James Routledge

Entrepreneur in Residence, Founder at Sanctus

Justice, Security and Sustainability

I'm James and I'm an Entrepreneur in Residence at Staffordshire University. I grew up in Stoke and have started two businesses. I've also written a book, published by Penguin. I'm a founder, creative, writer and community builder. 

I was quite academic at school and sixth form but not very creative, and wish I had more chance to explore my entrepreneurial side. I didn't finish University because I started a company.

I dropped out of University to start my first business matchchat, raised £650,000 in investment and shut the business down. It failed. Then I founded Sanctus, a pioneering mental health and wellbeing brand which supports people through coaching. We partner with businesses to support people with all the different challenges that can come up in our lives. I founded the business in 2016. We have a team of 70, 100 customers, support thousands of people every month and have had £5m in investment.


  • Early stage product building
  • Storytelling
  • Building a social media audience
  • Raising investment
  • Community building


I'm a mentor and advisor to many different startup founders.


in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2024

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021