In this series, we talk with different Sussex Innovation team members about their interests, role, and the day-to-day support they can provide for members of our community. Today Catalyst team member, Busola chats with Aly Davie, Marketing and Partnership Coordinator. 

Tell me a bit about you and your role.

I’m Aly and I am Sussex Innovation’s Marketing and Partnerships Coordinator. My role involves working to develop and execute Sussex Innovation’s marketing strategy which includes a lot of content creation and event planning! The partnership element of my role involves creating meaningful partnerships with companies to offer exclusive benefits to our members; I also collaborate with exciting companies to co-create innovative events and product offerings.  

What kind of issues can you help our members solve?   

I can help with all things partnerships! Whether our members are looking for exclusive discounts on products and software such as Hubspot, AWS, Google Cloud, or referrals to agencies and freelancers who we trust to deliver good work. If any of oour members are interested in forming a partnership with Sussex Innovation, they should get in touch with me to see how we can collaborate. Coming from a marketing and branding background, I’m also always happy to get involved in developing and advising on branding and marketing campaigns for our members.  

What is a project you have enjoyed working on the most till date? 

My favourite project that I have been working on to date is the work around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for our Sussex Innovation team and members. Our members will find our Free Periods initiative in all bathrooms which provides everyone with free menstrual products to make sure no one is ever caught short. This initiative is particularly important during the cost-of-living crisis we find ourselves in. I was also part of implementing our first gender neutral bathroom which is extremely necessary to provide an inclusive environment for all our members, guests, and staff; making sure that everyone feels seen within our community. I hope to continue working on initiatives that help support our staff, members, and guests.  

What is the number one challenge you hear frequently from clients and what can be done about it? 

One of the challenges I hear most from members is about how to form and build partnerships. This is obviously integral to any business looking to scale. For members looking to develop partnerships, they can book in for a 1-2-1 with our expert consultants to give them bespoke advice about the types of partnerships they should be forming, alternatively they can attend our partnerships Knowledge Hub events, which we’re organising this summer.  

Why do you do your job, what do you get out of it?  

I do my job because I thrive off working with innovative and scaling businesses. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a business succeed that you have helped overcome a blocker to their success. As a people person, I enjoy the opportunity to meet new people every day and to develop partnerships with large international corporations to help smaller businesses achieve their goals.  

Where will we find you on an ideal weekend?  

An ideal weekend involves a warm sunny day, which can sometimes be a bit tricky to find living in England. I love spending time walking at the beach and paddle boarding in the summer months. If it’s raining outside, you can catch me inside having a games night with my friends or cuddled up with a good book or movie.  

What is a unique Hobbies or talent? 

One of my (not so hidden) hidden talents is my gift giving abilities. Whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, or a ‘just because’ present, I’ve got it covered. You could say that gift giving is my language as I have developed a skill for buying gifts that are guaranteed to generate a genuine thank you, rather than the ‘I’ll never use this but thank you for the thought’ kind of thank you.  

What is your favourite innovation/ invention and why ? 

One of my favourite innovations is the use of Tens Machines in the Female Medical Tech space. As someone with endometriosis, they drastically help reduce pain by cleverly redirecting your brain signals away from the point of pain. It’s fantastic to see the development of brands like My Oovi taking centre stage, not only promoting their products but raising awareness for female health conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, and so much more.  

Recommend a book you recently read 

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig , I would highly recommend this short read to anyone who isn’t sure they’ve made the right decision about something or if they’re unhappy with certain aspects of their life. Despite being a fiction book, it really helps you think about all the endless possibilities that are out there for each of us and how each decision counts and leads to new avenues. It’s actually a very upbeat book and quite funny in places; a great place to start for people who are wanting to get back into reading.