Zillah has extensive technology sector experience, spanning online gaming, digital media and e-commerce. She announce she is retiring at the end of March 2023 from her position as chief executive of Future plc., a global platform for specialist media, a position she assumed in 2014. Future has been a leader in the Global media publishing industry and was transformed under her leadership.
Zillah has utterly transformed Future through bold entrepreneurial action, taking it from a market cap of mid-£20ms to c £1.5 billion in a matter of years. Hailed by influential Flashes & Flames as “one of the most successful media company leaders in Europe”.
With over 20 years of experience as an executive officer, she has demonstrated a focus on driving operational excellence and is a proven people manager, identifying and developing talent at the senior level.
Graphcore is a silicon and systems company based in Bristol-UK, that has developed a new type of processor, the Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU), to accelerate machine learning and AI applications. Since its founding in 2016, Nigel has secured over $700m in funding for the company from some of the world’s leading venture capital and financial firms including Atomico, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity, Jupiter, OTPP, Schroders, and Sequoia Capital, from major corporations including BMW, Bosch, Dell, Microsoft and Samsung and from eminent Artificial Intelligence innovators. At the company’s last funding round Graphcore was valued at $2.8Bn.
Nigel has a background as a technology business leader, entrepreneur and engineer having been CEO at two successful VC-backed processor companies XMOS and Picochip (sold to Nasdaq:MSPD, now Intel), a founder of Icera (sold to Nasdaq: NVDA) and VP/GM at Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR, sold to Intel for $17Bn) where he spent over 13 years and was responsible for establishing and building the European business unit that he grew from zero to over $500m in annual revenues.
Nigel is the author on 3 granted patents. He has recently written a book titled ‘How AI Thinks’ which is being published by Transworld/Penguin Random House.
SAHAR HASHEMI OBE
Sahar Hashemi OBE is the co-founder of Coffee Republic, the UK’s first US-style coffee-bar chain and founder of Skinny Candy, the low-fat confectionery brand. She is also the author of ‘Anyone Can Do It,’ a bestselling book demystifying entrepreneurialism and “Start Up Forever” encouraging larger companies to behave more like entrepreneurs.
Sahar’s current project, founded in March 2022, Buy Women Built, is a movement to fight the entrepreneurial gender gap and boost economic recovery by bringing consumer support to female founded businesses.
Alex is a partner in the firm’s Corporate team, working in all areas of corporate finance, and is also a member of the firm’s Technology sector group. Alex has a particular focus on technology sector M&A, venture capital and private equity and leads the firm’s BScale initiative aimed at supporting high-growth tech businesses and their investors.
Cherie-Anne Baxter is the marketing director of Bath and London based Chartered Financial Planners, Unividual. Cherie-Anne became one of the youngest Chartered Marketers’, at the time, whilst growing the recruitment firm she was part of for eight years, moving this company from a 1 to 12 million pound business. In 2015 Cherie-Anne returned to Bath to apply her entrepreneurial and strategic skill to the family business her father founded in 2000, Unividual. Alongside her brother Lewis Baxter, they took over the running of what was a £500,000 TO/5 person size business. In 7 years they have transformed it in to the multi-award-winning brand it is today with offices in London, Bath, Bristol and Edinburgh. In 2018 Cherie-Anne’s contribution to marketing was recognized when she was awarded Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing at just 34 years old.
Founder and managing director,
Chris May is the founder and managing director of Mayden, a digital healthcare company based in Bath.
Formerly from a manufacturing background, Chris has dedicated the last 33 years of his career to the healthcare sector, initially as a hospital manager and information lead, and then as a management consultant specialising in information analysis and modelling.
Chris is passionate about maximising the opportunities presented by the internet, both to provide joined-up healthcare, and to increase the cost-effectiveness of healthcare IT.
At Mayden, Chris is building the kind of company people want to work for, with an agile, open working culture, a flat structure and shared responsibility; and where they can flourish.
Chris Thompson is responsible for the idea, prototype development and vision for Meshii WiFi. He has over 25 years of experience running successful technology-based organisations in Canada and the UK.
David is best known as CEO of Queen’s Award winning B-Corp, Storm Consultancy. He founded Bath Digital Festival and the Co-forest project, sits as chair of life-science scale-up CiteAb and is a non-exec at leading UK financial planning firm Paradigm Norton. He mentors entrepreneurs and invests in tech scaleups.
Professor of entrepreneurship and innovation and
co-founder of Kinetic Thinking,
University of Bath School of Management
Dimo Dimov is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at University of Bath. Before Bath, he was on the faculty at Newcastle University, University of Connecticut (USA), and IE Business School (Spain). Prior to entering academia, he was finance director with Marriott International, overseeing two hospitality businesses in Budapest, Hungary.
Dimo’s research focuses on entrepreneurial thinking, process, and practice. He is co-founder of Kinetic Thinking, a validated framework for personal and organisational development. It helps individuals, teams and entire organizations capitalize on the changing world of work by deploying new ways of thinking, managing and leading.
Senior relationship manager,
Dylan Samuel joined Lombard Odier in December 2016 as an Executive Vice President. Prior to joining Lombard Odier, Dylan spent 13 years at JP Morgan Private Bank. Dylan worked in both the Geneva and London offices for JP Morgan and in his last role headed a team of five relationship managers focusing on UK financial professionals and family offices. Dylan holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering (MEng) from the University of Bath. He also holds the Investment Management Certificate (IMC). Dylan is a Chartered Fellow of the Securities and Investment Institute (CISI). Outside the office Dylan enjoys spending time with his young family and sports.
Group Head of Corporate Sustainability,
Lombard Odier Group
Ebba Lepage is executive vice president and group head of corporate sustainability of the Lombard Odier Group. She leads the Group’s CSR actions to consistently ensure that Lombard Odier is a sustainable company in its own operations and remains at the forefront of responsible business practices.
With a degree in Economics from Princeton University, Ebba started her career in investment banking (Leveraged Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions) with Credit Suisse First Boston in New York and London. She was thereafter vice president investments at the Family Office investment funds of a leading European industrial family, followed by a role as managing director at Synerglobe Capital, a corporate finance firm based in Monaco, where she focused on cross-border transactions, business development and expansion strategies for Families’ and Entrepreneurs’ businesses. Her career then led her to the Nordic renewable materials and forestry conglomerate Stora Enso where she was responsible for Group M&A transactions as well as direct investments for the creation of a sustainable biomass solutions development platform.
British Business Bank
Ed is the senior manager for the south west at the British Business Bank. Tasked with making finance markets work better for smaller businesses with an extensive background in supporting businesses looking to raise external finance.
Regional ecosystem manager,
NatWest is the leading UK bank for entrepreneurs, providing support to around one in four businesses throughout the country.. Being purpose-led NatWest champion the potential of people, families and businesses across the UK, focussing on the areas where it can have the biggest positive impact across society.
As longstanding supporters of Women in Business NatWest understand the various challenges that women might face when setting up or running their business, which is why is has its Business Builder and Accelerator programmes and over 1000 Women in Business Specialists across the UK who provide tailored support to help them achieve their ambitions for their business.
Elly Rowley is regional ecosystem manager for NatWest in the South West, leading Enterprise and signposting support to entrepreneurs through her extensive network to increase connectivity and accessibility across communities.
Co-founder & managing director,
Wake The Tiger
Co-founder & managing director, Graham MacVoy, has run successful businesses for over 20 years within the festival and events industry. Drawing on the success of Boomtown Fair with his partners, they have created the world’s first Amazement Park, right here in Bristol. It is particularly Graham’s operational expertise and passion for the environment that shines through any endeavour.
Latoya has over 7 years’ experience collaborating with local micro businesses, she’s highly respected & well connected within the charity & business sector. Often called upon for her ability to draw people together creating powerful events in ways unseen before. Latoya has spoken at several high-profile events, hosted women’s empowerment classes, currently runs business workshops for city of Bristol & Bath college & volunteered as a business mentor for 16 young people seeking to launch startups.
Chief revenue officer,
Lauren is the chief revenue officer of Growth Lending. She has worked in the financial services industry for 22 years, in roles spanning commercial banking,
invoice finance, venture debt and private equity.
Poku is an award-winning social entrepreneur with a passion for levelling the playing field for low income and ethnic minority groups.
He is the founder and CEO of Babbasa – the first black-led social enterprise to win the prestigious Queens Award For Enterprise (Social Mobility) in 2020, for transforming the lives of over 2,200 ethnic minority young people in the UK. He is also the co-founder of The Black Professionals Network and Founding Curator of the World Economic Forum initiative – Bristol Global Shapers Hub.
As an African migrant with lived experience of race and class challenges, Poku also advocates and advises on social mobility, equal opportunity and inclusion, through talks, consultancy work and on key strategic boards including Business West (Chambers of Commerce), University of Bristol Courts, WECA (People & Skills Board) and UWE Business School.
In 2018 the Queen honoured Poku with an invitation to Buckingham Palace for his contributions to the Commonwealth diaspora. In 2019 he was awarded the Lord Mayor’s Medal for his service to Bristol communities and named ‘Person Of The Year’ at the Southwest regional MTM Awards event. In 2021, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Poku holds a BSc in Psychology, MSc in Business Management from UWE and an Advanced Project Management Certificate from Oxford University.
Link Stone Advisory
Richard founded Link Stone Advisory to deliver corporate development support to accelerate value creation through M&A, fundraising and strategic development and delivery. The practice provides integrated support across leadership, finance, sales, IT, legal and HR. Richard previously worked for Future Plc, PlaySports Group and PwC.
Organisational development consultant,
Sammy is an organisational development consultant and systems coach. She is part of the founding team at Farleigh Performance (a purpose-led performance consultancy).
Sammy works with a wide variety of organisations essentially creating the spaces and frameworks for people to get into conversation about what really matters, challenge themselves and practise curiosity. Sometimes this is referred to as Org Dev, Culture Change, Performance Consultancy, or Leadership / Team Dev. Whatever it’s called – she loves it.
Sammy often speaks on Leaderfulness and Teaming, and freely shares her view that there is no such thing as grown-ups! Sammy is also a trustee of the UK’s slavery and exploitation charity, Unseen.