Serial entrepreneur Glenn Cooper is known for his straight-talking style.

The founder of bollard manufacturer ATG Access, which was sold for around £22m in 2019, has reinvented himself as a chairman and is now sharing his experience with St Helens-based medical training business Inovus Medical.

Speaking with his trademark Suffolk accent, Cooper jokes: “Chairs are a bit like a bidet. Everyone wants one but when you’ve got one you don’t know what to do with it?”

He’s invested in Inovus Medical alongside Mercia Equity Finance and said the first lesson of being a chairman is not to think like a CEO.

“This is a new journey,” he says. “First I had to learn how to be a chairman after I finished being an operational CEO.

“As a chairman you have to be more of an advisor who also knows when it’s time to put an arm around the shoulder. It’s about having the right people in your business and around you.

“We’ve got two co-founders in Elliot Street and Jordan Van Flute who started the business with an absolute passion and enthusiasm. 

“What I try to do is to help them scale, get the right culture right and understand your people.”

Delivering a memorable presentation

He says getting the right people around you is the key to business growth and recommended using psychometric testing when recruiting.

“The three things I look for in these people is attitude, focus and commitment,” he says.

“If you’ve got people with those three elements you can do anything. Forget all the qualifications.”