Kate Rushton's Training:
My background is as an analyst and teacher. Most of the training I have done has been on the job.
As a teacher I had to facilitate the learning of students of all ages. This involved working on project weeks facilitating the development of presentations and sketches performed in English.
As an analyst I had to facilitate workshops with various stakeholders to agree to and implement changes in legislation and policy. Often these stakeholders had very different viewpoints and perspectives and a lot of diplomacy and negotiation was required to progress any change.
I have also participated in several in-company courses while at PA Consulting including Top Down Thinking, Presentation Skills, Writing with Impact and Train the Trainer.
In terms of academic qualifications, I have a BSc in Biochemistry; MSc in Toxicology; and PGDip in Environmental Management.
Kate Rushton's Experience:
As a bid writer for GrantTree I have been writing proposals for European research grants for tech startups. I worked remotely and kept regularly in contact with my boss and the startups in question.
These proposals had to demonstrate that the startup had a unique innovation that have potential to become profitable. The proposal typically included an analysis of the technology and market for the technology (including a market overview, competitor analysis, market direction and legislation/policy incentives (both implemented and proposed)); financial and growth projections; and an insight into the team member’s skill set and experience.
I have also participated in numerous innovation challenges and hackathons across multiple sectors; pitched ideas to businesses such as Swarovski, Sabre and Vivatis, and developed two startups in travel tech. More recently I co-wrote Imagine with Orange’s winning entry for the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) Grand Prize 2016 for Excellence in Innovation Management.
Also, of relevance to this role is my work as a Market Intelligence Analyst at PA Consulting for UK Trade and Investment. I had to conduct all the research that was needed to ‘sell’ the UK for foreign-owned companies that were considering investing or relocating to the UK. This involved researching the incentives; the market and benchmarking the UK against other countries. I specialised in energy, the environment, and infrastructure, however, I crossed multiple sectors include healthtech/pharmaceuticals; ICT/IT; engineering and food and drink.
More recently I have worked as an analyst for ElectraLink chairing meetings and workshops with various stakeholders to agree upon and drive changes to policy and legislation.
I am currently working on a voluntary basis as a Cross-Pollinator for OpenIdeo’s food waste challenge after being a Community Ambassador for their End of Life challenge.
I have previously worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language and Science to students all over the world.
My specific sector expertise is primarily in energy and the environment and then food, travel and, medical technologies.
Kate Rushton's Experience with Online Groups:
I am currently working with OpenIdeo on their online food waste challenge as a Cross-Pollinator (https://goo.gl/C0R8JP). OpenIdeo is a web-based platform for innovation where designers and other creative thinkers create better, together. My role is to drive ideas forward through questioning, signposting to relevant research and giving suggestions and by connecting ideators with similar ideas and complementary skill sets, e.g., a designer with a back-end developer.
Their research challenges are based on design thinking and design learning and usually last three months starting with a research phase then ideas, feedback, refinement, final feedback and then the top ideas are announced and progressed. These challenges typically last around two to three months.
In addition, I have worked remotely as a part of a startup developing a travel tech product called Travique. Half of the team were based in Romania and the other half in the UK.
I have also won numerous awards for my ability to evaluate innovation ideas and drive the development of ideas on innovation platforms. For example, I won the most valuable participant award in AbbVie Innovation Contest in 2016 (goo.gl/6stMhx); the most valuable community member in the Invisibobble Design Contest in 2015; and the most valuable person in the Clickstart Contest in 2014 – http://goo.gl/qYVP9N.
In 2014 and 2015 I was awarded a prize for being the top innovator in the Hyve Innovation’s HYVE Crowd. The HYVE Crowd is a community of creatives who come together to innovate the future!