John Leake

Business support for technology companies Sci-Tech Daresbury

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We help guide companies on where they might access markets, funding, skills and technical facilities

Sci-Tech Daresbury is a national science and innovation campus and an enterprise zone. It is home to the internationally-renowned STFC Daresbury Laboratory and Cockcroft Institute but also over 100 technology companies from start-up to blue chips (eg IBM, Lockheed Martin) and in sectors including advanced engineering, materials, biomedical, digital / ICT and clean technology.

We provide a range of services to technology companies in the sectors mentioned above:

  • Provision of busines facilities and services including high-quality and flexible office, laboratory and workshop space
  • Free of charge membership of the Sci-Tech Daresbury network focused on the needs of technology companies
    • This has a membership of over 4000 people across the NW and wider UK and is brought together regularly each month through various networking and information events
  • Identification of potential collaborations with relevant high-tech companies at Sci-Tech Daresbury  or in the Daresbury network
  • Establishment of links, where relevant, with blue chip companies that are existing strategic partners with Sci-Tech Daresbury (eg IBM, Unilever, BAe Systems)
  • Connection to companies into Sci-Tech Daresbury’s network of VC funds, angel networks and other financial institutions
  • Signposting of companies to the relevant business support and grant funding programmes 
  • Enabling companies to access relevant specialist technical expertise and facilities through the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Virtual Engineering Centre and the Cockcroft Institute, or via STFC, into the wider UK university network
  • Enabling companies to access relevant professional expertise through Sci-Tech Daresbury’s Gold partner programme


I have 15 years of expertise working in sales, marketing and business development in a number of  international blue chip materials businesses. In particular I have managed global businesses and global key accounts in sectors such as food and beverages and personal care.

I have worked for over 8 years at Sci-Tech Daresbury supporting around 200 technology SME businesses to improve their probability of survival and acceleration of theirbusiness  growth. This is done by a focus on what we call the Daresbury differentiator, focusing on the key business issues of:

  • Access to market & customers
  • Access to money
  • Access to skills & expertise
  • Access to technical facilities

I help develop a bespoke package of support and network connections to help the management team tackle their business critical issues. 

This approach has brought significant benefits to Daresbury companies with minimal company failure (circa 5%) and average sales growth rates of 30%/year over the past 4 years.

Contact John Leake

My most frequently asked questions

What grant funding or support is available for a technology company?

How do I identify what technology companies I need to partner with?

How do I feel gaps in the management team of my business?

Who should I be talking to about accessing investment into my technology business?

What can a university offer me and how do I best start talking to them?

Business stages:

  • Early stage - pre revenue
  • Growth
  • Existing with 2+ years of strong revenue growth
  • Pre-flotation
  • Early stage - with revenue
  • Project
  • Acquisition
  • Reorganisation / Phoenix
  • Established with 2+ years revenue

Specialist areas:

  • Business Strategy and Planning


  • Business Advisory
  • Business Mentoring
  • Business Optimisation

Top sectors:

  • Digital, Creative inc Apps
  • Energy / Power
  • Engineering
  • Envtl / Greentech / Cleantech
  • Healthcare
  • IT Hardware
  • Life Sciences / Biotech
  • Software & Support
  • Technology
  • Telecoms & Internet