Supporting entrepreneurs in the Midlands

Creating Tomorrow’s Change Maker

Access to mentors is one of the key elements of the comprehensive support provided by the FORWARD Accelerator Programme. At any stage of growth, mentors are able to provide businesses with advice, expertise and guidance which can be used to shape business strategy, solve problems and avoid costly mistakes whilst also unlocking pathways to higher levels of growth. 

As part of FORWARD, Startups are able to access the whole pool of mentors rather than being assigned an individual mentor which gives them access to a wider range of perspectives and experiences. We have constructed an international pool of mentors from Birmingham through to Australia, who have an amazing range of business experience, across a wide range of sectors and industries, with backgrounds ranging from those who have built, scaled and exited a business through to those with years of experience at some of the world’s most successful organisations. 

Andy Collyer 

Entrepreneur, CEO & Mentor  

Serial Entrepreneur who has launched, grown and exited 8 companies in several countries. Currently CEO of a £100m argiengineering company, E2E Ambassador & member of several advisory boards.

Paul Evans  

Entrepreneur, Investor & Advisor

Formerly held Senior Commercial & Operational Leadership positions at FedEx across Europe & The Middle East. Currently a hands-on Investor in multiple fast-growth businesses with experience in raising funds and growing sustainable businesses. 

Alana Matos

UX Designer at The Economist

UX Designer, writer, and entrepreneur from Puerto Rico, now based in London. She previously co-founded an edtech startup after completing her Master’s at Harvard University. Currently working as a UX Designer at The Economist.

Jamie Pratt 

Director at Stockton Business Consulting

25 years experience as a business professional, leading and managing organisations at all stages of growth. Working as a consultant across a variety of industries within corporate and SMEs world, both within the UK and internationally.

Sergio Marrero 

Partner at Stat Zero

Entrepreneur facilitator, researcher, coach, and project manager who graduated from Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government with experience in strategy and innovation consulting, startups, research, manufacturing, venture capital, and design.Currently a Partner at VC firm Stat Zero. 

Jonathan Ortiz

UX Designer at Numerator 

Formlerly Creative Director at Parallel18 Accelerator  where he was responsible for working with startups on the programme to help them understand their design & brand needs. Currently  a UX designer at Numerator where he designs, prototypes and develops easy-to-use solutions for web apps. 

Dave Evans 

Managing Director at Pixel Management

Entrepreneur who also has deep technical knowledge with a track record of architecting, developing and bringing to market a range of software products. He is also skilled at recruiting, motivating and managing successful teams. Dave has successfully founded and participated in CEO and CTO roles in over ten start-ups and joint ventures.

Lee Lam

Blindspot Consultant at Lee Lam Consultancy

Experienced business coach and consultant with a depth of experience and knowledge in financial services technology due holding COO / Chief of Staff roles across a career that spans over 20. 

Shammi Raichura 

Senior Operations-Regional Cities Lead at Uber

Regional Cities Lead at Uber, representing Uber across the Midlands, Wales & South Yorkshire, building partnerships with cities and communities. Working cross functionally with the view to unlock growth and secure the future of the business. New Entrepreneurs Foundation Graduate.

Justice Williams MBE 

Founder of Behind Her Dreams

Multi-award winning entrepreneur, inspirational public speaker and events curator. Founder of Behind Her Dreams – a support organisation for entrepreneurial women. Awarded an MBE at the age of 29 for Services to young people in Birmingham and secured a place on Birmingham’s Power 50, a list of powerful and influential leaders in the city.

Stephen Dalton 

CEO at

Founder of Gold Coast Techspace, the Gold Coast’s very own makerspace & geek hub and “Refactor”, an Agile Hardware and Software consultancy working heavily in the FinTech, InsurTech & AgTech field. Founder of “” which specialises in low-power, cloud connected sensors for secluded environments that have very limited access to power and bandwidth.


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