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HR & Recruitment

Ian and Naomi


Ian has a degree in International Marketing and an MBA and shares his time between homes in Austria and the UK. Born in England, Ian has lived and worked in England, Australia, France, U.S.A. and Italy.


He spent 16 years with BASF initially in Marketing, before taking on the role of a turnaround or restructuring specialist, working in several of their businesses across a number of countries. In his penultimate role at BASF (Divisional VP EMEA) he delivered 3 years of record profits and record sales in a division with revenues of €167m in the middle of a recession. His last role at BASF saw him turn a loss-making business into a profitable one in just one year.

Subsequently Ian has continued his passion for the world of startups and turnarounds, and has recently spent 3 years successfully restructuring an ailing financial services business in the UK. Currently working as an Expert in Residence at Imperial College, Ian continues to mentor and coach early-stage businesses with a focus on ESG and related sectors, working directly with a number of them as an NED, Advisor or Consultant.

First Flight have been helping Startups for many years but their recent partnership with Startup Gurus has increased our activity in this area hugely.


From our database of some 11,000 potential NED candidates, nearly half have expressed an interest in investing in early stage companies. Typically the candidates will be ex- Captains of Industry with amazing networks and sector specific experience.


When we take on a search project, we can source candidates with exactly the experience and knowledge you need, plus they will invest in your company. Usually a project will see us recruit some 3 or 4 candidates who will typically invest between 25k and 50k each. We’ve run much bigger campaigns and seen larger sums invested - our record to date for an Imperial startup is over £300k from 13 investors!


Our sweet spot is where a company has reached MVP stage (we can do earlier and later) and it’s essential they have a good document pack available. If you’d like to know more about how this all works, then click here to be taken to our website.

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