our expert mentors
Everyone involved in BLOOM.SPACE is dedicated to helping you grow your business.
Lillian Shapiro - Lead Bloom Mentor
Lillian’s passion is helping people start-up and grow their businesses. She’s been MD for a variety of multinational companies, dealt with mergers and acquisitions, and now focuses her time helping startups.
Lillian is excellent at helping develop your pitch deck for investment as well as your wider business strategy. She’ll work with you one-to-one on your business for as much time as you need.
Lillian is the lead Bloom Mentor and works with the management team in BLOOM.SPACE to work out the best package of support for your business.
She teaches on an Entrepreneurship Masters Programme at UCL, is the lead for Bloom Mentors, and has worked with some amazing startups, taking them on their journey from developing the initial idea, raising funds, employing their first team members, then substantial investment (£multi-million).
Jack Wratten - BLOOM.SPACE Founder
After 10 years supporting enterprises I realised something - people in business absolutely love helping other people in business.
I created BLOOM.SPACE so entrepreneurs have a space to bloom, somewhere to get all the help and support needed to plan, start and grow a business.
Everyone involved in BLOOM.SPACE understands how to start a business. Many of us have scaled startups to large companies. We know what help is needed, and we’re here to offer it.
I started out as a biochemist at UCL then moved on to starting my own small companies and developing training for senior managers in charities and local government. I led the first Olympics volunteer recruitment centre for the Mayor of London, then moved back to UCL to scale one the their enterprise programmes from a London pilot to working across 16 countries Europe and Africa.
My last major project for UCL was setting up and launching BASE KX, a 20,000sqft incubator in King’s Cross.
My on-going honorary role in UCL Engineering’s Computer Science department and work with the Faculty keep my contacts alive, allowing us to break down some of the barriers to accessing the massive talent-pool within the university.
Dave Chapman - Senior Lecturer, UCL School of Management
Dave founded and ran UCL’s Tech Entrepreneurship Master programme, and was instrumental in setting up UCL’s School of Management where he is Senior Lecturer.
He’s a Fellow of The Chartered Institute for IT and has previously held the role of Vice Dean for Enterprise for the Faculty of Engineering Sciences.
He founded and is Director of As-Built Solutions which provides leading-edge products and services to facilitate the inspection and measurement of industrial plant and other infrastructure.
Dave has a deep understanding of the tech entrepreneurship world, is very well regarded in the ecosystem, has helped thousands of UCL students start their first businesses and is very generous with his time.
He’s a big supporter of entrepreneurship programmes in London and is invited to contribute to multiple programmes as an expert panel member and judge.
He’s taught on the London Entrepreneurs Challenge (the longest running enterprise programme of its type in London) and was the Academic Lead for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme in London.
John Spindler - CEO, Capital Enterprise
Every tech entrepreneur in London knows John Spindler, and if you don’t, you need to!
He’s absolutely at the centre of everything tech investment-related in London. He heads up Capital Enterprise - the umbrella body for all the enterprise centres in London. He represents our work to government lobbying on behalf of you and your sector.
He’s worked on many EU funded projects and put together the London Co-Investment Fund which co-invests along with the Mayor of London in tech startups.
John spend his life supporting entrepreneurship so will give you an honest appraisal of your business based on the wealth of experience has.
He’s an angel investor and is connected to a massive range of investors and runs several funds, so is a first point of call for any companies raising capital.
John is someone who’s in a lot of demand and he works on accelerators, in incubation programmes and judges business pitching events worldwide.
He’s “on a mission to make it possible for someone moderately intelligent, with a good idea, ambition and passion to make it as an entrepreneur in London.”
John Collins - The Disruptive Technologist
John is Commercial Director at Imperial College’s Synthetic Biology startup facility, SynbiCITE. He has a wealth of experience in the science startup world and is very active in the sector.
SynbiCITE is a national centre for any startup with technology involving synthetic biology, connecting multiple centres of excellent across the UK and is located in Imperial College London with shared wet-lab facilities and technical support. SynbiCITE is tasked with growing industry based on using the engineering of biology to ‘do useful things and make useful stuff to heal us, feed us, fuel us and sustain us’. Recent start-up successes include LabGenius, CustoMem, Quethera and Synthace.
John helps BLOOM.SPACE Members with science or deep-tech ventures. He’s very experienced at supporting startups,, provides business and entrepreneurship training globally, and judges on multiple business pitching events worldwide.
He’s had a varied portfolio career including R&D, product development, technical sales, business development, international development for a trade association, innovation and digital creativity growth, in educational services and as a trained chef.
Throughout his careers John has run his own ‘Disruptive Technologies and Innovations Management’ consultancy – Innovation Foundry Ltd. – and continues to work with a diverse spread of technologies.
He’s our go-to mentor for all science, technology and several digital fields of expertise. If your startup operates in these areas and you’re a BLOOM.SPACE Member that he can help, you’ll get to talk to him.
Michael LeGoff - Managing Director, X-Coach
Michael is the Chairman and one of the founders of the Bessemer Society, Chair of the Plymouth Science Park, and non-exec director, investor and advisor to large and small technology companies in the UK and Europe.
He founded Dynex Semiconductors in 1995, listed the business in Canada in 1998 and grew it to $50m in revenues before selling his position in 2008. He subsequently re-launched Plessey as a branded technology manufacturing company in 2009 growing to £20m in revenues and only recently sold his position.
Michael carries the battle scars and stripes of a hardened UK-based tech manufacturing warrior. He has raised over £250m in capital in his 25 years as a hard tech entrepreneur and can support, coach, advise and consult on the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of leading, developing and growing a global technology company.
Michael’s experience working with local government, international business and tech firms is invaluable to BLOOM.SPACE Members.
Sean Davey - Partner and Strategist, Pollitt & Partners
Sean is a strategist and consultant, working with businesses big and small on everything from their marketing campaigns to corporate strategy. He is a Partner at Pollitt & Partners - a 100% Employee Owned creative agency based in Covent Garden.
He’s an advocate of ‘Brand New Thinking’ and will work with you to think about “Brand” not just in terms of what you look like, but as the driver of everything you do: from where you sit in the market (vs competitors), to the kinds of experience you deliver for your customers.
He’s worked with everyone from global drinks brands, to Swedish medtech companies, and previously ran his own social enterprise Grandad’s Caribbean Seasoning during his time at UCL.
Sherece Rainford - Business Development Consultant
Sherece is a Public Relations expert, amongst many other things!
She’s founded and run her own business for many years and delivers large chunks of teaching on UCL Enterprise programmes, including the Summer Bootcamps and PR Masterclasses.
Her experience is wide ranging, and she’s on-hand to help our Members with their PR needs, as well as wider strategy, marketing and product development work.
Sherece taught on our Bloom Accelerate programme and is always dedicates herself 100% to each startup she works with.
Alasdair Inglis - Managing Director, Grow
Alasdair is the BLOOM.SPACE resident marketing expert! He’s based in the Gower Street office full-time, running his own consultancy business from there and is on-hand for one-to-one meeting with our Members whenever they need support.
He runs a number of very well-regarded workshops and masterclasses on the broad topic of Startup Marketing for the British Library’s Business and IP Centre (all of which are free to BLOOM.SPACE Members) where he is Marketer in Residence.
Alasdair has worked on many university programmes, the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses Programme (run in London by UCL) and is well-connected in London’s startup scene, having personally helped 200+ high-growth startups and delivered training to over 5000 others!
Tris Dyson - Executive Director of Challenge Prize Centre (Nesta)
Tris started his first business back in 2006 after graduating from UCL and has gone on to found and grow a number of large and successful international programmes and organisations, including Tempo (formerly Spice Time Credits) and The Welsh Institute for Community Currencies.
He’s the Director of the Challenge Prize Centre at Nesta, travelling the world working with governments, cities, industry and SME’s in a diverse range of fields from drone tech to fish-farms.
He’s sought-after speaker on the topic of innovation and how challenge prizes can help the world overcome some major problems like antibiotic resistance and food shortages caused by climate change.
our wider network
Tim Barnes - The Rain Gods
Entrepreneur running multiple accelerator and incubator programmes in GovTech, SportTech and Scale-Up Other activities: Loughborough Uni, Cambridge Uni, NACUE, angel investing Previous: UCL, big consultancy, Venture Capital investor. Holds the Queens Award for entrepreneurship.
Tim is our go-to contact for anything involving government (local and national) and civil society, universities and the wide range of connections he has across London, Europe and the USA.
Drew De Soto
Founding director of creative agency Navig8.
Branding expert and author. Entrepreneur, ex-standup comedian, Morgan enthusiast.
Nigel Spencer - British Library
Research & Business Development Manager at The British Library.
Nigel supports entrepreneurship and innovation at the British Library through Business & IP Centre and is involved in a range of EU projects, including the Erasmus for New Entrepreneurs Programme.
Founder of the lean business platform, Kriss specialised in exploring how design thinking in learning technologies can take benefits from the digital world and enhance the quality of learning experience in the physical world.
Kris also works on the UCL EDUCATE programme for ed-tech startups.
our specialist partners
Charles runs his own accountancy firm, specialising in helping startups. His office is near to Gower Street and he is always keen to support entrepreneurs and startups. We refer any London member looking for an accountant to Charles.