ADVANCE GRASS SOLUTIONS
Chairman and CEO of three successful companies. Latest venture Advance Grass Solutions bringing high tech sustainable solutions to the professional sports turf maintenance market. This company is a multi-award winning company recently voted the best overall SME in the UK 2019 capturing 7% market share in under 2 years. Clients include Wembley Stadium, Wimbledon LTC and over 75% of the Premiership Football Clubs.
World of Books
Stephen is a founder, was CEO and is now Deputy Chairman of the World of Books Group, which is a circular economy for profit business that supports charities and protects the planet by enabling more goods to be re-used. Based in West Sussex and including World of Books, Ziffit and Shopiago brands, in twelve years this tech enabled business has grown from a start-up into one of the largest sellers of used books in the world. In 2019 the Group was awarded certified B Corporation status and is committed to using its business as a force for good.
Michael is a member of ECI’s investment team, joining in 2015. His investments include KB Associates, The Clear Group, MiQ and Edenhouse. Prior to ECI, Michael worked in investment banking at Canaccord Genuity and corporate finance at Deloitte.
CEMG founder and director since 2011, Scott lives for challenges, priding himself on a proactive and passionate approach to sales, marketing & business.
CEMG brands include the flagship UK leading platforms Elite Business, Elite Franchise and Elite Business Live offering range of content for supporting SME fast-track growth companies and digital marketing solutions. Elite Global, meanwhile, inspires UK entrepreneurs looking to export and build an international business.
A well known face in entrepreneurial circles as both host and speaker, Scott has also sales trained over 1,000 executives across multiple industries, as well as providing regular business consultancy for fast-track start-ups.
The VaioPak Group / House Group Developments
Chief Executive Officer
Joe formed The VaioPak Group back in 2008 with the belief that the food service packaging industry could operate in a more innovative manner; ensuring sustainability and being mindful of the environment. 11 years on, the group boasts an ever-growing high profile client portfolio, shipping to over 23 countries worldwide and offices located in both the UK and USA.
Santander Corporate and Commercial Bank
Head of Growth Capital
Darren has worked in debt and equity, having led mezzanine businesses at L&G Ventures and Barclays before Santander, giving him over 20 years’ experience in subordinated debt and a high profile in the market. Darren joined Santander in 2011 to create and lead the Bank’s Growth Capital proposition which is aimed at supporting high growth SME’s though development capital and M&A projects. To date, the team has completed over 270 investments, supporting some 160 businesses who have collectively created thousands of new jobs through their growth. Total new debt facilities committed through the programme is now in excess of £800m.
The Goat Agency
Co-founder and Chief Campaigns Officer
Harry set up his first business when he was 16, a football fan site network with 60 websites and over 500 global writers before starting Goat a few years ago and building his career. Goat is the leading influencer marketing globally. Since founding the company has grown from 3 to over 120 staff in four years, with offices in London, New York and Singapore and has worked with brands including BBC Sport, New Look and Malibu. Harry also takes a proactive approach to advancing the industry and regularly features at events and speaking panels.
CEO & Co-Founder
Dominic is CEO and Co-Founder of Data Intelligence company, Captify - the largest holder of 1st party consumer Search Data outside of Google. Its unique technology understands the intent of consumers across all channels including Voice Search, Desktop onsite Search and in-app Search. Captify’s intent-rich data set powers advertising for many of the world’s largest brands; Apple, Adidas and Microsoft.
Captify has achieved explosive growth globally, $60m+ annual revenues and strong EBITDA growth, following raising $15m from Series A and B rounds. Captify trades globally with 250+ employees across 13 global territories including London, NYC, Paris, Madrid, Milan and Chicago.
Founder / CEO
Richard Joseph is co-founder and chief executive of Joseph Joseph, which designs and manufactures stylish and inventive housewares.
He set up the company with his twin brother Antony and just one item – a glass chopping board – in 2003, having previously worked in product design at Dyson. Within 18 months they were selling a range of inventive kitchenware to department stores in the UK, France, Germany and Japan.
Customers now include John Lewis and Bloomingdale’s in America, with 400 products sold in more than 100 countries.
Santander Corporate and Commercial Bank
Managing Director Structured Finance Group
Sean Longsdale joined Santander in June 2012 to build the Structured Finance business in the Corporate & Commercial Bank. Structured Finance incorporates five separate teams providing debt solutions to support companies undertaking M&A; IPO’s; Management Buy-Outs or Project Finance, as well as the Growth Capital team who focus on high growth SMEs. Sean has a particular passion for supporting high growth businesses and entrepreneurs, to deliver their visions and ambitions.
From leading Santander’s Trailblazers Research to spearheading Santander’s priority of helping high growth businesses – Sean is focused on finding the right funding solutions for high growth businesses in all stages of their development.
Sally Mather (nee Preston)
Sally Mather (nee Preston)
Sally Preston set out to develop baby food which was not only nutritious but also tasted good. She launched the world’s first frozen baby food brand – Babylicious – but it was operationally difficult for the supermarkets to put freezers in the baby aisles, so she turned her attention to children’s snacking.
In 2009, Sally launched the first Kiddylicious snacks; the range rapidly grew and diversified into all snacking occasions from first weaning wafers to healthier choices for older toddlers.
Sally was crowned UK Business Woman of the Year 2018/19.
George Moss is a Partner and Head of the Consumer sector at ECI Partners. As a growth-focused investor, it is an exciting time to be investing in this sector. The increase in use of online distribution, outsourced business models and creativity in branding and customer proposition is helping to create successful and profitable consumer companies with big growth ambitions.
Andrew founded Imagineear a decade ago in his basement office. The company is still headquartered in Fulham, but partners with visitor attractions all over the world, providing large screen and handheld media experiences to visitors in their own languages. Imagineear designs and builds hardware, SAAS software, immersive content and advisory services, and clients range from the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and Kennedy Space Center in Florida to major sports venues across Europe. Andrew has an MBA from Insead, a BA in Engineering from Oxford and has worked with several large media companies in the UK and the US.
O'Donovan Waste Disposal
As MD of O’Donovan Waste Disposal, Jacqueline O’Donovan is a leading force in the waste and construction industries and is a keen advocate of sustainable operations, a pioneer of industry best practice and road-safety as well as encouraging diversity and inclusion in the sector. She has received numerous accolades and holds a number of respected fellowships and affiliations with professional organisations and bodies in the sector. She is the current recipient of the Growing Business Awards 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.
Impact Food Group
Chief Executive Officer
Mathew is a successful and highly respected global travel and leisure leader with significant experience across multiple industry sectors, business models and geographies.
He has led and grown some of the most iconic experiential leisure brands across the globe, ranging from Crystal Ski, the UK’s largest ski tour operator, to Sunsail & The Moorings, the worldwide leader in yacht charter vacations based in the USA.
He is currently CEO of TrustedHousesitters, a unique sharing economy marketplace disrupting the pet care and travel industries through the facilitation of relationships based on trust and community.
The GP Service (UK)
LiveInMyWorld.com & PropertyWebGurus.com
Multi - Award Winning Serial Entrepreneur, Founder, CEO & Investor
Rupa is a trailblazing, successful, Multi-Award Winning Serial Entrepreneur, Founder, CEO, Investor and Mentor for 15 years. She has founded a myriad of disruptive and pioneering companies and is a thought leader in PropTech, TravelTech, Blockchain, Beverages & Architectural/Designer Real Estate arenas globally. Recent awards and accolades include; next year’s judge for Amazon Scale Up Awards, which attracts over 700 guests and previously judged by Dragon’s Den Piers Linney and Lady Michelle Mone OBE, The Props, Management Today’s Inspiring Women, EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Nominee, Successful Women In Business, DigiLeaders100, Woman Who Achieves and Business Elite’s 40 under 40.
With over 20 years immersed in the hair and beauty sector, Paula Short has firsthand experience with the common opportunities and pitfalls involved in business start-ups. Paula is a co-founder of Beauty Boulevard Ltd and a BBC Dragons’ Den survivor. Throughout her career she is continually walked the tricky line of work, life and motherhood tightrope.
The cosmetic market is one of the most competitive markets on the planet, but driven by a passion for adventure and a love for make up, Beauty Boulevard strive to create desirable products and now successfully supply their ranges across the globe.
Bridges Fund Management
The Gym Group
Founder Director and ex CEO
In 1991 John started his first gym business, Dragons Health Clubs, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1997, with 22 clubs. He then concentrated on the launch of The Gym Group in 2008. Under John’s leadership, The Gym Group pioneered the low cost gym model with contractless, 24/7 operations and online sign-up. In November 2015, The Gym Group became the first UK health and fitness group to debut on the London Stock Exchange in over 15 years. John stepped down as CEO of The Gym Group in September 2018, but remains on the board as Founder Director.
disguise CMO Christian Vaughan is an experienced executive-level marketing and product adviser, who has been instrumental in achieving rapid award-winning growth for several tech start-up companies.
Christian provides disguise with expert digital and GoToMarket strategy guidance and experience. As with many technology companies he has been part of, Christian has helped disguise achieve many industry accolades, including ‘Times Tech Track 100’ (No 57) in 2018, through various digital marketing and E-commerce developments. Most significantly, he has been a team player in disguise’s colossal financial growth from £2M to £33M in his 48 months with the company.
SCX Special Projects
Andy Whitworth has engineered iconic mechanical handling and kinetic architecture projects around the world for over 40 years.
He created SCX Special Projects in 1992 to concentrate on bespoke mechanical handling solutions for diverse and demanding industrial sectors.
In the last decade, Andy delivered numerous high-profile projects to global acclaim. These include:
- Retractable roof over No.1 Court at Wimbledon (he also did the one over Centre Court in 2009);
- World’s first dividing retractable pitch at Tottenham Hotspur;
- Cranes for the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class warships;
- Unique robotic solution to help build Crossrail’s platforms;
- In all, over 400 bespoke projects.
Chief Executive Officer
Sean is an entrepreneur who is dedicated to brilliant vocational training that genuinely improves productivity and profitability.
His expertise is in training, business creation, evidence-based policy, systems, incentives, productivity, technology, human potential, ideas and delivery.
Sean started his career in the employment support sector. Since then, he has worked in research, policy, business development and operational management for some of the largest, most successful public service providers in the UK. Sean has managed businesses turning over in excess of £75 million and directly and indirectly employing over 900 staff.
Sean founded and is the Chief Executive at Corndel Ltd.
Wilson Worldwide Productions
Josh Wilson is an executive producer, entrepreneur, Forbes Under 30 list maker and philanthropist. His company, Wilson Worldwide Productions, has had programmes air in 150+ countries. Josh has also worked with established talent such as Dame Helen Mirren and Tom Hiddleston. Josh was an Executive producer on Mission Mudder and Chasing the Dream for Sky, and Saving Our Beautiful Bali for BBC and has worked with brands including Jeep and Lucozade. WWP’s most recent project with Ximalaya gained 60+ million listeners. Josh often speaks about the need for diversity in the workplace and is tackling this through his charity Genisys.