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Back to Events Co-Founders

Co-Founders Download – Online Info Session

Interested to learn about Co-Founders? Grab a sandwich and join us for a short information session Tuesday 26th January from 12.30 – 13.30. You’ll hear from the Co-Founders team and enjoy a fireside chat with 2020 programme graduates Yellow Iron and Lane 44.

Co-Founders by Catalyst is a unique part-time 10-week programme that brings together industry professionals, researchers and students who are curious about developing their innovation skills and exploring their latent potential as an entrepreneur.

In autumn 2020, Lee Johnston and Donavon McKillen formed a team to create Yellow Iron, winning a £10k POC award at the end of the programme. Yellow Iron is an equipment rental market place which allows customers to source, supply and manage construction equipment with increased efficiency.

Blayne Shaw and Toya Warnock formed a team in Spring 2020 to create Lane 44 and, post Co-Founders, have had great success in developing their idea further. Together they are taking on the world’s big shaving companies with the goal of making shaving plastic fee.

Both teams will share their journey on Co-Founders, including everything from their reasons for applying, surprises they encountered and where they are now. A Q&A will follow.


Speaker Bios

Yellow Iron

Donavon McKillen
A senior manager with over 10 years’ experience having worked in various commercial roles for global equipment manufacturing companies. Skills include business management, strategy development, new market development and team management. Studied an undergraduate degree in Engineering Management and an Executive MBA completed in 2018 to support practical experience. Ambition to build an innovative company to solve a problem experienced first hand in the construction equipment industry by taking advantage of recent advances in technology and a large growth market. While not working enjoys running and Crossfit training.

Lee Johnston 
“I consider myself to be a wearer of many hats, frequently switching between, product management, business analysis and business development. I have a passion for delivering digital transformation projects, challenging the status quo and turning complex ideas into solutions that are simple, intuitive, and deliver value from the outset.

I have 6 years’ experience in designing, building and delivering digital products across a range of industries. I like to draw on proven past experiences when assessing new ideas using the tools in my arsenal such as business processes mapping, design thinking and data analytics. Through time, I’ve learned great products cannot be formed in confinement, it’s a team sport – I work with teams (and customers) to turn them from storming into high performing teams that work well together. I’ve learnt every project comes with their own unique problems and I’m excited to get stuck in and solve them.”

Lane 44

Toyah Warnock
Toyah joined Lane 44 as a co-founder in March 2020, focusing on innovation and wet product development. Prior to Co-Founders, Toyah was studying for a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast where she also acted as ambassador for the Chartered Management Institute. In her spare time Toyah likes cooking, climbing up mountains and building Ikea furniture.

Blayne Shaw 
“I’m Blayne, one of the founders of Lane 44. My background is in business management and B2B sales. Having worked within my parents business for years, I decided in mid-2019 it was time to go out on my own… right about the time my son was born. That certainly added a little pressure!

I joined Co-Founders right at the start of the first lockdown with the aim of finding someone that could take the business up a few levels. Toyah joined me at that point and we’ve since went on to sell over 1200 of our razors and are working to release our first shaving creams etc. in the next few months!”

***

Applications are currently open for Co-Founders Spring 2021 and the closing date is Monday 8th February. Find out more and apply here.

Date: 26 Jan 2021

Time: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Venue:

Register Now

Event Details

Interested to learn about Co-Founders? Grab a sandwich and join us for a short information session Tuesday 26th January from 12.30 – 13.30. You’ll hear from the Co-Founders team and enjoy a fireside chat with 2020 programme graduates Yellow Iron and Lane 44.

Co-Founders by Catalyst is a unique part-time 10-week programme that brings together industry professionals, researchers and students who are curious about developing their innovation skills and exploring their latent potential as an entrepreneur.

In autumn 2020, Lee Johnston and Donavon McKillen formed a team to create Yellow Iron, winning a £10k POC award at the end of the programme. Yellow Iron is an equipment rental market place which allows customers to source, supply and manage construction equipment with increased efficiency.

Blayne Shaw and Toya Warnock formed a team in Spring 2020 to create Lane 44 and, post Co-Founders, have had great success in developing their idea further. Together they are taking on the world’s big shaving companies with the goal of making shaving plastic fee.

Both teams will share their journey on Co-Founders, including everything from their reasons for applying, surprises they encountered and where they are now. A Q&A will follow.


Speaker Bios

Yellow Iron

Donavon McKillen
A senior manager with over 10 years’ experience having worked in various commercial roles for global equipment manufacturing companies. Skills include business management, strategy development, new market development and team management. Studied an undergraduate degree in Engineering Management and an Executive MBA completed in 2018 to support practical experience. Ambition to build an innovative company to solve a problem experienced first hand in the construction equipment industry by taking advantage of recent advances in technology and a large growth market. While not working enjoys running and Crossfit training.

Lee Johnston 
“I consider myself to be a wearer of many hats, frequently switching between, product management, business analysis and business development. I have a passion for delivering digital transformation projects, challenging the status quo and turning complex ideas into solutions that are simple, intuitive, and deliver value from the outset.

I have 6 years’ experience in designing, building and delivering digital products across a range of industries. I like to draw on proven past experiences when assessing new ideas using the tools in my arsenal such as business processes mapping, design thinking and data analytics. Through time, I’ve learned great products cannot be formed in confinement, it’s a team sport – I work with teams (and customers) to turn them from storming into high performing teams that work well together. I’ve learnt every project comes with their own unique problems and I’m excited to get stuck in and solve them.”

Lane 44

Toyah Warnock
Toyah joined Lane 44 as a co-founder in March 2020, focusing on innovation and wet product development. Prior to Co-Founders, Toyah was studying for a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast where she also acted as ambassador for the Chartered Management Institute. In her spare time Toyah likes cooking, climbing up mountains and building Ikea furniture.

Blayne Shaw 
“I’m Blayne, one of the founders of Lane 44. My background is in business management and B2B sales. Having worked within my parents business for years, I decided in mid-2019 it was time to go out on my own… right about the time my son was born. That certainly added a little pressure!

I joined Co-Founders right at the start of the first lockdown with the aim of finding someone that could take the business up a few levels. Toyah joined me at that point and we’ve since went on to sell over 1200 of our razors and are working to release our first shaving creams etc. in the next few months!”

***

Applications are currently open for Co-Founders Spring 2021 and the closing date is Monday 8th February. Find out more and apply here.

Date: 26 Jan 2021

Time: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Venue:

Register Now