Our Team

We’ve been corporate innovation leaders, founded our own
businesses and worked with and for startups.

Matt Lawson

Matt Lawson

Matt Lawson is the CEO and Founder of Downstream Innovation and has over 20 years experience leading Innovation and R&D in one of the world’s leading Telecommunications and ICT companies. As Director of Applied Innovation he led the creation of BT’s Applied Technology Centre, transformed BT’s Hothouse and Innovation Showcases and provided new strategic direction to the Innovation Martlesham tech cluster. Prior to this he was Head of Multimedia Research as well as having experience in both project and programme management. Matt is also Head of Internal Innovation and advisor at L Marks and Solutions Director for Mitra Innovation. As a certified leadership coach and experienced mentor he supports Judge Business School Executive Education and their Masters in Entrepreneurship programme. Matt is also a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

From our Clients

“Matt has accumulated a wealth of information about what works and what doesn’t work when large and small companies try and break out of the mould to exploit new technology opportunities.”

Mike Hodgson

Mike Hodgson

Mike Hodgson has vast experience of delivering corporate innovation and working with startups. During his career at BT he was Director of BT’s Israeli technology scouting programme and was responsible for leading BT Global Services innovation programme and engaging with their multinational clients around the world. As well as working with Downstream Innovation Mike is CEO and founder of Silverback Consultants, a company which focusses on bridging the gap between start-ups and the corporate world. Mike provides advice, business development and where required a UK presence for start-up clients. Mike is an advisor to two VC’s as well as to a global Innovation services business where he has helped to shape the company’s innovation services strategy and portfolio. He is also an Associate Partner at Cambridge Management Consultants.

Mick Gill

Mick Gill

Mick Gill is an experienced business manager; professionally qualified as an Engineer and Trainer. Also qualified as a consultant and coach, with a proven background in leadership, change management and organisation development. He has significant experience working with technology and innovation as well as business performance improvement. He has worked with both large and small organisations across the private, public and third sectors. Competent as a facilitator and problem solver he demonstrates strong interpersonal skills with business values that ensure he and others succeed in achieving desired goals.

Richard Jacobs

Richard Jacobs

Richard Jacobs has over 30 years’ experience in technology-based systems and software development across the telecoms and defence sectors. This includes the evolution and leadership of BT’s multimedia research programme. He has extensive experience in leading, building and coaching large research and innovation teams. As a steering board member for the NEM (Networked Electronic Media) Initiative, he has worked collaboratively with many European partners to define priorities in the EU audio-visual research programme. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a recipient of the IEE Innovation in Engineering Award, and holds a number of patents.

From our clients

“As a start-up working with large corporates was always going to be a challenge.  Working with Downstream Innovation has brought a wealth of experience which has enabled us to work effectively with organisations like Pfizer, Neom, O2, EE and BT.”

Richard Astbury

Richard Astbury

Richard has over 20 years of helping businesses innovate using emerging technologies. He has worked across Europe helping organisations develop their IT strategy to meet the ever evolving demands of their customers and market. Richard is a keynote conference speaker, an advocate for open source software, and has been awarded the Microsoft Most Values Professional (MVP) Award 7 times for his community contributions. He pioneered one of the region’s first technology focused conferences, bringing together 250 professionals from across the hi-tech community, along with talks from industry experts. He has a wealth of technical experience and is passionate about leading teams to deliver high quality outcomes using agile methodologies.

Connect with us

We’d love to hear about the innovation opportunities and challenges you face.