Dr Martin Stow

Chairman and Nexus Director – Nexus

Dr. Martin Stow leads on the delivery and implementation of Nexus, and plays a significant role in leading the strategy, business development and operations for external research partnership activities. He is responsible for implementing a culture of innovation and enterprise within the University and beyond.

Martin is dedicated to ensuring Nexus becomes an innovation powerhouse, fostering a vibrant, efficient working environment for world-leading academics, entrepreneurs and innovative companies to deliver commercial impact and generate economic growth. Martin is a biochemist by training with a first class honours degree and DPhil (PhD) from the University of York. He has over 25 years’ experience working in senior worldwide research and development and strategic leadership roles within the healthcare and life science industries both in multinational businesses – as Vice President for Research and Development with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) – and in ‘start up’ organisations, most recently as the CEO of a disruptive and innovative DNA personalised skincare business. Martin has brought more than 25 new products to market in the Medical Device, Diagnostics and Consumer sectors, most of which have been launched globally.

Dr Mark Tock

Operations Director – Nexus

As Nexus Operations Director, Mark, alongside his team, is responsible for managing the Nexus building and ensuring that our community has a supportive, inspiring and productive environment in which to succeed and grow together.

Mark brings a wealth of experience from the innovation and start-up landscape, having led a number of incubation and science park projects including; Liverpool Innovation Park (LIP), Sheffield Bioincubator and Nottingham University Innovation Park (UNIP). He has also provided advisory and mentoring support to developing incubators in Malaysia and China. An Applied Biological Scientist by training, Mark holds a PhD in Biology (Genetics) from the University of Leeds and followed a research career until gaining his MBA from Edinburgh Management School. He also holds a PG Cert for Business Incubation, Coaching, and Mentoring from the University of Huddersfield. Mark has a passion for supporting entrepreneurs to translate world-leading research into real world impact that changes lives.

Chelsea Boothroyd

Engagement Manager – Nexus

As Engagement Manager for Nexus, Chelsea is responsible for liaison with businesses, matching their needs to the University’s capabilities and facilitating productive working partnerships and collaborations between academic experts and business. A first-class graduate from the University of Cambridge, Chelsea has extensive experience of creating successful collaboration opportunities with small businesses and large organisations, having spent the past five years working in one of the world’s largest financial institutions, driving strategic change.

As part of the J.P. Morgan’s FinTech team, Chelsea focused on how to harness emerging technologies to transform the future of finance. Passionate about translating complex ideas into actionable strategy, she has mentored numerous start-ups on their journey from initial idea to product delivery.

Dr Harrison Evans

Collaboration Manager – Nexus

As Collaboration Manager at Nexus, Harrison is responsible for providing seamless access to the academic expertise, facilities and talent across the University of Leeds and oversees relationships between Nexus members, research and innovation and the wider University. He is key to fostering new relationships with businesses in the Nexus community, gaining an understanding of their business needs, providing solutions to overcome their challenges, and connecting them to the University’s world-class research and innovation partners, as well as external stakeholders.

A specialist in health sciences, he has extensive research experience within the higher education environment, including with teams at the University of Exeter and the University of South Australia, where he gained a PhD from the School of Health Sciences. In his most recent role, as business development and senior programme manager at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Harrison worked across a number of technology focused innovation programmes promoting partnerships and facilitating collaborations between industry and NIHR-funded infrastructure.

Jo Howorth

Engagement Manager: Talent & Skills – Nexus

As Engagement Manager: Talent & Skills Jo provides tailored support to help members scale and develop at pace. Working on a needs-based approach members are guided through recruitment processes and development opportunities and connected to University colleagues who deliver the most appropriate method to address their needs. This includes recruitment, internships, placements, mentoring, leadership training and continued professional development.

Dedicated to finding innovative ways to help business and develop talent, Jo has delivered a number of key initiatives across the University. This includes a leadership network of chief executives, partners, managing directors and entrepreneurs which supports and challenges students in their professional development and advises on educational programme design to meet business needs. Throughout her career Jo has supported hundreds of businesses in sourcing talent for exclusive projects and looks forward to working with many more as she brings her experience to the Nexus community.

Tom Oakes

Engagement Officer – Nexus

As Engagement Officer at Nexus, Tom facilitates productive working partnerships and collaborations between academic experts and business. He is responsible for building relationships with early stage, high-growth businesses, assessing their needs and identifying ways to collaborate with the University.

As well as a first class degree in engineering, he has previously worked with both public and private sector organisations, helping to deliver complex change programmes, including large scale digital transformation and enablement projects. Tom is passionate about creating collaborative opportunities for start-ups and SMEs, and uses his experience in engineering and technology to engage with partners to make a positive contribution to the region’s wider business community.

Dennis Dokter

Relationship Officer – Nexus

As Relationship Officer at Nexus, Dennis provides Nexus members with seamless access to the academic expertise, facilities and talent across the University. He works closely with members to understand their business needs and connect them to the right partners, both within the University and externally within the wider Leeds City Region.

A Maastricht University graduate, Dennis has worked in the research and funding field for the past four years and joined Nexus from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), where he worked as Grant Development Manager. He is incredibly passionate about research and innovation, and working on cutting-edge, cross-discipline projects.

Yvonne McBrearty

Head of Marketing - B2B – Nexus

As Head of Marketing - B2B, Yvonne leads on the development and delivery of the Nexus marketing and communications strategy, ensuring it supports the business development and operational ambitions of Nexus and its community. The Nexus marketing team are responsible for delivering a marketing and communications programme that drives strong research partnerships, enabling businesses to accelerate innovation and maximise commercial returns.

Yvonne also leads the dedicated Nexus events team who provide a year-round programme of events that support the Nexus community and wider Leeds City Region. She has 20 years’ marketing and brand experience across a variety of sectors including education, financial services, technology and not-for-profit. With extensive experience in B2B marketing, Yvonne is passionate about helping organisations to reach their business development and brand potential through targeted and effective marketing strategies.

Alan Gallacher

Network & Events Manager – Nexus

As Network and Events Manager for Nexus, Alan works with external partners, members and University colleagues to develop a year-round programme of events for our community. With a BA (Hons) in Events Management, Alan brings a wealth of experience to the Nexus team having spent over 10 years working in a variety of events roles, both inside and outside of the University.

He has worked across a number of Communications and Development teams to create and deliver events in line with marketing and fundraising strategies and to support wider business objectives. Alan is passionate about creating a programme of events that fosters a dynamic sense of community for members and strengthens connections between businesses and the University.

Lizzie Smith

Enterprise Manager – KPMG

As part of the KPMG collaboration with Nexus, Lizzie will be working with our community to identify where businesses need support and guidance. As part of a longer term strategy to engage and support growth of regional start-ups and SMEs, she’ll provide assistance on topics such as access to finance and international expansion, helping businesses achieve their goals and utilise KPMG’s network and connections.

Drawing on eight years’ experience with KPMG, Lizzie, a Biochemistry graduate from the University of Bristol, has worked with clients from a number of sectors. She also works with NorthInvest, a not-for-profit early stage investor network, looking to make connections between entrepreneurs in the Tech sector and early stage investors, so is keen to hear from businesses preparing for investment and looking for seed funding. Lizzie has worked with businesses through significant growth periods and looks forward to bringing this experience to help companies embarking on their growth journey at Nexus.