Investing for Impact: Accelerating Innovation and Growth

The Knowledge Transfer Network’s Charlotte Thompson will chair this panel featuring entrepreneur and Angel investor, Sherry Coutu; seasoned Angel investor Prof Adam Beaumont; Dr Henry Kippin, Director of Economic Growth at the North of Tyne Combined Authority; and Green Angel Syndicate Director, Cam Ross. The session will discuss the positive impact investment can make to start-up and growing businesses, the wider economy and society.

Charlotte Thompson


Charlotte Thompson is part of the Investment team at KTN, enabling ideas to be commercialised by blending public innovation funding with private financing in areas where investment can create positive change. Charlotte previously worked in a start-up, commercialising water reuse technology for better water quality and access, and managed the UK’s CERN business incubation programme, translating knowledge from CERN’s international partners to early-stage innovative companies.

Professor Adam Beaumont

Founder and CEO of AQL

Professor Adam Beaumont is the Founder and CEO of communications specialist, aql and CEO of Isle of Man based company, BlueWave Communications. An active angel investor, Adam founded not-for-profit investment platform, NorthInvest which propels co-investment in tech start-ups across the North of the UK. As a Founding partner of the Northern Powerhouse, he also created the first not-for-profit internet exchanges outside of London, IXLeeds and ManxIX, created to drive economic and digital growth across the North. These exchanges also built the UK’s internet resilience. As a devoted environmentalist, he is a Trustee of the Eden Project and non-executive board director of Eden Project International Ltd (EPIL).  Internationally, Adam is a IoD Global Director of the Year winner and also the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia championing trade and close relations between the Baltics and the UK and Isle of Man.

Sherry Coutu CBE

Entrepreneur & Angel Investor

Sherry Coutu CBE is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor who serves on the boards of companies, charities, and universities. She chairs or has chaired Founders4Schools, Workfinder, Raspberry Pi (Trading), Digital Boost and the Scaleup Institute. She also serves as a non-executive Director of Pearson plc, London Stock Exchange plc and as a Trustee of Raspberry Pi Foundation.

With more than 60 angel investments, three IPO’s, and numerous JV’s and acquisitions behind her, Sherry has extensive experience in early and mid-stage companies having held senior positions in product management, research, finance, and operations.

Sherry is also the 2020, Newcastle University Business School David Goldman Visiting Professor of Innovation and Enterprise.

Dr Henry Kippin

Director of Economic Growth, North of Tyne Combined Authority

Dr Henry Kippin is director of economic growth at the North of Tyne Combined Authority.  He was formerly an executive director at the West Midlands Combined Authority, responsible for its work on inclusive growth, public service reform, climate change and digital.  Previous to this he was chief executive of Collaborate CIC, and held roles in UK public policy and international development.  He is a member of NESTA’s Government Innovation Board, and between 2013-18 was a visiting fellow of the UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence

Cam Ross


Cam Ross co-founded, jointly ran and raised 2 rounds of Business Angel funding for a contact centre payments business, with an exit by sale to AIM-listed Eckoh plc.  Cam is an Aeronautical Engineer by training, and has experience in creating, commercialising and patenting new technology. He has twelve granted patents in the fields of telecommunications, payments and customer authentication. He has a practical ability to analyse and improve complex processes, from manufacturing to software systems. Cam manages Technical Due Diligence for Green Angel Syndicate.

Cam is also a Board member of SocietyWorks, the commercial arm of the not-for-profit social enterprise mySociety, which builds technology to help democracy, transparency, and community in the UK and overseas.