Jamie is Founder and CEO of HomeTouch, an award-winning elderly care digital service. A physician and memory specialist with 10 years’ experience working across the NHS, he has product managed digital healthcare products and had senior roles across the healthcare value chain including the BMJ Group, Novartis and a neurotech start up based in Silicon Valley. Jamie has a medical degree from Leeds University Medical School, is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and received an MBA from London Business School (LBS).
I worked in the NHS until 2007 but I have always had the entrepreneurial bug. Medicine is quite a closed career (much like being a lawyer, or an accountant) and it was a big step to make the decision to leave.
I made my decision by talking to friends and other doctors who attended LBS. For me, the motivation was to give myself headspace from my very structured job as a psychiatrist. I needed to examine what I wanted to do and re-educate myself: that was my key reason for leaving work and taking on studies.
Entrepreneurship has been growing in popularity since 2008 and when I joined LBS the jobs market collapsed. It was unusual to start a business at that time. As part of the LBS Incubator programme (now the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship) I was lucky to be thrown together with some great people, who had back-of-the-envelope ideas at the time. From the incubator group there have been lots of entrepreneurial successes, for example, Sales Gossip and Flat Club – both start-ups from my year – and my business HomeTouch, where I’m currently CEO. We all learned from each other and found that in those early days, as we had very little resource, the networking was a vital aspect. And having the LBS Incubator name attached to our start-ups, being able to say that we were part of that ‘ideas community’, added weight, especially when we started out.
Looking back now, I think that the alumni network has impacted me in the biggest way. I have two LBS alumni on the advisory board of my business, who are also healthcare entrepreneurs. The network is so deep, that whoever you need, whatever your question, you inevitably find someone with the same interests as you and that’s a great thing to have access to. I’ve found that with my advisors, as we share a common bond, the relationship is better than that of ‘normal’ advisors and CEOs.
Along with the network, my MBA electives were a big highlight too, as they allowed me to focus on my entrepreneurship skills. And the exchange programme with Berkeley was another highpoint. I think these experiences, combined with the time out I needed, was a great way to refresh and learn new skills.
I had a great time at LBS and the experience really helped me as a person – it accelerated my commercial skills and has made a big difference to my career trajectory.