Our People

Irene Graham

CEO

Irene is 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 their key client and product businesses and led several global M&A activities. Before joining the ScaleUp Institute she was Managing Director at the 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 Angel Association and Small Firms Enterprise and 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 group of trustees, a council and set of patrons drawn from renowned entrepreneurs, academics, captains of industry, leading financiers and corporates all of whom will help steer its work and growth.

Our Board

Sherry Coutu CBE

Chair

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.

Reid Hoffman

Reid is an American internet entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author, and is best known as a co-founder of LinkedIn. He serves on the boards of Kiva.org, Mozilla, Endeavor Global and Do Something. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the MIT Media Lab and is Chair of the Advisory Board for QuestBridge. Reid is a graduate of Stanford University and Wolfson College, Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar.

Martha Lane-Fox

Businesswoman, philanthropist, and public servant, Martha Lane-Fox co-founded Europe’s largest travel and leisure website lastminute.com. Martha was appointed a crossbench peer in the House of Lords in March 2013. She is currently founder and executive chair of doteveryone.org.uk – the first institute dedicated to making Britain brilliant in the networked age. She is also chair of Go On UK, LuckyVoice (which she founded) and Makie Lab, and serves on the boards of the Creative Industries Federation and the Open Data Institute. In 2014, she was appointed Chancellor of the Open University.

Thomas Hoegh

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.

Tamara Rajah

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.

Jon Rhodes

Jon is Director of External Affairs, Marketing and Communications at BGF and a member of the senior management team. He leads BGF’s in-house media and communications function, and is responsible for PR, marketing and key corporate sponsorships. Prior to joining BGF, he was at Brunswick. He is a trustee of Debate Mate, a charity dedicated to running school debating clubs in areas of high child poverty.

Charlotte Keenan

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.

Peter Tufano

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.

Sancho Simmonds

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 scale-up 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.

Louis Glass

Louis is a partner at the law firm Olswang LLP, specialising in M&A, fundraisings, JVs and restructuring with a particular focus on transactions in the tech, telecoms, internet and e-commerce sectors. Louis is also a Trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charitable foundation established to promote the teaching of computer science and related topics to children by developing and marketing an ultra-low-cost computer.

Luca Peyrano

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.

Jon Steinberg

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.

Governance

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