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 secluded.io

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 “secluded.io” which specialises in low-power, cloud connected sensors for secluded environments that have very limited access to power and bandwidth.

Ioannis Verdelis 

Co-Founder of Fleksy

Fleksy, the world’s fastest typing system for smartphones and one of the top apps in the App Store.

Ioannis has experiance in VC fundraising, mobile app marketing and product development as well as building a great team and company.  Happy to help young companies trying to get some funding or conumer attention and growth.

 
Konstantinos Giantsios

Data Science & IIoT Applications

Entrepreneurial product and new venture development executive with significant SaaS, data/BI, AI/ML, IIoT experience, having launched two companies in the gaming and 3D animation space, run an incubator and advised the government on industrial policy. Currently building up the Data Science & IIoT business unit at Austin Consultants, leading product, technology and business development.

Feras Al-Ghrawi

Banks & Finance Management

Firas is a Master degree graduate in Baniking & International Finance from Borduex IV University and holds specialised MSc. in Banks & Finance Management and a BSc. in Business Adminstration from Damascus University and is certified EIB Banking Expert with more than 10 years of experiance in consultancy in different areas. Since he has worked in many projects with local and international entities including the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank Group, and the Syrian Ministry of Finance.

Lenah Oduor

Founder of gHawk Accounting

Accountant and business advisor working with entrepreneurs and directors of SMEs. She founded and run gHawk Accounting- a business providing tax, accountancy and business development services to business owners. She can help with understanding the UK tax system, choosing a legal entity for your business, financila systems, preparing business plans, budgets, and financial forcasts. Lenah has a wide experience of accountancy, business administration and project management in both the UK and Kenya.

Felipe Servin

Chief Executive Officer, YoAmo Media.

Felipe is the CEO of YoAmo Media. a media and commerce platform for women, with the world’s largest community of fashionistas. YoAmo have a digital network with more than 50 million women and they use old fashion curation techniques and machine learning processes to create content that engage more than 100 million latinas around the world. His expertise is on Consumer behavior, Data trend analysis and Media tech. 

Jay Ashcroft

Startup & Scale Up Advisor

Specialising in sales, growth and startup scalling, Jay run his own business, LearnMaker, a first of its kind edtech consultancy, turning a £6K investment into £140K per year business. In 2012 Jay joind Arbor Education as Growth Manager, scaling the company from 200 clients to 700 in just 18 months. Jay passionate about sharing his experience to help solve early stage startup challanges and tribulations.

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