2019 Judges

Kathy Allison

FitFlop

Kathy Allison

Global People Director

Kathy’s focus is delivering success through people, which means the engagement, well-being and development of talent at every stage. She joined FitFlop in 2015 as Global Head of Human Resources and is now Global People Director with teams in the UK, Germany, US, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore.

Kathy previously held HR roles in hospitality and also at Boohoo.com. She is an experienced HR Generalist with a passion for identifying meaningful values and uses these as the foundation for delivering consistent people strategies. A commercial leader who is able to maximise the impact the people function has on the financial performance of the business.

Paul Andrews

Family Business United

Paul Andrews

Chief Executive Officer

Family Business United was created by Paul Andrews who is passionate about the family business sector and champions the sector on a global level. It is an unparalleled rallying point and voice for the family business community and an invaluable source of insight into the sector providing resources for family businesses whatever their size, sector or age. Paul continues to champion family firms across the UK and beyond and is recognised for his passion, drive and determination to put family businesses on the map, celebrating their success and providing innovative events and resources to help them continue for generations to come.

James Arnall

Perkbox

James Arnall

Markting Director

James is Marketing Director at Perkbox, Europe’s fastest growing employee experience platform, where he leads a team of 30 marketers based across the UK, French and Australian markets. Prior to joining Perkbox, James forged a successful career in B2B tech marketing, running successful campaigns across a range of channels and industries over almost a decade. James strives to drive growth by creating moments that inspire organisational change.

Michael Butler

ECI Partners

Michael Butler

Investment Director

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.

Gemma Chance

Forest Holidays

Gemma Chance

Head of Purpose & Partnerships

Gemma joined Forest Holidays in 2016 and leads the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility agenda, bringing over 15 years’ experience from the commercial and third sector. Gemma has been instrumental in establishing and coordinating a framework supporting the company’s social, economic and environmental ambitions. Embedding the company’s purpose in the Forest Holidays brand architecture and helping drive the strategic direction of the business. Her experience in building corporate and strategic partnerships has increased corporate income and built a portfolio of vital collaborative projects for the business. Gemma’s diverse skills have led to her appointment as trustee for mental health charity, Derbyshire Mind.

Simon Duffy

Bulldog Skincare

Simon Duffy

Founder

Simon Duffy MBE - Simon is the Founder of Bulldog Skincare. Launched in 2007, today the brand is available in major retailers across 28 countries. Bulldog has won multiple grooming awards and key business awards. In 2016, Bulldog was acquired by Edgewell Personal Care. Simon is also a Non-Executive Director at the fine wine merchant, Corney & Barrow, and a Visiting Fellow teaching entrepreneurship and innovation at the New College of the Humanities.

Jim Eastwood

Travel Counsellors

Jim Eastwood

Global Sales Director

Jim Eastwood was appointed Travel Counsellors Global Sales Director in 2017, and since then has spearheaded continuous, double-digit growth in the company’s international corporate and leisure travel sales.

Eastwood joined Travel Counsellors from Groupon, where he held senior leadership roles, culminating in vice-president of sales for the UK and Ireland. In his five years at Groupon, Jim was instrumental in driving growth in its UK and Ireland business, maintaining its status as the largest market outside of the US.

Jim was delighted to lead Travel Counsellors in winning the Growing Business of the Year: Larger Company (Turnover £50m+) category in the 2018 Growing Business Awards.

Anthony Eskinazi

JustPark

Anthony Eskinazi

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Winner of the Growing Business Innovation Award 2018, Anthony has always been obsessed with creative problem solving. As the founder and CEO of parking technology company JustPark, he is on a mission to solve the parking problem - making life easier for millions of motorists and leading a £50bn industry into the digital age at the same time.

Anthony is also an angel investor and advisor to multiple technology start-ups spanning the education, property, media and transportation sectors.

Emma Jane Flynn

The Supper Club

Emma Jane Flynn

Managing Director

Emma-Jane Flynn is Managing Director at The Supper Club, whose purpose is to inspire an entrepreneurial mindset in all leaders, because they believe where entrepreneurship thrives so too does innovation, employment, and wealth creation. The Supper Club is a membership club exclusively for fast-growth entrepreneurs and since 2003 has enabled thousands of founders and CEOs to realise their growth ambitions. They do this by enabling them and their team to overcome challenges, create value, and drive scale through practical peer group learning, curated connections and entrepreneurial insights and they do this at all stages of the entrepreneur lifecycle, from scale to sale and beyond.

Andrew Foyle

Miappi

Andrew Foyle

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

“Andrew started in business even before he left school. While other children were delivering newspapers, Andrew had bigger ideas - buying education software before selling it on to his cousins in Australia, pocketing a whooping 10% profit in the process!

Since then, he’s built and funded multiple businesses having raised over $30m+ from various backers including angel investors and private equity partners.

A finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and an alumnus of the Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace programme, Andrew still loves being involved with start-ups - whether his own or helping others with theirs.”

Philippa Gogarty

Micro Scooters UK

Philippa Gogarty

Director

Philippa Gogarty is one of the Co Founders of Micro Scooters UK. The company was set up in 2004 after Philippa and Anna came across the mini micro scooter in Clapham. Fifteen years on Micro scooters UK has established scooting as one of the most popular forms of transport and fun for children and for adults. Before setting up Micro Scooters UK, Philippa had a career in charity fundraising, working at St Mary’s and Hammersmith Hospitals.

Charlie Green

The Office Group

Charlie Green

Chief Executive Officer

Charlie is Co-CEO of The Office Group (TOG), which he founded in 2003 with Co-CEO Olly Olsen. They had a shared vision to challenge the traditional serviced office market with a design led offering that addressed the changes that were emerging in how people were working.

Charlie is responsible for the growth and real estate side of the business, identifying and acquiring new buildings and leading the delivery of the schemes. Charlie and Olly continue to work closely together to ensure that the individuality and design, both form and function, remains paramount to the success of each building.

Today, TOG leads the way in shared and coworking spaces with 50 buildings (43 buildings in London) with further growth internationally.

David Grigson

InvestisDigital

David Grigson

Chairman

David is a highly experienced Non-Executive and Executive Director who has spent over 30 years on public company boards. He spent much of his Executive career in senior financial positions, firstly with EMAP where he served as Group Finance Director and then with Reuters Group plc, where he was Chief Financial Officer.

David is currently Chair of the private equity-owned digital communications company InvestisDigital. He has also held Chair positions with Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror) and Creston plc. He has been a Non-Executive Director of Standard Life plc, Ocado plc, Carphone Warehouse, and New York-based Instinet Group.

Darren Hart

Santander Corporate and Commercial Bank

Darren Hart

Head of Growth Capital

Darren has led mezzanine businesses at L&G Ventures and Barclays, giving him over 20 years experience in subordinated debt and a high profile in the market. He is a regular speaker at international conferences on mezzanine debt.

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 very nearly 200 investments, supporting 130 businesses who are in the process of creating well over 7,000 new jobs through their growth. Total new debt facilities committed through the programme are now approaching £600m.

John Hibbard

Red Paddle Co

John Hibbard

Chief Executive Officer

After achieving his childhood dream of becoming British Windsurfing Champion in 2007 John turned to the emerging sport of Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) as a way to translate his competitive nature into business success. Red Paddle Co was born in 2008. John identified that bulky glassfibre boards created a major barrier to entry. John developed Red Paddle Co to provide an inflatable board that could be packed down into a small bag while at the same time delivering a real authentic on water experience. Through constant innovation and a focus on the user experience Red Paddle Co has grown into the World’s Number one Premium inflatable SUP brand

Andrew Jennings

Larsson & Jennings

Andrew Jennings

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Andrew founded fashion watch brand Larsson & Jennings in 2012 growing it to a globally recognisable brand, with stores in London and NYC, and featured at high profile retailers such as Lane Crawford, Selfridges, Saks, Bloomingdales.

With a large following on social media, Andrew stands behind one of the first success stories of influencer marketing, and as an early adopter, he pioneered that approach in the watch industry.

Andrew also serves shoe brand Duke & Dexter as an Executive Director and advisor to CEO.

Jake Karia

Jake & Nayns

Jake Karia

Managing Director

Jake’s background has always been in sales. Having such a strong drive and an enormous passion for food that opening his own business was always his plan. Boasting Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Fortnums and Selfridges as some of his first customers! The business grew quickly and was complimented further with the addition of Jake’s wife and brother making it truly a family business. The business has continued with it’s evolution and now Food Attraction Ltd, that Jake run’s supplies over 5,000 stores with our new brand, Jake and Nayns, of hand held street food and is growing rapidly. They were never going to come quietly onto the scene and are proud to say that their brand is disrupting and changing the face of the Food To Go sector forever.

Sandra Kerr

Business in the Community

Sandra Kerr

Race Equality Director

Sandra is Business in the Community’s Race Equality Director. Before joining Business in the Community, Sandra worked in the Cabinet Office advising on diversity and inclusion. In January 2012, Sandra was awarded an OBE for services to Black and Minority Ethnic People.

In 2015 Sandra spearheaded the largest ever survey on race in the workplace with 24,457 responses. In January 2016 she was invited to join the Royal Society Diversity Committee. The Race at Work 2018 Scorecard report, one year from the government review into Race in the Workplace, provided the evidence to establish the Race at Work Charter and Ethnicity and Pay consultation announced by the Prime Minister in October 2018.

In 2019 Sandra was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for Services to Equality and Diversity.

Edward Knighton

YO! Sushi

Edward Knighton

Finance Director

Jim has have worked in a variety of consumer-facing growth businesses - retail, healthcare, hospitality and media. These include the quoted book chain Ottakar’s plc, the music publisher Boosey & Hawkes, Reader’s Digest UK, Sofa.com and now YO! Sushi, a £300m turnover hospitality group with operations in the UK, US and Canada.

Since 2006, Edward has mainly worked in the private equity arena and have developed a number of strong relationships with leading firms - Hg Capital, Graphite, 3i, CBPE, Mayfair Equity Partners and Better Capital. Edward has worked on a number of successful business sales at excellent exit values.

Sean Longsdale

Santander Corporate and Commercial Bank

Sean Longsdale

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 now incorporates five separate teams involved in supporting companies undertaking M&A; IPOS; Private Equity/ leveraged finance 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.”

Graeme Malcom OBE

M Squared

Graeme Malcom OBE

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Graeme is CEO and founder of M Squared, a leading developer of photonic and quantum technologies. Graeme oversees the development of a range of world-class laser and photonics systems, which are critical enablers in fundamental physics research, underpinning many world firsts. He is also instrumental in driving forward a range of new applications in quantum technology, biophotonics and chemical sensing with the aim of improving the lives of future generations.

Graeme is Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of The Royal Society Edinburgh, Fellow of the Institute of Physics and visiting Professor and Entrepreneur in Residence at the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde. Graeme was awarded an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for his services to Science and Innovation in the 2015 New Year Honours list and The Swan Medal from the Institute of Physics. He also won the title Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2018 Great British Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Orlando Martins

ORESA

Orlando Martins

Chief Executive Officer

Orlando Martins founded ORESA in 2008 and developed a system to deliver winning strategies and exceptional people for rapid scale-ups, SMEs and global corporations. ORESA’s clients have included some of the fastest growing UK businesses, including Boohoo.com and JD Sports Group, whom he has represented since their early stages – proving our business forges relationships, not just transactions

Orlando’s career includes co-founding a property-technology company and owning a restaurant. His personal inspiration comes from the philanthro- capitalists who believed that when companies grow, the ripple of jobs and investment results in increased hope and prosperity throughout the community.

Rebecca Mayhew

Go Ape

Rebecca Mayhew

Co-Founder and Chairman

Rebecca started her career in Magazine Publishing setting up and running sales teams for Gruner and Jahr (part of Bertlesmans) before moving into the not for profit sector to run Corporate Fundraising teams.

In 2002 she Co-founded Go Ape with her husband Tristram. Her role within Go Ape has included leading the Marketing, PR, Corporate and Customer Care teams.

In the last few years her role as a non-exec has evolved in to Brand Adviser for the leadership team. Rebecca and Tristram visit all 34 Go Ape courses each year to help reinforce the connection with Go ape Values.

Simon McMurtrie

Virgin Experience Days

Simon McMurtrie

Chairman

Simon is Chairman of Virgin Experience Days and Scott Dunn. Previously he chaired Riviera Travel, Oak Furniture Land and the Berry Bros. & Rudd Family Board. Prior to becoming a portfolio Chairman, Simon was Group CEO at Laithwaite’s Wine.

Simon is also Chairman and Publisher of the Académie du Vin Library (Wine Publishing), a Trustee of the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) and a Member of the White Horse Federation (a Multi-Academy Trust).

Vic Miller

Brandwatch

Vic Miller

Vice President of Global Comms

Vic is VP of Global Comms at digital consumer intelligence company Brandwatch. Previously, Vic was the MD at B2B agency Man Bites Dog and has over 18 years of comms and marketing experience in a range of growing businesses.

George Moss

ECI Partners

George Moss

Partner - Head of Consumer

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.

ECI has a wealth of experience in supporting the management teams of consumer businesses and are proud to be sponsoring this category again. Some current ECI Consumer investments include; The Travel Chapter, the leading UK premium vacation rental platform, Encore Tickets, the global theatre ticket distribution platform, and MPM, the high-quality, natural pet foods company for discerning cat and dog owners.

Philip Newborough

Bridges Fund Management

Philip Newborough

Chief Executive Officer

Philip is the co-CEO of Bridges, which he co-founded in 2002 alongside Michele Giddens and Sir Ronald Cohen.

Philip oversees Bridges’ investment activity across all its strategies and geographies. He chairs the Investment Committee and has overall responsibility for Bridges’ portfolio and exit strategy. He has personally led Bridges’ successful investments in The Gym Group, The Office Group, The Hoxton, Simply Switch and Viva Gym, among others.

He is also a regular speaker about investing for impact and the value of purpose in business.

Ben Onajide

Department for International Trade

Ben Onajide

Head of DIT London Export Champion Network

Ben has been a Civil servant for 20 years. He started his career in the DWP before moving to the DIT last year. At DIT Ben is the Head of DIT London Export Champion Network. The main function of Ben’s role is to manage and coordinate a community of 42 high exporting businesses, with the main objective to give peer to peer support to potential exporters.

Neeta Patel

Centre of Entrepreneurs

Neeta Patel

Chief Executive Officer

Neeta Patel is Chief Executive Officer at the Centre for Entrepreneurs, a Non- Executive Director at the Allianz Technology Trust, a board member of Tech London Advocates and an advisory Board member at City Ventures, City University. She is also a mentor-in-residence at London Business School and a board advisor to a number of startup ventures.
Neeta has held senior positions at Legal & General, FT.com (the Financial Times’ news portal), and the British Council. She worked in private equity prior to her current role and she also co-founded a Fintech venture (which failed!). She is an active supporter of entrepreneurship in the UK.

Justin Peters

Kabbee

Justin Peters

Founder & Managing Director

Justin oversaw electronic derivative trading solutions at BNP Paribas and at ICE Creditex. He then created multiple B2C platforms that have completed millions of transactions and is an active angel investor. His focus is finding industry-changing solutions and putting the right teams together to deliver.

Samantha Pileggi

Institute of Export

Samantha Pileggi

Director of Commercial Operations

Samantha is Director of Commercial Operations at the Institute of Export & International Trade, the UK’s only professional body representing international trade.

With a strong background in marketing, project management and operations across various industries including media and financial services. Today, Samantha’s focus is on promoting the Institute as the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally.

Samantha holds a BA (Hons) Business Economics from the University of Liverpool as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing.

Neill Ricketts

Versarien

Neill Ricketts

Chief Executive Officer

Neill is an engineer who has over 20 years’ experience in the engineering industry covering a host of industry sectors including Oil & Gas, Aerospace and Motorsport. Under Neill’s leadership, Versarien was incorporated in 2011 and in June 2013 the company listed on AIM . Versarien’s mission is to create new materials suitable for commercial use. To date, Neill and his fellow directors have been quick to realise the potential of innovative technologies, including the

new ‘wonder material’ graphene and to capitalise on this. Neill sits on the Board of the GFirst LEP as a non-exec director.

Nicola Saunders

Arts Council England

Nicola Saunders

Director of Business Improvement & Innovation

Nicola joined Arts Council England in April 2018 in the new role of Director, Business Improvement & Innovation, part of the Enterprise & Innovation team. She has spent more than 20 years working in the Creative Industries, latterly as the Head of Publishing, Rights & Images at the National Portrait Gallery London. She was also a trustee of the Association of Cultural Enterprises, one of Arts Council England’s Sector Support Organisations. Prior to moving into the public sector Nicola spent 17 years working in rights and licensing at Penguin Children’s Books working on iconic brands such as Peter Rabbit, Spot and Ladybird.

John Treharne

The Gym Group

John Treharne

Founder

John Treharne is a former accountant and England squash player who’s experience in the fitness industry spans 29 years.

In 1991 John started his first gym business, Dragons Health Clubs, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1997, with 22 clubs. Dragons was sold in 2000. He then lent his expertise to premium gym chain Esporta, before he 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. In February 2016 the business was named as a finalist and Ruban d’Honneur recipient in the 2015/16 European Business awards. John stepped down as CEO of The Gym Group in September 2018, but remains on the board as Founder Director.

Today, The Gym Group is nationwide with over 170 sites and a roll-out programme of 15-20 new gyms each year. It has had over 100 million gym visits since launch in 2008 and over 15 million gym visits in 2018, and has a membership of over 800,000, which would fit into Wembley, Twickenham, the Bernabeu, the MCG, Old Trafford, Croke Park and the Nou Camp combined.

Jennifer Unsworth

Be-Baby

Jennifer Unsworth

Managing Director

Jennifer started Be-Baby Ltd in 2014 to launch innovative baby weaning brand, Tidy Tot, after finding a gap in the market when weaning her first child. Tidy Tot’s range of innovative weaning products are now sold in over 20 countries worldwide and the company has consistently delivered double digit growth year on year.

Jennifer has a strong background in branded sales and marketing, working on brands including Scholl, Durex and Ralgex with retailers including Boots, Sainsbury and Morrisons. Her business acumen also includes impressive management and operational skills developed during her time managing Government funded contracts across the North West of England.

Aby Wojcik

Creative Industries Federation

Aby Wojcik

Community Membership Manager

Aby is Community Membership Manager at the Creative Industries Federation, a membership body which represents, champions and supports the UK’s creative industries. Aby focuses on understanding the unique context of creative SME’s, micro-businesses and freelancers so that the Federation can provide relevant support, guidance and advocacy.

Aby has over ten years’ experience working for member organisations. Her wide-ranging career has seen her work with individuals and SMEs from a diverse range of sectors, from technology businesses through to canine professionals. Aby has a long-standing passion for the creative industries and loves working with smaller businesses to help them thrive.