In 2013, Storm entered into a joint venture with the University of Bath and created CiteAb – now the world’s leading life science data company, which is estimated to save the industry over $1bn a year. Both companies received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for innovation in 2022.
Why did you choose to study at Bath?
One of the things that attracted me to studying a business course was the breadth of opportunities – you learn about finance, economics, HR, marketing – the whole lot. What really impressed me about the Business Administration course at Bath was the level of integration with industry.
How did your studies help you to develop?
I’m from a place in Cornwall where buses came every other Tuesday if you were lucky, so university was a big change. It gave me a confidence boost and I grew up quite quickly. I also benefited from the connections I made through the course – not just with peers but also within the business community. Even now that I’m an alumnus, the University still invites me to events such as guest lectures, and I love that I’m asked to chip in and speak to students, too. As a graduate, you know how valuable a network can be because you’ve experienced it first-hand, so it’s a no-brainer to give back to Bath in some way.
Why did you decide to ‘branch’ out from tech and plant your own forest?
This stemmed from Storm’s 10th anniversary. We made three pledges: to become a B Corp; to create a forest to offset our carbon legacy; and to win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – and now we’ve achieved all three! Co-forest was inspired by my eldest daughter, who was asking what we can do to help combat climate change. With a healthy dose of naïve optimism, we decided to set an example and plant our own forest. Immediately, our clients wanted to get involved and within a month we had raised £250,000 and were on our way to buying land in Bristol and planting 10,000 trees. Hundreds of volunteers made it possible, which shows what can be achieved by coming together. Co-forest will be a lasting reminder of that. The School of Management encourages students to think ambitious.
What does ambition mean to you?
For me, ambition is essentially your end point, your dream – but it’s meaningless unless you have the drive and desire to make it happen.