Our mentors have decades of experience and will work with you one-on-one to help you launch your business!
Adam started his entrepreneurial career by co-founding, growing and selling an online publishing company, Magicalia. He is now a partner at Devonshire Media, which has created and runs businesses in software, online media and digital services.
Adrian started his career in software development at a young age. He was involved in developing technologies related with Bluetooth Low Energy, Indoor Positioning and Cloud Computing. Over the last 6 years he helped to conceptualise, design and publish mobile apps and he is very passionate about translating ideas into successful products.
Adrian is currently working as CTO at Classlist, a fast growing private social network for parents with the mission to make parenting easier and pupils happier.
Ben is an experienced marketer and enterprise educator with a passion for helping young (and not so young) entrepreneurs turn great ideas into successful start-ups.
Currently with a day job at Oxford-based creative agency One Ltd, Ben has previously set-up business plan and startup competitions for the University of Oxford, Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge) and City University London, where he was Head of Entrepreneurship Education, and also co-founded the FFWD pre-accelerator programme: “It’s always amazed me that no one has started a FAB in Oxford before, the region is stuffed full of entrepreneurial talent and it’s about time it had more support from programme’s like this.”
Chris worked in banking and investment management for over 30 years, the bulk of which was spent running Sales businesses for US and European investment banks.
The final 8 years of his City career were spent in the alternative investments sector – specifically, working for a well-known systematic Hedge Fund as Director of its European Distribution.
Since early 2016, Chris has been helping (and conspiring to lose lots of money in) a start-up fashion brand. Through this he has gained a lot of valuable – if very expensive – small business lessons…
Chris is an Oxford graduate and linguist.
Darryl is one of the pioneers of the internet and a serial entrepreneur in the sector. He founded the Internet Bookshop in 1992, the first commercial internet site in the UK and one of the first 5 commercial web sites in the world. He grew it to become the largest online bookseller in Europe before selling it to WH Smith for £10m in 1998. He went on to found Travelstore, an online travel business travel management company, which he grew to a staff base of 270 and a turnover of £27m per annum. Since then he founded Bye Bye Standby, a businesses concentrating on delivering energy saving solutions into the home which sold over 1 million units and Enistic which develops systems that help organisations reduce their energy demand and comply with energy related legislation.
Darryl is active in the investment world, has often spoken on the international conference circuit and has helped many internet companies get through the early stages of their existence. He has lead the fundraising of over £47 m in external fundraising for various companies and has considerable first hand experience of the private equity and venture capital environments including the processes involved with mergers, acquisitions and taking companies public.
He has sat on over 30 company boards ranging from “one man bands” through to fully listed companies and has a good understanding of company and board level operations and dynamics.
Eric is founder and chief enthusiast at Inbound Marketing specialists BabelQuest. Having spent years solving ‘mountains of other people’s problems’ for M&S, Fujitsu, GE and Avnet, he decided to go and learn from some of his own mistakes instead.
His first bit of advice? Don’t spend money on marketing until you know what your buyers want. There is so much great information freely available to you, you just need to ask the right questions.
Winner of HubSpot’s Grand Prize for Sales Enablement in 2016, BabelQuest help growing businesses get a massive impact in a short space of time.
Guy started Locale in 2005 from his kitchen table and has grown the business over the last 10 years to be the largest and most innovative entity in the world of property communications and management systems, working with the largest developers and agencies and some of the UKs most iconic developments including The Shard. He now employs around 18 people and spends his time between the office in Oxford, meeting up with clients in London and juggling life around business and his four teenage children.
Julian has a BA in Economics and Mathematics and an MSc in IHRM and worked in an international business environment before he started his own start ups. Over the last 5 years he successfully co-founded software and hardware tech start ups and his expertise is in IP, business strategy, fund-raising, operations and early customer acquisition.
“Michal has worked in the start-up environment going on 9 years, filling the roles of Chief Engineer, VP of Engineering and recently moving to a CFO position. With his background in mechanical engineer and his MBA, he has developed new products, taken them to market and supported products post point of sale. He is very familiar with managing and executing the various stages of product life cycle, as well as building and managing the appropriate supply chain.”
“I’m a Director for Yell Design, a digital agency focused on 2 and 3 dimensional design. In this role I lead the company’s marketing efforts, overseeing a team of design and sales professionals and managing the annual spend. I’m truly passionate about design and always eager to connect with people from the industry and beyond. While I enjoy all aspects of my work, I think my favourite stage of a project is working with the client or business unit leader to understand his or her business objectives. As we go through that collaborative process, the ideas start to flow and that’s always the fun part.
Over the last few years I have cofounded a couple of successful startups and most importantly worked with a number of exciting ones helping them develop their design language and their brand. I look forward to working with the teams in Fab accelerator and taking them to the next level and beyond.”
PHIL SHADBOLT, OBE
Phil Shadbolt, co-founder of Zeta, has managed the company since its inception in January 1989. Phil is a highly competent entrepreneur and innovator with the ability to identify customer requirements and match this to a commercially viable solution. Phil has grown the team to enable Zeta’s planned growth and is determined to drive the business to meet the high development aspirations.
Phil is committed to pushing the boundaries of R&D by continually developing new innovative solutions within the lighting industry. He is part of several local enterprises including Bicester Vision and the LEP, and is also a Governor at Oxford Brookes University
Phillip is a Chartered Accountant with an MBA from Cranfield, he has had a varied career in Finance, Marketing, Sales, Operations and General Management which led to a CEO role in a quoted business.
Several times Phillip had the itch to strike out on his own but in wasn’t until 2000 that he actually took the plunge and wondered why he hadn’t done so earlier.
Since that time he has founded or invested in several businesses and working with various Private Equity partners he has created huge shareholder value as they have developed.
He is currently CEO of the business he founded in 2007 which has grown quickly from a pure start-up to an enterprise value of £200m, employing 600+ people and is on the road to an IPO in the next few years.
From being involved in running the family business since an early age to, getting start-ups ready for investment, Placi certainly loves the buzz of making a difference by supporting entrepreneurship.
She is a bit of a presentation guru, an experienced mentor with Oxford Entrepreneurs and the Deputy Chairman for Oxfordshire Business First and definitely enjoys networking….some could say too much
Rupert Wilkinson is the founder of Oxford Product Design, taking all types of product from the idea stage through to being available to buy in the market.
Working with clients ranging from global household names through to startup entrepreneurs developing Kickstarter campaigns, no one day is ever the same for Rupert. His personal sweet spot is handheld electronics devices, but he’s experienced in everything from everyday consumer products to highly technical robotic medical devices.
Being a bit of a geek when It comes to new technologies, Rupert has recently invested in state of the art 3D Printer, and launched Oxford Rapid Prototyping, a new arm of his existing business.
Sandy is an engineer by training. He has run several manufacturing and logistics businesses, and has considerable experience in high growth companies and acquisitions. Oxfordshire based, he is also an active angel investor
Stephen is an ex-teacher, ex-banker and current entrepreneur! Having spent a number of years working 70 hour weeks in London and New York Stephen realised that his passion lay outside of large corporates, so he quit (the best thing he ever did!) to start his own thing.
Stephen is the founder of Catalyst Founders, who look to find the next generation of entrepreneurs, providing them with access to capital, a startup ‘toolkit’ and a ready made network. Stephen is also a partner at Openwell and is in the process of setting up a Social Impact fund. Finally, Stephen recently opened Oxford’s newest (and best) shared workspace; Openworks Oxford.