Head of Mentoring and Venture Investor
Andre has 25 years of experience on both the buy and sell side of banking and venture investing. He is currently Venture Partner in a technology-focused VC fund he co-founded in 2011. Previously Andre spent five years as an investment banker at Credit Suisse, where he led the European Semiconductor and IT Hardware Team as a Director in the Technology Group in London. He also made technology investments as Chief Investment Officer of Prokom Internet in Poland and served as Senior Banker in the Financial Institutions Department at the EBRD in London. He has been a non-executive director of private and publicly traded companies from the digital media, software, IT services, energy, biotech and property development sectors. Andre started his career as a corporate lawyer at the Cravath firm in New York. He is a graduate of Cornell, Harvard and the University of Michigan Law School.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, AppChocolate
Emmanuel Carraud is an entrepreneur and investor in mobile applications and digital marketing.
He is the Co-founder and CEO of AppChocolate, the festive mobile apps publisher. AppChocolate’s most famous app for iPhone and Android, ‘Advent Calendar – 25 Days of Christmas’, is better than chocolate. It offers 25 apps for free and reached over two million users every year.
As a serial entrepreneur, Emmanuel co-founded MagicSolver, the apps discovery specialists, in 2009 and reached over 50 million downloads, ranking number one on the iTunes App Store in over 40 countries.
As an investor, Emmanuel invests in early stage startups directly and as a venture capital limited partner. He also owns a portfolio of buy-to-let properties and HMOs in East Anglia and Yorkshire.
Emmanuel has over 15 years’ experience in consumer marketing and mobile advertising across Europe. Fluent in French, Spanish and English, he has a masters degree from Sciences Po Paris, and an MBA from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. He is also helping the next generation of entrepreneurs as an investor and as a mentor for the MSt and PgD in Entrepreneurship. He likes to share his expertise and help developers and publishers gain success in the competitive app world.
Career Coach, Regent’s University London
Julian delights in helping people get clear on their goals and forge personally meaningful business success. He inspires and even kickstarts relevant networking by sharing techniques that can open the right doors and fast-track clients towards personal fulfilment.
Julian is a Registered Career Development Professional with the Career Development Institute and other qualifications include a bachelors degree in Economics and a masters in Creative Leadership. He is also expert in ‘How to Use LinkedIn’ and delivers seminars on the subject at several top business schools. Alongside, he mentors many young entrepreneurs: his current portfolio of startup clients ranges from design to export via consulting, with fintech, fashion, lifestyle and food brands.
Julian’s own extensive career spans sales, marketing, account management, business development and mentoring across financial services, advertising, self-employment, consultancy, charities, social enterprise, outplacement, interim consulting, recruitment, universities and business schools. His breadth of commercial experience and extraordinary connectivity is embodied in an international address book that has supported thousands to explore, launch, change or improve their careers.
Chairman, Lifestyle Fitness
Advisor to startups and early stage ventures
Tim Curtis has over 20 years of digital and multi-channel retail experience, from marketing, merchandising and supply chain management roles across the Boots Group to running a dotcom startup, Mothercare Direct and Lands’ End Europe. Over the last five years he has been an advisor to a variety of startups and smaller enterprises, as well providing interim executive support to Dobbies Garden Centres and Ideal Shopping Direct. He has also worked as a strategy consultant for Tesco, the RAC, Marakon Associates and LEK Consulting, lectured on Merchandising at Manchester Business School and spent five years on the Advisory Board of CatEx, the Direct Commerce Association, latterly as Deputy Chairman. He began his professional career in the Royal Engineers setting up the first Airborne Bomb Disposal troop and has found his experience in dealing with unexploded bombs and booby traps invaluable in the world of startups and multi-channel retailing. He has an MBA from INSEAD and an MA in History from St John’s College, Cambridge.
Global CEO, HLB International
Marco is CEO at HLB International, a global leading mid-tier network of accounting and advisory firms with consolidated turnover of US £2.2 billion and presence in 150 countries.
Marco joined HLB International in February 2012 as Head of Strategic Network Development and then moved to the position of Chief Operating Officer in August 2015. During that time, he has diligently helped grow the network’s cross-border business, and drove HLB International’s growth rate to outperform that of most competitor networks.
Marco’s career has focused on leading business development projects, entrepreneurial initiatives, business transformation change management programmes. He started his career in Italy, where after a brief period with Deloitte, he moved to Deutsche Bank, where he spent over six years in both commercial and internal consultancy roles before moving to the UK.
Here, he set up a food-tech business aiming to disrupt the restaurant industry and then joined MagicSolver, a top UK mobile innovator, where he helped increase the turnover of the company by 30 per cent. He also worked with a number of consultancies where, as Engagement Manager, he led projects for large organisations in the areas of operations and strategy.
Over the last few years, Marco held several external and independent advisory roles in SMEs, and acted as a mentor in a number of programmes, including Ignite and Accelerate at Cambridge Judge Business School, and the 30% Club. He is currently a Member of the Alumni Advisory Council at Cambridge Judge Business School; and Member of the Governing Body at a Cambridge-based primary school. Marco holds an MSc in Business Economics (summa cum laude) from the University of Naples, Italy, an MBA from the University of Cambridge and a Non-Executive Director Diploma from the Financial Times.
CEO, Vesta Property
Russell has held leadership, director, operating board, advisory and senior level positions across financial services, insurance, technology, travel and real estate sectors.
He has managed large digital businesses (+£500m sales), worked in major FTSE companies and also started three new ventures in consulting, business finance (exited by sale in 2015) and recently launched the new proptech real estate marketplace Vesta. He also works in an advisory capacity for two fintech startups, TSB Bank and has mentored for Seedcamp.
He has extensive experience across the full e-commerce model including – new product development, omni-channel marketing and branding, including customer acquisition, retention (CRM & eCM), customer conversion (look to book/user experience) and performance optimisation (decision science/analytics).
Russell has a degree in business studies from Massey University, NZ and is a confident media spokesperson who has presented to Government.
He also has over 30 caps representing England at Touch Rugby, achieving medals in two European Championships, a Home Nations and a World Cup.
CEO & Founder, Guild
Ashley is the CEO & Founder of Guild, a private professional messaging app that meets new standards, yet is as easy to use as WhatsApp. It is advertising free, and GDPR compliant.
Ashley is one of the most influential and connected figures in digital and marketing. As one of the 100+ recommendations for him on LinkedIn reads, “If Ashley doesn’t know it – it ain’t worth knowing.”
Ashley is author of two best-selling books on digital. A columnist, commentator and blogger, he speaks worldwide on digital and marketing trends and best practice.
Ashley is involved in a number of digital businesses and ventures as investor, adviser, mentor and operationally.
Enterprise Legacy Facilitator
As an enterprise legacy facilitator, Lesley supports individuals who are already successful and competent to unlock their personal vision and motivation. If you feel that you should be doing something else, or there is a legacy that you would like to leave for others, then she provides the space and facilitation processes to support you in uncovering, shaping and articulating your personal vision. Lesley loves creating value and finding elegant solutions.
Lesley’s early career was as a design process engineer, designing water treatment plants mainly for the Egyptian market. Following an MBA and a brief stint as Business Development Manager for part of the Vickers Group, she started a consultancy business with her then husband working in both business development and competence based recruitment/assessment centres and outplacement consulting. In 2000, she moved back to Scotland. For the past 16 years Lesley has worked in enterprise/entrepreneurship development specialising in developing the inner entrepreneur, with respect to mindset, skills and vision.
Director, Makespace Cambridge
Ward is an IOD-certified director, experienced executive and entrepreneur and investor. Ward is actively involved in a number of services-based business such as deal flow software, digital healthcare consultancy, interim management and education, as well as product-based business such as a producer of nano-scale positioning and microscopy technology. Previously he directed the turnaround of a medical device company resulting in product launches in Europe and Asia in addition to a multimillion-pound investment. That opportunity grew out of a business model he created in the aerospace industry which allowed the innovations of smaller companies to be adopted more quickly by tier-one contractors with established infrastructure and paths to market.
Since founding his first business 20 years ago in the environmental management sector, developing high-level nuclear waste analysis tools, he has been involved in 100s of transactions including, partnerships, launches, and successful campaigns in the UK, Europe, Japan and Russia.
Ward has won business with multinational organisations in autonomous vehicle control, remote sensing, rapid prototyping, signal processing, regenerative medicine, predictive toxicology and medical devices. He has been a board member and observer in the US, UK and Malaysia; co-founded the East of England Stem Cell and UK Micro & Nanotechnology Networks; Member Institute of Directors (Certificate in Company Direction), American Chemical Society(ret.).
CEO, Cambridge Leadership Coaching
Julie is an experienced ICF master-accredited business and executive coach and proven businesswoman with hands-on experience of entrepreneurship and enterprise development. Based in Cambridge, she has over 25 years of experience working as a consultant and coach with senior executives, academics, entrepreneurs and high potentials mainly with science, engineering and technology backgrounds. Following an early career in teaching and graduate careers publishing she founded Oakland Innovation Ltd to provide consulting services to support innovation in Global science and technology based companies and universities. Working closely with the UK research Councils, Universities and Industry she has led a wide range of projects to promote knowledge and technology transfer both in the UK and globally.
After 17 years, Julie’s interest in this international business was successfully sold in 2006. Julie is passionate about encouraging and supporting people with entrepreneurial spirit to fulfil their potential and has since developed a variety of ways to enable this passion. She trained and became a qualified coach and has built a successful practice coaching entrepreneurial individuals in business and academia. She regularly coaches executives enrolled in programmes for The Leadership Foundation, London Business School, CASS Business School and Imperial College MBA programmes and staff development. In Cambridge she is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Anglia Ruskin University where she contributes to business teaching programmes as well as mentoring budding entrepreneurs. She is also a coach/mentor and business advisor for several of the University of Cambridge startup and business growth facilities. Her business clients include Board members in technology start up and high growth companies as well as a variety of blue chip companies such as Marchall Aerospace; Microsoft Research; Handelsbanken; GSK; Morgan Stanley; and T-Systems.
Lee’s career in the global financial markets has spanned 30 years. After 10 years’ experience working on the London International Financial Futures Exchange he co-founded Cube Financial in 1998, a financial services firm specialising in listed derivative sales. As director and COO Lee was instrumental in growing the sales revenue and all operational aspects of the business. By 2006 the organisation employed 130 staff with offices in London and Chicago at which point the business was sold to Newedge, a division of Societe Generale.
At Newedge, Lee was Head of London Listed Derivatives Execution, this included running a sales team of 200 people trading on 80 global exchanges. He held FCA responsibility for the firm as a CF29 (significant management) and CFI (Director).
After completing a successful earn out Lee exited the sales business in 2011 to take a position as COO of North of Zero LLP, a transatlantic hedge fund. When the fund relocated to the USA Lee was offered an opportunity to invest in COEX Partners, a financial services business. He worked as director and consultant until the business was sold to TP ICAP in 2017.
Currently Lee spends his time managing his property portfolio and has investments in local business in the fintech and food service sectors.
Pantea has experience both as an executive and non-executive director, combining strategic leadership with a strong practical understanding of the challenges that businesses face today. She has over a decade of experience in working with Fortune 100 and 500 companies as well as with SMEs, startup and not-for-profit organisations, helping them develop and implement innovation strategy initiatives, acquire new technologies and expand into new markets. Her experience covers numerous industries including manufacturing, engineering, chemicals, energy, FMCG, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Pantea has built and directed multidisciplinary teams and has extensive coaching and mentoring experience working with executive teams and high performing individuals.
Pantea has a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from UCL and an MPhil in Technology Policy from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. Outside of work she practices yoga, loves reading and promotes good causes she believes in.
Director Europe, Fortna
Michael has over 25 years of supply chain and consulting experience ranging from business strategy projects, inventory optimisation to forecasting. He also has designed, developed and implemented warehouses ranging from small manual operations to fully automated solutions around the world, including India, South Africa, Russia, United Kingdom and many EU countries for both retailers, wholesalers and manufacturing companies.
Michael has previously worked for Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC), Kurt Salmon Associates, Javelin Group and T-Systems. In 2013, Michael returned to his first postgraduate employer, The Logistics Business, and jointly with his business partner bought the business from the original owners. They grew the business by 50 per cent in the first two years after acquisition and sold the business in 2017 to Fortna, a US warehouse design and integration company. Michael now leads the European element of the Global Operations Design practice on behalf of Fortna, where he engages at senior level to define and direct clients’ supply chain strategy and help to develop their infrastructure requirements.
Michael holds a BA (Hons) in European Business Administration from Middlesex University, a Diplom-Betriebswirt from ESB, Reutlingen, Germany and an MSc in Logistics and Transportation from Cranfield University. He thrives on adrenaline, is a former skydiver, still an avid skier and technical diver.
Chief Customer Officer/CMO, Simply Business
Fiona is currently Chief Customer Officer/CMO with insurtech firm Simply Business (UK’s largest business insurance broker with over 430,000 SME customers and Sunday Times Best Company winner). She has previously held CMO and Product lead positions with Euromoney Institutional Investor (part of Daily Mail group), lastminute.com and European Directoris. She has co-founded and run her own business consultancy (Juice Associates) and food business (Victoria Sandwich). She has experience of VC and PE-led businesses, including Simply Business which sold for $490 million in August 2017, as well as corporate venturing through BT Group Ventures. Fiona holds an MA Marketing and BSc Hons Psychology. Her passions are encouraging businesses to be a force for good (as a Benefit Corp), creative cooking and walking (including the Arctic Biathlon and Mont Blanc Trail for charity).
Entrepreneur in Marketing Knowledge
Entrepreneur in Marketing Knowledge. Charles has experience in the telecommunications, publishing, finance and education sectors, and has had hands-on involvement in the IT revolution from the first days of PCs. Charles established one of the UK’s first computerised marketing intelligence systems, co-founded a Fintech startup in the 1980s and then founded Cambridge Marketing College in 1991, growing it to a dominant position in its sector before retiring in 2016 to run a publishing venture and establish his Foundation.
Charles is on the Advisory Panel of Harvard Business Review, and is an advisor for Astia. Fellow of Royal Society of Arts and Chartered Marketer.
Charles has developed skills over 40 years in market research, marketing and business development. An author, creator and occasional presenter of the Marketing Review podcast, Charles has a degree in Modern History and Economics from Manchester University and an MBA from Warwick Business School.
CEO UK & Eire, Whirlpool
Maurizio has nearly three decades of experience across a range of businesses and industries from FMCG to financial services to durable goods. He has spent time in most of the functional areas of business and he has been directly involved in the development of numerous new business and product lines, initiatives and corporate venturing.
For the past six years Maurizio has been CEO of UK and Ireland for Whirlpool Corporation. Previously, he was Marketing & Commercial Director and CEO of Coca-Cola Italy.
Before that, Maurizio was Division Vice President and Head of Corporate Card Italy at American Express Europe, Commercial Director responsible for 11 key Asian markets at Reckitt Benckiser Singapore and Commercial Director at Reckitt Benckiser Italy. He also spent 11 years working through the corporate hierarchy at Procter & Gamble in Europe, ending as Trade Marketing Senior Director responsible for all P&G business lines in Italy including snacks and food.
Maurizio is a summa cum laude Economics graduate of Federico II University in Naples and has done postgraduate work in econometrics.
Dr Cathy Prescott has more than two decades of experience in research, management and business in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, finance and venture capital sectors. She currently provides consultancy services to the biotechnology and insurance sectors and serves as a non-executive director on both private and public sector company boards. Cathy is also a visiting Professor at King’s College London where she teaches the commercialisation module for a Masters in Cellular Therapies. She is also a Senior Associate for the Masters in Bioscience Enterprise (Cambridge University), a member of the Babraham Institute Translational Advisory Group, a panel member for National Institute for Health Research ‘Invention for Innovation’ funding programme, a mentor for Impulse, a learning programme for tech innovators (University of Cambridge), and a member of Prudential’s Longevity Expert Advisory Panel.
Liisa Van Vliet
Managing Director, Drop-Tech
Dr Liisa Van Vliet is an entrepreneur, a postdoctoral research associate and EU Training Network manager at the Department of Biochemistry. She has a PhD in Biochemistry from St John’s College, University of Cambridge. After working for Accenture in project management, she returned to Cambridge as a postdoc in the field of Microfluidic Droplets. She was awarded a 2010 BBSRC Enterprise Fellow to spin out Drop-Tech Ltd, a microfluidic instrument development and consultancy, which started selling its first product in partnership with Dolomite Microfluidics in July 2013.
After winning the CUE competition ‘Best Biotech startup’ Carpe Diem award in 2013 for an Alzheimer diagnostic test they are developing, she and her colleagues were finalists of the Oxbridge Round Table 2014 ‘One Start competition’ and were selected to join the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Accelerator. She was nominated as a ‘Rising Star’ and one of the BioBeat 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2014. Liisa is passionate about bringing technology and science to market for the benefit of all, particularly for healthcare applications. She has given entrepreneurship workshops for several EU network consortia and since 2012 facilitates and mentors for programmes run by the Entrepreneurship Centre (Cambridge Judge Business School). She continues to develop microfluidic droplet systems for drug discovery, personalised medicine and Alzheimer diagnostics.
Managing Partner, Digital Spring Ventures
Patrick Vosgimorukian has over 20 years of experience investing and transacting globally, having worked on over 100 transactions in more than 40 countries. He is also an experience board representative, having served on a number of supervisory boards of both private and public companies as well as investment funds.
Patrick is currently the Managing Partner of Digital Spring Ventures, a growth focused tech fund investing in new media, marketplaces, classifieds, fintech, edtech and adtech companies across rapidly developing frontier markets. In a personal capacity, he is currently invested in a number of early stage tech startups in artificial intelligence for the automotive industry, artificial intelligence for the music industry as well as enhancing technology for live events.
Prior to co-founding Digital Spring Ventures, Patrick was the CEO of Amun Capital, a growth markets TMT fund, Head of Investment Banking and Finance at Renaissance Capital Central Asia, a leading investment bank in CIS, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions in CEE and CIS at ABN AMRO, and Equity Research Analyst covering the CEE and Middle Eastern equity capital markets at Societe Generale Securities.
Patrick holds a bachelors degree in International Affairs with a minor in Philosophy from the American University of Paris.