Our Team

Dr Nadia Danhash, Director of InnovationRCA
Nadia is a manager and business developer who has spent ten years at the RCA developing enterprise and entrepreneurship programmes and supporting graduate entrepreneurs.  Prior to that she held a number of roles in the biotech sector with senior positions in business development, strategic marketing and general management at GE Healthcare Life Sciences with worldwide responsibility for its industrial molecular biology business which manufactured in plants in Europe and the USA.

Working for the world's leading nucleic acid chemistry players, she oversaw the development and introduction of new ground-breaking drug development and manufacture compounds and equipment and new labelling molecules for the diagnostics industry. She led successful product launches, instigated and led process control implementation and change management, supply chain optimisation, and also delivered due diligence and valuations on technology and corporate acquisitions.  Nadia’s experience also includes relationship management and licensing. She gained valuable experience of working in Asia- establishing and then managing important distributor relationships and was based for two years in the USA where she directed an industrial product centre.

At the RCA, Nadia leads the Royal College of Art's enterprise and entrepreneurship centre, InnovationRCA and in this role, she is responsible overall for the development and commercialisation of Royal College of Art Intellectual Property as well as the InnovationRCA incubator which incubates design-led start-ups founded by graduates of the RCA.  She founded the RCA’s angel investor network, AngelClubRCA in 2015 and directs the operation of this venture which connects investors to the most promising start-ups emerging from InnovationRCA.

A PhD life scientist, with a Master's degree in Business Administration, Nadia's 11 years' international business experience, gained at international corporates and at a start-up, have given her a breadth of rich experience that serves as a valuable resource both when mentoring early stage graduate start-ups at the RCA, but also in directing all of InnovationRCA's programmes.

Pauline Watkins, IP Programmes Manager
Pauline has a background in Business Studies and information technology having worked with corporate law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. She began her career there as a computer programmer and continued as a Projects and then Operations Manager. More recently she worked at the National Association of Women’s Institute before joining the Royal College of Art in June 2007 to work in the Rectorate for the Director of Administration. Pauline joined InnovationRCA in April 2008 and has been supporting students with intellectual property queries since 2012. She is responsible for administering the College's Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and managing the its IP programme as well as project managing key innovation events.

Helen Harris, Community Manager
Helen is responsible for the day-to-day running of the incubator including events, marketing and programme management. Helen has a background in the commercial and charitable sectors, before joining the RCA in 2014. After graduating from the University of East Anglia with a BA in History in 2003, Helen worked in various photographic libraries as a picture researcher and archivist, including Country Life magazine. She moved on to the Sutton Trust, an education charity working with young people before joining a small architectural practice, where she managed the day-to-day operations and logistics.

Alyssa Becht, Operations Manager
Alyssa is responsible for events management, start-up programme scheduling and the day-to-day running of the incubator. Alyssa has extensive experience in a variety of sectors. A graduate of the University of Melbourne with a BA in Art History and French, Alyssa has worked in Glasgow, Hanoi and Melbourne in several different roles, including critical art writing and editorial work before joining the higher education and not-for-profit sectors in London.

Jocelyn Sheppy, Reporting and Accounts Manager
Obtaining an Honours degree in Economics with Statistics from Bristol University, Jocelyn Sheppy is a Chartered Accountant who qualified with KPMG, Bristol. Jocelyn has 15 years' financial expertise with internationally renowned financial services company Prudential plc, and St Mary's University College, Twickenham. She also has three years' marketing experience with an eco-friendly US start-up company, Method Products Ltd, and helped to establish them in the UK. Jocelyn joined the InnovationRCA team in January 2013, and conducts the financial management of the department as well as supporting its reporting needs.

InnovationRCA is supported by an expert team of business and start-up experts who provide specialised coaching sessions as part of the InnovationRCA incubation programme. See Entrepreneur in Residence & Visiting Business Fellows & Coaches for more information.