Scaling Your Business

SJIC Tenants

As part of the onboarding process, you will be introduced to the SJIC Projects Team when you first move into the centre. Based in St John’s Innovation Centre, we work with Innovate UK EDGE to provide bespoke support and advice to ambitious, innovative and growing businesses looking to thrive internationally. Our highly experienced advisors are well connected in the East of England business ecosystem. They are available for drop-ins, face-to-face meetings and virtual consultations. The team is supported by Grace Bilney, our marketing manager, who can promote your business success across our website, social media, national newsletters and connect you with local press.

Innovative Companies

The SJIC Projects Team are based at St John’s Innovation Centre and work with innovative businesses across the East of England (Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk). We work with Innovate UK EDGE to provide a range of bespoke support to ambitious and innovative businesses looking to grow and thrive internationally. Our highly experienced advisors are well connected in the East of England business ecosystem. The team is supported by Grace Bilney, our marketing manager, who offers one-to-one marketing advice.

Companies Mentored
Funds Raised
No. of delegates at our events
Access to Finance
Pitch Preparation & Delivery
Strategy Development
Business Model Development
Innovation Management & Commercialisation
Digital Marketing Strategy
New Market Entry
Assessing IP including Patents, Trademarks & Copyright

Innovate UK EDGE services are free of charge to eligible businesses.

**We have updated this section of our site to reflect that we are now delivering bespoke growth and scaling support for innovative businesses on behalf of Innovate UK EDGE. Formerly, we referred to ourselves as a delivery partner for Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). We remain a partner for EEN and our clients will continue to benefit from EEN’s resources such as access to international markets. Please visit to learn more about Innovate UK EDGE and its vision for specialist-led growth support tailored for innovative businesses.**

Read our success stories

Meet the Team

The SJIC Projects Team is made up of experienced business support professionals. The team is supported by Grace Bilney, our marketing expert, who promotes tenants through our marketing channels and offers one-to-one marketing advice.

David Gill

Managing Director

David Gill has been Managing Director of the St John’s Innovation Centre since 2008. David is currently a non-executive director of several start-up companies, a board member of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (regional economic development), and chair of the steering committee of ideaSpace, the University of Cambridge pre-incubator. David is the co-author of numerous publications on innovation, incubation and finance.

Kirsten Masson

Head of Programmes and Development

Kirsten has worked for or been closely involved with the Centre since 2012 – her 25 year track record in business support and programme management for SME’s has been extensively used across tenants and companies in the East of England.  Kirsten’s varied experience of working across a range of businesses including her own means she knows the importance especially focusing on raising finance, leadership & management, strategy and planning and executive coaching.

Penny Lord

Senior Innovation Advisor

Penny joined the Centre in 2013 and enjoys her varied job as coach, innovation advisor and development manager.  Currently working with companies in East Anglia she helps support them using her years of experience in strategic planning and Access to Finance . She is passionate about supporting SME's to grow, innovate and internationalise.  Penny is a Yorkshire lass and offers a down to earth, practical approach – in her words – she calls a spade a shovel!

Chris Ellis

Senior Innovation Advisor and Scaleup Director

Chris has considerable experience in cross-sectorial consulting assignments as a result of directorships in creative agencies and ran his own brand and marketing consultancy for a decade. He has also held client-side roles in software development, construction and technology businesses – including investing in one which listed on AIM. He uses his career expertise blended with innovation growth coaching skills to support SJIC tenants and external clients. Chris also supports scaling businesses across the UK in his role as a Scaleup Director for Innovate UK.

  • Brand & marketing consulting with FMCG/Finance/Tech sector expertise
  • Digital Transformation Programmes
  • Equity raises
  • Tech commercialisation
  • Sales & marketing strategy
  • Scaling challenges

Richard Carey-Evans

Senior Innovation Advisor

Richard joined our team from the Department for International Trade where he helped companies grow their exports. He also has a strong background in management consultancy. Richard lived and worked in Madrid for over 20 years and is a fluent Spanish speaker.


  • Cleantech
  • Sustainable construction
  • Management consultancy
  • International trade
  • Digital start-ups

Nathan March

Innovation Advisor

Nathan has over 10 years of business advisory experience and has a background in public sector and corporate banking. He joins us from Barclays and SEMLEP’s growth hub giving him a strong background to support innovative SMEs to achieve their growth ambitions.


  • Public sector
  • Corporate banking
  • Finance
  • International Trade
  • Digitalisation

Tom Graver

Projects Officer


  • Life sciences
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Retail and hospitality
St Johns Innovation Centre
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