Charles Ward
Innovate UK Business Growth Scaleup Director

A business graduate, Charles has 30+ years commercial experience across a variety of industry sectors and has been coaching and facilitating regularly since 2014. 

His career includes marketing and sales roles with multi-nationals 3M Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson and De La Rue leading to senior European positions in Digital and Compaq. In the latter cases driving the pivot from technology to service-based propositions which involved leading on major change programmes. In 2000 Charles became director of techUK, the industry body for the UK’s ICT sector, delivering services to 850 member companies, mostly SME’s.

Charles’ business coaching credentials are derived from his time at techUK through working with a variety of businesses, professional advisors, and investors.  During this period, he led several business growth initiatives that provided him with a unique insight into the performance drivers and KPIs of successful tech SMEs as well as deep understanding of common scaling challenges.  In parallel he has been an advisor to New Zealand Trade & Enterprise since 2005 supporting over 30 globally ambitious Kiwi companies with UK and European market entry.  

With go-to-market strategy and internationalisation as areas of expertise Charles applies business design thinking to the core management priorities in helping clients to create fit-for-purpose business models for rapid growth.  

Charles is well-networked and has had spells working in the US, Switzerland, and South Africa. His style is collaborative and collegiate yet challenging when needed.

Charles is an active NED of an IoT software development company targeting international defence and health sectors; itself starting the scale-up journey.  He also has interests in MedTech as well as a niche food delivery platform founded by his entrepreneurial daughters.  Charles is a keen sports follower and, in his heyday, captained amateur cricket and football teams.

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