Andrea Cockerton founded pitch consultancy MudHut in 2005, following on from three years running one of the leading angel investment networks in the UK. Since then she has worked alongside over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business leaders on investment and commercial pitches for values ranging from £50k to £10m, working alongside business networks, bootcamps, business schools and incubators across the UK.
The focus of Andrea’s work is on intelligent choice and the effective communication of business critical, frequently complex, information when under pressure. Sectors advised include technology, social enterprise, legal, academia, public sector and the arts. Andrea is also the founder and artistic director of the Downing Sound Collective, a genre-bending musical collective launched in Cambridge in 2010 and in London in 2014.
Gonçalo de Vasconcelos
CEO & Co-founder, SyndicateRoom
Gonçalo is the CEO and co-founder of multi-award-winning online investment platform SyndicateRoom and was considered one of the Top 10 most influential people in tech in the UK at the Tyto Tech 500 Power List as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in fintech in Europe.
Gonçalo pioneered the investor-led™ model in the UK, opening up access to exclusive deals that professionals are investing in. SyndicateRoom is an equity investment platform that allows investors to access companies throughout their entire equity journey, from early stage private companies to premium segment listings on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
A contributor to Forbes, Gonçalo is often a speaker and panellist at leading industry events on topics including equity crowdfunding, entrepreneurship, fintech, corporate finance, business angel investment and venture capital investment. He regularly contributes or is featured in the media including the BBC, Forbes, Financial Times and The Sunday Times amongst others.
Amy is a leadership coach, speaker, and facilitator. She works with high-potential founders and purpose-driven individuals to help them unleash the power of their full potential. She believes that we are all born with innate gifts, and that life should be spent giving them away.
Her training draws on her previous corporate life at Google. There, Amy led Business Development Google’s emerging products in London, Mountain View, and New York. By leading diverse teams at both international scale and alpha stages, she honed her skill of translating product benefits to non-technical audiences. Her pitching prowess enabled Google Pay to launch in its first international markets in record time. While at Google, she was an active member of Toastmasters, taught mindfulness and public speaking workshops, and was personally trained by Stuart Diamond as a negotiator.
Prior to Google, Amy was an award-winning sales executive at OpenTable.com, where she led their biggest market (NYC), and helped grow the company through its 2009 IPO.
Amy is in her second tour as an entrepreneur. Her first venture, MEI New York, was a women’s apparel company. Founded in 2010, it was featured in Women’s Wear Daily, Nylon Magazine and Daily Candy.
Amy is an avid meditator, certified yoga teacher, and insanely curious. She utilises neuroscience, mindfulness, and psychology in her coaching style, and has been trained by the Coaches Training Institute (CTI Co-Active).
She holds a BA in Psychology and Legal Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mariana Lucia Marquez
Mariana Lucia is a choreographer and entrepreneur with a very varied and exciting career. At age 19 she left her hometown of Buenos Aires to study Dance & Political Science at Hunter College/ City University of New York (BA Hons). Upon graduating, she co-founded a bookselling startup in New York which today sells $8m a year with a star team of 25 people across the world. In 2007 she returned to Buenos Aires and founded Argentina’s audiovisual dance archive at the National Library as a way to give back something truly wonderful to her home country. A few years later Mariana Lucia relocated to London, where she earned an MA in Choreography from TrinityLaban Conservatoire. A certified Kundalini yoga teacher, she also has an associate degree in Culinary Arts, and is the proud mother to two wonderful children.
Mariana Lucia is fascinated by the power of the human body to learn, adapt, and express. She loves coaching people on these skills and seeing how their business communications improve as their assumptions of themselves change.
Vice Principal & Director of Advancement, Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Jeremy Newton studied Modern Languages at St John’s College, Cambridge and then trained as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand (now part of PwC), qualifying in 1979 and becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants 10 years later. Since 1980, he has occupied a series of senior posts in the cultural, non-profit and education sectors. He has led the Regional Arts Board for the East of England, the Arts Lottery Fund, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). He has also set up and run a large-scale international charity (The Louise T. Blouin Foundation) and, most recently, has been working for His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, running The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts. In 2018, he will be taking up the role of Vice Principal at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Jeremy has chaired the Boards of three major UK arts organisations (English Touring Theatre, Youth Dance England and the National Association of Youth Theatres), has lectured widely on topics such as Financial Administration in the Arts and Strategic Management, acted as External Examiner for the Department of Arts Management at City University over a period of several years and in 2006 received an Honorary Doctorate from Loughborough University for his services to the arts, science and technology.
Director, ePlanet Ventures
Tim Rea maintains a portfolio projects related to investment and new business creation. He started his career with British Telecom where he worked on the development of novel optical materials for opto-electronic applications, went on to found a software start-up and from there moved into the Venture Capital industry with Softbank. Over the past 20 years Tim’s portfolio has included a mix of work across the full investment value chain including the management and allocation of capital into VC funds, VC investments, direct, and sometimes operational work with early stage companies, and both the buy and sell side of the exit process. He is an advisor to several investors and over the past 15 years has been a Director of ePlanet Ventures, a global Venture Capital fund where he has been a party to over 100 investments in the US, Europe and Asia including prominent success cases such as Skype and Baidu. He serves on a number of boards where he often takes oversight of financing strategy and engagement with investors.
Financial Literacy Workshop Leader
Intrapreneurship Practice Leader
Kamilla Spark is a corporate finance specialist with more than two decades experience as an advisor, investment manager and non-executive director of large industrials and public sector institutions.
Prior to founding her own corporate finance advisory practice, Kamilla was a Director of Mezzanine Management, the largest mezzanine investor in Europe at the time. Before that she was a banker with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Senior Advisor to a closed-end, listed private equity fund. In these positions she structured, implemented and oversaw debt and equity investments in a range of companies from both public and private sectors.
Until recently Kamilla was a Non-Executive Director of Giza Polish Ventures, a regional venture capital fund and a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of PCC Exol (WSE: PCX), a leading Polish-American producer of industrial chemicals with annual revenues of $150 million. Previously she was a Non-Executive Director of Kety Group, a Warsaw- and London-listed manufacturer of aluminium joinery and flexible packaging with annual revenues of nearly $800 million. In addition Kamilla served her community as a Governor and member of the Audit Committee of Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, one of the largest secondary education institutions in the UK. Kamilla is currently a lay trustee and member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the National Union of Students UK (NUS).
Kamilla received her MBA (Finance and Accounting) from Columbia Business School in 1996. She has been a UK Chartered Director and Fellow of The Institute of Directors since 2010.
CEO, The Converging World
Dr Wendy Stephenson is an engineer by background and graduated in environmental energy engineering. Wendy has been the Group Managing Director of CW Renewable Energy as well as CEO of The Converging World charity since 2009.
Wendy has worked in the energy and environment sectors for more than 20 years which included working on the first regional energy strategy (North East Energy Strategy) back in the 1990s as well as overseas assignments for five years on a variety of projects including for Shell and DFID. In 2004 Wendy returned to the UK taking up the post as head of environmental affairs at EEF, representing UK manufacturing and UK Steel on climate change and energy issues both in Westminster and Europe. She was the chair of the UK Manufacturers’ climate change group.
Wendy was the lead author of the Exmoor Carbon Neutral Strategy and the West Somerset Climate Change Strategy which led to securing a £5m grant for the area to develop a low carbon economy.
One of her primary roles now is the CEO of The Converging World, a Bristol-based charity which invests in renewable energy in India and uses the surplus income to support reforestation and other environmental and social initiatives.
Wendy was awarded a Beacon Fellowship in 2013 for her contribution to ‘Impact Investing’ and led the TCW group as CEO when it achieved the Deloitte Pioneers Award in 2012.
Paul is the CEO & Founder of Playbrush, a venture-funded technology startup that is digitalising oral care. He has scaled Playbrush to seven-digit revenues and 20+ employees within only two-and-a-half years, won several international awards and was recognised by the media globally. Paul is also a Co-Founder of Hug A Brit, an independent movement and social media campaign around the British EU membership referendum in June 2016.
He has a professional background in investment & advisory, with a focus on healthcare and technology. He holds an MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship from University College London, and a Bakk.techn. from the University of Natural Resources and Life Science, Vienna. Furthermore Paul is a graduate of executive programmes at London Business School and General Assembly.
Chief Operations Officer and Director, Xaar
Ted has over 30 years’ experience in the high-tech industries. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a Chartered Engineer and a former Chair of the Manufacturing Industries Division Board of the IMechE.
During his career Ted has run operations in Sweden, and Germany in addition to the UK and established and ran one of the first semiconductor joint ventures in the People’s Republic of China.
In his role of Chief Operations Officer and main board Director at Xaar, Ted has responsibility for R&D, Operations (manufacturing and logistics) and Quality. Immediately prior to joining Xaar he was Chief Operating Officer at Cambridge Semiconductor (CamSemi), a fabless semiconductor spinout from the University of Cambridge which specialised in power management ICs. Camsemi was subsequently acquired by Power Integrations.
Before joining CamSemi in 2006, Ted was Operations Director at Zetex Semiconductors with overall responsibility for its multi-site, multinational manufacturing activities and a global team of 500. In addition, he has held senior-level manufacturing, engineering and quality roles with Motorola and Philips.
Ted is passionately committed to the engineering and manufacturing industries and in particular to the encouragement of young people to enter the industry. As part of this commitment Ted established the ‘Home Automation Apprentice Challenge’ whilst Chair of the MID Board and also two ‘Imagineering’ clubs at schools in Huntingdon and Cambridge.
Director & Co-founder – WorldRemit
Catherine co-founded WorldRemit with Ismail Ahmed in 2010, inspired by the belief that digital innovation could revolutionise the global money transfer market, benefitting customers with safer, more cost-effective ways of sending money. Catherine’s current board responsibilities at WorldRemit focus on corporate governance and compliance. She represents the company, with keynote appearances at major conferences and in the media.
Catherine is a qualified accountant with a track record of leadership in the commercial money transfer business; her experience and contacts in the sector were invaluable in the early days of WorldRemit. Her first encounter with money transfer was at First Remit, a subsidiary of Universe Group – a publicly listed company where she managed the currency division. She turned the loss-making startup into a saleable business which was acquired by Travelex Money Transfer (later known as Coinstar Money Transfer).
At Coinstar, she was the Regional Director for the UK, Ireland and Benelux. She was actively involved in scaling up the business (by over 50 per cent in under two years) and managing the new licencing process following the introduction of the Payments Service Directive.
From 1993 to 2003, Catherine gained international experience, working and travelling extensively in emerging and developing economies – China, Russia, Eastern Europe and in Africa. She was involved in developing professional standards for the financial services – leading training programmes on behalf of the World Bank and EU.
In her early career, Catherine was a manager at KPMG and also Coopers (now PwC) where she was involved in M&A work.
Emma Zangs is a Choreographer and Movement & Communication Coach based between London and Suffolk. She holds an MA in Choreography from Trinity Laban Conservatoire and is a resident of Sadler’s Wells Artist Development Programme.
Emma works with growing and established businesses from GoCardless to Google, coach entrepreneurs in accelerators such as Seedcamp and support women returning to the workplace with The Abbey Centre charity.
She lectures at Cass Business School and UCL’s Entrepreneurship MSc, and has successfully trained startups to pitch at Dragon’s Den and win the royal Pitch@Palace competition.