Posted on January 29, 2018 by staff

Simply Business CEO joins UMI3


The global CEO of business insurance provider and insurtech firm Simply Business has joined UMI3, the University of Manchester’s innovation company.

Jason Stockwood has been appointed as a non-executive director and chairman of the Project Development Committee.

UMI3 was established to bring as much of the university’s ground-breaking inventions and software into the commercial world. This is mainly done by attracting entrepreneurs, investors and corporate venture partners to the university’s campus and Innovation Centre and then, through engagement with academic colleagues, licensing or spinning out companies.

Stockwood will be reviewing progress of UMI3’s spin-outs and licence opportunities and will be reviewing proposals for investment by the university in new IP projects.

He will be also working on the introduction of an enterprise culture to help generate greater impact from UMI3’s work and will be involved with the university’s Innovation Centre, UMIC, which provides lab, office and events space for innovative spin-outs and start-ups.

“I am fascinated about the wealth of new opportunities at our fingertips when we unleash the full potential of our talent and technology,” Stockwood said.

“I look forward to working closely with the next generation of innovators, helping review the progress of spin-outs and licences as well as new proposals for investment by the university in original IP projects.

“We are entering a world where every company will on some level be a technology business. The impact of digital disruption is immeasurable and The University of Manchester’s Innovation Company has a vital role to play in nurturing ground-breaking ideas and providing spin-outs with the support and access to funding that they need in order to scale.”

Prior to Simply Business, Stockwood held a number of senior positions across disruptive online businesses from global dating website, where he was international managing director, to his role in travel as MD of Travelocity Business.

He has also held board positions with Skyscanner and The Drinkaware Trust.

Clive Rowland, chief executive of UMI3, said: “We are in the process of developing our company to promote further the University’s goals for enterprise and social impact through technology licensing and spinning out new companies.

“Finding the ‘right’ balance between being a service provider and an investment-minded business is a constant challenge. Who better to help us with this development than Jason? His personal business success and well respected people-focussed approach to leadership is a wonderful asset for us and we are all looking forward to his contributions to our efforts.

“His origin in the North of England is an added bonus as we seek to make an increased commitment to the Northern Powerhouse through our work and our new technology transfer collaboration with the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield.”