Our Team

Some information about our team

Tim Harper – Chairman

Tim Harper is a former European Space Agency engineer turned entrepreneur with a track record of creating, funding and building international businesses from Singapore to San Francisco based on scientific instruments and sensors, advanced materials, nanotechnology and graphene. Tim has been running technology businesses for twenty-five years and combines his scientific background with an in-depth knowledge of business and finance. He is a co-founder of low-cost electric vehicle business MEV Automobiles and the founder of G2O Water Technologies, a developer of graphene-based water treatment systems. He has also advised national governments and NGOs such as the United Nations and World Economic Forum on emerging technologies, smart cities, digital twins, technology policy and innovation strategy.

Geoff Archer – NED

Dr Geoff Archer has over 30 years’ experience of undertaking, managing and developing applied research partnerships between Universities and Businesses. A BSc and PhD Chemistry graduate of University of Leicester, with an MBA from the Open Business School, Geoff has worked at Bangor, York, Leeds and Manchester Metropolitan Universities before joining Teesside University where he was until August 2020, Head of Knowledge Exchange, developing partnerships with industry and establishing spin-out companies from academic research.

Since retiring from Teesside University, Geoff has undertaken innovation assessment for the Grow Tees Valley and SparkFund ERDF projects and continues to mentor Knowledge Exchange professionals from a number of UK universities.

Geoff was elected to serve on AURIL Council 2013-2017 representing AURIL on the Lambert Working Group, developing the recently launched Lambert Toolkit which provides guidance and templates for collaboration agreements between business and universities. He was also seconded part time into Tees Valley Unlimited to support the development of the Innovation Strategy for the Tees Valley LEP.

Geoff is an experienced presenter, workshop facilitator and trainer, comfortable with engaging a wide range of audiences. Recent examples include a Keynote presentation at VentureFest North East 2016, invited Facilitator for Understanding ModernGov and Workshop Chair for AURIL2016.

Ali Hadavizadeh – NED

Ali is a commercially experienced individual and a keen advocate of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship with over 30 years’ work experience of which nearly half has been supporting start-ups in sectors such as education, health, finance, engineering, food and agriculture. Ali has a broad knowledge and experience in areas ranging from high value scientific genetic research to establishing a successful food processing business and lately managing university Innovation and Incubation Centres dedicated to research commercialisation and early-stage High Tech High Growth start-ups and SMEs. Ali currently has few projects on the go one of which is working as an Online Teaching Fellow for University of Bath’s School on Management delivering a module on Customer Interface. I have always had a keen passion for science, technology, and business. I aspire to operate at the interface of technology and commercial world where great ideas, inventions and scientific breakthroughs can be translated into game changing products and services. I see supporting enterprise and entrepreneurship through The PIPE Company as a tool to nurture entrepreneurial aspiration of universities’ talented and bright research communities, bring together strong teams and affect change.

Robert Steele – Founder & CEO

Rob has spent the last 20 years in and around start-up companies either as founder, co-founder or ‘first person in’. Over the last 8 years he has worked in and around early stage incubation and funding projects, particularly in the EU University sector.

Previously Rob has managed to exit two businesses, one to Exxon and the other to IBM both from a start-up position and has created EIS/SEIS investment funds to support university projects and local knowledge transfer opportunities. Rob is known for his team building, quick thinking, flexible working and can do attitude to move projects from the page and into the real world.

Peter Carlile – COO

Pete is a strategic and performance focused business manager with 35+ years of innovative, energetic leadership in EMEA and Asia.

Expert in leveraging global resources, capabilities and relationships to gain competitive advantage. Pete is a motivational leader known for clearly defining objectives and goals, aligning people and resources, and through them consistently delivering results that exceed expectations.

Andy Flack – CITO

Andy is a can-do, pragmatic, technical leader of 35+ years, used to creating and maintaining company critical developments, in financial, retail, and medical sectors.

Facilitating x100 company growth and dealing with all of the IT and commercial issues and requirements along the way, including scaling and performance, Andy’s teams have maintained BAU whilst breaking new ground, making IT a consistent value source and multiplier.

James Haggarty – BDD

James is a results driven business and account development account director with experience of operating at C-Suite level within the private and public sectors delivering profitable growth within new and existing accounts.

Growing previous business revenue by 100% (£85m to £175m) on implementation of new sales model first year, with 350% (£10m to £45m) growth in a single major account. He has demonstrable experience in relationship building with clients and internal stakeholders; creating and structuring delivery teams to be customer centric to create profitable account growth while building and retaining new and existing customers.

Rachel Jones – Legal Advisor

Rachel Jones is an experienced senior corporate/commercial lawyer having worked with international companies throughout her career.

Experienced in IT and Digital technology transactions in multiple market sectors both supplier and client facing.

Rachel also has a strategic role working at senior management level, advising on deal structures of multi-jurisdictional transactions across Europe.

Experienced in technology, commercialisation, entrepreneurship, business development, finance and investment, supported by NED’s and a growing Associate Network of 200+ industry, commercial and financial associates.