We are proud to be a team who believe that entrepreneurship makes a stronger UK.
Chief Executive Officer
Timothy is an entrepreneur and former venture capital investor. Before formally joining our team, Tim has advised CFE for a number of years. Previously, he ran his own business which supported start up companies and ran an incubator space in Westminster. Before that, he ran the centre for entrepreneurship at UCL, which he led from launch and grew to being one of the largest activities of its type in the world and has continued there in a part-time teaching role leading Strategy for post graduate entrepreneurship students.
As chair of Trustees for NACUE, Tim has had significant experience working within the entrepreneurship sector alongside young people and holds a number of non-executive posts. A graduate of UCL, he holds the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion and is a Fellow of the RSA.
Richard Cull Thomas
Deputy CEO / COO
Richard is Deputy CEO and COO at Centre for Entrepreneurs and responsible for CFE’s operations, finances and systems, and leadership of the NEF+ programme.
Prior to joining CFE (then NEF), Richard was at British Telecom, in a senior operational capacity leading customer service teams in the Consumer division and working with EE prior to their acquisition by BT. During his time at BT Richard developed deep expertise in customer experience, out- and insourcing of high-volume service operations and fixed and mobile telecoms technology.
Before BT, Richard worked in the aerospace industry at BAE Systems, in a wide variety of roles – engineering, project management and commercial, delivering cutting-edge technology and international defence programmes.
Outside of the day job, is a partner in his wife’s property development business, stays fit through a combination of running, cycling and dog walking and is, slowly, learning to fly fish.
Matt advises CFE on its research and communities, facilitates partnerships, and provides overarching strategic guidance to the team.
He was recruited by Luke Johnson in 2013 to design, launch and run the Centre as a think tank, before merging it with the New Entrepreneurs Foundation in 2017 to create a unified entrepreneurship foundation. Alongside his ongoing CFE role, Matt is director of policy and research at Global Entrepreneurship Network.
Previously, Matt co-founded student enterprise charity NACUE and worked at Enterprise UK. He helped launch the European Startup Network and served as board member from 2016-2019. He sits on the board of the National Enterprise Network.
Community Development & Events Lead
Claire is the Community Development & Events Lead responsible for developing CFE’s communities, including the Incubator and Accelerator Network and Refugee Entrepreneurship Network, as well as organising events. Claire is an experienced programme lead, securing funding to create innovative accelerator programmes, including sportstech, govtech, and managed the graduate entrepreneur visa scheme. She regularly provides mentoring and coaching to entrepreneurs/career changers and is passionate about creating connections, building empathetic communities, and supporting them to succeed.
With a background in international marketing and business development, Claire previously raised £mm to support the launch of an alternative investment company, and developed a European distribution network for a telecoms SME. Claire has also worked for a number of universities, both as a Consultant focused on knowledge exchange, and as Head of Student Enterprise at SOAS, establishing the student enterprise office, and doubling student engagement year on year.
Claire is also completing a PhD in regional social enterprise ecosystem development, and holds Master’s degrees in Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Education, International Marketing, and Management. She is Exec Chair of a Scout group.
NEF+ Programme Manager
Maxx is a 2020 alumnus of the NEF programme, winning the 2020 CEO’s Award and CVC Young Innovator Award for his business, Startbook, which provides products and services to entrepreneurship programmes. Following completion of the programme, Maxx started working on Startbook full-time and is now providing programme delivery services for CFE as well as other entrepreneurship programmes. Maxx draws from his 7+ years experience as an operational leader in startups as well as bringing his unique experience of working with multiple entrepreneurship programmes including Entrepreneur First, The HackTrain Accelerator and The Family. He holds an Oxford science MA (Hons) and a Quantic MBA (Hons).
Adam is the Operations Lead at CFE where he supports the operational activities undertaken delivering the NEF+ Learning Programme, research and policy delivery activity and events; as well as leading on managing CFE’s internal systems and financial processes.
Prior to joining CFE, Adam spent the last 7 years supporting businesses as both a consultant and in-house, gaining varied experience developing, advising on, and executing operational processes and strategies within organisations ranging from start-ups to FTSE 250 companies. Adam has also founded several businesses including the social enterprise Gallantry Art that supported armed forces veterans to sell their art.
Adam holds a BA in Law and Business from the University of Warwick and is currently completing his postgraduate studies in Sustainable Business at Cambridge University.
Founder Talent Lead
Alicia is our Founder Talent Lead at CFE where she is responsible for the selection of our founder cohort for the NEF+ programme. The completion of her undergraduate degree in Psychology BSc (Hons) and masters degree in Occupational Psychology MSc (Hons) sparked her motivation to identify, understand and extract the best in people in the start-up ecosystem by prioritising diversity. She joins us from the talent team at Founders Factory where she contributed to managing the end-to-end recruitment for founder and operational roles as well as people operations. Alicia is passionate about providing value to entrepreneurs starting out on their challenging founder journey.
Founder Talent Lead
Ben joins CfE as one of our Talent Founder Leads, having previously scouted the 2020 Cohort. Ben’s career to date revolves primarily around recruiting for high growth businesses, gaining great exposure to London’s startup ecosystem. Prior to this, he worked within the legal field and spent time assisting people over 50 reenter the workforce and start their own ventures. He has a passion for everything entrepreneurship, revels in meeting inspiring and ambitious people and loves to support small businesses in any way possible. He is the founder of his own local drinks company and aims to scale this with support of the NEF+ community in the near future.
Xingyue (Kelsey) Lei
Xingyue Lei (Kelsey) is an Operations Intern at CFE, where she provides support for day-to-day operations tasks, including event delivery and social media platform management. Before joining CFE, Xingyue worked for a fashion platform start-up (Piqi.com) developed by NEF+ alumna, where she assisted with product development, Concierge-MVP, and marketing.
Prior to these, in response to the 2020 pandemic, Xingyue founded a fundraising organisation to support local pandemic relief efforts.
Xingyue is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Culture Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London, set to graduate in 2024. She plans to continue her exploration of the marketing and PR industry by pursuing a master’s degree after graduation.