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Meet our experts

Meet the top business leaders who deliver business-changing advice and determine the final Pioneer 10.

Rachel Panther

Business Support Director of Oxford Innovation

Rachel has over 25 years of commercial experience within the dynamic Life Sciences market sector, where innovation and technology development are critical to value creation. Rachel’s career commenced with Amersham International (now GE Biosciences) where she held various senior level positions within sales and strategic marketing before leaving in 2004. She then became the UK & Ireland Sales Director for Perkin Elmer, a market leading supplier of instrumentation, reagents and software for Life and Analytical Sciences and genetic screening sectors, where she turned a £25m business from a 27% decline to sustained double digit growth within 2 years.

In 2007 Rachel set up a sales and marketing consultancy business helping small to medium sized Biotech organisations develop their commercial operations and maximise resource productivity.

Rachel joined Oxford Innovation in 2011, as a business growth coach working with owners of early stage business from all market sectors to develop strategies to drive profitable business growth.

Web: www.oxin-centres.co.uk

Matthew McLarty

Innovation Director – Thames Gateway & Oxford Innovation

Matthew is an experienced SME business executive with broad ranging knowledge developed through ownership and gainful employment. His career has spanned multiple jurisdictions such as the UK, North America and the Caribbean with core functions including business development, general management, and strategy consulting. He is passionate about business, having been involved with no less than 10 new ventures since the age of 12 across industries ranging from tech (mobile-commerce), manufacturing and FMCG distribution to real estate and tourism, with tertiary education in business and project management.

An Incubation Director at Oxford Innovation, Matthew main focus is to support fellow entrepreneurs in achieving their goals.

Image of Geoff Freestone, Oxford Innovation business coach.

Geoff Freestone

Business Coach, Oxford Innovation / Harborough Innovation Centre

Geoff is a Business Growth Specialist with expertise in improving the operational activity in SMEs. He has experience in advanced manufacturing supply chains and has specific experience of helping SMEs to become Tier 1 OEM suppliers.

He specialises in helping to develop and implement business structures and processes that are both scalable and keep pace with profitable top line growth. He will also ensure the business has a defined financial model that can be properly supported by a well thought out strategy that will benefit all business stakeholders.

Geoff has hands on experience in starting up businesses as well as operational experience of international businesses up to $500m.

Marc Dowd

Founder & CEO of Manage Disruption

A technology & business polymath, Marc Dowd has spent a decade helping Europe’s most successful companies find new business advantages.

Marc has now made the switch to work with small businesses, who have the ambition and agility to exploit emerging opportunities.

Steve Osborne

Head of brand planning and creative at SO... Branding & Communications Ltd

Steve has over 25 years experience helping to identify and market some leading national and international brands. Including: Suzuki, Scalextric and many leading Universities and Colleges, charities and B2B organisations.