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Under the Spotlight:

Katrina Khalifa

From wedding event organiser for a local hotel to General Manager of Eagle Labs, Katrina Khalifa is the oil that keeps the gears running smoothly here at Chesterton Road. Topics on the Under the Spotlight agenda? Cooking, the circus, existence and Roald Dahl...

If you had a start-up company, what would it be?

I really wanted to start up a business that was similar to a wedding planner, but someone that would help you organise your wedding by sourcing all of your suppliers and then taking a cut of that. So if you wanted chair covers, dresses, flowers etc, I would do all of that for you and outsource it. I'd found premises in Newmarket and had the businesses behind me, but what I always got stuck on was how I'd make enough money... and why would brides-to-be pay for that when they could do it themselves for free?!

What are you here for?

Primarily, I am here to make our members feel comfortable in the space, look after their needs and spread the good name of Eagle Labs around the wider community.

What event are you most proud of hosting here at the Lab?

I think the Pizza & Beer events. It started in July last year, and the first one we did was members only, we ordered way too many pizzas and it was very quiet. Then we made the decision to open it ip to the wider community, and the second one we did had around 50 attendees, then it grew to 80 at the next one. To see that event grow within two months just by opening it up to a wider audience was amazing. It's one of the best events we do, and more people are starting to learn about it; when you talk to non-members about, if they haven't already been, they know it by reputation!

Any big plans for 2017?

Not that I could possibly reveal in this edition of the newsletter! However stayed tuned for the announcement of our Spring Seminar Series coming soon!!

What is the most bizarre thing you've heard uttered in the Lab?

My favourite question I heard by one of the members wasn't asked to me. Richard Marchant from SGC Innovations asked Elizabeth (Nurthen: our Australian Community Associate- and my actual favourite Aussie) to say mulled wine... she pronounced it "muled"! It was one of the funniest things I've ever heard; I think he was setting her up!

What do you enjoy most about working at Eagle Labs?

I like the community, I really enjoy watching the different member companies sit and have lunch together. One of my favourite things was watching Paul Walsh from Cognidox teaching two of the guys from CamBioScience something, where he was writing on the whiteboards and they were both sat on the sofa taking notes completely absorbed in the lesson; he had their full attention, and it was really nice to see. That's exactly what we're about!

If you had to run away and join the circus, what would your act be?

I'd love to be one of the girls that spin around in the hoops; Aerial Silk Acrobats.

What was the last thing you cooked?

Creamy pesto chicken pasta... so good!

Finally, were the mishaps for the Chocolate Factory accidental, or did Willy Wonka plan to use the children as ingredients all along?

Definitely planned to use them as ingredients! Especially the Johnny Depp Wonka - he had that motive!

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