An English Literature degree; a stint as a management consultant (moving from Andersen Consulting to consultancy for arts organisations); all stirred up with travel in over 40 countries has proved to be a great recipe for starting a food business. Charlie Bigham’s, founded in 1996, operates out of two large kitchens (in London & Somerset) making a range of delicious oven ready food sold in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Ocado and Booths. The company has grown in twenty-one out of its twenty two years and now has 500 employees and annual sales of over £70m.
Travel Counsellors connects a global community of travel consumers with expert travel advisers, who specialise in creating travel experiences that put customer needs and a human touch first. The company supports over 1800 Travel Counsellors in seven countries with the tools and technology platform to provide outstanding customer experiences.
Steve joined the company in 2004, leading the team to deliver over a decade of successive record growth, with sales last year above £600m. In 2014 Steve led an MBO of the business backed by Equistone Partners, and in 2018 steered the company through a secondary buy-out with Vitruvian Partners.
Mark Campbell is the co-founder of Higgidy, a food business that creates up to 400,000 handmade pies, quiches & sausage rolls per week. Together with his friends Camilla & James they have grown the business from a kitchen start-up to one of the biggest savoury pastry brands in the UK.
Connection Crew is an award-winning event crewing company. Its crew supports the event industry to set-up events. 25 percent of its crew have a history of homelessness - in the last 14 years it’s employed 248 ex-homeless people. Charlie leads on business development and marketing strategy. He’s worked in the events industry for over 20 years. He’s been involved in Connection Crew since 2006 starting off helping out with crew – the concept of the organisation fascinated him. Once he had a taste of this unique business he couldn’t get enough. He became Director in 2009 and hasn’t looked back.
Tarryn Gorre is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kafoodle, an award-winning food technology company providing innovative software solutions for the health and social care sector. Her belief is that when the right technology is introduced and embraced, it can streamline processes and simplify tasks, leading to increased efficiency and the improvement of health globally.
Harriet Hastings founded Biscuiteers in 2007 with the ambition of creating a new sector in the luxury gift market by selling collections of hand-iced biscuits online for all life’s important gifting occasions. She started her career in publishing and spent next 10 years as consumer brands director of a top 20 PR agency leaving to start her own business after the birth of her fourth child. She is also the managing director of the Women’s prize for fiction. In 2018 she was awarded the Natwest Everywoman Aphrodite award.
Chris Hirst is a change agent, widely recognized as an innovative and inspirational leader. He is currently Global CEO of Havas Creative – a multi-disciplinary marketing services group.
While studying at Harvard Business School, Chris developed his now-proven approach to leadership. He believes that there is one priority above all others at the heart of good, modern leadership: the life-changing, career-transforming power of getting stuff done.
Chris is on the UK Council at entertainment giant Vivendi and a trustee of the MOBO Foundation. He is also a regular speaker at industry events and commentator in national press.
An experienced director and entrepreneur, Tim had a board-level career in retail marketing and buying before co-founding Schoolblazer in 2004. Since then Schoolblazer has grown to become the leading suppier in it’s field, transforming the market for high quality uniform and sportswear. Tim has also played an active role mentoring other businesses. With a genuine interest in ethical trading and sustainability, Schoolblazer are working on how to apply their principals in a market that, “hasn’t cared before”. The insights gained should be widely applicable.
Leo Johnson, Head of PwC’s Disruption practice, co-presents Radio 4’s flagship series FutureProofing, exploring the big ideas and innovations reshaping business and society. He explores the cutting edge in exponential technology, probing game changers both short term and long, from autonomous transport and payment by data to radical life extension, quantum computing, and the RFID chipped workforce. What - in the tsunami of exponential technology - is real and what is hype? More importantly, what is the impact going to be on business?
Leo is a Visiting Business Fellow at Oxford University’s Smith School of Enterprise & the Environment, a judge on the Financial Times’ Boldness in Business awards, and a regular presenter for BBC World.
Claudia Lambeth is the founder of Luna Mae London, the bespoke lingerie specialist. She has host bespoke fittings around the world and attracted the attention of Forbes, The Telegraph, FT How To Spend It, The Times and Vogue. Claudia is now setting up an apprenticeship scheme with the London College of Fashion to help nurture the British manufacturing industry and to invest in the future, inspiring individuals to enter a career in the fashion industry. Claudia was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” for Barclay’s Everywoman Awards in 2018 and was listed as one of Drapers 30 Under 30 in 2019.
By having a natural risk reward mentality, Damien has always had an interest in running his own businesses.
With all the businesses Damien has ever built, they’ve been in industries he’d no experience within, this allows him to lead with a fresh new perspective, carving new routes to market through industries that may not have changed for years.
After miraculously winning with stage 4 cancer in 2015, he decided to create a new business producing the healthiest instant noodle - Mr Lee’s Pure Foods.
Damien also developed an innovative, interactive ‘Noodle Kiosk’ - vending machine, providing healthy hot food 24/7.
I started my career in Magazine Publishing setting up and running sales teams before moving in to the not for profit sector to run Corporate Fundraising teams. In 2002 I Co-Founded Go Ape with my husband Tristram. My role within Go Ape has included leading the Marketing, PR, Corporate Events and Customer Care teams as well as being a Board Director. Go Ape now has 34 locations in the UK and 15 in the US with over a million customers a year. Go Ape is about creating adventures and encouraging everyone to live life more adventurously.
Patrick founded ARTIQ in 2009 to bridge the gap between the art and business worlds and to promote a fair deal for artists. ARTIQ, is now one of the UK’s leading art consultancies, working with businesses to embed creativity into their culture and to harness the power of art.
Patrick drives overall strategy and direction, creating the client relationships at the heart of the business. He writes and speaks widely on the benefits of art in workplace, hospitality and residential. In 2017 he was named ‘Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year (London and SouthEast)’ at NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
Steve Moore has a background as a Futures Trader at Starmark. In 2010 Steve led a Guinness World Record attempt to complete the longest journey made by a fire engine in memory of his father. Taking 9 months, across 31,000 miles, with dozens of friends involved, they raised over £210,000 in the process. This huge exercise in project management helped develop Steve’s skillset and ability to take on his next ambitious challenge; Flight Club Darts. Since opening in London’s Shoreditch in October 2015 – more than 1.1 million guests have visited their 5 venues, throwing over 65 million darts.
Melissa Morris is CEO and Co-Founder of Lantum, a total workforce platform for healthcare on a mission to save the NHS £1bn in agency spend. To date, Lantum has saved the NHS nearly £10 million and enabled over 4.2 million GP appointments.
In 2017, Melissa was named as an NHS Accelerator Fellow. She was previously a management consultant at Mckinsey & Co, where she developed a passion for improving healthcare systems - so much so that she left to work for NHS London during its reorganisation in 2010 prior to founding Lantum in 2012.
Pip Murray, 30, is the Founder of the all-natural nut butter brand brand, Pip & Nut (www.pipandnut.com).
Pip & Nut launched on to the shelves of Selfridges in January 2015 and since then, the brand has gone from strength to strength, in just four years the brand is stocked in over 5000 stores in the UK and Ireland, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA and Morrisons.
Recently Pip & Nut won the Natwest Great British Start-up Entrepreneur of the year 2018 and the business was named the ‘One to Watch’ Award at The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 2017.
Richard is CEO of artificial intelligence firm Peak, a pioneering global AI company which provides its customers with the technology and skills needed to become AI-driven.
Founded in 2014, Peak has secured over £5m in funding to support growth and development in machine learning technologies. Its clients include ASOS, Footasylum and Speedy Hire.
In 2018, Peak was named in the top 25-fastest growing tech companies by GP Bullhound and has since gained Amazon Web Services (AWS) Machine Learning Partner status. Richard has been recognised in Data IQ’s ‘100 influencers’ for his forward-thinking innovation that is transforming the business landscape.
Guy Schanschieff, Founder & Managing Director of Bambino Mio - the world’s most widely used reusable nappy brand, offering an extensive range of eco-friendly nappy products and accessories.
Since launching in 1997, Guy has strived to not only develop and grow Bambino Mio but the entire reusable nappy industry. Educating parents about the financial, environmental and health benefits of reusable nappies; helping to create an industry which has become popular all over the world.
Over 21 years later, an MBE, 60+ awards and distributing to over 50 countries; Bambino Mio is the most accessible reusable nappy brand in the world.
Alison Shadrack is the founder of Adia PR and the torchbearer behind some of the UK’s most disruptive and trailblazing entrepreneurs. Alison launched Adia PR in 2013 to help inspired entrepreneurs to build brand awareness and get noticed in the media as ‘the’ go-to experts or thought leaders in their field. Her clients are regularly featured in leading media such as The Times, Forbes, Sky News and BBC, and they’re frequently winners of coveted industry awards. Alison is a Brand Ambassador for the IoD and was recognised as a Top50 Business Adviser and Top5 PR Expert by EnterpriseNation and Experian.
David Spencer-Percival is a serial entrepreneur. Having completed the successful sale of two previous businesses, he embarked on his mission to bring a brand new soft drink to market.
His previous businesses, recruitment firms Huntress and Spencer Ogden, were both sold netting him $100m. But David wasn’t stopping there – the story of a village full of centenarians on the Italian coast caught his eye and he set out to build a world-beating brand. Today, David is on two missions: To sell No.1 Rosemary Water all over the world and to help more people live healthier lives in the process.
Launched in 2017 by childhood friends Hugo Campbell and Digby Vollrath, Feast It has closely curated 650 of the UK’s top caterers and mobile bars. All Feast It partners have been hand-picked, with fewer than one in ten caterers and bars accepted, creating a vetted community of partners available to book for any event. Household names like Patty & Bun, Soho House Group, GRIND and Honey & Co work with Feast It alongside smaller operations. Since in launch Feast IT has fed over 3 million people and worked with clients including, Tom Cruise, Amazon, Facebook, London Pride and Secret cinema.
Radha Vyas is the Co-founder of Flash Pack, an award-winning travel company rehabilitating the outdated image of the group holiday. Flash Pack connects busy professionals travelling alone to enjoy extraordinary holidays together. Now with a global community of solo travellers and 400% YOY growth, Radha has seen her business flourish from a back-bedroom startup in 2014 to a thriving global brand.
Flash Pack are a team of 65 and will be 110 by the end of the year.