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The Investment Executive is advised by Iceni Advisory Limited, a panel of external members with expertise in investing in and managing start-up companies.  The Iceni Advisory board meets four times a year.

Our advisers

  • John Polden (chair)

    Profile: John trained as an engineer working for the UK Ministry of Defence and gained a degree in Electronic Engineering at Southampton University. After qualifying as a Chartered Engineer he gained an MBA from London Business School. After Business School John held senior positions within the UK electronics industry for 15 years. From 1990 he worked as an Investment Manager and Partner with MTI in the UK technology Venture Capital industry serving on the Board of 15 investments, of these he chaired 10 of the companies. John is on the board of two Iceni investments.
  • William Bains

    Profile: William is a serial entrepreneur, researcher and investor in the life sciences. After an academic career in the UK and the USA, he worked in technical consultancy and venture capital before founding his first start-up in 1998. He has since founded four other biotech companies, and has been a core member of the executive or director team of 15 companies that have between them raised over £60M in early stage funds. He has been a part time research scientist at MIT (Cambridge, MA) since 2009, and researches company finance and its role in biotech in the UK. He is author of over 90 papers and four books, and teaches company creation and entrepreneurship at Cambridge University and the University of Warwick.
  • Ian Collins

    Profile: Ian is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with a wide ranging career in new product development. He has led projects to develop printers, medical endoscopes, lasers and catheters, and a wide range of industrial equipment. He has started two Cambridge based technology companies the first of which was acquired by a Silicon Valley business giving investors a 5x return after 15 months. Whilst a director with a large Cambridge consulting company Ian ran their internal IP development, licensing and spinout activities. Ian has a strong interest in enabling young innovators to create their own businesses and has acted as mentor to several Cambridge entrepreneurs.
  • Keith Powell

    Profile: Keith has been in Biotechnology since it started. Having worked for GSK and ICI/Zeneca in genetics/molecular biology he led several large groups including discovery, finally running the patent group. He then left for the USA and worked in a company on the West Coast, Maxygen, leading the small molecule group through the IPO and growing a business which eventually spun out as “Codexis”. On coming back to the UK, Keith worked with a fund called BBSF and acted as CEO for several of the companies in the portfolio, including Spear, sold to Advent International. He led Domainex through a merger with NCE to form a successful business in protein structure-based chemistry. Polytherics was built through organic growth since 2005 to a company of >30 people. Keith is currently chairman of Domainex, Biomoti and Canbex and has a portfolio of other interests.