Jonathan Milner

Aug 30, 2021

Being Tenacious and Walking Through Walls

An interview with Jonathan Milner

New Books Network 2023

Jonathan Milner's second Invested Investor podcast details his experience as Cambridge Angel. Since he began in 2002 he has invested in forty different companies, very often leading deals as well. In this episode he shares his most important tips learned from an extensive entrepreneurial and investing history: from shouldering the burden of turning around a company in dire straits, to simplifying the decision of who to invest in. 

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Jonathan, co-Founder and currently Deputy Chairman of Abcam plc, is an entrepreneur and investor and is passionate about supporting UK life science and high-tech start-ups. He has provided considerable investment and support to over 40 companies and has assisted three technology companies to IPO on the London AIM Stock exchange. Jonathan gained his doctorate in Molecular Genetics at Leicester University after graduating in Applied Biology at Bath. From 1992–95, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Bath, following which he worked at the University of Cambridge in the lab of Professor Tony Kouzarides researching the molecular basis of breast cancer. He identified the market opportunity for supplying high-quality antibodies to support protein interaction studies, and in 1998, founded Abcam with David Cleevely and Professor Tony Kouzarides. Jonathan is also a non-executive director of Repositive, HealX and Syndicate Room. He is also Chairman of Axol Bioscience, Cambridge Allergy Therapy, and PhoreMost. In 2015 Jonathan, with Professor Tony Kouzarides, co-founded the Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge. Also in 2015 he co-founded, with Professor Laurence Hurst, the Milner Institute for Evolution at the University of Bath. Produced by Mark Cotton, Twitter.

Podcast links:

Cambridge Angels - a leading UK business angel network with international connections.

Abcam - assay kits, reagents, and antibodies. An innovator in reagents and tools, they provide the research and clinical communities with tools and scientific support.

SyndicateRoom - connecting ambitious investors with the country’s most trailblazing companies.

The Milner Therapeutics Institute - at the University of Cambridge is dedicated to the conversion of groundbreaking science into therapies.

Milner Centre for Evolution - a unique, cross-faculty research centre atthe University of Bath bridging biology, health, and education.

The NBN Entrepreneurship and Leadership podcast aims to educate and entertain, sharing insights based on the stories of carefully selected guests - entrepreneurs and leaders - in the atmosphere of an informal conversation.

About the NBN
The New Books Network was founded in 2007 as a podcast interviewing the authors of academic books, and has grown to the largest author interview podcast in the world publishing 12 podcasts a day in more than 90 specialist areas, with over a million downloads a month. Read about the founder Marshall Poe and the NBN here. In recent years it has expanded beyond its “author interview origins”.

About Peter Cowley

Peter Cowley, a Cambridge university technology graduate, founded and ran over a dozen businesses in technology and property over the last 40 years. He has built up a portfolio of 75 angel investments with nine good exits (including one that is 107X his investment and returned all the cash he has invested) and thirteen failures. He is a board member of the Global Business Angel Network (GBAN), President Emeritus of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN), former chair of the Cambridge Business Angels and was UK Angel of the Year 2014. He has mentored hundreds of entrepreneurs and is on the board of nine startups.

In 2011, he founded and ran Martlet: a Corporate VC, investing (currently £10M) from the balance sheet of Marshall, a £2.5bn revenue Cambridge engineering company. He is a fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Cambridge Judge Business School and is on the investment committee of the UK Angel Co-fund. He has also had 16 years’ experience as chair, treasurer and trustee of the boards of seven charities.

With his son, Alan, Peter is sharing his and others’ experience and anecdotes in order to educate angels and entrepreneurs via The Invested Investor which publishes two books and 75+ podcasts. A selection of Invested Investor podcasts are republished here on the Entrepreneurship and Leadership channel on the NBN. This is one of them. Peter is a public speaker on entrepreneurship and angel investing throughout the world. Linkedin Peter’s webpage.

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