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Internet of Things & Smart Cities Venture Creation Weekend, Nov 2015

Back to Past VCWs

Internet of Things & Smart Cities Venture Creation Weekend

54 hours to test your ideas, build a team and pitch to investors.

  • Interested in connecting things and creating cool products and services that help to make a smarter world? Want to empower people to engage with objects and the environment around them?
  • Interested in creating applications for improving management, infrastructure and environment to build intelligent cities?

Unveil new business opportunities by connecting your devices, sensors, cloud services and data to create the Internet of Your Things.

Bring your enthusiasm and creativity, pitch your best idea, test to see if it is viable; and inspire others to join your team!

20-22 November 2015

Cambridge Judge Business School

28 billion things

IoT is ripe for imaginative solutions to be tested and new ventures founded, writes Go Enrol CEO Stephen Parkes for the Entrepreneurship Centre blog.

Read more

Friday 20 November 2015


Arrive at the venue and get checked in

Registration at Cambridge Judge Business School.


Dinner & networking

Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants at the Royal Cambridge Hotel (RCH).



Review agenda for the weekend, @CJBS Lecture Theatre.


Pitches start

Line up to give your pitch (optional).



Attendees vote for the top pitches.


Form teams

Teams start forming and discussing ideas.


Begin work

Start to formalise teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. Teams retire to their rooms and work on their ideas @CJBS.


Wrap up

Venue closes, you may stay and work until midnight.

Saturday 21 November 2015



Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee.


Begin to work

Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend.


Working lunch

Business Model Canvas talk by Simon Stockley, CJBS.



After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help.


Meeting coaches

Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help! They will be available until 18:00.


Pizza & beer

Fuel your ideas @CJBS Lobby.



After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help.



Venue closes, you may stay and work until midnight.

Sunday 22 November 2015



Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee.


Meeting coaches

Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS, they will be available till 14:00.


Working lunch

Working lunch with Presentation Skills by Simon Stockley, CJBS.


Presentation prep & check

Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place.


Final presentations

Teams make their final presentations to our distinguished panel of judges.


Judges evaluation & awards

Judges evaluate presentations against set criteria and award prizes.



After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help.


Network Dinner!

Royal Cambridge Hotel.

Dan Clarke

Digital Programme Manager

Smart Cambridgeshire

Dan leads the Smart Cambridgeshire programme on behalf of the City Deal partnership which includes Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, the University of Cambridge and the Local Enterprise Partnership. The programme was set up to look at how new and emerging technology could help address some of Greater Cambridge’s challenges, in particular transport, environmental management, energy and health and social care. The programme is focussed on ‘Smart City’ solutions and specifically looking at ‘Internet of Things’ use cases.

Previously Dan has led a number of innovation projects both for the County Council, where he led the Cambridgeshire Future Transport initiative, and for Cambridgeshire Horizons, an organisation that worked to raise standards on new developments across Cambridge through renewable energy projects, better water and waste management and looking at how to build social cohesion.

Peter Cowley

Angel Investor

Peter is a Cambridge University engineering/computing graduate who founded and ran technology and construction businesses for over 35 years and, since then, has angel invested in over 70 startups in Cambridge and London, and is on the boards of nine of those. He has had eight exits (one at 107x his investment) and 13 failures.

He was UK Angel of the Year in 2014, is was chair of the Cambridge Angels, and has mentored countless entrepreneurs. He setup and runs the Martlet startup investment fund of Marshall of Cambridge. Peter is President of the European Business Angel Network – the pan-European trade body for angels and early stage investors.

He is also a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School. For over 15 years, Peter was involved in charity and social enterprise governance as chair and treasurer of several trustee boards. He is sharing his and others’ experience in podcasts and two books at

Abhi Naha

Head of Marketing & Business Development

Cambridge Wireless

Abhi Naha was CEO & Founder of Zone V, a Cambridge UK start-up backed by Qualcomm and ARM Holdings. Zone V is focused on empowering people with ageing eyes and visually impaired through inclusively designed mobile devices with a strong focus on empowering women in developing countries.

Abhi is also a Board Advisor to EqualEyes, part of Wayra (Telefonica) and founder of the Cambridge Wireless handset special interest group which he now co chairs with ARM, Accenture, u-blox and Iotic-Labs, renamed Future Devices. Previously he held senior management roles at Powermat and Idem. Prior to that he was a senior manager at a Silicon Valley mobile touchscreen and user interface technology provider, Synaptics. Abhi Naha is a mentor for the Princes Trust and Vice President of the Communications and Manufacturing Association of India. He held advisory roles for Goldman Sachs and Silver Lake in the area of mobile handset user interface technologies.

Abhi is co-author of Essentials of Mobile Handset Design, published by Cambridge University Press, a book that addresses the complex blend of design and technology factors needed to create great mobile devices.

Ahsan Zaman

Executive Director

World Media Online

An alumnus of Oxford University and the London College of Fashion, Ahsan is a media & publishing entrepreneur and investor based in London. Passionate about innovating the IoT (Internet of Things), Digital Health and M2M (Machine to Machine) Ecosystems.

Ahsan is currently the Executive Director of World Media Online, a London-based B2B publishing & media house focused heavily on the emerging IoT Market, where he overseas company strategy for expanding into the M2M and IoT segments, working with both global multinationals such as Qualcomm, Huawei, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, as well as early and mid-stage IoT start-ups like Dizmo and Sigfox. Previously, Ahsan was head of global PR and Marketing at Connect-World in London.

Ahsan is also a board member of the International IoT Council, one of the leading international think tanks, that has representation from global connectivity players in the IoT ecosystem, including Sprint, AT&T, Telus, Orange, TELE2 and SAP, amongst many others. Ahsan is also the Editorial Director of M2M Magazine.

Jack Lang

Jack Lang is a serial entrepreneur and business angel with high-tech and internet companies based in Cambridge, where he is Entrepreneur in Residence at Cambridge Judge Business School, an affiliated Lecturer at the Computer Lab and a bye-fellow of and Director of Studies in Management at Emmanuel College.

A recent venture is co-founder and vice chair of the Raspberry Pi Foundation which makes an ultra low-cost computer for education.

He is author of The High Tech Entrepreneur’s Handbook, and teaches and examines courses in business studies, entrepreneurship and e-commerce.

Hanadi Jabado


Accelerate Cambridge

Hanadi is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. She has founded and built businesses in several industries, including education, online retail and property, and has used her multicultural background and experience with new technologies to cofound Ecamb, a business accelerator aiming at helping entrepreneurs to succeed globally. Hanadi has driven the creation of Accelerate Cambridge, the accelerator programme at Cambridge Judge Business School, and is currently its director. Hanadi has been closely involved with over 100 start-ups over the globe and across industries over the last three years. Born in Lebanon and raised in France, she is fluent in English, French and Arabic and speaks another four languages. She lives in London with her four children.

Matthew Scherba

Head of Global Sales & Marketing

Breed Reply

An entrepreneurial executive with 20 years of international IT, software, sales and consulting experience covering the full technology life-cycle. A founder, who has also ran and invested in companies across cloud software, mobile applications, M2M, machine learning analytics, and Internet of Things (IOT), in both the corporate and start-up space, across the UK, Europe and US markets.

Breed Reply is a London-based advanced Internet of Things (IoT) incubator, investing in start-ups across Europe and the USA. In addition to significant seed investment, we provide high growth potential start-ups with full life-cycle expertise in the areas of strategy, finance, technology and commercialisation. Through hands-on support, and leveraging the Reply ecosystem of companies, Breed Reply helps IoT start-ups to scale their disruptive technologies into the market.

IoT sector focus includes: Agriculture, Automotive, Healthcare, Fitness/Wellbeing, Smart Buildings and Cities, Smart Home, Retail and Commerce, Transport, Industrial and VR. Portfolio companies include Cocoon, enModus, Greeniant, Gymcraft, Inova, Sensoria and XMetrics.

Shiri Gold

Business Development Manager


Shiri is an advisor, mentor and investor in the start-up space. Shiri has over 15 years’ experience in the technology sector, in various roles including marketing, strategy and business development, project and product management. Currently Shiri is a business development manager at Broadcom – a Fortune 500 technology company. Shiri has an engineering degree as well as an MBA (from Cambridge Judge Business School). Shiri founded two companies: a failed payment app business and a moderately successful tea business.

Shiri has been advising start-ups since 2011, helping companies achieve over $2m in seed funding. Shiri’s main interests are technology, mobile, biotech and fintech. Shiri currently has three live investments and is a non-executive director of one of these.

Jamie McNaught

Graduating with an honours degree in Computing Science from the University of Strathclyde, Jamie interned with and became an Analyst at Goldman Sachs, training in New York and based in the Equities Trading Technology Team in London.

More recently he has worked in mobile, private wealth management, fraud detection and big data analytics for firms and clients in the US, UK, South Africa and South Korea.

Jamie has been a Bitcoin enthusiast and user since late 2010, having mined, developed, hacked, argued and promoted it. His most recent start-up, Solidi, helps people buy and sell digital currencies in the UK. He is keenly interested in the current fintech revolution and the democratisation of access to financial systems both in the UK and across the globe.

Jamie works across a broad remit of technologies from Assembler and C to C++, Java, Python, PHP and NodeJS.

Daryl Stanbery

Vice President – Analytic Services


Daryl leads the Global Connected Machines vision, roadmap and team on behalf of the Global Social Innovation business at Hitachi. He is responsible for business analytics solutions that drive smart infrastructure including cloud, big data, IoT, operations, security, dev ops digital/mobile and more.

He and his team also partner with Pentaho to develop and deliver the Hitachi Internet of Things business strategy and platform for HDS. Daryl was previously a Senior Director of Consulting Services and Global Solutions as well as Director of eHealth and Life Sciences Solutions for the Americas at Hitachi.

Daryl holds a degree from California State University at Chico and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Edward Kay

Developer Relations Manager

MediaTek Labs

Ed has a talent & passion for partner relationships & technology nurtured through working with international developers for two decades. Ed has a history of working with innovators & technology leaders. His early career was notable for producing multimedia for artists such as U2, Peter Gabriel, Douglas Adams and The Prodigy.

He worked as Head of Developer Programs at Symbian, building the first app store, running developer activities globally and spearheading programmes such as Symbian Signed. Since then Ed has had a number of consulting and product roles with companies such as Shell, Nationwide Bank, IBM, Audi and The Rank Group – he has had particular involvement in developing future concepts in both retail and industry, devising and deploying mobile and smart infrastructure projects particularly in the construction/utilities sector.

Ed currently supports the community of makers, developers and start-ups in the IoT and wearables domain using MediaTek solutions, and helps bring their ideas to market.

Andrius Aucinas

Chief Technical Officer

Cambridge Coding Academy

Andrius Aucinas is the CTO of the Cambridge Coding Academy, working on teaching people to embrace new technologies offline and online efficiently. In addition to his focus on education, he is the head of engineering at the Hub of All Things project, focused on creating user-centric private data market for the Internet of Things. Andrius has a PhD in Mobile Systems from the University of Cambridge and has been working closely with R&D of the top companies including Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica.

Mark Littlewood

Variously described as ‘a world leader in connecting people’ and ‘the one in the terrible shirt’ Mark is the founder of the BLN and one of the best connected people in the UK tech scene.

He has spent 20 years in the tech sector collecting great people and ideas and connecting them to customers. Before the BLN, he was part of the founding team at Library House, an investment research business based in Cambridge serving the global venture capital and banking communities. He led the business development activities for the organisation and built a network of angels, early stage, venture and corporate investors.

Previously, he has worked with university spin-outs, run a 40 person consultancy business, and founded a web portal for the CAD community. Mark has worked in the publishing and information sectors & attended Trinity College, Cambridge. He tweets at @marklittlewood

Charles Payne

As an experienced consultant/adviser, Charles also has experience of working with innovation in start-up ventures and mature companies, guiding them through the whole business life cycle. His experience includes working at Board level, nationally and with international companies and assignments in the overseas market.

Having worked for companies with major international interests, during his successful career Charles has developed an in-depth understanding of the key skills that growing businesses need including growth strategy, raising finance, embedding operational management into ‘market-ready’ companies and improving the profile of businesses and their products.

Charles is a registered and approved Growth Coach for Growth Accelerator and Growth Through Innovation, helping ambitious businesses achieve rapid and sustainable growth.

Federico Spagnoli

Federico Spagnoli is the Regional Consumer President for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for American International Group’s (AIG) property casualty and life business. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing AIG’s Consumer property casualty and life insurance operations and business strategies in the countries in which AIG operates in the region. Prior to his current post in EMEA, Mr. Spagnoli served as the Latin America Consumer Head and Personal Lines Vice President for AIG’s business in South Korea and Japan. Mr Spagnoli has 20 years of experience in the insurance industry and has been employed by the member companies of AIG since joining the company in 2004.

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