Presenters & Speakers

Panel 1: Start-up success beyond the M25

This session features successful northern entrepreneurs and industry commentators.

Topic: The barriers and opportunities in starting up in the North, the scope for fast growth, and the role Northern businesses can play on a global scale.

Amman Ahmed

Amman Ahmed

Founder/CEO, Rormix and RoundWaves

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Paul Haydock

Paul Haydock

Co-founder/CEO, DueCourse

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Aaron McGrath

Aaron McGrath

Sales Director, Microsoft Bing Ads UK

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Mark Varley

Mark Varley

Managing Partner, Havas Media Manchester

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Jeremy Ambrose

Jeremy Ambrose

Excellence Engineer for the North of England, Entrepreneurial Spark

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PANEL 2: Tech Invest North Investor panel

This session features sophisticated senior investors giving their expert view on the marketplace.

Oliver Woolley

Oliver Woolley

Co-founder & CEO, Envestors

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James Bedford

James Bedford

Head of Investment Strategy, Tech North

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Alex Rothwell

Alex Rothwell

Investment Manager, Maven Capital Partners

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Ben Partridge

Ben Partridge

Director, Ashby House

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Doug Stellman

Doug Stellman

Fund Manager, Enterprise Ventures

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David Smith

David Smith

Director at Dow Schofield Watts Corporate Finance

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Presenting companies

Bristlr

Bristlr “connects those with beards to those who want to stroke beards.” Started as something of a joke in October 2014 by Newcastle-based John Kershaw, Bristlr has now created more than quarter of a million connections. The app has grown into a fully fledged and feature rich dating service used in more than 100 cities around the world.

DigitalBridge

DigitalBridge is a machine learning and computer vision company that uses augmented reality for home décor. Founder and CEO, David Levine first came up with the idea for a tool that allows customers to visualise how new furnishings would look like in their own room – after a conversation with his wife about wallpaper. Since then, the business has received investment from ITIS Holdings’ Stuart Marks. DigitalBridge has also been named Retail Week Start Up of the Year in 2015, and Partners’ choice at John Lewis’ JLAB programme 2016. It is currently being trialled across John Lewis stores.

Formisimo

Formisimo was set up by Al Mackin and Tom New in 2014 to help online businesses understand why they lose potential customers at the key final stage of the customer journey: filling in forms at online checkouts. As a way to understand user behaviour in forms, Mackin and New founded Formisimo, an easy-to-use cloud-based analytics package that shows you why website visitors don’t complete a form. Within their first year, they received VC and Angel backing that allowed them to grow the business further, and in 2015 they received follow-on funding from their VC, Angels and Creative England.

Geek Talent

Founded in 2014 by Dominic Murphy, Geek Talent is a data science company with products ranging from ‘people analytics’ to people-powered career searches. Dominic had a career in IT consultancy and investment banking IT over the past 10 years prior to setting this Sunderland-based company up.

MyParcelDelivery

Manchester tech company MPDGroup has come a long way since CEO David Grimes set up MyParcelDelivery.com in 2009. Grimes set up his business straight out of Cambridge University, selling corporate branded merchandise shipped in from China.
It was while waiting in a long post office queue to send off a package for that business that Grimes came up with the idea for a parcel delivery comparison site, and My Parcel Delivery was born. Since then, Grimes has secured millions of pounds in funding for MPD Group which now also houses delivery management technology brand, Electio.

Order with Fork

Order with Fork is a new order and table payment app serving restaurants across the country. Fork is the mobile app that allows you to order and pay for your food and drink with your smartphone in less than sixty seconds. That means you receive table service without the delays, bill payments without the fuss, and drinks without the need to queue. Founded by University of Manchester alumnus Mike Cowell, the start-up aims to shake up the way restaurants serve customers.

The Dry Cleaner App

Jonathan O Brien spent two years managing a dry cleaning shop while studying Computer Science. The practical experience gained behind the counter and in the processing department was invaluable while developing the idea for The Dry Cleaner App. After several years of research and development, The Dry Cleaner App has been designed for the garment care industry for the on-demand economy. The Manchester-based start-up connects customer to laundry, dry cleaning and shoe repair services, from home pick-up to delivery. The business has grown since it started in March 2015 and currently covers 600 locations across the UK, with a further 400 dry cleaning businesses expected to join the platform by the end of 2016.

vTime

vTime is the virtual reality sociable network that allows anyone, anywhere to socialise with family and friends in virtual reality. Bringing people together virtually since December 2015, vTime is enjoyed by users in over 170 countries. vTime was released for Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. vTime was founded by Starship, a Liverpool-based digital entertainment studio, and has since grown into a network of its own.