Here are some of our people who specialise in Business Mentoring

Charles Ward    Rainmaker Business Mentor

Charles is a highly experienced and extensively networked technology industry professional providing business mentoring to SMEs.

Charles’ career includes marketing and sales roles with multi-nationals such as 3M, J&J and De La Rue leading to senior EMEA marketing positions in Digital and Compaq. In 2000 Charles became director of techUK, the industry body for the UK’s ICT sector.  At techUK he developed a detailed understanding of UK market dynamics and has built high level relationships with companies of all sizes as well as customers in both private and public sectors.

Charles’ business mentoring credentials are derived from his time at techUK through working with a variety of businesses, professional advisors and investors.  During this period he led a number of business growth initiatives that provided him with a unique insight into the performance drivers and metrics of tech SMEs as well as an appreciation of the typical growth issues they faced.  Charles was the architect of an industry certification scheme for ICT SMEs in 2011.

Since 2006 Charles has been an advisor to New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and has supported over 20 ambitious Kiwi tech companies with UK and European market entry. He is also a director of PegasusBridge Corporate Finance which provides funding and advisory services to the defence and security sectors.

Speciality areas

Typically working at CXO/owner/chairman level Charles helps clients achieve breakthroughs in performance.  His areas of expertise are

  • Go-to-market strategy
  • Business plan and pitch preparation for early external funding rounds
  • Commercial process improvement for companies seeking to accelerate growth and/or prepare for due diligence by funders or acquirers

Charles’ style is highly collaborative yet challenging when needed.  His skill is in helping participants achieve a fresh perspective on their challenges and opportunities whilst empowering them to deliver on the actions resulting from the workshops he runs and mentoring.

Typical client scenarios

  • Company is “stuck”, revenues flat for example. The situation needs to be unravelled, causes understood, options for growth identified and important next steps agreed
  • Company needs to raise external funding. What needs to happen to make it an attractive and compelling proposition to potential investors?
  • Company is preparing to enter the UK market, or just landed. How does it navigate the market and achieve key objectives with minimal risk and delay?

What clients say about working with Charles

We first engaged Charles to facilitate a workshop with founding investors and executive management to build a common understanding of the market opportunity so that the company’s growth strategy could be agreed.  Subsequently he coached me through the process to prepare the company for a successful external funding round.  More recently he has provided informed guidance on key operational decisions.

Charles brings a rapid grasp of the big picture together with the ability to lead participants to the right conclusions in consensual manner whilst always being prepared to constructively challenge. A wealth of industry experience has helped us too. 

Graham Booth, Founder & CEO, 2iC Ltd

We engaged Charles to support the development of a go-to-market strategy via trade bodies, in the first instance.  Using a combination of his industry knowledge, marketing expertise and contact base Charles was able to guide us through the strategy formulation process, helped us identify necessary product modifications and, most importantly, helped us re-frame our value proposition so it resonated with this specific audience.

We have benefitted from Charles’ natural facilitating style and that he acts more like a stakeholder in the business rather than a supplier of professional services

Damien McGovern, Founder, Compliance & Risks Ltd