Google Hangout Panellists

Meet researchers turned entrepreneurs who will be on the panel of our "How to start a business after your PhD" virtual event on 20 March.

Kate Beresford

Kate Beresford is a Director at Kate Beresford Associates Ltd and specialises in assisting businesses, universities and the public sector to work together to create economic and social value through enterprise, innovation and knowledge transfer. Kate has a strong background in university enterprise education and business engagement developed through her employment with the University of Nottingham where she worked in the Institute for Enterprise and Innovation, managing the ‘Student Enterprise’ business germinator project as well as a number of ERDF and ESF funded business engagement projects. In 2006 she left the University to work independently and has since worked with universities across the UK; with science parks; with regional and national government agencies; and with private sector clients.

Having worked in the areas of enterprise education and knowledge transfer, Kate has developed an interest in the area where these two fields intersect and often asks the question – ‘How can enterprise education be used more effectively to support Knowledge Transfer?’ In 2012 Kate undertook an independent evaluation of the University of Birmingham’s ‘Talent Pool’ programme for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers which provided fascinating insights into this field and she has gone on to take a keen interest in similar programmes being run at other UK universities.

Kate is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


Andrea Cantone

Andrea Cantone

Business Developer at Audio Analytic & previous Senior Technology Associate at Cambridge Enterprise

Andrea is currently in charge of the Business development activities at Audio Analytic Ltd. Andrea worked as Senior Technology Associate at Cambridge Enterprise where he was working on the commercialisation of IP arising from the University of Cambridge. Andrea has a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pisa and a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge. While at Cambridge, Andrea has been president of Cambridge University Technology and Enterprise Club (CUTEC),Co-Founded Kuanza Ltd and worked with few start-ups in the Cambridge area.

Vivian Chan

Vivian is the CEO and co-founder at Sparrho. She drives the strategy, growth, and company's mission as it provides more personalised and effortless scientific discoveries. Before venturing into the startup world, Vivian completed her PhD in Biochemistry at University of Cambridge and also worked in a venture fund in Australia. She was also the former President & Chairman of CUTEC, and was part of the Entrepreneur First programme.


Enterprise panelist

Emma Heathcote-James

Little Soap Company & Little Soap School was conceived 5 years ago by Emma. Wanting to do for the cosmetics what Jamie Oliver has done for food, Emma wants to get the world back to basics, creating the purist organic soap she believes possible and making it accessible to everyone.

Emma's background is a far cry from the cosmetics industry though the skills and experience she's acquired along the way seamlessly flow into it. With Doctoral research in Theology and 4 best selling non-fiction books under her belt, Emma worked in writing/research in broadcast. Wanting to root closer to home, she initiated the Gloucestershire Media Group at Cheltenham Film Studios, securing a large amount of LSC funding for creative industries in the area. Emma also consulted in the area of Knowledge Exchange/Public Engagement at the University of Gloucestershire, SWScreen and The South West Design Forum. In 2008 she went to a village fete and bought a handmade bar of soap. She was astonished to find you couldn't buy anything like it amid your weekly shop. The rest, as they say, is history...


Enterprise panelist

Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith is the Head of Enterprise and a Principle Enterprise Fellow at the University of Huddersfield, the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2013 and Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2012.  Kelly manages the University’s Enterprise Team, helping students and graduates explore self-employment and business and social enterprise start-up. She also leads Graduate Entrepreneurship Project – an ERDF-funded collaboration of Yorkshire and the Humber’s 10 universities. Alongside her work on business start-up support, Kelly is a senior Business School academic leading on the University’s new 2013-2018 Learning and Teaching strategy theme on ‘Enterprising Students’ with the aim to provide all students at the University with an enterprise learning opportunity by 2018.

Kelly has a strong interest in the use of learning technologies and social media to support enterprise education and early stage business start-up, and has a reputation as one of the most influential enterprise educators on Twitter. She has a record of conference presentation and journal publications on a range of topics including engagement with graduate business start-up, enterprise skills training for postgraduate research students, and use of learning technology. Kelly was a member of the writing panel for the highly influential QAA guidance for enterprise and entrepreneurship education and a co-author of a recent All Party Parliamentary Group for Microbusiness report on an education system fit for an entrepreneur.


Katie Wheat

Dr Katie Wheat will be moderating this Google Hangout. Katie is a project manager at Vitae, promoting world class researcher development to realise the potential of researchers in the UK and internationally. Before joining Vitae, Katie was a postdoctoral researcher in cognitive neuroscience at Maastricht University. As a postdoc, Katie became interested in the training needs and career progression of researchers; in particular, equality and diversity, the transition to careers outside of academia, and the use of new digital tools to support the needs and careers of researchers. As a result, Katie co-founded the #ECRchat Twitter chat and online community, where she works with early career researchers around the globe to provide a peer-mentoring and networking platform to discuss post-PhD career issues.

Twitter: @KL_Wheat

Website: and

RSVP here to attend virtual Google Hangout on "How to start a business after your PhD"