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UMI3 Ltd, The University of Manchester’s Innovation Company, is delighted to announce the appointment to the Board of Jason Stockwood, Group CEO of Simply Business, as non-executive director.
UMI3’s role is to bring as much of the University’s ground-breaking inventions and software into the commercial world. This is done principally by attracting entrepreneurs, investors and corporate venture partners to the University’s campus and Innovation Centre and then, through engagement with academic colleagues, licensing or spinning out companies.
All of the brilliant ideas which are generated by the University’s researchers have the potential to save lives, improve healthcare, increase efficiencies in industry and the environment, and otherwise enhance society and make positive contributions to the economy.
University spin-outs have produced “firsts” in scale-up of technologies with commercial applications, from quantum dot manufacture (Nanoco) to the treatment of radioactive waste (Arvia).
Jason Stockwood joined this month as a non-executive director and chairman of the Project Development Committee. As part of his appointment to UMI3, he will be reviewing progress of UMI3’s spin-outs and licence opportunities and will be reviewing proposals for investment by the University in new IP projects. He will be also working on the introduction of an enterprise culture to help generate greater impact from UMI3’s work and will be involved with the University’s Innovation Centre, UMIC, which provides lab, office and events space for innovative spin-outs and start-ups.
Stockwood is the Global CEO of Simply Business, one of the UK’s largest business insurance providers and a pioneering fast growth insurtech firm that has disrupted the industry through harnessing data and technology. Since joining in 2010, Stockwood is responsible for scaling the business to cover more than 900,000 customers, driving its global expansion, with its US office having opened last year, as well as successfully leading the company through investment and acquisition.
Prior to Simply Business, Stockwood held a number of senior positions across disruptive online businesses, from the global dating website, Match.com, where he was International Managing Director, to his role in travel as managing director at Travelocity Business. He has also held board positions with Skyscanner and The Drinkaware Trust.
Simply Business was voted 'The Best Company to Work For' in The Sunday Times in both 2015 and 2016 under Stockwood’s leadership, which also saw him voted CEO of the Year in 2016 by the same publication. In 2017 Simply Business was awarded its B-Corp accreditation in recognition of its supportive and innovative approach to ensure the business is making a positive contribution to wider society and the environment.
Jason Stockwood comments: “It’s an honour to join the Board of the University of Manchester’s Innovation Company, a world-leading hub for technology and innovation that is committed to supporting the growth of ambitious startups.
“I am fascinated about the wealth of new opportunities at our fingertips when we unleash the full potential of our talent and technology. I look forward to working closely with the next generation of innovators, helping review the progress of spin-outs and licences as well as new proposals for investment by the University in original IP projects.
“We are entering a world where every company will on some level be a technology business. The impact of digital disruption is immeasurable and The University of Manchester’s Innovation Company has a vital role to play in nurturing ground-breaking ideas and providing spin-outs with the support and access to funding that they need in order to scale.”
Clive Rowland, UMI3 CEO, comments: “We are in the process of developing our company to promote further the University’s goals for enterprise and social impact through technology licensing and spinning out new companies.
“Finding the ‘right’ balance between being a service provider and an investment-minded business is a constant challenge. Who better to help us with this development than Jason? His personal business success and well respected people-focussed approach to leadership is a wonderful asset for us and we are all looking forward to his contributions to our efforts. His origin in the North of England is an added bonus as we seek to make an increased commitment to the Northern Powerhouse through our work and our new technology transfer collaboration with the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield.”
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About UMI3 Ltd
UMIᶟ Ltd is The University of Manchester’s Innovation Company and is wholly owned by the University which has over a 30-year history of IP commercialisation.
Over 4,000 invention disclosures have been received. UMIP has set up 41 spin-out companies and 51 social enterprise spin-outs, staff start-ups and assisted student start-ups. Over 7,500 licences and assignments have been brokered and over £360M has been invested by 3rd party venture funders in University of Manchester spin-outs, a number of which have received national and regional enterprise awards. It currently has over 100 projects in its portfolio at various stages of development.
The University’s IP enterprises have generated over £115M to the University through the sale of shares in spin-outs, licensing income and through IP grants and contracts activity.
About Jason Stockwood
Jason Stockwood is Group CEO of Simply Business, twice recognised by The Sunday Times as the UK’s best company to work for, and himself awarded the accolade of best leader. Simply Business, the UK’s leading B2B insurance broker, is among the Tech Track 100 of the nation’s fastest-growing tech companies. It was acquired by the US insurance group Travelers in 2017 for $490m and has recently been accredited as a B Corporation, one of over 2,000 companies worldwide that are committing to redefining how business measures success, with higher standards of social and environmental impact.
An experienced leader of technology businesses, Jason has previously held leadership roles at lastminute.com, match.com, Skyscanner and Travelocity. Following the recent acquisition, he is part of the management team of Travelers, an S&P500 company employing over 30,000 people, advising them on business transformation through technology.
Launched in 2005, Simply Business provides an online brokerage service, delivering policies tailored to individual business requirements. Using the power of tech and data to create the best possible customer experiences, Simply Business employs over 800 people across offices in London, Northampton, and Boston in the US.
Owing to its internal underwriting capability, Simply Business can cover over 1,000 trade types – ranging from plumbers to accountants to dog walkers. An accredited B Corp for their positive social impact, Simply Business has also been voted the Sunday Times Best Company To Work For twice in a row.
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