Dr Shima Barakat

Food Enterprise Manager and Director of the Entrepreneurship for Sustainability Programme, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

Dr. Shima Barakat, MBA is an entrepreneur, director and academic obsessed with making the world a better place. Her experience is in how the environment (planet) as a strategic issue is understood and integrated into organization strategy through how people understand and interact with it.

Shima has spent the last 25 years helping companies (from startups to MNEs) as well as governments and international funding agencies to improve their performance on sustainability (the last 6 years specifically focused on the food system). In good sustainability practice, Shima is a repurposed Engineer, having started her career working in infrastructure construction. She’s personally supported more than 200 start-ups and 350 entrepreneurial women through her structured programmes.

Shima is one of the founders and the Managing Director of Value in Enterprise, the responsible business consultancy company. She has also been among the founders of several organisations that aim at engaging communities in their own development. One of these ventures (Nahdet El Mahrousa) became the first and arguably most successfully Social Enterprise Incubator in the Middle East and recently launched the first social investment fund in the MENA region. She most recently co-founded the Impact Women’s Network to raise the visibility of enterprising women and enabling the co-creation of greater impact through the power of the collective leadership.

Academically, Shima has held an appointment at the University of Cambridge for 14 years. She is currently Director of the Entrepreneurship for Sustainability Programme at the Centre for Industrial Sustainability where she leads a portfolio of courses, summer school, professional development academies, and the UK Hub of the Food Accelerator Network. Before that, she was the Head of Entrepreneurial Learning Programmes at the Judge Business School for 10 years. Shima is an experienced board member and chair, including as a Trustees of the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship in the UK.

Dr Phil Budden

Senior Lecturer, Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management, MIT Management Sloan School.

Phil Budden is a Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Management School, in Sloan’s TIES (Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic-management) Group, where he focuses on ‘innovation-driven entrepreneurship’ (IDE) and innovation ecosystems.

Phil co-teaches in the successful ‘Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program’ (REAP), an ExecEd program for regional teams from around the globe interested in accelerating ‘innovation-driven entrepreneurship’; in the ‘Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Lab’ (REAL), aimed at MBAs and Sloan Fellows; and on similar topics in a variety of degree and ExecEd settings.

Phil’s approach combines academic, historical and real-world perspectives on how different stakeholders – including Entrepreneurs, Universities and ‘Risk Capital’ providers, alongside Corporate enterprises and Government policymakers – can all contribute to building successful innovation ecosystems. 

In 2012, while a Visiting Scholar at MIT, Phil undertook a project on innovation and entrepreneurship for the British Prime Minister’s office at No 10 (and UK Trade and Investment) to inform the UK’s Entrepreneurs Campaign. From 2007 until 2012, he served as the British Consul General to New England, in which role he had been responsible for transatlantic business issues, including trade and investment, corporate/government affairs, as well as science and innovation, leading him to an abiding interest in entrepreneurship. In that time, he also moved the British Consulate to One Broadway (aka e70) to be closer to MIT, Sloan and Kendall Square.

Phil has held various posts with the British Government: British Cabinet Office, London (2001 – 2002); British Embassy, Washington DC (2002 – 2007); 1st Secretary (UK-US Technology, Science & Innovation) Washington DC; Adviser to the PM at No10 (European/institutional strategy) London, UK.

Phil holds a BA and MA in History from Lincoln College, the University of Oxford; an MA in History and Government from Cornell University; and a PhD (DPhil) in History and International Political Economy from the University of Oxford.

Joelle Drummond and Sarah Drummond

Co-Founders, Drop Bear Beer Co.

Joelle Drummond and Sarah Drummond are multi-award-winning entrepreneurs and the founders of Drop Bear Beer Co.

A shining example of true entrepreneurship, they created Drop Bear with just a big saucepan and an even bigger dream in their kitchen. Drop Bear is now a leading alcohol-free beer brand with global distribution and has raised over £2m investment.

Passionate about leading the way for a different way of doing business, Drop Bear is now Wales’ first B Corp Brewery and the world’s first carbon neutral alcohol-free brewery. Keen to foster a new generation of entrepreneurship, Joelle and Sarah have worked closely with Swansea University over the past three years, Joelle herself being a two times graduate of Swansea University.

Professor Dr Klaus Sailer

Professor for Entrepreneurship, Munich University of Applied Sciences
CEO, Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship

Professor Dr. Klaus Sailer is a co-founder and on the board of the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie and is also on the board of Munich Network. Klaus Sailer is spokesman for the think tank ‘Denkfabrik Gründerhochschulen’ as well as part of the think tank ‘HEInnovate’.

Klaus holds a PhD in physics from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, and did his Ph.D. at the Research Center for Environment and Health. At Infineon AG, he was responsible for project management and marketing of new semiconductor technologies. In 2000, he co-founded a communication technologies company with partners in the area as its chairman. He successfully established this company as a major market player, and was able to realise his innovative ideas further with various start-up teams.

His main research topics are in innovation process, business modelling, networking, co-creation and societal innovations.

Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam

Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship, Cranfield University
Non Executive Director and Advisor to a range of early stage companies

Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam is a leading enterprise educator with many years’ experience working with businesses of all sizes and stages, bridging the gap between academia and industry. Shai’s career in entrepreneurship development began, almost accidentally, when in the concluding chapter of his PhD, he recommended that Business Schools should take enterprise and new venture creation
seriously if they were to be relevant to society. This was in 1987.

Since then, it has been a pioneering journey at a number of universities where his courses FOR entrepreneurship rather than ABOUT entrepreneurship have taken root. These include Cambridge, Reading, Cranfield and several other institutions, having established entrepreneurship centres at Nottingham Business School, Cambridge Judge Business School and most recently, as Director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield.

Shai was on the founding board of EEUK and for several years, was a board member at ISBE, the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The focus of Shai’s work is to enable managers and owners of science and technology enabled businesses to unlock hidden value in their ideas, turn them into business proposals and have the confidence and self-belief to take their ideas forward, whether this is for start-ups, scale-ups or established businesses. Over his career, he has had the good fortune to advise and mentor hundreds of entrepreneurs and their teams, and has supported business readiness for growth and scale up.

Informed by extensive research and consulting activity, Shai provides advice to policy makers, heads of institutions and advisory agencies. He continues to conduct research which appears in publications and books that are appropriate to a deeper understanding of mindsets, skills and knowledge and personal goals of entrepreneurs. More recently, he has also taken to podcasting on the topic of midlife enterprisers.

An educator, mentor, connector, entrepreneur and business angel – a true pracademic!