Lily Cheng Photo

Lily Cheng, Founder

Lily is an advocate in raising the awareness of mental health and gender issues, and is passionate about empowering women to reach their full potential. Prior to founding the Rising Network, Lily played a key role in growing and developing a leading technology industry network which brought together a diverse set of hi-tech companies through high quality networking events. During her time in this role, Lily was responsible for business growth, engaging with the tech community, members and partners as well as managing the overall marketing and PR function within the business.

Within the decade she spent in the healthcare sector, Lily has held various roles, the most significant included working in the provisions of mental health services. This became the catalyst in fuelling her desire to empower individuals to create a better life for themselves, and to improve health and well-being. It is her all-inclusive approach to employee well-being and organisational psychology which enables Lily to create effective learning and development workshops alongside initiatives for individuals and organisations to improve the bottom-line performance. Her commitment is to bring people together, from all industries and communities to promote the progression and advancement of women. She believes in a holistic approach towards life and embodies this outlook in the network.

Email: [email protected]

Katy Hurst, Client Support and Events Manager

Katy has over 15 years’ experience managing events, most of that time working in London across the breadth of the industry, including organising exhibitions with over 60,000 visitors, corporate events for BBC Worldwide, charity fundraising balls and most recently delivering digital training programmes for a tech startup. Katy loves the way events can have such a dramatic effect on the attendees and always strives to deliver experiences of the very highest standard – it helps that she has just enough OCD to make this happen!

Katy studied music at university, and still plays the viola in Cambridge orchestras as well the electric version in her rock covers band.

Having relocated back to her home county of Suffolk in 2016 Katy joins us after her ‘hardest job to date’ – becoming a Mum! And is enjoying coming to work ‘for a rest and a hot cup of tea’!

Our Advisors

Alan Barrell Advisor

Professor Alan Barrell DBA, FRSA 

Biologist with experience in NHS medical technology, turned salesman turned businessman, entrepreneur, venture capitalist fund manager, and labelled now “pracademic”, Alan is a champion of the next generation and the vision of A World Without Borders – through Education Without Borders and Open Innovation. Entrepreneur in Residence at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning Judge Business School University of Cambridge, Visiting Professor at University of Sunderland, Portsmouth in UK and International Executive Fellow University of Essex , and in China Guest Professor at Xiamen University, Shanghai University, Shanghai College of Science and Technology and University of International Business and Economics Beijing.

International Research Fellow at Laurea University Helsinki and Lahti University in Finland, and at the Tohoku Fukushi University Sendai Japan, Alan is also engaged in support of NHS Healthcare Reforms after being Chair of NHS Health Enterprise East Ltd for eight years. His next generation work extends to Board Membership / shareholdings in four early stage health care companies and to having been Chairman of Trustees of NACUE – National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs and advisor to Start Up Generation International and Youth Business China.

In his spare time raises money for the charitable causes he supports. Best selling book out July 2013 – co-authored with David Gill and Martin Rigby – “Show Me The Money – how to raise the money needed to get your business off the ground” Knighted in Finland by the President there in 2012 for services to education – Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose of Finland having earlier been one of the first ten recipients of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. Very proud to be an Advisory Board Member to Innovation Forum and MedCity London. His article in Cambridgeshire Business “Sharing China’s Dream” displays his deep interest in China and its history and his love of the country and its people. Travels widely but always loves coming home to Cambridge and visiting Yorkshire.

Soraya2 v2- next to her quote

Dr Soraya Jones

Soraya Jones is a director of her own consultancy company after being an Entrepreneur in Residence at St. John’s Innovation Centre Cambridge for one year( May 2016), where she supported ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs within the incubator community and the wider region. She is currently a board member of: Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN); SeeChange Films (Charity); Cambridge Phenomenon Advisory Editorial Board: Venturefest East.; The Rising Network Advisory Board. She is also now one the UK Ambassadors for Women In Innovation.

Prior to this, Soraya was the founder CEO of the successful Cambridge Wireless(CW) cluster, growing the business to a membership of over 400 companies and setting up 20 Industry Special Interest Groups Forums which delivered around 50 technology events per year. During her time there, she also led the launch of two major technology focused conferences: Discovering Start Up Competition and the Future of Wireless International conference (FWIC). Before CW, she served as the Director of Commercial Partnerships at Tribal Plc, and as a Programme Development Manager at the University of Cambridge Programme for Industry. Born in Malaysia, Soraya holds BSc and MSc degrees from Indiana University, USA, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge (Magdalene College).

Lynn Morgan Dr about us (11)

Dr Lynn Morgan

Lynn Morgan joined the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity as CEO in Spring of 2010. Lynn’s previous role was Director of Business and Enterprise at the East of England Development Agency and prior to that she was the East of England Regional Manager for the Big Lottery. Both organisations were about supporting strategic and service development across the East of England. Lynn had experienced the wonderful care provided by the hospice when her own father had been an inpatient and she realised the value of the work the hospice does and at the first opportunity, applied to join the Charity. The priority over the last six years has been to focus on two important areas: firstly taking the hospice out of the NHS to an independent hospice, whilst retaining NHS funding for some services. This was achieved in 2015 with 100 staff TUPEing over from the NHS to the Charity. The second priority was to build a larger hospice with facilities fit for the 21st Century. The new award-winning hospice opened in November 2017. Lynn grew up in Cambridge, did a BA (Hons) and MA at Anglia Ruskin and has a PhD in Organisational Psychology from Manchester Business School. All three degrees, in one way or another reflect a lifelong interest in the empowerment of women and Lynn has always been interested in supporting all staff to develop to their potential, but particularly encouraging women to take that next step.

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Miranda Western-Smith 

Miranda helps early stage biomedical businesses attract investment and develop their business strategy. She founded and runs BioBeat, a programme to inspire the next wave of bioentrepreneurs and business leaders.

Miranda has worked with many entrepreneurs and is experienced in fundraising, business planning and technology transfer. She is a long standing Mentor for Cambridge Judge Business School’s Entrepreneurship Centre, contributes to the University of Cambridge Masters in Bioscience Enterprise course, is a Coach for the SME Instrument of the European Commission and a member of the St John’s Innovation Centre Training Team.

She brings experience as a Technology Manager at Cambridge Enterprise, where she assessed and marketed life science technologies, negotiated licences and spun-out companies. She was responsible for technology transfer at the University of Cambridge for the Cambridge-MIT Institute. In her five years at the seed capital firm, Cambridge Research and Innovation, she invested in early stage technologies. Miranda co-founded Cambridge Network with Hermann Hauser.

Miranda studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and has a Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Rising Festival Committee

Professor Dame Carol Black

Professor Dame Carol Black DBE, FRCP, FMedSci is Principal of Newnham College Cambridge, Chair of British Library and Expert Adviser on Health and Work to NHS England and Public Health England. She chairs the Board of Think Ahead, the Government’s new fast-stream training programme for Mental Health Social Workers. She is a member of the Welsh Government’s Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales and Bevan Commission on health in Wales, the board of UK Active, Rand Europe’s Council of Advisers, PwC’s Health Industries Oversight Board, and the Advisory Board of Step up to Serve. As Principal of Newnham College, she is on several committees in Cambridge University, and serves as one of the Deputy Vice-Chancellors.

Sarah Reakes

Sarah is Managing Director of creative agency KISS Communications. Prior to joining KISS Sarah led consumer-goods marketing teams at Colgate-Palmolive and Nestlé then moved to head key client teams at advertising agencies Publicis and JWT. Sarah returned to the UK in 2010 after 17 years working in New Zealand, Australia, The Netherlands and Belgium.
As a working mother of three daughters and trained doula, Sarah has experienced many sides of the work-life debate first hand in several cultures. Her passions include ensuring that childcare is seen as a job equally for men and women and challenging wider norms around work to embrace diversity of all kinds.

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Dr Lynn Morgan

See bio above.

Dr Minha Rajput-Ray 

Dr Rajput-Ray is a Licensed Medical Doctor, Physician in Occupational and Disability Medicine practice and Registered Osteopath. As a clinician, Dr Rajput-Ray provides integrated focused solutions to manage sickness absence, rehabilitate and engage employees back in the workplace, with a special interest in pain and musculoskeletal disease. She also serves as Chair of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), Scientific Committee on Unemployment, Job Insecurity and Health … bringing a strong ethos of ensuring population sufficiency as per the UN Sustainable Development Goals in her role as Medical Director (Wellbeing and Equity Lead), at NNEdPro (Need for Nutrition Education/ Innovation Programme), Global Centre for Nutrition and Health This is in particular by providing strategic leadership in linking wellbeing via nutritional equity awareness to improved sustainable health, educational and employment outcomes.

Harriet Fear MBE

Harriet was a career Diplomat for over 20 years with the British Foreign Office. She served in over 17 countries, in various roles including Deputy Ambassador 3 times, Head of Press and Public Affairs and Head of Commercial Services. She regularly served in hostile environments, trouble-shooting specific crises including in the Congo, Cambodia and Ethiopia.

Half her diplomatic career was spent in the commercial field, helping SME’s trade internationally. For 5 years of her diplomatic career she was the Head of the national Life Sciences and Healthcare Trade Team for UK Trade & Investment (described by the Board as a ‘transformational leader’).

Harriet was Chief Executive of One Nucleus from 2009 to 2017, which became the largest life science and healthcare membership body in Europe under her leadership and won a major award as ‘Best Global Life Sciences and Healthcare membership organisation’ in 2016.

Harriet has a strong UK business reputation, not least in her 5 year role as the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador for Life Sciences. This role has seen her undertake a range of high-profile duties including advising No 10 on the sector, being a critical friend to the Department for International Trade on its life sciences remit, leading trade missions overseas and briefing European governments and businesses on the UK’s sector, business strategies and inward investment opportunities.

Harriet has worked at the heart of the Cambridge business ecosystem since 2003. She has extensive networks regionally, nationally and internationally particularly in the US, Asia and Europe. Harriet was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List 2016 for her services to Healthcare and Life Sciences. Harriet is currently a Director of Deyton Bell, which offers economic and commercial development support to global public, private and not for profit organisations. She is also Chair of Cambridge Ahead and founder of Harriet Fear Associates Ltd.