Meet the Team

 Jurek Sikorski

 Director and Founder

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 chairman of three high growth technology companies. He speaks on entrepreneurship and has delivered numerous workshops, as well as setting up initiatives such as IDEAFEST, 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 Henley connected entrepreneurs with finance and mentoring. Following detailed planning HBA was formally launched and celebrated by investors, entrepreneurs and guests at an event on 31 October 2016. Since then HBA has grown to over 40 members who have invested in 27 companies a total of over £1.3m

Email: jurek.sikorski@henley.ac.uk

Phone: 0118 378 8188

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Alex Baker

Senior Department Administrator 

Alex is the main point of contact for all of Henley Business Angels’ administration. He joined Henley Business Angels in 2016 and is responsible for organising the Henley Business Angels events, such as the Investment Readiness Workshops and Company Presentations. His general administrative duties include updating the Henley Business Angels website, organising the Gust platform and membership invoicing.

Email: a.j.baker@henley.ac.uk

Phone: + 44 (0)118 378 8691

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Cait Pilkington

Marketing Communications Officer

Cait is the newest member of Henley Business Angels, joining in November 2020, and is responsible for managing the group’s social media channels, SEO of the website, and running marketing campaigns. She also maintains relationships with Henley Business Angels’ previous investments, press contacts and other partnerships, and works on increasing the visibility of the group and promoting its activities.

Email: cait.pilkington@reading.ac.uk

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Members of the Board

Professor Andrew Godley

Deputy Chair

Andrew is Deputy Chair and co-Founder of Henley Business Angels. Andrew is a Professor at Henley Business School, and the Head of the Department of Leadership Organisation and Behaviour, as well as the Associate Dean International. He established the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship in 2011 and continues to serve as its Academic Director. It was after one of the Centre’s very first student business idea competitions that Jurek and Andrew had the idea of establishing a group of Henley 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! 

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Samantha Foley

Samantha Foley is the Chief Financial Officer at the University of Reading, and has the responsibility for managing the University’s finances, investments and business support. Her leadership portfolio includes Finance, Investments, Commercial activities (including the UoR Thames Valley Science Park), Procurement and Campus Services. Samantha is a key member of the University Executive Board and also represents the University of Reading on the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, CBI, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and Reading CIC.

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Dr Keith Arundale

Dr Keith Arundale is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, where he teaches undergraduate and postgraduate modules on private equity and venture capital. He is currently researching the investment practices of Chinese venture capital firms with Chinese colleagues from the University of Chester Business School where he is a Visiting Professor.

He is the author of “Raising Venture Capital Finance in Europe” published by Kogan Page and “Venture Capital Performance: A Comparative Study of Investment Practices in Europe and the USA” published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group). He also initiated and authored the BVCA’s “Guide to Private Equity”. He is an executive trainer and consultant on private equity & venture capital and a past President of the English Technology Tour, and he was delighted to join the Board of Henley Business Angels on its incorporation in 2016.

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Keith’s Website

Denis Bidinost

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, AI, 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.

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Nestor Ceron

Nestor’s interests lie in technology, in particular, software. He has a Masters in Electrical Engineering and is familiar with AI 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.

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Jeremy Rowson

Jeremy is an industrial investor and has made direct investments into start-ups and established companies in Brazil, the UAE and the UK. Of these, some are still held, and some have been successfully exited. He is currently Chairman of an engineering company 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 private 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 from the University of Birmingham and an MBA from Cass Business School, City, University of London. Jeremy is a member of Henley Business Angels attends Board Meetings as a representative of the members.

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Dr John Cavill

Following early career experience in electronic engineering, sales and marketing and the IT industry, John founded Logical Networks plc, a UK high-growth networking services business funded by 3i plc. Since achieving a successful exit and recognition as one of Europe’s Top 500 Dynamic Entrepreneurs, he has concentrated his efforts on helping early stage ventures and later stage companies with high-growth potential to achieve success.

John is a Chartered Director, executive coach and business mentor that works one-on-one with CEOs and top management teams from high-growth ventures to help them achieve extraordinary results. He is a Visiting Fellow in Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour at Henley Business School where he conducted doctoral research into the characteristics of high-growth entrepreneurial teams. He is also a Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Management, Cass Business School, City University.

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