“I think it is really important that people make time for more one-to-one calls as that is when you can build stronger relationships than big group meetings.”
I help the College’s staff, student and alumni startup founders to raise investment by making investments from the College’s new £2 million Innovation Fund and introductions to angel and venture capital investors in the Imperial Startup Investor Network.
Previously, I have worked in technology transfer as an investor in startups from universities across the UK, and many years ago completed a PhD in biochemistry. I was lucky to join the College in January and had six weeks to meet many new colleagues before the first UK lockdown was announced and our team began working from home. From the Startup team’s stately offices in South Kensington, via the Enterprise Lab’s trendy basement to running investment readiness courses in the glass high-rises at White City, I was lucky to share coffee with many of the people I now work with remotely.
In March 2020, we started planning our investor event for May but had to cancel the usual in-person format and start from scratch to plan our first online event. I think it is really important that people make time for more one-to-one calls as that is when you can build stronger relationships than big group meetings. We have had two team members join for three–month secondments and have been able to develop strong working relationships despite never meeting in person.
While I miss seeing my team, working from home has been great as I get to see more of my children and can balance work with a busy home life. During the first lockdown, managing home schooling for a four and seven-year–old with two working parents was incredibly satisfying yet exhausting. I’m proud to say I’ve got into lockdown trend of baking bread most days and I can now make a pretty impressive doughnut.