Hi! I'm an entrepreneur and author based in London where I've watched with sadness the growing problem of homelessness. Before Beam, I ran parking app, JustPark, which I grew from 2 to over 40 people and still support as a Board Advisor.
At JustPark, I had my first experience of crowdfunding when I led a record-breaking equity crowdfunding round - what was the largest crowdfunding round for a startup in history. I'm also on the board of crowdfunding platform for civic improvements called Spacehive.
I have thought quite a lot about collaborative platforms and how we can solve social problems with them. I'm the author of a book on the sharing economy called The Business of Sharing, published by Macmillan. I've also advised the city of Seoul as part of the Mayor's Sharing Economy Advisory Panel.
I'm the tech guy who built the Beam technology platform. Coding is a hobby as well as my vocation and I've got two degrees in Computer Science and Machine Learning, back before it was a big thing.
Mostly, I build software using Ruby on Rails but I've got experience with lots of different frameworks and have also taught myself Swift - the language that most new iPhone apps are built with.
I've founded various companies over the years, including Tastebuds, a dating app that allows people to meet partners with similar taste in music. Today, Tastebuds is a profitable business with hundreds of thousands of customers.
I met Alex when we were both Entrepreneurs in Residence at a startup studio, working on innovation projects for public companies. I'm also Irish.
Nice to meet you! At Beam, I look after our partnerships with charities and am "Member Manager" for our first members.
I've spent 6 years working in homelessness services: first Thames Reach - where I was lucky enough to get to work on the world's first ever homelessness social impact bond. Then, I worked at Turning Point where I built up particular experience working with clients facing drug and alcohol challenges.
I then joined the NHS where I helped design personalisation services that are now being rolled out across England.
At Beam, I'm uniting my experience in homelessness with the unique person-centric approach that I developed at Thames Reach and the NHS. I've seen the problems Beam solves at first hand and am thrilled to be part of the Beam team!
I focus on what happens to our graduates after they finish training, helping them find rewarding jobs and keeping track of how well Beam works. I also build partnerships between Beam and other organisations to increase the impact we can have on our members’ lives.
Previously I worked as a strategy consultant at PwC and as an analyst in the media industry, after studying Maths and Philosophy at university. My first experience of working with homeless people was busking with a local homeless friend as a teenager – since then, I’ve volunteered in homeless shelters, soup runs and drop-in centres.
I'm part of the member support team, working with those who go up onto the platform. My background is in anthropology and I’ve done research in Tanzania and Honduras on the politics of social movements and the power of communities.
I’ve been interested in social enterprises for a long time, and how they’re creating innovative solutions for complex global issues - and this brought me to Beam! It’s really exciting to be on the frontline with our members throughout their whole Beam journey and see what they go on to achieve.
Being part of the Beam team is super-rewarding. My work is focused on supporting our members, from finding the right training course to helping them into a job they really enjoy. I’m also involved in our outreach work, to make sure individuals, services and support staff know about the amazing opportunities Beam can provide.
I love being part of projects that empower people to really improve their prospects through new, innovative solutions - like Beam! I have represented the UK Government on an international development programme in Bolivia and worked as a Youth Mentor on a social action project and in colleges. I’m also a not-so-secret weather geek with a degree in Climate Science.
At Beam, I work with our amazing members to find the right career paths - and related training courses - for them, and support them throughout each stage of their journeys back into work.
Before joining Beam, I worked as a research analyst in an investment bank, and volunteered at a food bank in my local area and homeless shelters in other parts of London over weekends and holiday periods. These experiences helped me to realise that I wanted to spend much more of my time contributing to projects that support people in lifting themselves up and out of difficult situations - and Beam has given me a great opportunity to do this!
Andy Phillipps is the co-founder of Active Hotels (merged with bookings.org to form what is now Booking.com), former chairman of Toptable (now part of Priceline) and former CEO of Priceline's non US operations.
Andy now works with a number of startups and VCs, teaches at LBS and is a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Cambridge University Judge Business School.
Anna Kuriakose is a product manager, leader and investor in seed-stage startups. She brings a wealth of experience working with product teams to make, launch and scale great products.
Anna has held Chief Product Officer roles at JustGiving, TotallyMoney and Lantum as well as being a Product Manager at Skype. She holds an MBA from Durham University Business School.
Catherine Wines is the co-founder and a director of WorldRemit, a global online money transfer company employing innovative technology to let people send money to friends and family in a fast, secure, low-cost way. These remittances are vital to the livelihood of millions of consumers in emerging economies.
Catherine represents the company at major conferences and in the media, talking on issues such as remittances, fintech, financial inclusion and women in business.
Graham is the founder of Photobox, a photo printing company. From its launch in year 2000 he grew it with the help of others to be the largest personalisation company in Europe, later acquiring Moonpig, Hofmann in Spain and PosterXXL in Germany.
Following an exit to Private Equity in 2016 Graham has worked with several startups and social impact companies, advising on technology, fund raising and general growth strategies.
Martin is the founder of Growth4Good. He invests in high growth social impact businesses in the digital technology sector, principally in education and employment and is Chairman of Leathwaite a leading human capital specialist.
As Group CEO from 2001-11, he grew IRIS Software to become one of the UK’s largest private software houses. Martin is also an EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Communications and Technology and a member of the Maserati 100 leaders who give back to the next generation.
Matt Harrison is the Director of Social Enterprise at Homeless Link, the national membership organisation for homelessness organisations in England. Matt has 30 years of experience of working with homeless people and has developed a number of ground-breaking social enterprises to help end homelessness.
Matt has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Warwick and has spent his career looking at how information technology can be brought to bear to help address social issues.
William de Laszlo is the founder and CEO of Agathos Management LLP, a boutique London-based investment fund supporting and serving UK SMEs. Agathos also believes in supporting social causes to bring about lasting positive change.
William holds a First Class MBA from Oxford University and is a former Captain with the Grenadier Guards, where he was awarded two Operational Service Medals.
James Bowen is the author of multi-million selling Street Cat Named Bob: the moving tale of how an encounter with a ginger cat saved James' life while he was homeless and living on the streets. The book has since been translated into 30 languages and was made into a feature film in 2016.
Alex met James and Bob back in 2007 in Camden. More than a decade later, they were serendipitously reunited after the actor who plays James in the film rented out Alex's flat on Airbnb when he was getting some plumbing done.
Michelle is a broadcaster and businesswoman. Growing up in Hull, Michelle overcame significant adversity and personal challenges to forge her career, first making her mark by winning series 2 of BBC’s The Apprentice.
Michelle has been vocal about the injustice of homelessness and has volunteered in a homeless shelter. She was moved to action to join the Beam team as an ambassador after witnessing a homeless man’s basic belongings being binned on a cold November day.
Michelle is passionate about creating lasting change in the lives of people experiencing homelessness. She believes homelessness can and will be solved when everyone comes together - and that Beam is part of the people-powered response that is urgently required.
Left to right: Alex Stephany, Beam member Tony, James Bowen and Bob, Beam member Joe