Chris is founder and CEO of a number of businesses which focus on enhancing the lives of people with diverse learning needs. As well as leading these businesses – e-Quality Learning, Learning Labs, Invate and CognAssist – Chris is a member and representative of the British Assistive Technology Association (BATA) and has advised government on their policies towards disabled students in education. Chris has personal experience of having an additional learning need, and was identified as having dyslexia whilst studying Mechanical Engineering at Northumbria University. He often presents at industry conferences and is a passionate entrepreneur.
An experienced Chairman, Non Executive Director, CEO, Investor, Entrepreneur and Mentor. Neil has won many accolades since 2009: he has been listed several times in the Times Fast Track Tech 100 and appeared both in the Times and FT. He won the Tees Valley Business Executive of the Year in 2010. He was a regional winner and national finalist of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards in 2009 and then in 2014 was invited back as a judge. Neil is an active member on the Cognassist board. He invests and consults with businesses such as Cognassist and delivers personalised training to business owners.
With a strong background in the sector, Claire has a solid understanding of the challenges and legislation requirements faced by learning providers, due to previous leadership roles in the skills and welfare to work sector. In her current role Claire is responsible for delivering strategic commercial leadership and is responsible for revenue growth within the organisation. With a particular emphasis on cost-effective customer acquisition, she leads on marketing and sales strategy as well as on developing collaborative working relationships with partner organisations.
Michael started his career in corporate banking, where he spent 8 years working for a ‘Big 4’ bank before moving on to director roles in high growth businesses. Michael’s experience includes the development and implementation of strategy, securing and managing multiple venture capital investments, and managing periods of significant growth and change within entrepreneurial environments. Michael is responsible for funding strategy, governance, the overall financial wellbeing of the company and alongside the rest of the board, the strategic direction of the company. Michael is a Chartered Global Management Account with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Louise heads up our Science team which is focused on the development of cognitive ideas and applied neuroscience within Cognassist. The combination of a PhD in Quantum Mechanics combined with her 15 years+ experience in the field of neurodiversity provides a strong foundation for linking in scientific developments within the solution. Louise is responsible for validity, compliance, building out new cognitive ideas, working on new markets and developing training material to upskill various establishments in neurodiversity, cognition and tailored approaches for learners.
A passionate marketing and communications expert with a proven track record of leading complex programmes in a highly competitive and fast-moving market place. Karen started her career in publishing and has worked for some of the biggest global STM publishers.
15+ years’ experience leading Marketing and Communications teams in B2B across diverse organisations from large publishing corporates to edtech start ups.
Since leaving full-time employment with Ofsted (as their Deputy Director for Further Education and Skills) in 2015 Marina has specialised in supporting senior leaders to rapidly improve the quality of their provision. She is particularly interested in working with organisations who quickly need to improve their leadership and management and the quality of their teaching and learning, and who aspire to be good or outstanding.
Dr John Welch is a consultant to Cognassist aiding in the development and iteration of several of our most innovative products and services. Dr Welch headed up Clinical Neuropsychology in Newcastle upon-Tyne and started services to the Epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, Joint Neurology/Neuropsychology surgeries and is also an expert witness.
Dr Clive Skilbeck is a consultant to Cognassist and a UK trained clinical psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist, with degrees from Liverpool University and a PhD from Plymouth University.