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What makes CRL unique is that it’s designed to support entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey – from concept development, through prototyping, first batch production and beyond – with mentoring and investment provided along the way.

We also have a strong commitment to collaboration and community. Our programme of mentoring, technical advice, exhibitions and events is just as important as our prototyping labs and workspace.

Meet the team

Mat Hunter

Managing Director

Mat leads CRL’s team in developing our programmes and shaping long-term strategy. Alongside this, he builds external partnerships across the private, public and non-profit sector, and represents CRL in the worlds of design, technology and public policy.

Mat’s career has focused on design-led innovation across a number of fields; firstly at global innovation consultants IDEO, in both San Francisco and London, developing digital products, services and strategies, then as Chief Design Officer at the UK Design Council where he led pioneering work bringing design and startup practice to public and non-profit sectors. He also established the Design Council Spark product investment fund accelerator.

The product Mat couldn't go without: my bike...or bikes...I appear to have 4 at the moment

Mandy Nyarko

Accelerator Programme Lead

As CRL’s Accelerator Programme Lead, Mandy’s focus is on delivering and developing a programme that accelerates the business growth of the entrepreneurs, leading them to build sustainable business models, and products that create positive impact. She supports the startups with the tools and collaborations they need to progress and execute their product, business, and market development, as well as their investment journey.

Her previous experience includes business coaching, investment readiness, pitching, and strategic planning. She also has a 9-year background in banking, mostly management and is an entrepreneur herself, owning a high-end wig company.

The product Mandy couldn't go without: my car!

Alex Peet

Product Development Lead

It's Alex's role to ensure the startups have everything they need to get products in the hands of its users, whether that's connecting to the right overseas suppliers, bringing in external experts or understanding the core value of a product. Alex has a Masters in mechanical engineering and, as a result of leading design teams at Dyson, a deep knowledge of design for injection moulding and design for manufacture. With the help of the talented designers in the CRL team, it's his ambition to get every startup's product to a stage where it can be produced economically and sustain a profitable business.

The product Alex couldn't go without: my table tennis bat with 'BEASTMODE' laser engraved on it.

Alice Johnson

Community & Coworking Lead

Alice works on growing the thriving community at CRL, developing the coworking space to fit the needs of its hardware focused members, as well as managing facilities and the day to day requirements.

Alice spent the first decade of her career working in community development across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, curating citywide events and facilitating exciting local projects. She subsequently spent a further five years supporting the business community in Peterborough, setting up one of the cities first start up hubs, ‘Ignite Peterborough’ now a central workspace for local startups. The project was also showcased internationally in 2015 as a leading example of the cities wider aims to become the first pioneering circular ‘smart’ city in the UK.

The product Alice wouldn't go without: Probably my Pioneer controller for DJing! They're not the best spec anymore but they've survived a whole season bouncing around from venue to venue in Greece and a good few years with me in the UK

Su Weeks

Project Manager

Su is CRL’s resident project manager and works to ensure successful management of the European Regional Development Funding that CRL receives, and maximise opportunities for CRL startups.

In 2015, Su received a scholarship from the European Commission to study an international MSc in Strategic Project Management: European. Prior to that she worked in the project management of ERDF innovation projects designed to facilitate innovation and growth in start ups. Su played a key role in the management of two successful London-based innovation projects, Digital Media Innovation Consultancy project at Ravensbourne, and the London Creative and Digital Fusion project, a large consortium of London- based HEIs led by Lancaster University. Before moving to London, Su worked for Marketing Manchester to promote the industrial heritage of the North West, and attract business tourism to the region, as well as working for various arts organisations, including the Bridgewater Hall and Manchester Camerata.

The product Su couldn't go without: my cabin zero backpack. It changed my life!

Erica Purvis

Design and Impact Lead

Erica is an expert in sustainable design and as well as helping to set-up the CRL’s community, her focus is on maintaining the vibrant and design-led culture of CRL and communicating our activities & startups progress. She supports our startups in building in positive design impact to their ventures through, User Research methods, Business Modelling, lifecycle and circular economy thinking.

A product design engineer herself, Erica has held previous roles at Philips, Waste Watch and Keep Britain Tidy and is an organiser of the Open Source Circular Economy days, People’s Design Lab and more recently a startup business coach for the Climate KIC Summer School Journey.

Genevieve Oller

Marketing Manager

Genevieve is responsible for the development and rollout of CRL’s annual marketing plan, ensuring that the organisation’s activity and that of its members is communicated to the wider industry. This extends to supporting with the promotion of CRL’s Accelerator programme.

Her previous experience includes working for a variety of B2B organisations, predominantly in the built environment sector. In recent years, her experience has been focused around helping to develop and implement overall marketing strategies for small businesses. In 2016 she completed her CIM Marketing Diploma.

The product Genevieve couldn't go without: my wireless headphones!

Supporting Partners

COLLABORATIVE PARTNERS