The team

A mix of experienced academics and industry experts.

Tom Ellson – Centre Director

Tom manages the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He has a background in both start-ups and consultancy, having been a partner in a firm specialising in strategy, market entry and acquisitions. Prior to this, he worked for a transaction advisory practice within global accountancy firm EY. He has supported over £2bn of investment into predominantly small and medium sized businesses.

He has advised clients based across Europe and the United States that include HSBC, Barclays, the BBC and numerous private equity firms. He has a doctorate from Cranfield University in strategic management and is a Chartered Mathematician with expertise in business and market modelling.

Tom's LinkedIn profile

Daniella Jenkins – Undergraduate Programme Director

Daniella worked in financial services for a number of years leading large change programmes giving her deep insights into the intersections of design and delivery in various organisational contextsShe previously led complex initiatives in health policy, the Cabinet Office and at Transport for London and is committed to gender equality having led women’s advocacy charity The WOW Foundation as its first Executive Director. 

Daniella Jenkins originally studied Philosophy and Politics at the University of Manchester, later qualifying as an MBA. More recently she completed an MSc in Major Programme Management at Said Business School, University of Oxford where her research into future perceptions of change was supervised by Professor Bent Flyvbjerg.  She is currently in the final stages of her doctorate funded through a unique collaboration between Central Saint Martin's and King's College London to explore how design can be positioned to improve social policy outcomes. 

Her unpaid roles include attempting to raise three children including a son with disabilities. 

Daniella's LinkedIn profile 

Peter Bartlett - Centre Education Director

An award-winning design and innovation consultant, Peter has led billion-dollar world-wide product launches, partnered with young start-up companies, and worked for industry leaders Hewlett-Packard, ACCO Brands, Philips, University of Cincinnati, Savannah College of Art & Design, and Crown Equipment delivering business strategy, product & brand marketing, design research, product development, and design expertise.

Peter's LinkedIn profile

Dave Jarman – Postgraduate Director (Taught Master's Programme)

Dave is an Associate Professor and Postgraduate Director of the one-year taught Master's programme at the centre, and the Bristol Futures Theme Lead for Innovation and Enterprise across the wider University. Dave is also a freelance innovation consultant, a social innovation charity trustee, an expert adviser to the National Union of Students on enterprise and employability, an independent town councillor, and the former Chairman and Director of Enterprise Educators UK, of which he is an honorary fellow. Dave is a former University Head of Enterprise and Employability and former Head of Enterprise Education at the University of Bristol. Dave's interest and expertise lies in early-stage start-ups, creative processes, and intrapreneurship.

Dave's LinkedIn profile

Don Parker

Don is a multi-disciplinary creative focusing on design in film, music and television – he specialises in digital marketing, consumer behaviour and information exchange and he has worked with clients such as Universal Pictures, Paramount and 20th Century Fox.

Don's LinkedIn profile

Gerasimos Balis – Research Director

Gerasimos is an entrepreneurship researcher and educator passionate about supporting early-stage entrepreneurs and innovators succeed by applying design principles and tools. In the past his research has looked at design for entrepreneurship exploring collective design in the context of higher education and how design tools and a service oriented logic can help entrepreneurs learn faster and be more successful.

His current research project looks at competitions, jams and hackathons as tools for entrepreneurship education.

Gerasimos's LinkedIn profile

Francis Chan

Francis has years of business experience in international sales and marketing in the manufacturing sector for both start-up and large companies, then moving into the role of project manager in B2B e-commerce platform development and physical exhibition organisation. In particular, Francis is a seasoned executive in driving entrepreneurial rejuvenation in a corporate environment through the implementation of strategic initiatives, spearheading change management with the amalgamation of online and offline business to create value for customers. On top of that Francis has been teaching Entrepreneurship and Innovation courses before joining the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 


Francis was educated in Hong Kong, the US and Japan and was awarded Bachelor's and Master's degrees in business administration, and is also a Fellow of Higher Education Academy of the UK.

Helen Stock – Centre Manager

Prior to entering the education sector, Helen had a successful career as an HR Manager. Having gained a post-graduate professional HRM qualification, she worked for a wide variety of employers, including BT, a local authority and a major food manufacturer and in the process gained Chartered Membership of the Institute of Personnel and Development. Following a change of direction, she then moved into the education field and taught a wide range of courses in Business, Management and Economics in a variety of educational settings. This included a large FE college where she was Deputy Head of Sixth Form, and a sixth form college where as a member of the Senior Management Team and Head of Teaching she had responsibility for all teaching staff. Throughout her career she has had a keen interest in entrepreneurship, including helping to set up Career Academies and helping students to successfully participate in entrepreneurship competitions. She also has had extensive experience of dealing with a wide range of student-related issues.

Mark Neild

Mark has developed people's vocational skills for 25 years, teaching flying and leadership as a Royal Navy aviator and up-skilling junior consultants while senior innovation consultant at PA Consulting. More recently he has supported aspiring entrepreneurs across 5 continents. His specialities are business model innovation, the adoption and commercialisation of technology and developing sustainable social ventures. Clients include the Cabinet Office, Vodafone, UBS, Nokia and Eircom and many technology SMEs. He was trustee and chair of an award winning charity before founding social venture Grow Inspires – promoting social inclusion through entrepreneurship. His Innovation consultancy, Agileering Ltd, helps creative and technology SMEs grow by optimising their business model.

Mark's LinkedIn profile

Tom Metcalfe - Honorary Associate Professor

Tom is Creative Director and founder of Design and Innovation Studio, Thomas Buchanan Limited and an Associate Professor and Unit Director at the centre.

He is an avant-garde interaction designer who crafts compelling experiences people love! His practice inherently seeks out new, innovative, and experimental ideas and methods. He has worked across a myriad of industries from art, to manufacturing, to design research, to brand activation.

His work has included, harvesting clouds in The Scottish Highlands to make SkyPA for Innis and Gunn; creating useless objects, Chindogu, for YO! Sushi; exploring new ways of engaging with news with Trinity Mirror, funded by Google DNI; rolling out a mind-controlled beer pouring robot for various clients including TEDx Germany, Twitter Live, and Marriott International; co-creating of the UX for Senseye, a machine learning predictive maintenance platform; developing IoT objects for audiences with immersive theatre company, Raucous; the design and build of a concept store in Covent Garden, London, for fashion startup UNMADE; and developing editioned interactive art installations with Random International.

Tom's LinkedIn profile

Sam Crawley

As a Chartered Engineer, Sam has consulted on Offshore Wind Projects in Europe, co-ordinated logistics for NGO medical projects in Somalia and Colombia, site managed on civil construction projects in London, Kent and Amsterdam, and even been a manufacturing change agent at a factory in Gloucester. 

Sam brings his engineering experience to bear whilst teaching, helping link up industry practice with academic rigour. Sam is focussed on the enterprise aspects of innovation; solving problems, developing products and services, utilising lean startup, behavourial economics and development tools to reach robust solutions.

Sam's LinkedIn profile

Jonathan Scudder

Jonathan is an entrepreneur, investor and software engineer who has spent most of the last 25 years trying to stop the internet from leaking our personal information. He has founded three startups, the most recent of which achieved 'unicorn' status and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021, and uses this experience to invest in and support other startups in the UK and Europe. Areas of particular interest include the stories of early-stage startups, dealing with organisational growth, and how we practice our values in startups. Jonathan trained and worked as a youth worker in East London, before studying Computer Science at the University of Oslo, and completing postgraduate studies in Strategy, Change and Leadership at the University of Bristol.

Jonathan's LinkedIn profile

Suzanne Cole

Suzanne began her career in the small business environment setting up her first business before leaving school. She then worked in larger engineering organisations. Following the sale of the business, Suzanne moved into education becoming a University Programme Director for undergraduate and postgraduate business and marketing courses. This was followed by training and consultancy roles for businesses such as HSBC, 3M, Johnson and Johnson followed.  Suzanne has worked with entrepreneurs who have successfully floated business on the UK stock market and not-for-profit start ups, providing experience across sectors and business types. She also brings a keen interest in marketing and the creation of sustainable business models into her latest role as a Non-Executive Director for Swim Wales.

Suzanne's LinkedIn profile

Andy Littledale

Andy is a highly-experienced entrepreneur with 20 years in industry including a high profile exit to Twitter as CEO of SecondSync in 2014. He has first-hand experience of all aspects of the start-up lifecycle including ideation, business planning, team-building, product development, fundraising, scaling up, product sales, patents, corporate strategy and exit planning. Andy has a background in technical innovation (including hands on software engineering), a Master's degree in Information Systems and Computing and excellent connections into the start-up community in the UK and internationally. He has previously held innovation roles at the BBC and Twitter and for several years ran a digital agency specialising in creative prototyping with clients including Adobe, HP, BBC and Aardman. He is a non-exec at Condense and also sits on the advisory board for the Digital Cultures Research Centre.

Andy's LinkedIn profile

Cecilia Thirlway

Cecilia is a writer, researcher and consultant with over 25 years’ experience in corporate communications for organisations ranging from FTSE100 global enterprises to tiny start-ups, charities and government bodies. She is interested in everything, but particularly in how the right language can influence people’s actions, shape cultures and bring about change. She specialises in working with businesses in the technology sector who need to explain complex concepts to non-technical audiences, and for the last ten years has run her own consulting practice, as well as mentoring businesses on programmes run by UKTI and Creative England, helping them shape their business model, value proposition and key messages. Cecilia is a Fellow of the RSA and is currently researching a PhD thesis on the stories organisations tell about technology, climate change and the future.

Cecilia's LinkedIn profile

Ben Hobbs

Ben possesses a broad range of professional skills and experiences that blends industry with academia. Having collected an MBA from Cardiff University, he spent 13 years in financial services, where he rose through the ranks at one of the UK's most enterprising insurers. Having built several cross-functional departments to solve strategic problems and build innovative products; he departed as the Head of Business Development. He joined the University of Bristol as a PhD student after assisting the creators of a 2021 FinTech unicorn with the sale and servicing of their first policies. He now teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in entrepreneurship at the University of Bristol. His research is focused on enhancing business viability through the effective configuration of a company’s strategy and entrepreneurial behaviours.

Ben's LinkedIn profile

Peter Palmer

Peter is Chief Operating Officer of Open Group. He has global experience working at board level in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sectors and then in to Media as Senior Vice President Global New Revenues at EMI Music. He now heads up his own consultancy business which works with international clients delivering circular economy solutions, and general business growth strategies levering ecommerce and marketplace platforms. He has extensive intrapreneur and entrepreneur experience having backed multiple start ups to successful launch. He has an MBA from Henley Management College and graduated from the London School of Economic and Political Science.

Peter's LinkedIn profile

Mylene Petermann

Mylene has a background in UX / UI design, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and design research in the context of emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), voice-user interfaces, face recognition or augmented and virtual reality applications. She has extensive experience in prototyping user interfaces and interactions as well as digital fabrication, including 3D printing and electronics (Arduino). Apart from the practical aspects of prototyping emerging technologies, she uses speculative design approaches to interrogate the future critically in her research and teaching.

Her research interests focus on the fields of responsible design and innovation and especially AI ethics, where she has most recently published a report in collaboration with the Ada Lovelace Institute, Alan Turing Institute and the Institute for Data Science and AI at Exeter University. She has worked in industry for a wide range of gaming studios including at Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation.

Mylene's LinkedIn profile


Anne Angsten Clark

Anne is a graduate researcher and lecturer at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about designing, piloting & scaling people-led and people-centered innovations in poverty alleviation and her research explores how to increase financial resilience for and with low-income households. Prior to joining the Centre, she served as Chief Program Officer of Spark Microgrants, an East African non-profit that champions community-driven development, as Director of Partnerships for myAgro, a social enterprise that serves smallholder farmers in West Africa, and as a management consultant for McKinsey. Anne holds an MA from Johns Hopkins University and a BA from Münster University. 

Tim Senior

Tim is co-founder and Director of Supersum ( - the Wicked Problems agency. Wicked problems are those that speak to different fields of expertise in ways that resist conventional or elegant solutions. Working with theory from the Social Sciences, Supersum helps builds cross-sector teams to diagnose Wicked Problems, develop Clumsy Solutions, and design the Messy Institutions that can implement them.
Tim also brings to the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship 15 years of experience working across the arts, humanities, sciences, communities and innovation. From a background in Systems Neuroscience (at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford), Tim's research has spanned medieval European urbanism, social and political neuroscience, and the design of dementia friendly communities.


Andy Collins

Andy is a senior lecturer in entrepreneurship and specialises in the early stages of scientific and deep-tech companies. He is experienced at working between industry and academia has a scientific background in nanoscience. He was previously involved in the development and training of quantum engineering start-up founders through the QTEC programme and the Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre. While there he set up his own company, SurfaceRF, and has worked as a consultant scientist and lecturer running the boot-camp style "Catalyst" workshop internationally. Andy is also a visiting professor at the Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan and supports their international collaboration WISE programme.

Andy's LinkedIn profile

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