World of Books Group
Stephen is a co-founder, former CEO and Deputy Chairman of World of Books Group from 2008 to 2021. World of Books is a for profit, circular economy business that protects the planet and supports charities through reuse and recycling. World of Books is proud to be a certified B Corps, using its business as a force for good in the world. Previously, Stephen was Commercial Director of the British Retail Consortium and worked for the British Heart Foundation, setting up the highly successful Furniture and Electrical Division, reusing and recycling unwanted furniture to raise funds for vital heart research.
Real Deals Media
Chief Operating Officer
Catherine has a wealth of experience in private equity having worked within news, publishing, events, data and business development specifically for private markets over the past 25 years. Her experience spans sales, content and events.
Andreas leads Helm – a membership club exclusively for founders of established companies – to deliver amazing peer learning experiences to founders of growth SMEs. Online and in-person connections and experiences allow the members to get the support they need at the right time on the journey of persona, business, and better growth. At the heart of Helm is an ethos of Give and Get with members supporting each other by openly sharing their experiences and learnings.
Andreas is a serial tech entrepreneur who previously founded and scaled up several companies in eCommerce and SaaS.
Family Business United
Founder & CEO
Paul is the founder and CEO of Family Business United, the award winning champions of the family business sector that celebrates the significant contribution of family firms in the UK - income generated, employment provided and wealth created.
Dawn Bonfield MBE
King's College London
Dawn Bonfield MBE
Entrepreneur in Residence
Dawn Bonfield MBE is Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at King’s College London working with young people on addressing the Sustainable Development Goals as entrepreneurs. She has been Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of Inclusive Engineering at Aston University since 2017, and is the Founder & Director of Towards Vision, a not-for-profit which works towards a vision of diversity and inclusion in engineering. She is Past President and former Chief Executive of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES). Dawn is Deputy Chair of the Women in Engineering Committee of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations working on the application of engineering and technology to address gender inequality globally.
Scottish Equity Partners
Investor at Scottish Equity Partners, which is a leading growth stage investor. We invest £10-40m in growth stage technology companies across Europe.
Ezechi Britton MBE
Impact X Capital
Ezechi Britton MBE
Principal / CTO
A tech founder with over 15 years experience in FinTech. Ez’s journey has taken him from coder to Co-Founder and CTO to Venture Capital.
He is a Founding Member, Principal and CTO at Impact X Capital Partners LLP a VC fund investing in underrepresented founders.
He is the Co-Founder of Code Untapped, a digital skills accelerator working with diverse & underrepresents technologists.
He is a former Co-Founder of Neyber a multi-award-winning Fintech and an advisor to numerous companies.
In January 2022 Ez was awarded an MBE for services to Diversity and to Young People.
James is the Chief Financial Officer at Everflow. Since joining the company in early 2018, James has overseen a hugely successful period of growth for the company, including being recognised by the Financial Times in March 2021 as Europe’s third fastest growing company.
James is a chartered accountant by training, starting his career at a regional firm before moving to Deloitte in 2013. Having experienced a wide range of company cultures and businesses within the professional services industry, James is passionate about leadership and organisational behaviour as well as strategic execution.
Too Good To Go
Jamie Crummie trained as a lawyer before pursuing his mission of fighting food waste. He is the co-founder of Too Good To Go, the world’s largest marketplace for surplus food. The app lets consumers buy unsold food from restaurants and retailers so that it doesn’t go to waste.
Too Good To Go is now active in 17 countries and has 58 million users who have rescued over 140 million bags of food collectively.
Jamie was named a Trailblazing Activist in the 50 Next class of 2021, One Young World’s Entrepreneur of the Year in August 2020, one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Europe in February 2019 and was shortlisted for the Entrepreneur For Good Award at the Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2019.
King's College London
Director - Entrepreneurship Institute
Julie Devonshire is the Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute at King’s College London supporting students, alumni and staff to learn entrepreneurial skills, have entrepreneurial experiences and, perhaps, start a venture of their own.
Julie is an award-winning social entrepreneur and business-scaling expert; she scaled One Water, a range of bottled mineral water donating 100% of its profits to build water pumps in Africa.
Julie is an ACCA fellow who is passionate about early-stage entrepreneurs. In 2016 Julie was awarded an OBE, in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List, for her service to entrepreneurship.
Scott is an entrepreneur, investor and speaker in the entrepreneur media industry for the last 20 years. Has founded and co-founded national media companies, offline and online digital publishing and national conferences, awards and exhibitions. Has trained 1,000’s executives in multiple industries and provides regular business consultancy for fast-track start-ups. Currently Brand Director at CEMG the combined publishing and events brand behind Elite Business, Elite Business Live and Elite Franchise, expanding it’s purview includes a range of content for supporting SME fast-track growth companies and digital marketing solutions He’s an experienced host and speaker and known face in entrepreneurial circles.
The Cheeky Panda
Co-founder of The Cheeky Panda along with my wonderful partner Julie. Ranked 6th in the UKs top 100 start-ups, Sunday Times Fast Track 100 OTW and a B Corp. I am passionate to deliver change for good. I regularly feature in the media including podcasts, press, radio and as a keynote speaker.
Growing Business Intelligence
Greg Gille is the publishing editor of Growing Business Intelligence, having joined Real Deals Media in May 2022. Greg was previously the editor of trade publication Unquote - he started covering the European PE and VC industry in 2010 as a reporter, and went on to interview dozens of investors, executives and advisers in the following decade. He was also chair of the British Private Equity Awards’ judging panel for several years. Greg graduated from Sciences Po Paris with a Master’s degree in media management in 2009.
Kingfisher Beer Europe
Simon is a business leader with expertise in the financial and coaching realms. Currently Finance Director of Kingfisher Beer Europe Ltd and with 15 years of FMCG experience and 27 year in all fields Simon loves to focus on the team and individual development and brings to this process a multifaceted approach. Simon encourages all participants to reach out to him as he’s always looking to find innovative ways to help high performers keep growing.
Chief Executive Officer
Award-winning entrepreneur Jack Hamilton is the Chief Executive Officer at Mash Direct (www.mashdirect.com). This innovative brand combines six generations of the Hamilton family’s farming expertise to produce an extensive range of delicious and award-winning ‘field to fork’ vegetable accompaniments.
Jack now oversees the operational side of Mash Direct and is committed to bringing innovation and quality to the market. He has been integral to the brand’s accelerated expansion and marketing strategy and has helped to grow Mash Direct into a National household name that employs 243 people, with a portfolio of over 50 products.
Head of Business Development
Wes joined Santander in 2019 to lead Business Development within Commercial & Corporate Banking.
His previous role was as Head of Workplace Pensions for Scottish Widows, although he has plenty of experience in banking with more than 20 years in commercial banking.
Wes is married with two daughters, lives in Worcestershire and is a keen football and rugby fan.
Director Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship
Stephanie has a passion for early stage and growth companies, with special regard to family businesses. At Cranfield University, Stephanie is the Director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial hub, and the Director of the Business Growth Programme, the longest-established owner-manager programme in the UK. Stephanie teaches a wide range of entrepreneurial topics and quantitative research methods on executive, graduate, and doctoral levels. In addition to her experience at Cranfield, she has gained numerous experiences teaching at foreign universities, such as ESMT, IEEM Montevideo, Prince Mohammad Bin Salman College (MBSC), Beijing Normal University, and Muscat University.
Head Dragon ead Dragon & CEO
Rachel Jones is Head Dragon at SnapDragon Monitoring, a brand protection technology business she founded after fighting counterfeits of her own baby product. The diverse and international team now works with SMEs and global brands, removing over £100m of fakes from sale online in the last 12 months alone. With a passion for intellectual property, Rachel is on the EUIPO SME Task Force and was recently appointed to the Board of Equity Gap, an Angel investment syndicate. She was formerly on the Scottish Government’s Trade Board. SnapDragon was awarded a Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2020 and has been widely recognised for its commitment to helping SMEs grow in the face of adversity, and in promoting women in industry.
ANC Admin Solutions
Founding Director of ANC Admin Solutions with over 10 years experience in charity administration, Amina understands the importance of keeping costs down and standards high. Setting up and running a business in the UK helped her develop project planning and designing skills, with the ability to proactively monitor progress, resolve issues and initiate appropriate corrective action. Amina is passionate about creating flexible careers for mums as well as meaningful employment opportunities for refugees and migrants.
Business in the Community
Race Equality Director
Sandra works together with business leaders and government policy makers to influence action on race in the UK.
Prior to working at Business in the Community Sandra worked for DWP and the Cabinet Office. Between 2012 and 2016, Sandra chaired the DWP Ethnic Minority Employment Stakeholder Group, advising the Government on employment barriers facing individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
More than 24,000 responses to the Race at Work 2015, 2018 and 2021 surveys provided the evidence to establish the Race at Work Charter which has been recently expanded and now has more than 800 employer signatories. Sandra sits on the Royal Society Diversity Committee, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) Strategic Advisory Board and the Cabinet Office Race Board.
Sandra is a big advocate of mentorship, sponsorship and allyship.
Specialist Private Equity Investor helping SME’ s grow and create value under challenging and complex situations including stressed businesses. Works closely with Investee Management teams and partners to deliver a commercial and practical approach in getting things done and dealing with the challenges in delivering financial and operational business improvements.
Sector generalist with 20+ years’ experience as an Investor, advisor and banker and with particular expertise in cash management, process/profit improvements and risk management, all of which support value creation strategies.
Sean Longsdale joined Santander in June 2012 to help build out the Structured Finance business in the Corporate & Commercial Bank. The team now incorporates a Financial Sponsors team, who manage Private Equity backed transactions; a Growth Capital team who support high growth SME’s to realise their aspirations with debt capital solutions; a Strategic Debt Solutions team who support businesses with complex and/ or leveraged funding needs such as mergers and acquisitions and a Specialised and Project Finance team, who focus on the renewable energy sector and other niche financing requirements.
Katy began managing the business after her late father and founder of Trent passed away in 2011. The importance of maintaining the family business that he had worked most of his years in building is what motivates her.
Having a background in business management, finance and customer relationships helped Katy endure a steep learning curve and navigate difficult times. She believes that Service and Quality should be of the highest standard in everything we do and continues to strive for this.
The Supper Club
Victoria Nash is Managing Director at The Supper Club, a community exclusively for Founders, whose purpose is to empower entrepreneurs to build better businesses, together. She supports business owners and their teams to succeed by facilitating peer to peer learning, knowledge share and support. Her insight comes from working with and talking to hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders about their experiences.
Entrepreneur and Founder
Christian Nellemann is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder of XLN, which provides low-cost phone, broadband and card processing services for small businesses. The company was bought by Daisy in 2022 for £210 million.
He was born and brought up in Denmark and started his first business in the UK at the age of 22, creating successful companies selling perfume and office products before founding Euroffice.co.uk in 1999 and XLN in 2002.
Christian has won many awards himself and in his book Raw Business he shares his experiences of being a successful entrepreneur. He now chairs Boards and helps early-stage entrepreneurs as an angel investor and mentor.
O'Donovan Waste Disposal
As MD of O’Donovan Waste, Jacqueline is one of the waste and construction sectors’ most passionate pioneers of employee-training, industry best-practice and road-safety. Jacqueline is recognised as an innovator and a leading-force in the industry and is a keen advocate of sustainable-operations as well as encouraging diversity and inclusion. She has received numerous accolades for her work and holds several respected fellowships/affiliations with professional organisations/bodies in the sector. She is a recipient of the Growing Business ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ title as well as the Women’s Economic Forum naming her as their Woman of the Decade in Enterprise and Leadership.
London Export Champion manager
I have been a civil servant for 22 years. My most recent role at the Department of International Trade (DIT) is London Export Champions and Relationship Manger. The main purpose of this role is to manage an ambassadorial/focus group of high exporting SME’s in London. This group is known as the London Export Champions. The main purpose of this group is to Encourage low and potential exporters to export through our marketing campaign and DIT led events. We also used the group for insight into business challenges and barriers that helps shape future policy including Free Trade Agreements.
Centre for Entrepreneurs
Chief Executive Officer
Neeta is CEO at The Centre for Entrepreneurs, which supports UK entrepreneurs through independent research, networks and entrepreneur communities. It also runs the NEF+ which is the UK’s leading development programme for first time founders.
She has over 30 years of experience in the corporate world, spanning financial services, media & publishing, and education. She has also led her own Fintech startup.
She is a mentor and adviser to numerous start-ups led by young entrepreneurs, is an Entrepreneur-Mentor-In-Residence at London Business School, and a Non- Executive Director at the FTSE 250 listed Allianz Technology Trust. She is a board adviser at Tech London Advocates and a board member of City Ventures, City University.
Purely Plantain Chips
Stefania Pellegrino is the founder & CEO of Purely, a British snacks brand, launched in 2018 that is growing internationally in the food & beverage sector. After earning a degree in foreign languages with a business address in Urbino, Stefania began her career in the import / export field in England. It was the experience with this English company that allowed her to travel and establish relationships and partnerships with South America, the current producer of Purely snacks. The experience with Purely has opened up new business opportunities for Stefania who for some months has also been involved in the management of another brand belonging to the same group (S-Ventures plc).
Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
Head of Sharing Economy and Entrepreneurship
Kapila leads the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI’s) work on the sharing economy and entrepreneurship. He supports these innovative companies so that they can grow, scale, and drive economic growth.
Before working at the CBI, Kapila worked in range of charities and government organisations. He is also a trustee at the London Wildlife Trust.
Chief Executive Officer
Brie Read is the founder and CEO of Snag Tights. Describing herself as an ‘elder millennial’ Brie is a passionate believer in the power of digital technology to change the world and people’s lives, and has built her career by being at the cutting edge of the digital revolution. Snag is her first direct-to-consumer e-commerce brand and was inspired by Brie’s own daily struggles to find tights that really fit.
Bradley Scheffer has spent over 35 years selling at the highest level. He was the number one salesperson at Yellow Pages, Canon and Pitney Bowes, he achieved sales of over a million pounds a year in each company. He has run his own sales business for over 27 years, training graduates to experienced salespeople.
Co-Founder & Partner
Co-Founder of award winning VC Haatch, backing entrepreneurs at pre-seed to exit.
Chief Revenue Officer
David Stevens is the Chief Revenue Officer of Aquis Exchange PLC, the exchange services group. He manages the business development/sales teams across all the Aquis business streams, including the pan-European equities trading business (Europe’s 7th largest exchange) and the Aquis Stock Exchange, which is the UK challenger stock market for growth companies.
Prior to joining Aquis, David worked in both investment banking and private equity including as MD and Global Head of Pan European Sales for JP Morgan, as CEO of ITG Europe and subsequently ITG APAC, and most recently as the CEO of PE-backed Global Reach Group.
Bridges Fund Management
Partner, Sustainable Growth Funds
Emma is a Partner on Bridges’ Sustainable Growth Funds strategy, which partners with high growth, purpose-led companies to help them scale-up their operations and impact. She currently sits on the Board of Vegetarian Express, Impact Food Group, Talking Talent and Nkuku.
King's College London
Lecturer, Business Ethics & Sustainability
Catherine Tilley is a Lecturer in Business Ethics & Sustainability at King’s College London. Her research examines two phenomena: first, the ways in which people in companies incorporate sustainability into their decision-making; and second the ways in which complex socio-technical systems adapt to climate pressures. She is a Fellow in Construction Engineering Management at the University of Cambridge.
Prior to working at King’s, Catherine spent over 20 years in management consultancy, mostly at McKinsey & Company. She has an MA and PhD from the University of Cambridge, and an MBA from Manchester University.
Mandy Tucker Consulting
Startup and Leadership Consultant
Mandy has over 20 years’ experience as a Corporate Technology leader as well as being the CEO and Founder of Mandy Tucker Consulting and the “Startup Culture Code” framework helping founders and entrepreneurs scale using corporate strategies and insights. She speaks on leadership techniques, operational strength as well as Culture enablement based on Wellbeing and Emotional Intelligence as a bedrock of any successful new business. Mandy is determined to galvanise new businesses to depart from the norm and improve diversity and inclusion as a way of promoting great places to work and a people centred strategy.
Elif Ulun Asci
Ben & Jerry's
Elif Ulun Asci
Social Mission Programme Manager
Elif is the Social Mission Programme Manager for Ben & Jerry’s Europe and managing social impact programmes within the company including refugee entrepreneurship programme that Ben and Jerry’s have been running together with its NGO partner TERN. She Also manages Ben and Jerry’s Foundation UK Grants.
Prior to picking up her spoon and diving into the world of ice cream she worked at non-profit organisations to drive a positive social change in different countries including Turkey, German and finally in the UK.
Her favourite Ben & Jerry’s flavour is Peanut Butter Cup.
Growing Business Intelligence
Amber is Events Director at Real Deals Media and Director of Growing Business Intelligence.Prior to joining Real Deals Media, Amber spent nine years at Argus Media, developing and building up an events portfolio, spanning the energy industry across Europe and Africa. During this time, she launched the European Biomass Conference, and specialised the launch of events in developing countries including Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa. Since joining Real Deals Media three years ago, Amber has grown the events portfolio across the private equity sphere in Europe, as well as leading and driving the growing business audience via both events and content.
Head of Research & Consultancy
Henry leads Beauhurst’s Research & Consultancy team. He is an expert on business finance, entrepreneurship and innovation. He has worked on briefs for clients including the British Business Bank, HM Treasury, BEIS and Innovate UK. Henry regularly gives presentations on market trends at events around the country. He studied Classics at the University of Oxford.
Mark has for over 30 years launched, acquired, restructured, transformed and run global market leading multimedia and technology businesses to successful exits.