Queen's Innovation Centre

Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre
Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre

QICGN : London Branch

Officially launched in March 2016, the London node is QIC Global Network's inaugural innovation hub. This branch will be able to support QIC ventures that intend to expand into the UK and the rest of Europe. 

Meet the Alumni

Ed Biondini

Ed loves Tech. He specializes in Business Development & Growth Strategies for Seed-Series B start-ups. His first venture was helping to expand Tilt to Europe, second working on UK product market fit. He currently works for CB4, Artificial intelligence & Machine Learning SaaS, backed by Sequoia Capital & Octopus Ventures, responsible for New Business at the C Suite level for their European expansion.

Graeme Blair

Mr. Blair is an accomplished, commercially savvy human capital professional with over seven years of progressive experience in mining and metals, and transportation. Recently, he completed the Accelerated MBA for Business Graduates Program at the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business at Queen's University, class of 2016. As an undergraduate, he pursued multiple interests at Simon Fraser University and graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration, Joint Psychology Major.

Mr. Blair is passionate about culture, talent strategy and people management practices that drive high performance. He has domain knowledge in multiple areas of HR, with an emphasis on talent management. Mr. Blair has experience with corporate program design and delivery, process improvement and HR software platforms, combined with business partner and labour relations experience in industrial operations. He can also leverage his experiences working abroad and his Spanish language skills.

Heather Christie

Heather Christie, CFA, Vice President, is Director of BlackRock UK Retail Sales. She is responsible for client relationship management and business development with BlackRock's strategic partners in the UK.

Prior to moving to her current role in 2014, Ms Christie worked on BlackRock’s EMEA Family Office, Charities and Endowments team. Her service with the firm dates back to 2010 and her career began at Scotia Capital where she was a summer analyst in Global Equity Finance.

Ms Christie holds a Masters in International Journalism from City University in London, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Literature from Queen’s University in Canada. She is a CFA Charterholder and sits as a Director on the board of Herstmonceux Castle Enterprises.

Jay Dickieson

Jay Dickieson is a London-based entrepreneur. He is co-founder and Managing Partner of the Summerhill Group Ltd., a strategic consultancy focused on helping companies prepare to raise capital, launch new products and enter new markets. He has worked with a range of start-ups like Emma Lomax London and Mapsted Inc. to FTSE-100 brands like Tesco and Sainsbury’s. He is also founder and CEO of Wetherby Art Management Ltd, an innovative art retail and e-commerce business.
With a background in strategy consulting, Jay has built distribution networks, launched products and led turnarounds in the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and mainland China. He is a volunteer with the Princes Trust and mentors young entrepreneurs. He has a BAH in Political Studies from Queen’s (Artsci ’08) and an MSc in Management from Cass Business School in London (’09).

Liam Dye

Liam Dye is a Senior Associate with Onex Corporation’s private equity team in London. Since joining Onex, Liam has been actively involved in evaluating potential acquisitions, conducting due diligence on new investment opportunities and working with Onex’s portfolio companies. Liam began his career in the Investment Banking division of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London, after completing his third year of university on exchange to Durham University. Liam holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Honours) from Queen’s University.

Beth Falconer

Beth Falconer graduated in 2005 with a Bachelors in both Biology and Economics from Queen's University. She has worked in sustainability policy implementation and change management in London since 2008 for clients including the NHS, London Development Agency, and the Financial Conduct Authority. She currently works for HSBC as a global project manager and supports local startups with sustainability and supply chain planning.

David Knight

David Knight works for NBC Universal International as Director of Business Development, with a focus on investments, partnerships and incubating new digital businesses within the company. He previously worked with several media and technology start ups in London, leading business development and strategy at Arts Alliance Media and working with the founders to fund and launch the new film production company Filmwave.

Prior to moving to London, Mr. Knight began is career in Los Angeles, California with the Boston Consulting Group and later worked in distribution strategy for the Walt Disney Studios. Mr. Knight holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Engineering and a B.A. in Economics from Queen’s University, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA and an MBA from the Wharton School.

Jackie LaRocca

Jackie LaRocca graduated from Queen's Political Studies in June 2011, and then moved to London to peruse a Masters degree from City University London, in International Politics and Human Rights. Following her studies, Jackie worked in the UK Gaming Industry as a Technical Project Manager developing games to be released to market. She now works as a Consultant at Capgemini Consulting in the Business Technology and Innovation team. With a special interest in Innovation, start-ups and financial technology curation. She has worked for a range of clients from the public and private sector including leading global consumer products corporations. Jackie also volunteers as a professional mentor to London undergraduates, and enjoying running all year around in the UK.

Thomas Macgowan

Mr. Macgowan graduated from Queen’s Geological Engineering in June 2015. With a desire to pursue a career in tunnelling, he moved to London that summer and began job searching. In October 2015, he started an MSc in Tunnelling and Underground Space Engineering with sponsorship from the British Tunnelling Society (BTS). Since then he has remained an active member of the BTS and has signed a work contract with Mott MacDonald to begin this October. Mr. Macgowan is well placed to deliver advice on the civil engineering industry in the UK, particularly for products related to underground engineering. Outside of work Mr. Macgowan is interested in travel, technology, computing, cooking, photography, hiking, skiing, history and politics. He would be pleased to discuss potential opportunities for innovative products in the UK and mainland Europe.

Carolyn Minaudo

Ms. Minaudo works at Eversheds Sutherland, a leading international law firm, in the Financial Services Disputes and Investigations team working on fraud, banking litigation and regulatory matters. Prior to this position she worked at a media company specialising in intellectual property rights where her role was to resolve disputes over conflicting copyright claims.

Ms. Minaudo holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Literature and Political Science from Queen's University (2013) and a law degree from Queen Mary University of London (2015). She is excited to be part of QIC as Ms. Minuado would like to use her background in law and her position in London to help Queen's alumni launch their businesses abroad. She is happy to help with any aspect or offer any general advice about working in London.

Diane Neil Mills

Diane Neil Mills seeks, advises and invests in business development opportunities in capital intensive sectors including energy, telecommunications and local government, building on her experience of more than 20 years in these sectors across Canada, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Diane's practical experience is complemented by formal training in both Economics (MSc, London School of Economics) and Engineering (MSc, Imperial College and BSc, Queen’s University, Canada). She also served an an elected Councillor for the London Borough of Merton from 2006 to 2014, including four years as a cabinet member with responsibilities for planning, regeneration, housing and finance.

Kathryn O’Hare

Ms. O’Hare graduated from ArtSci at Queens in 2011 with a degree in psychology and decided to pursue law school in England. She attended law school in Canterbury and since graduating in 2014 has been working at a law firm in north London, specialising in property and commercial law. She has a particular interest in working with startups and small businesses.

David Orr

David Orr is an international development consultant with Mott MacDonald. Based in London, he travels frequently to India, South Africa, and the UAE to work on economic development programmes, Outside the office, David co-founded a platform to boost youth engagement in politics and works for a UK-Africa science charity. David holds a BA from Queen's and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge.