The awards judges have been hand-picked due to their sector expertise and required knowledge of the technology sector and its multiple disciplines. Each category is assigned an expert judge.
Innovation Director at Future Space
Laura is Innovation Director at Future Space Bristol, supporting pioneering science and tech start-ups and fostering collaboration between business and the university community. Laura is an international start-up specialist with 30 years’ experience across a range of industries and countries including Russia, China, Europe and the Middle East. She has been a trade negotiator for the US government and has launched businesses in Russia and China.
Head of Fintech at Burges Salmon
Sarah heads Burges Salmon’s cross-departmental fintech practice and is a director in the firm’s Technology and Communications team. She has particular expertise in helping technology companies to commercialise their propositions. Sarah has advised on evolving technologies for over 20 years, most recently in the cloud, data analytics and payment service technologies and much of her work is international in nature. She is co-author of the UK chapter in ‘The Financial Technology Law Review’.
Head of Google for Startups UK
Marta is Head of Google for Startups UK, a role she was appointed due to her many years of experience as an entrepreneur herself.
Best known for co-founding the global FinTech company Azimo which offers low cost digital money transfers, Marta founded Azimo in 2012 in London, raised $70M+ in funding from top VC firms and connected over 1 million customers to the platform. She then became the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the leading global GovTech venture PUBLIC.io and a non-executive co-founder of FreeUp.io.
Marta has been recognised as Forbes 30 Under 30 in Finance in 2016, as Fortune Most Powerful Women Alumna in 2017 and as Evening Standard’s London’s Most Influential People in two consecutive years, 2017 and 2018.
Ann Hiatt has worked as the right hand for some of the most powerful CEOs in the world with 15 years experience as the Executive Business Partner to Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Eric Schmidt (Google).
Now, taking her learnings from Silicon Valley, Ann works as a Consultant for tech start-ups and Fortune 500 companies focusing on strategy, growth, leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
She also holds the title of Non-Executive Director for Bristol-based CRM specialist, Armadillo.
Oz Alashe MBE
Oz is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army and UK Special Forces. He has a successful track record of developing strategy, driving innovation and leading implementation in both the public and private sectors.
His business CybSafe helps companies with cyber security and recently raised £3.5m in funding to support its continued growth.
Marina currently heads up Business Development for startups & scaleups at Rocketmakers, who Design, Develop and Deploy award winning apps, websites and software for new startups, growing scale-ups and large corporate innovators. Marina is also on the Steering Committee for the Bristol Technology Festival, a NED for Gapsquare and on the Advisory Board for TechSPARK & TEDx Bristol and has just founded her own company.
Previous to her portfolio career she headed up Oracle’s Global Startup Ecosystem for the UK & Ireland.
Jenny Tooth OBE
UK Business Angels Association
Jenny is CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, the trade body for angel and early stage investing, representing over 15,000 investors around the UK. Jenny has over 20 years’ experience of facilitating SMEs access to investment, both in the UK and internationally. An active investor, she has an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Jenny was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to small businesses.
Nathan is one of the UK’s most foremost technology lawyers, with over twenty years’ experience advising corporate clients in this space as well as leading on mergers and acquisitions, management buy- outs and venture capital investments. He founded VWV’s very own national technology practice in 2008.
Eric is the founder and CEO of Bankable, a global architect of digital banking and payment solutions. He previously co-founded Valtech, an IT project-based consultancy, and spearheaded its transformation into a Euronext listed multinational in 8 countries, 1,500 staff and peak market cap of USD 1.5+ billion, all within 6 years.
Will is a prominent tech and data lawyer with a UK and international reach. He works with growth and large businesses looking to break new ground with the development and implementation of new technologies and exploitation of data opportunities.
Nick is a Cambridge-educated author, professional keynote speaker and the co-founder of pioneering leadership and organizational development enterprise www.switchonnow.com. Nick is also co-founder of sustainable innovation consultancy FutureMakers, where we works with senior sustainability leaders and C-Suite execs to place purpose at the core of innovation to create the disruptive yet planet-positive business models of the future.
Former Microsoft UK Chief Envisioning Officer
For the last three decades Dave Coplin has been at the cutting edge of some of the world’s largest technology companies focused on the intersection of our society and modern technology. Formerly Chief Envisioning Officer for Microsoft UK, he has written two books, worked all over the world with organisations big and small to champion tech as a power for good.
Entrepreneur and investor
John Stapleton is an entrepreneur, angel investor, business leader and speaker with over 30 years’ experience in pioneering new FMCG categories and establishing and growing successful consumer-led businesses in both the UK and the USA.
In 1987 John co-founded The New Covent Garden Soup Co Ltd., which pioneered and grew the fresh soup category in the UK. On reaching over £20m revenue, Daniels PLC bought New Covent Garden Soup Co in 1998.
Lauren is the Principal for BOOST&Co for the South West and Wales and is responsible for finding and completing new investment opportunities as well as heading up the regional office. She joined BOOST&Co in January 2019 from BGF and having previously worked for RBS for 17 years.
She has run regional teams in Asset Based Lending both in the South West and in London and has also completed spells in credit, Corporate Banking and Commercial lending.
Ben is RSM’s technology and media lead for the South West, based in the Bristol office. RSM is a world leading provider of audit, tax and consultancy services to middle market companies, with 41,000 staff across the world.
Ben has a wealth of experience advising entrepreneurial and growth-focused organisations.
His sector expertise ensures he gains a deep understanding of a company’s aspirations, enabling him to respond with the right expertise and insight, at the right time.
Kevin is the founder and head of the Technology Finance division within Shawbrook Bank, the specialist finance provider to the UK SME sector. Kevin has worked in the technology finance markets for the past 18 years helping businesses fund critical IT infrastructures and assisting vendors to improve their go-to-market pricing strategy.
Anthony’s career has included 3D graphics, P2P music, internet video, social TV and online communities.
In 2016 Anthony co-founded SeedLegals, a revolutionary new legaltech platform that lets startups and investors complete the legals needed to build, grow and fund their business, at a fraction of the cost of using a law firm.
He also founded the businesses 6Tribes and Beamly, which was acquired by Coty in 2015.
Known as “The man behind BBC iPlayer”, Anthony ran the iPlayer and other BBC services from 2007 to 2010, taking the iPlayer from pre-launch to major success story.
Patricia Keating heads up Tech Manchester, a non-profit organisation funded by British hosting firm UKFast that supports early-stage technology companies.
Tech Manchester provides tech-focussed businesses with mentoring and growth support. Patricia is also internal lead on diversity and inclusion within UKFast.
Tim Sawyer CBE
Tim is Chief Investment Officer at Innovate UK, which provides millions of pounds’ worth of grants to businesses across the countryUK. Tim is also Chairman of Folk2Folk and in 2002 co-founded Cahoot – the internet division of Santander UK plc.