Ian McFarlane-Toms – Business Ready Programme Manager, University of Warwick Science Park

With over 30 years’ experience Ian has held senior management posts in sales, marketing, operations and finance. Ian counts himself fortunate to have had the opportunity to have lived and worked outside of the UK for eleven years and can rightly claim to have a broad range of experience in terms of cultures, industry sectors and business disciplines.

With a track record of success in business turnaround, business development, change management and M&A, his passion is working with SME businesses to help them to be more successful.


Dirk Schaefer – SME Engagement Lead, University of Warwick Science Park

Dirk is a Business Adviser for the University of Warwick Science Park. He runs the technical marketing activity and start-up incubator helping companies get started and scale. During his professional career which spans over two decades, Dirk has advised over 1,000 businesses resulting in the creation of multi million-pound businesses, as well as significantly growing scale ups.

With an eye for innovation and markets, Dirk has helped companies launch hundreds of new products, raise millions of grant, equity and debt funding and identified profitable markets to facilitate their growth and innovation.


Carol Bull – Programme Delivery Assistant, University of Warwick Science Park

Carol has over 15 years’ experience working for the University of Warwick Science Park in administration and has worked on various programmes within Business Support, these include: Team Start, Investment Readiness, Rural Growth Network, Minerva Business Angel Network (the largest angel investor network outside of London), Ignite and Business Ready.

Prior to this, Carol worked in administration and secretarial roles for the public and private sector, ranging from SMEs to large corporate businesses.


Steve Tipson – Business Growth Adviser, University of Warwick Science Park

Steve has spent over 25 years working in digital marketing, successfully building a well respected agency which he sold in 2020. Over this time he’s consulted with over 500 SMEs in dozens of sectors, creating strategies to help them grow online.

Having been involved in a number of start up businesses, Steve can fully identify with the challenges and opportunities that small businesses face on a day to day basis. Steve is married to Fiona and has two children and lives just outside Warwick.


Rod Roberts-Dear – Business Growth Adviser, University of Warwick Science Park

Rod has over 30 years of experience with large corporations, consulting firms & more recently with a variety of SMEs. He has an MBA, has been engaged across several sectors and held senior roles in Sales and Marketing, Strategy, Business Development and General Management.

For the last 15 years he has been working closely with SMEs and has accompanied their journey as consultant, manager and investor, establishing new revenue streams & working on a range of deals & initiatives. He currently combines coaching SMEs on business improvements with an advisory role at Business Ready.


Fiona Malloy – Business Growth Adviser, University of Warwick Science Park

Fiona is a results-oriented marketing professional with experience with SME’s from start-ups to established enterprises across Warwickshire. With experience within sales, marketing and business development – she has been tailoring digital and traditional marketing support for over a decade.

As a consultant, Fiona has a proven track record in the development strategies to increase visibility, brand awareness and sales across a wide range of industries including professional services, food and beverage, events and digital and creative.


Mark Wisniewski – Business Growth Adviser, University of Warwick Science Park

Mark has experience in a broad range of industries and sectors, from start-ups to multinational corporations. He now focuses on product development specifically within eCommerce, mobile app and web development, digital payments and more…helping businesses to build products and services their customers actually want.

Formerly, as a Senior Business Development Manager at Scottish Power, he managed multimillion-pound renewable energy projects. Transitioning to start-ups in 2012, Mark became a founding member, adviser, and early investor in several start-ups across technology, renewable energy, and eCommerce ventures.

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