Ian Brookes

Ian started his career with Price Waterhouse where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant, subsequent to which he founded his own management consulting firm specialising in corporate finance for SMEs. This business was subsequently acquired by an IT services company, and as Finance Director, he led the business to an AIM Listing. Latterly as Group Managing Director, the business achieved a FTSE main market listing, and a capitalisation of £150m. He left the firm in 2007 to become involved with a number of start-up ventures, including Winning Pitch, taking the business to a £2.5m PLUS Market listing in 2008. The business has subsequently won a £10m NWDA High Growth business support contract in 2009, and a £30m national business support contract in 2012. He is a non-executive director at Winning Pitch. Ian has worked with a number of Business Schools and Post-Graduate programmes at Lancaster, Manchester and Sheffield Universities, providing lecturing and tutoring services in entrepreneurship, management and finance. He was part of the team which established the MEnt programme at Manchester, and a business incubator for technology start-ups. He has also worked on a number of private and public funded business incubator initiatives, working with high tech start-up businesses in the ecommerce, digital media, business services, internet and software sectors. A Companion of The Chartered Management Institute, he is a Trustee and Governor of Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (funded by Rod Aldridge, ex-Capita) where the specialism is Entrepreneurship. A member of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, and a Freeman of the City of London, he hasn’t yet taken up the opportunity this affords to drive a herd of sheep across London Bridge.
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Recent Posts

Posted by Ian Brookes
20/03/17 08:26

Having spent three years at university living with two biochemistry students who were hell bent on teaching me all about Crick & Watson, molecular biosciences and the rudimentary principles of genetic engineering, I’ve subsequently followed their careers with interest as I'm filled with curiosity about genetics and cloning – but also originality and individuality.

Posted by Ian Brookes
13/03/17 06:55

I’ve long held an interest in British military history, taking leadership lessons into my business thinking. One of the harshest examples is the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War. It highlights for entrepreneurs on how shortfalls in planning, poor working relationships and ineffective communication can have a hugely negative impact on decision-making and consequently, outcomes.

Posted by Ian Brookes
08/03/17 07:18

I’m currently working with a retired farmer who had taken up creating his own brand of home made wine on an industrial scale from his farm in Rossendale. When I visited his farm for our first meeting I knocked on his door, to be greeted by a friendly, warm, physical handshake and a beaming smile: Come on in, would you like a drink of my wine? Was the first thing he said.

Posted by Ian Brookes
27/02/17 06:57

Habits can be a good and bad thing for an entrepreneur, giving a clear sense of focus, a rhythm and guidance to keep heading for the north star to make stuff happen, and yet paradoxically, the wrong habits end up ultimately in addiction to doing the wrong things repeatedly.

Posted by Ian Brookes
20/02/17 07:41

School reunions are funny things, you quickly rewind back to when you were 18 and awkward and gangly and clumsy, not that I’ve changed that much since then anyway. However, my recent reunion was really quite poignant, former teachers who had such an influencing and formative impact on me are now of an age that each year fewer of them remain alive or are well enough to attend.

Posted by Ian Brookes
15/02/17 08:30

The first time I visited New York, I was warned about three things: to be constantly aware of personal safety, to forget about tea as they only serve coffee, and, in the interests of political correctness (and, potentially, personal safety), never offer criticism of the President.

Posted by Ian Brookes
30/01/17 06:11

Where’s your favourite place to do your best thinking? Mine’s a deserted, windswept, isolated beach. It’s hard for me to put into words why I like the beach so much, it’s just everything about it is renewing for me, almost like therapy. Beach Therapy. Perfect beaches, perfect water, perfect rock pools, your own space, all the seclusion you could want.

Posted by Ian Brookes
22/01/17 21:53

Everyone who has taken a shower has had an idea. It's the person who gets out, dries off and does something about it that makes a difference. That’s Innovation - new thinking, big, fresh ideas. There are many great thinkers and entrepreneurs who have stepped out of the shower and done something remarkable, either as a startup business or another walk of life. Their story can be rousing, and help us draw inspiration in our own journey.

Posted by Ian Brookes
16/01/17 05:19

During a Cake Invest meet-up conversation last week, I poured some water into a glass, and it overflowed slightly. Clumsy said a startup founder who was chatting with me, to which I replied, Not really, I always give 110%.

Posted by Ian Brookes
09/01/17 07:59

The purpose of a tech startup is not to unpack an idea, rather to experiment, addressing a problem and creating an opportunity. The environment of startups is dynamic, unpredictable, forcing entrepreneurs to act quickly and learn faster, to find a market niche and acquire a repeatable and scalable sales process to find, win, keep and grow customers and generate revenue.

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