Founder and Director on the Board of HBA
Jurek is the Executive Director for the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship at Henley Business School and is also the Founder and Director of Henley Business Angels. Jurek is a business adviser to several start-up businesses and a past chairman of several high-growth technology companies. He speaks on entrepreneurship and has delivered numerous workshops, as well as setting up initiatives such as the IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition, the Business Idea and Start-Up Clinic and the Entrepreneurship Society. Jurek specialises in life sciences and over 20 years was CEO of several private and UK main market and AIM listed companies, before which he was sales and marketing director at a FTSE 100 medical devices company. He has also held numerous NED positions in that time.
Henley Business Angels was an idea that emerged during a conversation with Professor Andrew Godley back in 2015 exploring ways to support entrepreneurs that had ties to Henley Business School with finance and mentoring. Following detailed planning, Henley Business Angels was formally launched and celebrated by investors, entrepreneurs and guests at an event on 31 October 2016. Since then Henley Business Angels has grown to over 50 members. Present and past members have invested in 39 companies, with more investments in the pipeline.
Tel: 0118 378 8188
HBA Delivery Lead
Gareth is Henley Business Angels’ Delivery Lead, spearheading the network’s growth and expansion goals alongside Founder and Director Jurek Sikorski. Gareth is also responsible for membership relations, acting as the point of contact for members, and prospective members.
Gareth is fiercely passionate about innovation and the startup ecosystem. He is an Investment Director at startup incubator, Black Dojo, and the Principal Consultant at Enterprise Insights, as well as an active Angel Investor, supporting founders and business leaders to build, scale and make impactful decisions, in order to achieve their full potential.
With a 20-year career in industry, Gareth is an MBA graduate who has acquired, built and sold businesses. His experience as an active Managing Director, NED, Trustee, Vice-Chair and Executive Coach aligns with, and is perfectly suited to, Henley Business Angels’ core focus to mentor and support entrepreneurs.
Marketing and Communications Consultant
Cait has been with Henley Business Angels since November 2020 and has over four years experience in social media management and marketing. Responsible for managing Henley Business Angels’ social media channels, website, SEO and marketing campaigns, Cait also maintains relationships with HBA’s previous investments, press contacts and other partnerships, working on increasing the visibility of the network and promoting its activities.
Cait is the point of contact for the Investing In Women Code and is always interested in, and actively seeking, other initiatives to promote and encourage diversity within Henley Business Angels.
Faith is the main point of contact for all of Henley Business Angels’ administration. She is the newest member of the HBA team, joining in April 2023, and is responsible for supporting the Henley Business Angels events and day-to-day administrative operations such as membership invoicing.
Tel: +44 (0)118 378 3239
Company Presentations Event Chair and University of Reading’s Entrepreneur in Residence
Professor Kilgallon is an HBA member and the Chair of the quarterly Company Presentations Events. As part of the pitch preparation process, he also schedules one-on-one time with presenting entrepreneurs to discuss and plan follow-up questions for the pitch, to ensure the entrepreneurs can draw on additional points regarding their proposition.
Professor Kilgallon’s career has encompassed both academic and business spheres. With a degree in Pharmacology and a PhD in Immunology, it was natural for Professor Kilgallon to navigate his commercial career through a number of roles in Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device companies. These roles ranged from country management to European and global business positions to Senior Vice President levels.
Professor Kilgallon’s current role is as CEO of Cybex Ventures, and, more recently, became the Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence (RS EiR) at the University of Reading. In this role, Professor Kilgallon has introduced a transformation programme to commercialise research. This has achieved >£1m in funding and identified research projects for company spinouts.
Professor Dominik Zaum is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Reading. Professor Zaum is responsible for the University’s research strategy at the Executive Board level, and drives its performance, with the aim of positioning the University of Reading firmly among the leading research universities in the UK and internationally.
Professor Zaum joined the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading in 2006. He served as Head of the School of Politics, Economics, and International Relations from 2014 to 2015, and was Research Dean (Prosperity and Resilience) from 2015 to 2018. For four years, (2011-15), he was seconded as a Senior Research Fellow in Conflict and Fragility to the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
Andrew is Deputy Chair and co-Founder of Henley Business Angels. Andrew is the Pro-Dean of Resources and Partnerships and a Professor of Management and Business History at Henley Business School. He established the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship in 2011 and continues to serve as its Academic Director. It was after one of the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship‘s very first student business idea competitions that Jurek and Andrew had the idea of establishing a group of Henley Business School alumni who might be interested in mentoring, supporting and even investing in student ideas. It was from this innocent discussion that Henley Business Angels was born!
Denis is a Henley Business School alumnus and has been a member of Henley Business Angels since its establishment in 2016, following his interest in the investment communities’ landscape. He began investing in 2017 and splits his time between his support work for Henley Business School and supporting start-ups in roles such as chair, non-executive director and advisor. Denis’ main interests are in technology and particularly focused in quantum, artificial intelligence, security and wearables. His corporate career was in mobile telecoms, primarily in R&D. In 2008 Denis founded and ran his company NextG-Com, which became a leader in protocol stacks for the mobile industry and was acquired by Arm Ltd in 2017.
Denis helps to run, organise and chair the Investment Readiness Workshops put on by Henley Business Angels four times a year, to improve the preparedness for investment of our candidates. Denis also supports the group through helping with company selection, pitch dry-runs and interviews and was a finalist for UKBAA 2021 Angel Investor of the Year for his efforts in supporting entrepreneurs.
Paula is a senior executive with almost 25 years’ experience in the fund management industry, operating across both traditional and alternative asset classes. As a founding director of Pensions Infrastructure Platform, she oversaw the establishment, scale-up and eventual sale of the platform to Foresight Group.
She currently works for the professional services firm, Langham Hall, where she is developing their ESG/sustainability strategy including the measurement of the firm’s carbon footprint and setting their net zero target.
Paula completed her MBA at Henley Business School in 2012. She became a member of the HBA network in 2017 and has been steadily building out her investment portfolio since this time. As a full-time executive, she generally takes a more passive approach to each of her investments but will advise entrepreneurs on areas such as commercial terms, pitching, risk management and financial management. Paula has also been a regular contributor to the Investment Readiness Workshop where she offers advice to entrepreneurs on how to approach angel investor due diligence.
HBA Membership Representative
Jeremy is an investor/director who has invested in start-ups and established companies in the UK, South America and the Middle East. Of these, some investments are still held and some have been successfully exited. He is currently a director of precision engineering and aerospace companies in the UK and is a NED for manufacturing and retail groups based in the UAE.
Jeremy previously worked for multinational companies, holding CEO positions in the UK, South East Asia, New Zealand, Brazil and the Middle East. Until recently he was CEO of a large regional manufacturing group based in Dubai, the Group CEO of a private investment group based in Abu Dhabi and COO of a publicly listed Abu Dhabi government-controlled industrial manufacturing group. Jeremy lives in Henley-on-Thames and enjoys meeting inspiring entrepreneurs through Henley Business Angels, particularly those who have developed new technologies or operate in new markets. He has a PhD in Biology and particularly likes projects in the biological/industrial/robotics sectors. Jeremy is a member of Henley Business Angels and attends Board Meetings as a representative of the members.
HBA Membership Representative
Nestor’s interests lie in technology, in particular, software. He has a Masters in Electrical Engineering and is familiar with artificial intelligence technology. His career has been around software, from selling, marketing and instruction to increased usage and adoption by corporations. He is acting as a member representative of HBA, helping with selection, dry runs and anything the team requires.
Nestor got involved with Henley Business Angels because even though he has promoted the adoption and expansion of enterprise-level software technology and delivered multi-phased business initiatives, he wanted to help his local economy directly. Nestor defines himself as a ‘Pragmatic Pathfinder’ because of his practical approach and he enjoys working on new business initiatives, always with an entrepreneurial mindset. He loves the HBA goal of facilitating regional members’ opportunities to invest in, and mentor (S)EIS registered early-stage businesses launched by local entrepreneurs.