Helping your business grow

It’s hard running any business, but when you’re starting out it can be even harder. This is why one of our key services (included in all our packages) is support from our Innovation Director and the wider centre team. From questions on the day-to-day running of a business, through to introductions to potential clients or getting support from experts, our friendly, approachable team are always keen to give you a helping hand.

Our approach & expertise

Our support system is developed based upon real-life issues which our community face when growing their business. Workshops and group events are scheduled based on the outcomes of support provided by our internal support team.

Every business based at the centre benefits from the following free services:

  • One-to-one business support
  • Access to a network of external experts and potential clients
  • Access to support programmes
  • Business masterclasses
  • Networking opportunities



Access university connections & resources

Our Centre is on the Knowledge Gateway, University of Essex campus in Colchester. This means that Innovation Centre companies can benefit from short and long-term support of students, academics, equipment and world-class research projects. Through our Innovation Director you can make strong connections with the University and provide opportunities to their students through research and internships as well as access to cutting-edge research, expertise and facilities.

Meet the team

It’s all about the people. Meet our dedicated, talented team, whose job it is to make your life easier.

Dan Smart

Centre Director

Dan has held senior management roles across both public and private sectors and has developed a deep understanding of what makes a business work. He was responsible for developing a leading training and consultancy business for a start-up in the renewable energy sector using his experience in business development and years in delivering technical, developmental and exploratory training courses. He understands the difficulties in early stage business and adds huge value to the otherwise excellent team.

Georgina Watts

Assistant Centre Manager

Georgina comes to Oxford Innovation with a wealth of knowledge and experience in operations and customer service, within the retail sector. She is looking forward to working with the team, managing day-to-day centre operations and helping the centre to flourish. Georgina really enjoys meeting people and loves spending time with her family camping and going on bike rides.

Neil Griffin

Innovation Director

Neil comes to Oxford innovation with a wealth of business and senior management experience within a strategically driven commercial environment. Personal development includes obtaining an MBA through the UEA as well as a being Chartered in Consultancy & Management. He specialises in providing practical business support for our tech community and connecting customers with like-minded individuals through our commercial networks and the University.

Bryony Shuter

Customer Experience Assistant

Bryony has spent ten years working in retail and has a wealth of customer service experience. She enjoys meeting and interacting with new people and will always go the extra mile to help. Bryony is very excited to be working in a new centre, with a brand-new team, and is looking forward to seeing businesses grow and develop at the Innovation Centre.

Interested in joining?

Speak to our team to find out more about becoming part of our community.