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Jo Derbyshire, CEO

Jo DerbyshireJo has been with Cresco since the very beginning, having launched the company on February 19, 1999. 

With a strong background in IP commercialisation and expertise in grant writing, Jo has spent more than 25 years in the innovation and enterprise sector, and helped established the Loughborough Innovation Centre, where she was the managing director for 15 years. 

Jo puts Cresco’s clients at the forefront of everything the company is aiming to achieve. Indeed, she says: “The best part of the job is when you receive an email of application success on behalf of a client. For some of our customers, these grants are life-changing.” 

With a highly-skilled, experienced and dedicated team alongside her, Jo credits Cresco’s staff as one of the company’s biggest assets, and added: “One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that it’s all about the people – great people mean a great company.” 

Cresco has delivered a long and rewarding list of successful projects over the years, and the one Jo is most proud of was “working on Micro-Propogation Ltd’s sphagnum moss project – a way of repatriating our peat bogs using ‘super moss’.” 

And in a perfect example of the diversity of Cresco’s clients, the project that is currently whetting Jo’s appetite is working on a way of navigating the brain using MRI imaging and a 3D mouse. 

Outside of Cresco, Jo has a passion for Egyptology. An avid amateur Egyptologist, it is her dream to achieve the necessary academic qualifications in Egyptology to be allowed on an excavation in Egypt. 

It is also from Egypt where Jo derives her greatest inspiration – the female Pharaoh named Hatshepsut “who ruled as a female king in a man’s world”. 

“Resilience and positivity” are the characteristics that Jo most admires in others, while the three words she chooses to describe working at Cresco are “varied, fast and fun.” 

What you may not know about Jo

  • The last book she read was Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb 
  • The one dish she absolutely, positively, will never, ever eat is aubergine – “not all vegetarians like it you know!” 
  • The title of her autobiography would be ‘Don’t Give Up!’ 
  • For a day, Jo would most like to swap places with her daughter as it “would be nice to be a child again with no responsibilities.” 
  • Jo’s favourite film is ‘Out of Africa’, starring Karen Blixen – “another inspirational woman.”

Call Jo to find out more how she can help your business