The Informatics Ventures Advisory Board


We’re privileged to have some of the best entrepreneurs turned investors and prominent members of the entrepreneurial support community as part of our advisory board. From their diverse set of perspectives and experiences, we’re confident that together we can ensure Informatics Ventures delivers the right programmes to the right people to help Scotland’s entrepreneurs achieve their global potential.

Chris van der Kuyl

Chris van der Kuyl

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Chris van der Kuyl is an entrepreneur whose expertise combines the start-up, development and market listed business arena in the technology, media and entertainment sectors. He is one of the UK’s most successful videogame developers and is responsible for the global phenomenon Minecraft, which is currently on track to become the most successful videogame of all time.

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Sherry Coutu CBE

Sherry Coutu CBE

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Sherry is an Entrepreneur, Non-Exec Director, Investor and Advisor to Companies, Universities and Charities. She possesses a deep understanding of the dynamics of both b2b and b2c businesses, portfolio management and macro-economics and recently published ‘The Scale-Up Report’ focusing on UK Economic Growth.

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Hermann Hauser KBE

Hermann Hauser KBE

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Serial Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, Hermann has wide experience in developing and financing companies in the information technology sector. He co-founded a number of high-tech companies including Acorn Computers which spun out ARM, E-trade UK, Virata and Cambridge Network. He has founded over 20 technology companies and in 2001  was awarded an Honorary CBE for ‘innovative service to the UK enterprise sector’ and a KBE in 2015 for services to Engineering and Industry.

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Heidi Roizen

Heidi Roizen

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Heidi Roizen started her career in 1983 as co-founder and CEO of T/Maker Company, an early personal computer software company. After T/Maker’s acquisition by Deluxe Corporation, Heidi became Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations for Apple Computer. In 1999, she became a venture capitalist, first at Mobius Venture Capital and now at DFJ, a leading technology venture capital firm where she serves as the Operating Partner.

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Sandy Kennedy

Sandy Kennedy

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Summary Bio: Sandy Kennedy’s extensive commercial background has involved the successful startup of Bowie Castlebank Group’s online and direct business, the turnaround and growth of over 600 of their physical retail stores, as well as securing a partnership agreement with the largest supermarket chain in the UK. Since 2009, Sandy has led The Saltire Foundation growing its programmes by over 100% and delivering a sustainable business model.

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Ian Ritchie

Ian Ritchie

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For the past 30 years, Ian Ritchie has helped to build Edinburgh and Scotland as a centre for innovative high growth technology companies. He has personally invested in over 40 start-ups and served on the boards of Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Funding Council and co-chair of the Scottish Science Advisory Board.

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Gordon Merrylees

Gordon Merrylees

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Gordon Merrylees is an external ambassador for RBS & NatWest across the UK  responsible for nurturing entrepreneurial talent. Gordon supports and acts as counsel and advisor to SME initiatives on future strategic direction to support entrepreneurs and has played an integral role to establishing Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator hubs across the UK.

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Crawford Beveridge

Crawford Beveridge

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Crawford Beveridge is a Scottish-American technology executive and chair of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers. He was formerly Chief Executive Vice President and Chairman EMEA, APAC and the Americas of Sun Microsystems.   In addition to his role at Sun, Crawford has an extensive business background in companies such as Hewlett Packard, Digital Equipment Corp and Analog Devices and has experience of growing companies on a global scale.

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The Informatics Ventures Team


Just like the entrepreneurs we support, we are always thinking big. How can we do what we do better? What partnerships can we forge? What opportunities can we source that will help Scottish technology companies grow? Our team draws on a wide range of skills and backgrounds to deliver the best programmes, helping technology entrepreneurs to scale by providing an unrivalled quality of experience. Put simply, we are always raising the bar.

For general enquiries please contact info@informatics-ventures.com

Dr Steve Ewing

Dr Steve Ewing, Director of Operations

Tel. +44 (0)131 650 9936   

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Prior to joining IV, Steve worked as Senior Business Development Executive on the Design Informatics Resident Entrepreneurs programme that fostered the creation of four new companies and several new prototypes and products. He led on the development of strategic alliances between corporates and the School’s robotics institute and two successful EPSRC funding bids for a new robotics facility and Centre for Doctoral Training aimed at creating industry and innovation-focused graduates. Prior to this, Steve worked as a biotechnology and pharmaceuticals equities analyst for Deutsche Bank AG and WestLB Panmure in the City of London.

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Gordon Stuart

Gordon Stuart, Senior Executive

Tel. +44 (0)131 650 9915    Mob. +44 (0)7785 330883

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After graduating, Gordon spent almost 20 years as a technologist in advanced product R&D both in the UK and internationally. In 1996 Gordon co-founded and became CEO of Spektra, which in 2001 was Scotland’s fastest growing technology company. Since 2004 he has been involved in a range of initiatives aimed at promoting start-up activity within Scottish Universities and has personally engaged with over 20 companies as a mentor, non-executive director and private investor. In 2008 he was named as one of Scotland’s ‘Science and Technology Big Hitters’ by Business Insider magazine.

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Danny Helson

Danny Helson, Programme Manager

Tel. +44 (0)131 650 4427    Mob. +44 (0)7984 035399

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Prior to joining IV at its inception in 2008 Danny was the Commercial Executive for the Edinburgh-Stanford Link, helping companies in Scotland’s less affluent areas access its world-class research and strategic R&D expertise. Danny has over 20 years of senior sales experience in both the UK and Australia, having begun his career with Nestle UK who he was with for 12 years before re-locating to Perth, Australia. He returned to the UK to complete his MBA at the Edinburgh Business School, with electives in small business and strategy, and has called Scotland home ever since.

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Ronnie Johnston

Ronnie Johnston, Events & Communications Manager

Tel. +44 (0)131 650 9979   

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Ronnie has over 14 years of conference & event management experience, and prior to IV ran her own company Rj Events, where she delivered events for such clients as Young Company Finance, Interface- Connection for Business, EPIS (Edinburgh Pre-Incubator Scheme) and Business Forum Scotland Ltd. Previously Ronnie was PA to the Director of Commercialisation within TRS (Technology & Research Services) at Heriot-Watt University and played a pivotal role in the administration of the commercialisation strategy. Ronnie was also a founder and driving force behind the company Innovation Event Management Ltd.

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Nicola Bull

Nicola Bull, Marketing Manager

Tel. +44 (0)131 650 4453   

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After achieving her 1st Class MA in Business and Accountancy from the University of Edinburgh, Nicola worked as Income Manager in the Finance department of Historic Scotland, gaining project management skills from the implementation of various new systems and initiatives. Following this Nicola joined The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) as an Executive Assistant to the research pool before joining Informatics Ventures as Marketing Officer on a split role basis, affording her the unique position of being able to interact with both research and commercialisation activities within the field of Informatics and Computer Science.

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Siobhan Gilliland

Siobhan Gilliland, Events & Finance Assistant

Tel. +44 (0)131 650 4404   

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Siobhan is the Events & Finance Assistant for Informatics Ventures and brings with her 10 years of secretarial and administrative experience from her previous roles at Edinburgh Investment Consultants (EIC) and Dundee City Council. Siobhan has also previously worked in the hospitality industry which complements her current role as the first point of contact for all visitors and delegates of Informatics Ventures events.  Alongside Ronnie Johnston, Siobhan is responsible for delivering IV’s events to the high standard we hold ourselves to, and our stakeholders have come to expect.

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