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John Bates

Fellow of Strategy and Entrepreneurship


BSc (Nottingham) MBA (Harvard)

John Bates is the founder and a director of Sussex Place Ventures Ltd, the School’s in-house venture capital fund manager. For 10 years he led the School’s practical initiatives in developing entrepreneurial firms. This included €20 million of pre-seed and seed venture capital funds and various networks of entrepreneurs, advisors and private investors who have supported over 70 alumni-founded or affiliated companies since 1998.


He started teaching and developing Strategy and Entrepreneurship courses at LBS in 1985, while also starting up, running and selling two technology businesses in Cambridge. He developed and taught New Venture Development, Managing the Growing Business and New Creative Ventures MBA electives and the popular Growing Your Business Open Executive programme. As Fellow in Strategy and Entrepreneurship, he continues to teach on custom programmes for Executive Education clients and the Entrepreneurship Summer School for Masters students.


He received his BSc from Nottingham University in 1972. Following a sales career in the scientific equipment and pharmaceutical industries in the UK and Africa, he graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA with high distinction in 1979.


Mr Bates then became a Marketing Manager for International Paint (now part of AkzoNobel), launching the highly successful Interpon range of solvent-free coatings worldwide. He was invited back to Harvard as a lecturer on the MBA programme in 1983, before joining the London Business School faculty part-time the following year.


Since then he has balanced a career as an entrepreneur, educator, investor and investment manager.


He is chairman of DocSociety, Chattermill Ltd , Colmeia Ltd (Hiver) and New Unity CIO (Charity). He is an investor, director or board advisor of a number of early-stage ventures and growing businesses in the creative and technology industries in London.

Research Interests

  • Strategy and the role of the general manager especially in entrepreneurial firms and fast growing businesses