Gauri Kangai

Nurture Programme Manager

Born and raised Geographer Gauri is committed to making our cities more sustainable, by enabling startups that are building solutions to city challenges grow. With a few more skills than just ‘colouring in’ Gauri has a human geography degree from UCL where she specialised in Geographical Informational Systems, policy experience from a stint at Defra, and most recently spent over three years developing Geovation – Ordnance Survey’s open innovation initiative with HM Land Registry, where she led their accelerator programme for location data-based and property technology businesses.

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Kerry Deacon

Origin Programme Manager

Kerry is an accomplished creative communications and fundraising professional, having sourced and written social, digital and print communications content targeted for international NGOs and the UK arts sector. Holding a BA Hons in Community Arts and PGCE in Education, Kerry has 10 years’ experience managing, facilitating and evaluating socially engaged educational, arts and community courses, workshops and events for young people and community groups.

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Mandy Nyarko

Managing Director and Advance Programme Manager

Mandy leads the Exeter Velocities team developing the programmes of support, and focusing on the long term strategy, as well developing strategic relationships with relevant partners both public and private sector. With eight years experience in banking, Mandy has developed skills within Operations, Management and Customer experience. Her most recent experience within the last five years has centred around startups, which has given her the opportunity to work with 100’s of entrepreneurs across various different sectors such as FMCG, fintech, clean tech, medtech, foodtech, biotech, and many more. Her core skills within the startups industry has been designing and delivering accelerator/incubator programmes, coaching, investment readiness, and building a relevant ecosystem.

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Jemma Hodgkins

Investor Liason

Jemma’s primary role is to explore and manage investor opportunities for Velocities. Jemma also oversees mentor relationships and business support for the programme. Jemma is also our primary link to Exeter City Futures. Being a sociable person, Jemma flits from one social event to another. But don’t be fooled by her charm, Jemma has a background in Forensic Criminology and can detect mischief from miles away.

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James Geer

Comms Lead

James supports our start-ups with advice on all areas of digital marketing. From comms planning to build an engaged following on social media, James can help our start-ups reach local and global audiences. James is passionate about sustainability and recently returned from Beijing where he managed Media and Communications for a water conservation NGO run by the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders. He is a keen cyclist and excited to be working for an organisation that will help make Exeter more cycling friendly.

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Mark Jones

Creative Lead

Mark is passionate about promoting Exeter Velocities and our values both locally and nationally. He is available to provide our start-ups with design and branding guidance and ideas on all things creative. Mark has honed a wide range of skills working for early-stage start-ups and knows how to achieve a lot with minimal resources. Previously he was a jack-of-all-trades for an Exeter-based 3D Chocolate Printing company, where he did everything from marketing to designing 3D models and developing the methods that made 3D chocolate printing possible.

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Gosbert Chagula

Ecosystem Manager

Gos manages our programmes, liaising with investors and making sure entrepreneurs get the support they need to develop solutions that will have a significant positive impact. Before joining us, Gos worked for the Africa Technology Business Network helping young African female entrepreneurs to launch high-impact businesses. He also played a key role in enabling innovative solutions to the continent’s challenges and providing access to under-served communities. Gos has a degree in law from Kingston University and apart from inspiring our start-ups, he dreams of building his own sock empire.

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Liz O’Driscoll

CEO

Liz has overall responsibility for Exeter Velocities and the various programmes aimed at delivering the goals in urban transport, mobility and energy. With a PhD behind her and senior roles in one of the world’s foremost technology companies, Liz has experience in developing complex system capabilities, technology strategy and transformational change. Liz is the architect of Exeter Velocities and guru of all things innovation. When not working, she can be found eating ice cream on the seafront with her children.

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