Photograph Peter Leather

Peter Leather

Programme Director

For more than 20 years, Peter has been providing leadership in key roles in the Innovation, Research & Technology sectors at policy, strategy and operational levels. He is presently leading the delivery of UCLan`s innovation, IP and research commercialisation strategies to ensure a professional and sustainable programme.

He is skilled in connecting people, ideas and resources at different parts of the innovation process such as ideation, invention, industrial design, enterprise and new product development, managing IPR and commercialisation, new company formation and raising investment funds across the start-up, early stage, SME and larger company arenas.

Peter has an enviable network and a track record of providing professional market and client-led services to organisations vital for them to assess technology and investment readiness. He is also skilled at applying technology and technical and commercial insight that help turn research ideas into successful products and services. His expertise is used by industry, academia, business and government.


Robert Sheffrin

Investment Director

Since the 1980’s Robert has specialised in venture capital and business angel investment as both an investor and advisor.

In addition to his venture capital roles, he is currently finance director of Atome Energy plc and was an investor and management team member with Imperial Energy plc which grew from start-up to FTSE 250 in 4 years, ultimately becoming group finance director for the oil field services subsidiaries.

A chartered accountant, he is a past president of the ICAEW Lancashire & South Lakeland and a former director of the UK Business Angels Association.
01772 89 56 56

Akshay Bhatnagar

Investment Director

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 1997, Akshay went on to a career in Venture Capital, both abroad with CDC and in the UK with MSIF. 

In addition to a career in corporate finance, Akshay has held CFO roles in industry across a number of sectors including Hospitals and Start-up Consultancy and is currently part time CFO of an Edinburgh-based SaaS Company.
01772 89 56 56

Chris Wynne

Investment Manager

Previously Chris has been a Management Consultant advising on, and developing business strategy and implementation of turnaround plans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The majority of his career has been in the banking sector as an experienced Relationship Director, with 30+ years’ experience in corporate finance, including equity finance, and the SME market.

Chris utilises his skills and business connections to help and advise businesses on raising equity finance.
01772 89 56 56


Sue Falls

Project Administrator

Sue has worked at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) since May 2017 and is qualified to degree level in Business Studies.  She has years of office experience including the roles of an Import Administrator, Finance Officer, Personal Assistant and Executive Support. 

As the team administrator Sue has the responsibility of ensuring that all the administrative activities run efficiently and provides structure to other team members.
01772 89 55 07


Steven Foster

Senior IP & Commercialisation Officer

A UK qualified patent attorney with experience dealing with patents in most major territories around the world.

Significant experience dealing with freedom to operate, patent prosecution and potential patent infringement issues.

Experience dealing with IP relating to a wide range of technologies.

19 years experience providing Intellectual property advice and support including 18 years working in industry for a multinational company.
01772 89 56 56