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Work experience

2017now
Rainmaking

Venture Builder

Developing new digital ventures around e-commerce logistics and supply chain with backing from a Fortune 100 company. Leading on the technology side of the venture building process, but with a lot of input into strategy, business model and deal structure. Developed a web-based lean experiment knowledge base app that we used to run our business model validation work. Built a web-based technical documentation product that helped us communicate tech decisions to stakeholders from the investing business. Then for the actual user-facing products, focused on a build using a serverless architecture made up of small universal web apps using a Graphcool, Node, GraphQL, Apollo, Postgres, CosmosDB, React, Next.js / Gatsby.js stack.

20162018
Makelight

Technical co-founder

An online learning community of around 90,000 creative women who come to us to get inspiration and education on how to improve how they communicate their work through imagery, social media and via the latest tech tools. During the processes of building the business I've broadened the range of technologies I'm familiar with to include GraphQL, GCP, React and Vue. 

20152016
Rainmaking / InMotion Ventures

EIR / Venture Studio Lead

A one-year engagement to prototype and develop multiple digital products in a new venture studio being set up by Jaguar Landrover, and operated by Rainmaking. The studio is now InMotion Ventures, and several of the products from that time have now emerged as standalone ventures.  I hired several teams, collaboratively ran our studio processes, and also worked hands on on one of the products. We developed ventures with a variety of modern technologies including React Native, serverless cloud functions and micro-services.

20132015
Makeshift

Founder/CTO

A startup studio dedicated to giving a leg up to the little guy. The model was to build a series of small digital prototypes based on our own ideas, test them out rapidly by releasing and getting feedback early, then investing in the ideas that show the most promise. From about forty or fifty code sketches in the first year, we worked on a cohort of twelve prototypes in twelve months, with three of those progressing with a team, revenue and growth in year two. As the technical founder/CTO I wrote a lot of the early code on these products, and our preferred stack involved Ruby on Rails, Heroku, AWS and PostgreSQL, although around that time ReactJS appeared and is where I first started using it. Comment-worthy projects during that time – Unicorn Hunt (Exit to Tiny in 2018), Attending.io (popular free events platform), Producthunt (launched on one of our tools by the founder), Accenture (won a business & arts award).

20092012
Aframe

Technical co-founder

One of two co-founders of a video production and collaboration platform for professional film and TV makers. Built the initial prototypes, developed and filed patented business processes, coded much of the early platform, hired and ran a tech and product team, lead on architecture and tooling. The company raised several million of venture funding and a scaled up to a staff of thirty during my time there. 

20092011
Channel 4 – 4IP Innovation Fund

Help Me Investigate - Technical Partner

One of the first investments from Channel 4's innovation fund 4IP, Help Me Investigate was a website for people to ask difficult questions that they couldn't get answered elsewhere and collaborate with other people in their local community to answer them. The project resulted in the influential "BCCDIY" local government project, which was a collaborative, community-built city council website, as envisioned, designed and built by Birmingham residents.

2008-092010-12
Clore Leadership Programme

Fellow

I undertook an amazing and intensive two years of leadership development, training, mentoring, coaching, networking and personal development supported by the Cultural Leadership Programme.

20092010
Made Media

Business development associate

I assisted with business development and consultancy for cultural web agency Made Media, including several EU-funded projects in collaboration with Birmingham University.

20092010
Odadeo

Seed-stage tech founder

A prototype web platform for fathers to discuss parenting issues and become better fathers. I moved away from sales and creative direction and back towards software development by teaching myself Ruby on Rails. After the seed phase, we'd not proven the business, so didn't continue with the idea. As always, timing is everything and now there are several prominent services doing what we were building back then.

19992009
3form

Co-Founder, Creative Director, latterly Managing Director

A multi-award-winning digital studio. Our first major project was Vivienne Westwood's international website, which we ran for around six years. Major clients included Coca-cola, Mars, The V&A Museum and Toni & Guy. 

Education

19961999
University of Birmingham

B.Sc Computer Science

20082010
Clore Leadership Programme

Fellowship

I undertook an amazing and intensive two years of leadership development, training, mentoring, coaching, networking and personal development supported by the Cultural Leadership Programme.

Voluntary / CULTURAL work

2013now
Member of Court

University of Birmingham

I sit on one of the governance bodies of the University, where have oversight on the appointment of the chancellor and scrutiny of the organisation's progress.

2009now
Industrial Advisory Board Member

School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham

I advise the school on their approach to growing the department, the content that they provide and how best to work with startup tech businesses.

2015now
Ignite Accelerator

Venture partner

Ignite is one of Europe's best pre-seed accelerator programmes. I've been involved as a speaker and mentor, giving the teams an insight into hacks, prototyping, rapid experimentation and learning about what to focus on at the beginning of an idea.

2013now
Heber Primary School

Governor (chair for three years)

I volunteer at my local primary school, where I led the school through a consultation on academisation, the retirement of our long-standing head teacher, and the recruitment of our new substantive head, and seen  the school move from an Ofsted rating of "needs improvement" to "Good" with several areas at Outstanding. In the process I've learnt how to govern effectively, work with the local authority on a wide range of challenging issues such as child protection, understanding pupil data and school funding in an environment where all London schools are seeing a sharp decline in funding.

2014now
Distribute the Future

Co-instigator

In collaboration with two schools and a computer science teacher, we have developed classroom activities to inspire children to get into robotics and technology.

20122012
Comic Relief

Technologist in Residence

A collaboration between Sidekick Studios and Comic Relief on rapidly developing a set of experimental year-round digital fundraising products.

20122012
Creative Scotland / Sync

Technologist in Residence

I was resident technologist on the beautiful, blustery Scottish Inner- Hebridean island of Eigg (population 90) on an innovative project to enable technologists and artists to collaborate.

20062009
St. George's School Edgbaston

Board member

My first experience of school governance was as a board member for a local school in Birmingham.

20032010
Type

Co-founder

Type is a record label and artist collective specialising in modern experimental music. I co-founded the label, which is now run by John Twells and has released upwards of 120 albums over its life, and was listed as one of the Guardian's top 10 independent record labels in the UK.

20072009
Creative Republic

Director / Co-founder

I was one of the founding members of Creative Republic-an independent, representative group for the creative and cultural industries of Birmingham and the West Midlands region. We influenced policymaking and developed createdinbirmingham.com, a blog which went on to win numerous awards at a national level.

20072010
FIERCE! Festival

Director

Fierce! Festival is an annual festival of cutting-edge performing arts across the West Midlands, UK. As one of the directors of the festival, I oversaw governance and strategic issues rather than being involved in the day-to-day running of the festival as a business.