarterly and our advisory council, comprised of all supporters, meets twice a year. To ensure a strong governance a number of main board sub committees have been established. These include:
- Nomination and remuneration committee
- Audit and Risk committee
- Evidence Committee
- Thematic Committees covering the core areas of need for scaleups