Chair, Cornerstone Partners
Rodney is co-founder and Chairman of Cornerstone Partners, a leading angel network focused on black and diverse founders in the UK. Rodney has worked in venture capital for nearly a decade and has been involved in six exits during that Rodney is a Director at Foresight Group, one of the UK’s leading and longest established investors in growing businesses, and was formerly a senior investor at the Business Growth Fund (BGF), one of the most active growth capital investment firms in the world. Prior to BGF, Rodney began his career at Merrill Lynch where, over a five year period, he closed more than 15 transactions ranging from £50m to £1.2 billion in size. A former school governor, Rodney currently sits on four UK boards, mentors diverse entrepreneurs and aspiring VC investors, and is chair of the CBI London Under 35 committee.
Non-Executive Chairman, ITV
Sir Peter Bazalgette
Sir Peter Bazalgette is non-executive Chair of ITV and also Chairs LoveCrafts, an online retailer. He led an independent review into the UK’s creative industries as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Sir Peter has been a Non-Executive Board Member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and currently chairs the Baillie Gifford Non-Fiction Book Prize Trustees.
From 2013 until 2017 he was Chair of Arts Council England. He was also a Non-Executive Director of DCMS and Channel 4, as well as President of the Royal Television Society and Chief Creative Officer of Endemol (devising several internationally successful formats).
Peter’s book about the business of TV formats, Billion Dollar Game (Time Warner), came out in 2005, and in 2017 he published The Empathy Instinct (John Murray).
Partner, Grant Thornton
Liz Brion is a tax specialist partner advising businesses in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector with a particular expertise in intellectual-property-based businesses. Liz has extensive experience of the issues facing businesses and their owners at key milestones in a company’s life cycle, whether that be expanding into new territories, refinancing and raising new capital or debt, acquisitions and IPOs, and eventual exit. Liz has supported the promotion of the UK creative industries in developing and introducing the specific tax incentives for the sector, working closely with key trade bodies and HMRC, and also championing tax breaks for investors in those companies, leading a team that has been recognised as the best in these markets.
I am an Angel Investor in Gaming and have worked in senior positions across the tech and games industry for more than 20 years. I have invested in a number of games companies including Flick Games and LightHeart Entertainment. I work as Chair at Outright Games, a publisher of licensed games for kids; as a Board Member at Coherence, a technology company supporting connected games, which raised a significant seed round supported by First Minute Capital; as a Board Member at Loveshark, a Mobile AR start-up with a seed round supported by Index, as an Advisor at Payload Studios, developers of Terratech; as an Advisor to a number of VC funds interested in the game space, as an Advisor to Ori, an edge computing startup, and to Gameye, delivering multiplayer solutions.
I helped grow Improbable, a tech start-up that raised more than $600m, with backers including Andreessen & Horowitz, SoftBank and Netease, and helped take Sensible Object, a voice-control focused company, through 3 equity rounds, leading to a trade sale to Niantic. I am on the Games Committee at BAFTA (formerly Chair), and support OKRE in their work linking research and entertainment. Previously I spent 5 years at Crytek in Germany, managing teams across the world, including development of games such as ‘Crysis 3’, ‘Ryse’, and ‘Warface’. I also spent 9 years at Electronic Arts, working on games such as ‘Battlefield’, ‘Black & White 2’, ‘Crysis’, ‘Timesplitters 3’, and ‘Freedom Fighters’.
Investment Principal, True Global
Claire leads the Early-Stage Investment Fund at Europe’s only vertically integrated consumer focused investment firm, True. Portfolio investments include Bleach London, ADAY, Unmind and War Paint for Men. Prior to True, Claire was at Calculus Capital, where she completed a number of deals across the Consumer, Healthcare and Technology sectors. Claire is a CFA charterholder.
CEO, Neon Play
Oli Christie set up Neon Play in 2010. Since then, Cirencester-based Neon Play has had over 170 million mobile game downloads and 15 number one games in 160 countries. In 2016, Neon Play was sold to Hachette UK where Oli still remains as CEO.
Neon Play has won 20 business awards, including the UK’s Best Start-up in the Nectar Business Awards, six Cirencester Business Awards and two Gloucestershire Business Awards. Oli was voted as Entrepreneur of the Year in the Chamber of Commerce Awards and The Sun called him a ‘Small Business Hero’. Oli has been awarded the honour of Cirencester Ambassador of the Year.
He’s been to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen when Neon Play became the UK’s first mobile games studio to win a prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation and he welcomed the Duke of Kent on a royal visit to the Neon Play studio.
Director & Investor, Astrid & Miyu
Gary Clarke is an Angel Investor and serves as Board Member at UK based start up and scale up businesses including Astrid & Miyu, Cubitts and ZeroHeight. Gary has 27 years of experience as an investor having previously served as Head of the Global Equity Team at BlackRock. Prior to that he was Head of Global Retail and Thematic Investing at J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Head of European Equities at Schroders. As an active Angel in the UK start-up community Gary invests across a diverse range of sectors with a particular passion for consumer facing businesses.
CEO, Antstream Games
Steve Cottam is the founder and CEO of Antstream Arcade, the world’s first freemium cloud gaming platform. Antstream Arcade was founded in 2013, and completed its Series A funding with Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company, in March 2019. Steve played his first game in 1982 and became a self-taught coder on the ZX Spectrum and Amiga computers. Early in his career he launched and sold his first game Nitro Racers in 1994, before moving into a successful career leading IT projects working in the banking sector. With gaming still very much in his DNA, Steve created Antstream as a way to bring the most beloved games to gamers around world. His belief in centralising content is the driving force to fulfil his vision of creating a gaming service as ubiquitous as Spotify and Netflix. He is eminently positive and lives by the mantra ‘Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right!’
Co-Founder, Transgressive Records
Tim established Transgressive Records in September 2004 with co-founder Toby L, with a third partner Lilas Bourboulon joining shortly afterwards. Transgressive is an independent music group comprising a record label, publisher and management company. In its first 15 years, Transgressive has released, published, and managed artists including: Arlo Parks, Foals, Loyle Carner, Two Door Cinema Club, Flume, Africa Express, The Shins, Regina Spektor, Mystery Jets, At The Drive-In, Johnny Flynn, Marika Hackman and Mykki Blanco.
Fiona is CEO of Makerversity, the leading creative-tech incubator, headquartered at Somerset House, London. Fiona was previously a Board Director of Time Inc., the UK’s no.1 cross-platform publisher, responsible for iconic media brands across multiple sectors from luxury, lifestyle and design to leisure, science and technology. Fiona has 25 years’ experience in digital media, leading the launches of newscientist.com and wallpaper.com. She pioneered Time Inc. corporate digital initiatives, helping grow online audience from tens of thousands to tens of millions. Fiona is a serial disruptive tech, media and creative sector investor and member of the UK’s no.1 angel syndicate 24 Haymarket. She is non-executive director of Trackonomics and was a Finalist in the UK Business Angels Association Awards 2019 for ‘Best Woman-led Investment in Innovation’. Fiona sits on the Digital Advisory Group of the British Council.
Launched in September 2019, NUDEA engineers beautifully crafted lingerie that puts fit and comfort first for the modern woman – offering bras in sizes ranging from 30A to 38GG. Central to the Brand’s ethos is celebrating all Bra wearers no matter size, shape, or age.
NUDEA is powered by the data of over 6,000 bra wearers, offering a custom-designed trademarked fit tape that can be used at home to self-measure accurately. The Fit-Tape sits alongside their online tools which include a diagnostic fitting quiz as well as more personalized one-to-one virtual fit sessions with Bra experts.
The brand was co-founded by Priya Downes and Sophie Morgenthaler. Downes, who leads on business operations and marketing, was previously the wholesale strategy manager at Chanel (2011-2012), senior merchandising and pricing manager at Burberry (2012-2017) and director of merchandising at Fiorucci (2017-2018).
Head of Fashion Innovation Agency
Matthew is a world-renowned expert in emerging technologies and their application to the creative industries. A specialist in immersive technologies (XR/MR/AR/VR), he and his team are building pathways for a truly digitized world. Named as a ‘fashion-tech trailblazer’ by Draper’s and a ‘pioneer and a visionary’ by Wired, Matthew has delivered groundbreaking experiences and a stunning range of projects that have captured the imagination of both the fashion and technology industries, including what Forbes described as ‘the first example of truly beautiful wearable tech’. He was also named as a “Digital World’s Influencer” by Stylus for 2020.
Head of Immersive Technology, Digital Catapult
An immersive technology specialist Jessica Driscoll is the Head of Immersive Technology at Digital Catapult. She has an MA in Digital Culture and Technology and experience of working with a variety of technologies from virtual reality, augmented reality and haptics in the creative and industrial sectors. She has implemented immersive training solutions in both educational and commercial institutions in particular NGO’s, Oil & Gas, Aviation, Pharmaceutical, Construction and Automotive industries. Her previous experience at BBC Research and Development gave her understanding and insight into audiences and testing new broadcast technologies at scale. With experience of each part of the immersive value chain from startups to international broadcaster, from business development to content production, this hands-on experience in immersive will help to shape the support offered for startups and scaleups in the immersive economy.
Founder and CEO - UK Games Talent and Finance CIC
Paul is a creative leader who has focussed on supporting the UK’s early-stage games industry for the past twenty years.
Paul has developed some of the UK’s leading programmes and grant schemes supporting skills, talent development and creative IP generation by independent video games developers.
In 2015 he established UK Games Talent and Finance CIC as a not-for-profit organisation to continue and extend this work. Over 500 video games start-ups and fledgling teams have been supported as a result of the programmes he’s pioneered and many of those have progressed to significant scale and success.
Chantal is an award-winning entrepreneur and Founder of ClicknClear – delivering officially licensed music to performance sports and fitness worldwide. Whilst starting her first company, Synergy Sounds, she worked in sync licensing, specialising in online and digital media for professional YouTubers, branded content and online sporting channels. Chantal later found herself in a unique position to merge her two passions, Cheerleading and Music, after the Cheerleading industry suffered a lawsuit from a major label. This led to the creation of ClicknClear, to solve a global music licensing problem worth $2.4Bn+ annually. Chantal and her team work with major and independent record labels and publishers to clear the specialist rights needed for the market and use unique technology to unlock a new value-add revenue stream. Chantal is still an active athlete and advocate for ParaCheer (disability-inclusive Cheerleading) and is often found travelling around the world (pre-Covid) helping National Federations start inclusive cheerleading teams as well as building ClicknClear into a global solution across multiple sports.
Co-Founder, Lupus Films
Ruth is an Emmy award-winning producer who has produced shows for all the UK broadcasters and many of the streaming platforms through her company Lupus Films. She is a creative producer holding a masters degree from RADA and Kings College. She started her career making live-action programming before moving into theatre and then animation commissioning at Channel 4 where she met her business partner Camilla Deakin. In 2002 the pair set up Lupus Films which they have developed to become one of the UK’s leading animation studios, producing high quality film entertainment for children and families.
In 2013 Lupus Films received a prestigious Vision Award from the British Film Institute. The company’s first feature film developed with the assistance of the award was Ethel & Ernest, a 90-minute animated feature film based on a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, distributed by Universal. Other recent successes include the BAFTA-nominated The Snowman and The Snowdog and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and the International Kids Emmy Award-winning The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Lupus Films are currently developing a slate of live action and animated features, specials and series with a variety of funding partners.
As well as her work running Lupus Films, Ruth is a long serving founder member of industry body Animation UK and is an external consultant producer for the National Film & Television School.
Investment Director, Edge Investments
David is an experienced private equity and venture capital specialist and an Investment Director at Edge Investments, bringing market-leading investment expertise to companies in our portfolio, with a focus on technology and disruptive companies David led the Edge Creative Enterprise Fund’s first investment in video marketplace platform Newsflare and sits on the board of that company and of Antidote Productions. David has 20 years’ experience in consulting, corporate finance, private equity, venture capital and VCTs, including investing in innovative UK companies in media and media technology. Between 1993 and 2000, he worked in strategy consulting and corporate finance at Deloitte and KPMG, following which he moved into venture capital fund management at Elderstreet Investments, where he invested in a range of technology, services, telecoms and new media companies. In 2004, he joined the South East Growth Fund, where he invested in similar smallenterprises, including businesses in areas such as embedded advertising in video and mobile content management for the music industry.
Gamer & Tech Evangelist | Partner, Ascension Ventures
Craig founded Multiplay in 1997 and drove its success in becoming the UK’s largest video gaming events and eSports company, as well as the largest provider of online gaming servers. After being acquired by GAME Digital PLC in 2015, he helped them lead their eSports and competitive gaming partnerships and strategy until departing in 2017.
He now acts as a business angel, consultant and investor in the eSports, media, tech and video gaming space. Craig is an Ascension Venture Partner, investor, and sits on the ASCEND Investment Committee.
Associate, London Venture Partners
Harry is an Associate at LVP: focussing on engaging with games entrepreneurs, LPs, due diligence, deal execution and supporting existing portfolio companies. Harry joined Lvp as an Analyst, and previously he worked in the Ventures team at Oxford Capital investing into early stage UK digital tech start-ups. He also is a project lead at Diversity VC, contributing to their Diversity in VC reports. Prior to his roles in VC, Harry worked at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Ministry of Defence. He holds a first in History and Economics from Oxford University.
Co-Founder, London Fashion Fund & Partner in London Fashion Futures
Having worked internationally with the strategic development of emerging fashion talents with significant success, Wendy is supporting LFF in catalysing a pipeline of talent in London who will drive the future of the fashion industry in the United Kingdom, attracting investors, executive mentors and driving markets.
LFF recognises that there is a funding gap in the U.K. fashion industry, which hinders the growth of SMEs, hampers their ability to scale up, internationalise and adopt streamlining technologies and results in growth only occurring organically over an elongated timescale. London Fashion Fund aims to accelerate growth where that potential exists, create a more stable business for future prosperity and act an “intervention-Fund” where it can add value to a business.
Chair, Creative Industries Federation
Rick Haythornthwaite is the chairman-designate of the FTSE-listed Ocado Group plc, chairman of the AA and the sustainability consultancy Xynteo as well as an Advisory Partner to Moelis & Co. He is a co-founder and chairman of QIO Technologies, an industrial artificial intelligence company, and director of the digital consultancy, Globant. He is also an investor in and chairman of ARC International, the global glass tableware manufacture and angel investor in a wide range of early stage technology companies. He was previously the chairman of MasterCard Inc from 2016-2020, CEO of Invensys from 2001-2005 and Blue Circle Industries from 1999-2001 having joined as Director of Asia and Europe in 1997. He spent his early career in BP from 1978-1995 before moving to Premier Oil as Commercial Director from 1995 to 1997. He has served as on the boards of Centrica and Network Rail as chairman and Cookson, Lafarge, ICI and Land Securities as non-executive director. In the UK not-for-profit sector he is the current chair of the Creative Industries Federation and Creative England and former chair of the Southbank Centre and Almeida Theatre. He was educated at MIT (Sloan Fellow) and The Queen’s College, Oxford (MA Geology).
Andy Heath CBE
Having worked in the industry since 1964, Heath has formed two publishing companies of his own, Andrew Heath Music and Heathwave (a company still in operation today). He also formed a partnership with the Beggars Group in 1987 to create Momentum Music, a highly successful company that managed the publishing for Gary Numan, Cocteau Twins, Republica and Bauhaus, which he ran until its sale to Universal Music in early-2001. He remains a director of the Beggars Group (1991–present day) as well as running 4AD Music, the group’s publishing wing. He is also a director of MSP.
Heath served on the Council of the Music Publishers Association (1989-2008 and President from 1993–97) and was instrumental in setting up The Music Alliance, the operational merger of the Performing Right Society and the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society. In January 2008, he was appointed Chairman of British Music Rights. When BMR was subsumed into UK Music in September 2008, Heath became chairman of the new organisation.
Heath was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours for services to music publishing and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honours for services to music.
Jonathan Jackson, Finance and Commercial Director, Plimsoll
As Finance and Commercial Director at Plimsoll, Jonathan takes the lead on all financial matters at Plimsoll. He also has a key focus on maximising commercial opportunities that arise from the creation of multi-platform content. Jonathan has 20 years of strategic, operational and financial experience in the media & entertainment industry, with a career that spans Television, Music and Live Events. Prior to Plimsoll he spent 6 Years at DRG, the UK’s largest Independent International TV Distributor. As Chief Operating Officer, he acted as business partner to the CEO, adding rigor to strategic decisions, devising and implementing growth objectives, identifying risks and opportunities, then taking the lead managing performance. He was later appointed Group Managing Director, leading DRG through a successful sale process. Jonathan has held senior roles at BBC Worldwide, Channel 4 and Ingenious Media, an investment house specializing in Media and Entertainment. During his time at Ingenious, he advised Investee companies both pre and post private equity funding.
Founder, The Restory
Vanessa Jacobs is the Founder and CEO of The Restory, a company she launched eight years after a London cobbler unapologetically destroyed her favourite shoes. Over the last four years she has led The Restory from the spare bedroom to a 40+ person, fashion technology operation reinventing the aftercare space. Vanessa oversees operations, leads fundraising and investor relations and sets strategic direction. Prior to The Restory, Vanessa was an investment banking associate and, upon moving to London from New York, spent 7 years leading large scale transformation projects for consulting giant, Accenture. Early in her career, Vanessa founded a TV-commercial production company, and she has an MBA in finance. She’s the mother of two sons and a Swede by marriage. Be it investors, FTSE 250 execs or West London luxury lovers, Vanessa, is driven by a desire to provide an excellent service experience.
Partner & SVP, Operations + Community, Supernode Global
Starting her career on Wall Street in New York City at investment bank, Jefferies, Gina worked in the Telecom Media Technology (TMT) investment banking group, managed operations for the Recapitalisation & Restructuring group, and helped to grow the marketing function and team at the firm.
Gina was at Jefferies for 11+ years and it was the entrepreneurial environment that she particularly enjoyed about her roles. She built on that by launching her own company, Domaine Somm. She then enlisted in Ignite at Stanford Graduate School of Business. With the entrepreneurial bug firmly set in, she joined forces with one of her classmates, a postdoctoral researcher studying biomechanics, to launch startup KINEMAI.
With plenty of diverse experience under her belt, Gina realised her passion lay with building ecosystems and supporting startups. That led her into the VC world where she discovered and joined Supernode Global, a global platform providing community + capital to early stage startups in the digital content ecosystem. At Supernode Global, Gina heads the community, leads deals, and manages portfolio operations support.
CEO & Co-founder, Save Your Wardrobe
Hasna Kourda is the CEO and co-founder of Save Your Wardrobe, a digital wardrobe platform that offers users personalised recommendations and connects them with third party service providers.
Kourda was born and raised in Tunisia with strong values of circularity and zero waste. After witnessing how people in the UK are disconnected from the clothes in their wardrobe and the resulting waste driven by such behaviour, Kourda came up with the idea of Save Your Wardrobe.
Her passion for circular economy and fashion led her to co-found the company with Mehdi Doghri in 2017. Save Your Wardrobe is working towards the goal of extending the lifecycle of fashion products offering a streamlined connection to a curated eco-system of services (repairs, alteration, donations, selling, etc).
Save Your Wardrobe is the unique platform unlocking post purchase data and engagement. Furthermore, the platform offers a curated eco-system of services (repairs, alteration, donations, selling, etc).
Save Your Wardrobe has been recognised and celebrated by leaders in the industry, the company was part of the Centre for Fashion Enterprise incubator, the Fashion For Good Plug and Play accelerator, the Farfetch startup programme, Dream Assembly, Facebook Accelerator Commerce Programme and more recently the New York Fashion Tech Lab.
CEO, Fashion District
Helen launched the Fashion District in 2018 backed by the Mayor of London, London College of Fashion, UAL, UKFT and the British Fashion Council. The Fashion District collaborates with fashion, technology, business and education to support the growth of the fashion industry and create a global hub for fashion tech. Working with partners from the private and public sector she provides access to innovation networks, workspace, business support, investment opportunities and skills programmes. In 2019 Helen launched the first Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize, calling for fashion tech start-ups to bring solutions to current issues in the fashion industry.
Helen previously worked within the arts and creative industries as a Regional Director at the Arts Council of England responsible for a portfolio of investment partnerships to develop arts organisations, cultural building projects and long term arts programmes. She has led community initiatives with local authorities to assist public sector transformation and was previously a Director at Dance East, a National Dance Agency, promoting dance and bringing it to the community.
Co-founding Partner, Hiro Capital & Chairman, Sumo Group Plc
Ian Livingstone CBE
Ian Livingstone is a pioneer and legend of the global video game industry and was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to the UK video games industry. He co-founded two billion-dollar games companies, Games Workshop (Warhammer) and Eidos (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) for whom, as Executive Chairman, he led the successful London IPO. He was angel investor and chairman of Playdemic, creator of the global top 10 mobile game Golf Clash. As well as his role in Hiro, Ian is Non-Executive Chairman of Sumo Group PLC, a leading London-listed cross-platform games developer. Ian co-created the multi-million-selling Fighting Fantasy series of roleplaying game books. Ian has been an angel Investor and advisor to multiple leading games studios, including Mediatonic, Bossa Studios, Fusebox and many more. Ian is also co-founder of the Livingstone Academy, a next generation UK Academy School focused on a 21st century digital creative curriculum. Ian focuses on Hiro’s games and studio investments.
Ukie Board Member
Li works at Tencent and is responsible for Tencent’s Interactive Entertainment Group’s initiatives in the UK. He is also a Board Member of The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie).
Prior to Tencent, he was an M&A banker and UK Corporate Broker at Deutsche Bank in London, advising transactions for FTSE-listed and pan-European corporates. Li was also a semi-pro esports player.
Director, Investments & Partnerships, Sky Ventures
James heads up Sky’s Startup Investment and Partnerships team. James joined the joined the team, at formation, in 2013 and has been investing in and partnering with relevant technology startups in the US, UK/Europe and Israel over the period. Example investments include: FlavourWorks (Interactive Content), Circle (Connected Home), Fubo (OTT Sports), Molotov (OTT TV entertainment), Roku (OTT streaming & media), Sharethrough (Native Advertising) and Whistle Sports (Social Video). Previously, James was an Investment Manager of a London-based venture capital fund and a Strategy and M&A consultant at Deloitte (London).
Chief Investment Officer, Beringea
Karen is Chief Investment Officer at Beringea, responsible for making new investments and working with portfolio companies through to exit. Her investments have included Fnatic, Watchfinder, Thread, Blis, Monica Vinader, and MatsSoft amongst others.
Karen was previously with the Boston Consulting Group and ran the Watch division of Swiss Army/Wenger. She also has experience with start-ups as both a founder and advisor. Karen has lived and worked in the US, Europe, and Asia, and has an MBA from INSEAD and a BSBA from Boston University.
Partner UK, Bird & Bird
Richard McMorris leads Bird& Bird’s cross-practice Digital Rights & Assets group, which helps clients across all sectors to develop and implement effective digital rights and asset management strategies, as well as our Media, Entertainment and Sport subsector focused on Broadcasting & OTT. Richard is particularly experienced in assisting entrepreneurial, high-growth, internationalising businesses with commercial partnerships and joint ventures, M&A, change, new markets and models for products and services. A significant part of my work involves emerging technologies. Richard’s clients range from multinational media, technology and data businesses to kitchen-table start-ups, including telecoms, technology providers and innovators, broadcasters and OTT platforms, consumer brands, sports and entertainment rights holders, news and information organisations, gaming and esports companies, and investors and financiers.
Partner, Courtyard Management
Brian Message co-manages Radiohead and is a co-founder of ATC, the management (http://www.atcmanagement.com) and live booking (http://www.atc-live.com) agency. Through ATC Brian co-manages Frank Carter and his band, Johnny Marr, Laura Marling, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and PJ Harvey.
Brian is a former chairman of the Music Managers Forum, the largest trade body in the world for managers and chairman of the fashion business, The Vampires Wife. He is also Chairman of the ACES Multi Academy Trust, a collection of schools based in Cambridgeshire. Having qualified as a chartered accountant he has co-founded and worked with a number of different companies across several business sectors.
Founder, Lone Design Club
Designer turned entrepreneur; passionate about rewriting the rules or retail, championing independent brands and putting sustainability and ethics at the forefront of business.
Rebecca launched Lone Design Club in 2018, an omni-channel retail platform designed to support and promote independent and sustainable brands within the fashion, beauty and lifestyle sectors. Lone Design Club challenges traditional retail, creating an affordable route to market for sustainable brands and a trusted space for conscious global shoppers.
Named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30, and Drapers 30 under 30, Rebecca regularly speak on topics around the changing face of the retail, ethics and sustainability within the industry and the platform has garnered attention from high-profile media outlets such as The Times, WWD, Stylist and BBC. Most recently being named as the winners of the Fashion Districts: Retail Futures 2020. Highlighted for our innovation in retail, connecting their physical and digital platforms.
Dhiraj Mukherjee is a Co-Founder of Shazam and an experienced investor in “Tech for Good” startups. His research focus is Generation Z and the power of young entrepreneurs working to create a better society. In 2000, he founded Shazam Entertainment, the world’s first mobile phone-based music recognition service which was acquired by Apple in 2018 for a reported $400 million. He was named one of Europe’s Top 50 technology entrepreneurs by the Financial Times in 2015.
Previously Dhiraj was Head of Banking Innovation at Virgin Money, responsible for developing new digital services for students in the UK. He has also worked in media and entertainment, technology, and in charity at Save the Children. Dhiraj has a degree in Mathematical Economics and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He is a globally recognised keynote speaker in innovation, entrepreneurship and emerging technology.
CEO, Creative England
Caroline Norbury MBE
Caroline Norbury MBE is the founding chief executive of Creative England and the Chief Executive of Creative Industries Federation, and is dedicated to championing the creative industries.
Caroline sits on the Creative Industries Council and chairs the Finance for Growth sub group of the council. She is a non-executive director of Crowdfunder, the UK’s largest rewards-based crowdfunding platform; a member of BAFTA and the Royal Society of Arts and a trustee for the PRS Foundation, a charity supporting new music and talent.
Executive Chair, Animation UK
Kate is senior consultant in creative industries, working with both private and public-sector clients in the UK and Internationally. In addition to running her consultancy practice, Kate is also currently Executive Chair of Animation UK, now part of the newly formed UK Screen Alliance the trade body for VFX, post-production and film studios. She represents the sector at senior government level, developing business, export and skills related policy to support the growth of the industry.
Kate is a Co-Director of XR Stories and SIGN and Chair of the Partnership Steering Board, as well as chairing the BFI Screen Industries Research Advisory Group, and a Trustee of You Make IT-a London based charity providing support for women in the creative industries. Kate is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of BAFTA and a representative and advisor to the BAFTA Learning and New Talent Committee.
CEO, Association of Independent Music (AIM)
Paul Pacifico is the CEO of the UK’s Association of Independent Music (AIM), which represents over 800 UK independent music companies. He was previous CEO of The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), a position he has held since January 2015. He was also President of the International Artist Organisation (‘IAO’). Prior to joining the FAC, Pacifico spent almost 10 years in the City in banking and strategy consultancy before leaving to focus on Specific Music in 2005. Specific Music is a creative music consultancy which designs and delivers bespoke music for industry clients as well as brands and charities. He also set up The AllStars Collective, which is made up of 40 of the world’s top session musicians. He continues to perform and record with his band, Pacifico Blues.
Chief Financial and Investment Officer, Creative England
Mehjabeen is Creative England’s Chief Financial and Operations Officer, responsible for the implementation and running of all operating functions across the company. With extensive experience as a Finance Director, Mehjabeen oversees all investment activity for the company and has a keen interest in growing its commercial activities and diversifying its income stream. Previously Mehjabeen worked as Director of Finance for United Nations Association and Stakeholder Forum
CEO & Co-founder, MC2
Mike Perls MBE
Mike Perls MBE is founder and Chair of MC2, the marketing communications agency headquartered in Manchester dealing with cities and brands around the world. Since 1999, he has taken MC2 from a two-man start-up to one of the largest independents in its sector, now 100% employee-owned. Its clients include governments, city regions, global corporates and high-growth businesses. He also chairs audio-on-demand network, Crowd Network and digital marketing agency MountDigital.
Mike is Chair of GreaterSport, a non-executive director of Rugby League World Cup 2021 and sits on the Board of Governors at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is driven to make a real difference to the communities he lives and works in. He champions social mobility, diversity and entrepreneurship at every level. He is a trustee of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, a board member of Maggie’s Cancer Care Charity and a trustee of the Tim Bacon Foundation. He was awarded the MBE in 2019 for services to the communities in Greater Manchester.
Nick is a chartered engineer who has experience in technical development and commercial partnerships. Before founding Covatic, Nick worked at Imagine Technology as a Solutions Specialist, responsible for designing and delivering systems for major broadcasters and content providers such as ITN, Comcast and Disney. As ex-BBC technology transfer manager and R&D engineer, Nick has a rare insight into the challenges of using technology to improve consumers’ broadcast experience.
Heading up the company as CEO, Nick’s extensive knowledge of building dynamic content capabilities for broadcasters has been key to the creation of Covatic’s unique research-based solutions. Prior to this Nicholas worked for BBC R&D for seven years. During which time he was involved in projects including IP Studio, a model for end-to-end broadcasting that frees producers from the constraints of existing studio technology. He was part of the team responsible for laying the groundwork for a number of the BBC’S ‘Future Internet’ activities including personalisation, persuasive media and new content experiences. He also gained experience in negotiating complicated IPR licence deals.
CEO, Auroch Digital
Dr Tomas Rawlings
Dr. Tomas Rawlings is CEO at the indie games studio Auroch Digital. As well as running the studio, he is an experienced, award winning games designer who has created games from original titles to well-loved IP such as Games Workshop’s Chainsaw Warrior, Star Wars:The Battle for Hoth and the multiple award winning Call of Cthulhu:The Wasted Land. He co-founded the Digital Tabletop Fest with Steam. He is a well known speaker and consultant on games and gaming who has also worked with major organisations such as the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Society, UK Parliament & BBC. He also created and ran Auroch Digital’s acclaimed news-gaming initiative GameTheNews.net which produced the global talking-point, Endgame:Syria (included as part of the V&A museum’s video games exhibition). He has a doctorate from the University of the West of England in Software Studies & co-founded the non-profit Bristol Games Hub.
Co-founder, Love Shark
Tara Reddy is CEO and cofounder of Loveshark, a London-based studio making camera games for Gen Z female players. Loveshark use Augmented Reality and Machine Learning technology to bring a new genre of games to life and capture shareable moments on video. Prior to Loveshark, Tara spent 6 years working as a veterinarian before undertaking her MBA from London Business School. She then spent 2 years at Blippar – one of the global leaders in AR – before co-founding Loveshark.
Nikhil is Co-Founder of Mixcloud, the global community for audio culture, where he worked with his team to grow the company from a couple of guys in a warehouse in NW London to the world’s biggest community of DJs and music curators, reaching 20 million people a month. He is now a board advisor to Mixcloud and an angel investor/advisor in a number of tech and consumer businesses. He continues to remain focused on building the world’s leading sustainable and fair ecosystem for audio creators. He also advises and supports charities and social impact projects, including being a trustee for the brilliant dance charity East London Dance, and an advisor to the great empowerment and anti-racism organisation You Make It. He also DJs and runs an electronic music record label/clubnight ManMakeMusic.
CEO, Digital Catapult
Dr Jeremy Silver
Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult, is an entrepreneur, author and angel investor. He is a Trustee of the British Library and a member of the UK Creative Industries Council. Jeremy sits on the boards of HammerheadVR Ltd, Imaginarium Studios Ltd and FeedForward.AI. He was previously Executive Chairman of Semetric (acquired by Apple), Founder CEO of Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), a strategic advisor to Shazam (acquired by Apple), and CEO of Sibelius Software (acquired by Avid). Jeremy was Worldwide Vice-President of New Media for EMI Group in Los Angeles and Head of Media at Virgin Records where he worked with Genesis, Massive Attack, Brian Eno and Bryan Ferry, among others. His book “Digital Medieval” is a history of the music industry online. He has spoken at TEDx Houses of Parliament, the CBI, SXSW and Midem among many trade events. He is an Industry Fellow at the University of Glasgow
Head of Channel 4 Ventures
Channel 4 is a leading UK public service broadcaster with a global reputation for ground-breaking content that attracts young & affluent viewers, a unique position versus most “Free-to-Air” broadcasters. Channel 4 Ventures is a breakout innovation activity that invests in start-up / growth phase companies using media inventory. Since joining in 2015 to establish the activity, Channel 4 Ventures has completed over 25 investments and has already seen 4 exits including the IPO’s of Pinterest, Readly and Eve Sleep plc. Channel 4 Ventures is now the leading “media for equity” investment operation in the UK, and has grown to an dedicated investment team of 4 professionals.
Vinay is a digital expert, and a seasoned veteran in the media landscape, holding senior roles related to digital strategy / digital execution in leading global media companies for the past 15 years. Vinay has a degree in Law from University College London and holds an MBA from Imperial College London.
Chairman, Task Force for Diversity, UK Music & CEO, Punch Records
Ammo Talwar MBE
In the late nineties Ammo turned his back on a civil engineering career to open a record store. Punch Records soon became a pivotal hub for local DJs and musicians, then a launchpad for some of the region’s largest music events and now an award-winning global music development agency.
A recipient of the international cultural leadership award, Ammo has helped to advocate the UK’s cultural offer at the highest level, sat on numerous boards including the regional development agency AWM, Sound City (Liverpool), Arts Council England, and chaired the UK’s largest African Caribbean music touring network. He has advised nationally on diversity issues, advocated for stronger representation across music, arts and education & voted the 26th most influential Brummie, he also received an MBE for his contributions to music and young people, and was commended by the Institute of Directors (IoD) for leadership in corporate social responsibility.
Talwar helped shape Values and was chairman of Multi- Academy trust CORE Education in Birmingham for over 4 years working with over 400 teachers and 4500 students, currently chairs The UK Music Diversity Taskforce to help influence & change the current workforce in the commercial music industry.
Managing Partner, Prime Advantage Capital Partners
Greg is an experienced and accomplished Chairman and Non Executive Director with a proven track record of inspiring growth and creating value in consumer facing businesses.
Having held senior Board positions at Next as Trading Director, Burton Menswear as Managing Director and Mothercare as CEO, Greg subsequently moved in to the private equity and advisory sector. Subsequently he has successfully built a portfolio of businesses across the retail, hospitality and lifestyle markets.
Skilled in new business launch, turnaround, restructuring, acquisitions and raising finance Greg has a passion for brands, products and customers.
In 2013 alongside fellow Managing Partner, Brian Farrugia, Greg founded Prime Advantage Capital Partners, focusing on helping SMEs achieve rapid growth and maximum value on exit through direct, hands on, practical advice delivered peer to peer.
Dr Jo Twist OBE
Jo is CEO of Ukie, the trade body for UK games and interactive entertainment, making the UK the best place in the world to make, sell and play games. She is also Deputy Chair of the British Screen Forum, London Tech Ambassador, Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee and BAFTA Trustee, an Ambassador on the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board, Creative Industries Council member, and Honorary Visiting Professor at Ravensbourne University. She is a VP for games and accessibility charity SpecialEffect, Patron of Safe in Our World a mental health and games charity, as well as a Trustee for Royal Historic Palaces. Her previous roles include Channel 4 Education Commissioning Editor where she commissioned Digital Emmy-winning Battlefront II (not the game), free to play browser and iOS games and social media projects. She was also Multiplatform Commissioner for BBC Entertainment & Switch, BBC Three Multiplatform Channel Editor, and technology reporter for BBC News. In 2016 she was awarded an OBE for services to the creative industries and won the MCV Women in Games award for Outstanding Contribution.
Chief Executive, Limesnapper
Charles created Limesnapper as a vehicle for his investment and property interests seven years ago. Prior to limesnapper, Charles founded the award winning global media group Twofour, a factual, features & entertainment television producer and content agency. He stepped down as Group Chief Executive following a sale of the group to LDC (Lloyds Development Capital) in 2013.
Charles also chaired the UK independent trade body PACT (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television) for 2 years. Charles is Chairman of Beagle Media, a broadcast television, corporate communications and thought leadership company based in London and Cornwall. He is also Deputy Chair of the UK’s number one Arts University – Falmouth. Charles is Chairman of the Creative England Trading Company and a Director of Creative England, an organisation that supports the growth and talent of the creative industries outside of London.
Investor / Director, ClicknClear
Leveraging his technical background, specialism in digital signal processing, and commercial outlook, David gained a wealth of strategic and practical experience in a series of high quality, high-growth technology businesses.
Awareness of the rising strategic significance of intellectual property led him to make influential personal contributions to two Cambridge technology success stories in different sectors; running a division of ARM (microprocessor design / licensing), and as an investor and MD / COO of Frontier Developments (videogames) where he remains a non-executive director – both £1Bn+ businesses. David is now investor director of Pre-Cleared Limited (d/b/a ClicknClear, music licensing).
Dominic Wheatley is co-founder of the game software company Domark. Their first game Eureka! was published in 1984. It was designed by Ian Livingstone and developed in Hungary. The mystery puzzle game was played on early home computers, such as the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum. They offered a £25,000 prize for the first person to complete Eureka in its first year.
During the following years, Domark secured licenses for several well-known IPs including Trivia Pursuit, James Bond, and Star Wars, again using outside companies to do the programming for them. In October 1995 the entire Domark conglomerate was acquired by Eidos, along with several other companies. Wheatley served as CEO of Eidos until 1997. He set up Eidos US office in San Mateo and launched Tomb Raider at E3 in LA in ’96. Wheatley is currently the CEO of Catalis SE and Curve Digital Entertainment.
Global Managing Director, Partisan Records
Zena White is the Global Managing Director of Partisan Records, home of recording artists Cigarettes After Sex, IDLES, Fontaines DC, Laura Marling the catalogue of Fela Kuti, and many more, and Left Music Publishing, home of writers including Elizabeth Fraser, Josh Crocker, Vicky Farewell Nguyen, and more. She moved to NYC in 2017 after 4 years running London-based label services company The Other Hand, and oversaw international breakout campaigns for artists like Run The Jewels, badbadnotgood, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Charles Bradley. Since stepping into Partisan Records in 2017, the label has grown into a truly relevant global music company, tripling its revenue. 2020 Highlights include UK chart #1 and #2 records, three Mercury nominations, the Ivor Novello Prize, a BRIT nomination and both AIM and A2IM label of the year prizes. Outside the label, Zena sits on the A2IM, WIN and the RIAA board of directors and is continually striving for the betterment of the indie community as a whole, as well as those within it. She is a businesswoman, mentor, spokeswoman and mediator, and genuinely understands the nuanced intersection of art and commerce.
CEO, Medallia Living Lens
Carl Wong is the CEO and Co-Founder of Medallia LivingLens. Founded in 2014, LivingLens is the world’s leading video intelligence platform, and was acquired by Medallia in February 2020 for £20m. Prior to LivingLens, Carl built full service research agency Curiosity, and also led client side insight & data teams. A former AURA council member, he holds Postgrads with both the Market Research Society and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Carl has a passion and enthusiasm for video and delivering insight with impact. He drives the vision for Medallia LivingLens and engages customers in the big idea. He is a huge Liverpool FC fan, and lives in Formby, England with his wife Cath, Daisy (11), Thomas (8) and crazy dog Stan.
Co-founder & CEO, Young Poet Records
Hugh Worskett founded Young Poet Records in 2018. Having completed a successful fundraise during the COVID 19 pandemic, the label is rapidly expanding from its base in London, taking a partnership approach to artist careers and their development. Prior to the label Hugh worked as an acclaimed producer and songwriter, achieving 250,000,000+ streams and a No.1 and Top 5 album. He has developed, produced and written for artists across a broad range of genres including Michael Kiwanuka, Dodie, Birdy, Will Joseph Cook and Crystal Fighters.