Lizzie McCloy, KPMG Enterprise Senior Manager
Nexus, the University of Leeds’ new innovation hub which opens early next year, has joined forces with one of the world’s leading professional services firms, KPMG, to bring business expertise to its community of start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs.
As part of Nexus’ bid to help high growth businesses gain easier access to the University of Leeds’ expertise, talent and facilities, the strategic relationship with KPMG aims to ensure businesses receive commercial advice and investment connections.
The first of its kind in the North, the collaboration will commence in January next year with Lizzie McCloy, a senior manager in KPMG’s enterprise team supporting the Nexus community.
Drawing on eight years’ experience with KPMG, Lizzie, a biochemistry graduate from the University of Bristol, will work on a one-to-one basis with Nexus members to identify where they need support and will provide guidance on topics such as access to finance and international expansion to help them achieve their business goals. She will work closely with recent Nexus recruits, Chelsea Hardy, engagement manager, and Harrison Evans, collaboration manager, to support Nexus’ growing community of businesses and entrepreneurs.
Dr Martin Stow, Nexus director, said: “This collaboration represents a fantastic opportunity to marry the university’s world-class research and innovation expertise with KPMG’s wealth of business advice and industry experience. Lizzie will be a fantastic addition to the Nexus community and her experience will prove invaluable for our members looking to translate ideas into real business opportunities."
Lizzie added: “I’m really looking forward to getting to know the Nexus business community and supporting them in achieving their growth ambitions. This is a brilliant opportunity to share leading industry knowledge with emerging businesses and connect them with KPMG’s excellent network and resources.”
Chris Hearld, North regional chair for KPMG, said: “As the innovation ecosystems surrounding our universities continue to evolve at pace, the UK is fast gaining global recognition for developing and nurturing exceptional talent, and for producing exciting and innovative fast-growth businesses through incubators such as Nexus. In the long-term, this could prove to be the key differentiator which sets the UK apart from other nations as the world’s foremost global innovation hub.
He added: “This collaboration with Nexus is part of our long-term strategy of embedding ourselves into the regional innovation ecosystem and is a demonstration of our commitment to building lasting strategic relationships with start-up and fast-growth businesses. The SME sector is the growth engine of the UK economy, so by partnering with Nexus we can support these businesses to unlock their growth ambitions, working together with them in a way they may not previously have considered.”
Professor Lisa Roberts, University of Leeds’ deputy vice-chancellor: research & innovation added: “This new alliance is another signal of our commitment to work with businesses to ensure they gain access to the incredible expertise, talent and facilities we have at the university and to foster collaborations that ensure our research has economic and societal benefit”.
Based in a brand new £40m building on the university campus, Nexus will feature state-of-the-art facilities including office and lab space, collaboration areas, event and meeting space and a dedicated team who will be responsible for facilitating productive working partnerships and collaborations. Connecting businesses to the university’s world-class research and facilities and talent, Nexus will give businesses a competitive edge in a dynamic market.
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