Student Mentors-in-Residence | Welcome to Laurence James and Grant Calvin
A graduate of the University of Bath, Laurence has had a wide and varied career across a number of different sectors. He has worked for large Corporates, started his own business and held key roles in the retail, publishing, financial services, healthcare and housing industries. On this journey he has developed considerable experience in leadership, strategy development, risk management, marketing, sales and operations.
Having worked in commercial and public sectors he has first hand experience of the challenges that arise in an ever changing, competitive and demanding work place. He is particularly interested in change and has led a number of initiatives that have resulted in business realignment and focus. Having worked in heavily regulated sectors he has also gained an invaluable insight into the particular demands that these types of businesses present.
Laurence has considerable experience working with Executive teams developing business strategies and ensuring their delivery alongside everyday operational targets. His broad knowledge provides him with a strong commercial understanding and his leadership skills enable him to engage and get the best out of people.
Over the last four years Laurence has been helping the SETsquared Bath Innovation team with mentoring students who take part in the annual Student Enterprise Business Plan Competition and more recently the Graduate Acceleration Showcase. In 2014 he was awarded SETSquared Business Mentor of the Year.
Grant has extensive experience gained over 45 years of working for, managing and advising companies in the areas of management and processes: sales and marketing, retail and supply chain operations; and systems infrastructure & strategy. He has wide ranging skills gained from operating in both the traditional and on-line environments as a hands on manager, strategist and consultant.
Grant has run his own consulting company, worked for Andersen Consulting as an Associate Partner, been a Director with Olivetti working in international business development, where he was responsible for the development of global retail and telecom initiatives. He was a founder, President and Chairman of the IFSF (International Forecourt Standards Forum) a standards body made up of the major international oil companies and started his career with J Sainsbury PLC in supermarket operations, processes, systems design and IT implementation.
He has also been involved in organising and addressing retail conferences, involving the development of retailing and systems infrastructure trends. Grant has lived and worked in UK, Italy and USA and operated in most mature global markets in his roles with major corporations. He has been involved in a number of large change programmes and helped several companies develop start up sales and marketing initiatives. He has always been interested in disruptive technologies and initiatives that drive change advances.
Grant’s methodology is to challenge and improve business ideas to achieve a balanced, robust business plan capable of attracting investments by the Venture Capital and angel investor markets.
Grant is a member of The Royal Automobile Club and is a Freeman of the City of London. He currently lives in Somerton, Somerset, U.K.