2020 Judges and Prizes

2020 Benefits for Winners

Super Connect for Good 2020 recognised 15 winners including a National Overall Winner, 8 Regional Winners and 6 Industry Winners who benefited from:

  • Recognition: Be recognised as a Super Connect for Good 2020 National Winner, Regional Winner or Industry Winner to include on your web site, marketing materials and social channels

  • Exposure: Gain exposure for your tech startup or scale-up to a range of private sector and public sector decision-makers, and funders (e.g. investors, grant providers etc.) at the Virtual Final to demonstrate how you can help solve their pressing challenges

  • Guaranteed Press Coverage: Thanks to our media partner Top Business Tech each regional winner will receive a written Founder Interview and winners will be mentioned or quoted in Super Connect for Good 2020 Local to National Press releases which may secure further coverage

  • 10  Super Connections: Before and after the Virtual Final, the Super Connectors at Empact Ventures will made 10 introductions by email for all Regional Winners to potential partners, clients, funders or supporters to help you address your challenges

  • Competition Prizes: Our sponsors and partners kindly provided prizes worth up to £30,000 in business support, opportunities and connections to decision-makers to support you to scale further (Scroll down for a full list of prizes)

    • National Winner will receive £40,000 worth of prizes including a 12-months subscription to Hays Rise (worth £30,000), a Super Connect Membership from Empact Ventures, guaranteed press coverage from Top Business Tech (worth £2,500), Legal Support with Linkilaw (worth £3,000), Free Hot-Desking with eOffice (worth £2,000) and more

    • Regional Winners: will receive £4,000 worth of prizes including online training with Hays Rise (worth £3,500), Free Legal Advice / Documents with Linkilaw (worth £600), guaranteed press coverage with Top Business Tech (worth £250), 10 super connections from Empact Ventures and more

    • Industry Winners will receive a single prize from our industry partner providing expertise to further their business technology (e.g. Microsoft for Startups is providing a Mentoring Session with a Senior Director for the AI for Good Winner, NIHR is providing up to £10,000 in funding for the MedTech Winner) along with a free virtual office

Benefits for Applicants

Competition Prizes

National Winner

The winner will be decided at our Virtual Final and will receive the following prizes worth over £40,000:

  • Hays Rise: Our National Winner will receive a 12-month subscription to Hays Rise (worth £30,000) enable you to make 5 hires with VIP access to online training, content and events. Learn More… or visit www.haysrise.com

  • Super Connect FLEX Membership provided by Empact Ventures (worth £3,000) to engage and connect with a wider range of potential partners, clients and/or funders across the UK and Ireland. Learn More…

  • Guaranteed Press Coverage provided by Top Business Tech Prize including Founder Interview, Sponsored Video Interview, Home Page Takeover and Whitepaper hosting (worth £2,500) www.topbusinesstech.com

  • Full Funding Workshop provided by Angels Den or option to pitch to Angels with 20% discount on cost of the raise www.angelsden.com

  • Free Virtual Address & Hot-Desking for 6 Months at eOffice: MyeOffice 40 package free for 6 months providing a central London address, mail forwarding, telephone number and telephone answering, with hot-desking 40 hours month (worth £2,000+VAT) – Read More…

  • Free Legal Documents or Legal Advice with Linkilaw Solicitors (worth £3,000). Read More…

8 x Regional Winners

The 8 Regional Winners will be decided by the Regional Judging Panels and will receive the following prize worth £4,600:

  • Hays Rise: Access to online training to help their teams gain the vital skills to scale including a number of courses covering topics including Funding, Sales, Marketing, Product Development, Networking, Legal and Compliance, and GDPR (worth £3,500). Visit www.haysrise.com

  • Super Connect Connections: 10 free introductions will be facilitated by email before and after the final by Empact Ventures to potential partners, clients and/or funders across the UK and Ireland (worth £250). Learn More…

  • Guaranteed Place in OVH Cloud Startup Programme with free cloud hosting credit. Learn More…

  • Guaranteed Press Coverage provided by Top Business Tech Prize including Founder Interview and Whitepaper hosting (worth £250) www.topbusinesstech.com

  • Free Legal Drafting or Legal Advice with Linkilaw Solicitors (worth £600). Read More…


Note: The London Regional Winner (only) will also Free Hot-Desking for 6 Months at eOffice: MyeOffice 40 package free for 6 months providing a central London address, mail forwarding, telephone number and telephone answering, with hot-desking 40 hours month (worth £2,000+VAT). Read More…

2020 Industry Prizes

The Industry Winners will be decided by our industry partners who will provide the single prize below after the Virtual Final

Note: All Industry Winners will receive a Virtual Office Premium package free for 3 months to each of the winner worth around £600 per package in total with eOffice. Read More…

  • Tech for Good Criteria:

    • Tech for good is a responsible approach to technology to address social, environmental and economic challenges. In this context, technology is built in a collaborative, user-led way and implemented with ethical consideration to ensure the rights of the people are respected

    • The Company can demonstrate that they have created social impact and enhance people’s lives through technology in any area including but not limited to education, healthcare, local communities, public sector services, the environment or others. 

  • Stage of Company: The company must be categorised in one of the following areas:

    • Tech Startup (Seed Stage) with a working Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or beta version, the initial founding team with initial seed capital between £75,000 – £500,000 and ideally though not essential some traction or initial revenue 

    • Tech Scale-up (Series A) – with a scalable product, solid team with Series A funding between £2m – £10m with a growing user base traction and solid revenue

    • Tech Scale-up (Series B) – with a scalable product, solid team with Series A funding between £10m – £50m with a growing user base traction and solid revenue

  • Geography: Business must be based in one of the 8 regions set out on the above tab

  • Industry Verticals: Business must fit within one or more of the industry verticals set out on the above tab though any business can apply in other relevant areas as long you can demonstrate that you meet the Tech for Good criteria set out above

  • Scotland: Any city or town in Scotland

  • North: Any city or town in the North East, North West or Yorkshire & the Humber

  • South: Any city or town in the South West or South East

  • East England: Any city or town in Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk

  • West (Midlands & Wales): Any town in Wales, West Midlands or East Midlands

  • London

  • Northern Ireland: Any city or town

  • Republic of Ireland: Any city or town

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This category focuses on technology that is powered by AI and is solving social, environmental and/or economic challenges in society today. For example in areas including ocean protection, media bias, the future of work, food, energy, water and others.


This focuses on technologies in the clinical environment (e.g. within hospitals) such as devices, diagnostics, bionics, instrumentation and treatments that are within a regulated path to market.


This category focuses on the use of technology to improve the prevention, monitoring, delivery, payment and consumption of care for patients


This focuses on technologies that can increase the quality of education or make education more accessible to those that benefit from it (e.g. pupils in schools, students in colleges and universities, employees in organisations etc.)

Smart Cities (Big Data, IoT, 5G, Intelligent Transport)

This category focuses on technologies that help cities reduce waste and energy, or increase citizen satisfaction or safety, while focusing on the ethical use of the data collected


This focuses on technology that helps citizens connect to each other and interact with the government to drive social change at a local, regional or national level. We also welcome technology that helps to increase efficiency in government administration by digitalising work processes or bringing in new tools.

  • Applicants must submit their information according to our entry deadlines

  • All applicants will strictly observe the above Entry Rules.

  • Speculative and conceptual projects including business ideas are not eligible to apply

  • Pre-Seed Startups, Series C or D scale-ups are also not eligible to apply 

  • Entrants must not enter work which has been banned by any regulatory bodies

  • All applications must be in English

  • If you do not complete all questions, we cannot guarantee your applications will be selected for our judging process 

  • You must submit applications by 6pm on 30th September 2020

  • Should your company wish to withdraw its application, this must be done by 10th October 2020 

How does the competition work?

The Super Connect for Good Competition works as follows:

  1. September 2020 – Startups and scale-ups submit their application here to apply to the competition for the Region where are they are legally registered and the one or more verticals that their technology covers (e.g. AI, MedTech etc.) by 30th September 2020 at 6pm

  2. October 2020 – Once all applications have been received, we will be running Virtual Regional Judging Panels where our 5 Regional Judges per region (40 in total) will assess applications and decide on the one Regional Winner for that category who will be informed before the Virtual Final on 17th November 2020. In addition, our 6 Industry Judges from our expert partners will also review the applications according to the verticals selected on the application forms to decide on the Industry Winners who will be announced at the Virtual Final.

  3. November 2020 – Our 8 Regional Winners will be invited to pitch and exhibit at our Virtual Final where our National Judges will decide who will decide who should be crowned the Super Connect for Good 2020 National Winner.

How can I submit an application?

You can submit an application by filling in our application form available here indicating the region you are based in and the industry prize you’d like to be considered for.

Where should my company be based to be eligible to apply for the competition?

The competition is only open to tech startups and scale-ups with a registered office in the UK or Ireland.

My company is based outside the UK and Ireland, can I still apply?

The competition is only open to tech startups and scale-ups with a registered office in the UK or Ireland.

However, if your company is registered outside the UK and Ireland you can only apply if you have a registered subsidiary in the UK or Ireland registered before 1st September 2020.

What is the deadline for submitting an application to the competition?

The deadline for submitting applications is 30th September 2020 at 6pm UK time. You can submit applications earlier if this is easier for you.

Can applications be submitted to multiple categories?

You can only be considered for one Regional Prize corresponding to the region where your company is legally registered in the UK and Ireland though you can be considered for multiple Industry Prizes (e.g. you may be considered in the AI and MedTech streams) if your product falls into more than one vertical.

What stage must a tech startup or scale-up be at?

The company must be categorised in one of the following areas:

    • Tech Startup (Seed Stage) with a working Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or beta version, the initial founding team with initial seed capital between £75,000 – £500,000 and ideally though not essential some traction or initial revenue 

    • Tech Scale-up (Series A) – with a scalable product, solid team with Series A funding between £2m – £10m with a growing user base traction and solid revenue

    • Tech Scale-up (Series B) – with a scalable product, solid team with Series A funding between £10m – £50m with a growing user base traction and solid revenue

Can you only apply if you have revenue?

No, you can apply without revenue as long as you are able to show that you have investment as set out on the eligibility criteria tab

What information will be required?

  • Location and which region they are applying for 

  • Additional tech categories you are applying for (if applicable) 

  • General company details 

  • Pitch Deck (required) any additional supporting materials (e.g. business plan, photos etc, case studies) 

  • Demonstrate how your product can benefit society

  • Revenue (if applicable)

A full list of questions can be found on the application form here

I have an idea for tech startup, can I apply?

No, the competition is open to Seed Stage and Series A-B scale-ups who have a registered company, a minimum viable product (MVP) or fully working product.

What happens once an application has been submitted?

Once submitted your application will be passed to both our Regional Judges for the region you are based in and our Industry Judge.

How do super connections work for competition final attendees and winners?

Super Connections are made by email for all winners, applicants and registered attendees by one of the Empact Ventures’ team of Super Connectors before, during or after the final. All Regional and Industry Winners will receive their super connections by email between 30th October 2020 and 19th November 2020. All competition applicants (who are not winners) and Virtual Final attendees who opt-in will receive their super connections between 20th November 2020 and 10th December 2021.

When will the Winners be announced?

The 8 Regional Winners will be contacted by the end of October 2020 by email and be invited to pitch and exhibit at the Virtual Final on 17th November 2020, and an announcement prior to the final will be made.

If you are not selected as a Regional Winner, there is still chance to win one or more Industry Prizes selected by our Industry Judge by attending our Virtual Final where the 6 Industry Winners will be announced.

Do I need to be available to join the Virtual Final?

If you are selected as one of our 8 Regional Winners, it is essential that you attend our Virtual National Final on 17th November 2020 taking place between 9am and 1pm UK time.

We encourage anyone that submits an application to attend the final to find out if you’ve won an Industry Prize.

Our 2020 Judges

National Judge (Virtual Final)

James Hallahan

Director – UK & Ireland, Hays & James Harvard

Our professional services business, has over 20 years’ experience in technology & digital recruitment, and solutions that deliver outcomes for customer success. As Director at Hays Technology, the market leaders in the UK and Ireland, James is responsible for delivering the strategic growth across both the private and public sectors, through scaling existing products and services and innovating with new solutions to both existing and new markets within which we operate.

Industry Judge (AI for Good)

Anne-Claire Lo Bianco.

Community & VC Manager

Microsoft for Startups 

Anne-Claire is the Community & VC Manager at Microsoft for Startups in the UK response for providing fundraising and content support for startups in the programmes, managing deal flow and managing accelerator and investment ecosystem relations. Prior to this, Anne-Claire was Head of Events & Marketing for the French Chamber of Great Britain and an Events and Direct Marketing Executive for Riverford.

Regional Judge (London)

Philip Marais

Start-Up Programme Leader – Northern Europe, OVH Cloud

A pioneering innovation leader, strong management skills and the ability to lead multi-discipline teams with a mentorship style of leadership that have delivered results. Philip has experience in the Venture Capital, Business Incubation, Steel Construction and Technology Transfer industries who has been involved in the exciting world of startups for almost 20 years.

Industry Judge (MedTech)

Vee Mapunde

Programme Director

NIHR Surgical MedTech Co-operative

Vee Mapunde is the Programme Director of the NIHR Surgical MedTech Co-operative based in Leeds which supports technology development, translation and evidence generation.  She is responsible for overall operations management, support for the Director and the Theme leads, as well as strategy implementation & translational project selection.

Regional Judge (East)

Alex Clayhills-Henderson

Head of Entrepreneur Relations

Alex is Head of Entrepreneur Relations for Angels Den, a leading online investment platform where over 18,000 angel investors and experienced business people invest in pre-vetted SMEs and startups. He is responsible for looking for the best startups and SME’s to put in front of angel investors, and creating new partnerships with incubators, accelerators and private equity firms.

Regional Judge (East)

Pim van Baarsen

Silverstone Technology Cluster


Pim joined the Motorsport Industry Association after completing a Master’s degree in business studies. During his time there he was presented with the AIM Young Business Person of the Year award for his efforts in helping the organisation grow. He subsequently joined transmission specialists Xtrac where he oversaw their sportscar activities. After two years there he was invited to join Haymarket as Group Marketing Manager. In 2010, Pim co-founded CMA Marketing, a marketing agency specialising in technical B2B marketing. In December 2016 Pim was asked to head up the Silverstone Technology Cluster. 

Industry Judge (HealthTech)

Roland Singer-Kingsmith

SFAS Impact Area Lead

Roland is SFAS Impact Area Lead for UnLtd, a leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK supporting nearly 1,000 individuals each year with a unique model of investing directly in individuals with a complete package of resources from awards of funding between £500 and £15,000 to ongoing advice, networking and practical support. Roland is responsible for supporting social entrepreneurs to grow their business and scale their impact through the UnLtd Thrive Solutions for an Ageing Population Accelerator Programme focused on improving the quality of life for the over 50s.

Industry Judge (GovTech)

Chiara Carlini

Programme Manager

Chiara is the Programme Manager of PUBLIC, a GovTech pioneer which gives tech startups the networks, support, insights and capital to solve public problems and improve the lives of citizens through a range of programmes like the GovStart Programme, a pan-European GovTech Accelerator. Prior to this, she was Social Enterprise Programme Manager at Hatch Enterprise UK.

Regional Judge (South)

Pier Paolo Mucelli,

Founder of eOffice and CoFounder of TechItalia and GlobalTechConnect

Pier is a London based entrepreneur and angel investor. His main activity is at eOffice, the first coworking concept in Europe and the company I founded in early 2000. eOffice is a modern workplace offering sociable, business setting geared to vibrant, like-minded startups and entrepreneurs, in a number of Central London locations, including Soho, Piccadilly, Fitzrovia, Holborn. eOffice also is developing and manages a large network of independent business centres and co-working space, in over 200 locations worldwide.

Regional Judge (East)


Zhanna Zenina

Co-Founder & CEO, Linkilaw

Zhanna Zenina is the co-founder and CEO of Linkilaw Solicitors. She is an experienced corporate lawyer with an extensive track record of advising emerging and established companies. Prior to founding Linkilaw Solicitors, she worked at top law firms in New York, London and Moscow, headed the legal department of a London-based family office and acted for clients as their trusted legal adviser and board member. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Moscow State University with a passion for delivering practical solutions to clients, while applying legal knowledge, business acumen, integrity and ethics.

Regional Judge (London)


Elnar Hajiyev


Elnar started coding at the age of 10 and built some of the first online shops in Azerbaijan. At 18, he created Azerbaijan’s first online beauty pageant, which got hundreds of thousands of hits, millions of TV viewers and extensive nationwide press coverage. He went on to study for a fully-funded PhD in Computer Science at Oxford focused on database structures, which now form the essential foundation of our technology platform. He has built and now leads our Research & Development offices in Eastern Europe, and has been granted a US patent, with 6 more EU patents currently pending.

Industry Judge (EdTech)


Hannah Cook

Partnerships Manager

Hannah is an experienced Senior Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry with strong professional skilled in Collaboration, Business Planning, Coaching, Entrepreneurship, Event Management, and Team Building.

Regional Judge (West)


Endaff Bowen

Head of DevOps, Empyrean Digital

Endaff gained years of experience starting as a developer, rapidly moving into operations Unix, Linux, Oracle administration, with extensive experience in various size companies including start-ups with a mixture of roles from Customer Delivery, Development Support, Senior IT Support and more recently a big shift into DevOps. As a DevOps Manager he had to deliver real-world change and Digital Transformation at a financial institution, including creating a DevOps capability from scratch at the same time pushing a roadmap project of Technical Transformation & Technical Debt change which was named CALMS as the enabler.

Regional Judge (Republic of Ireland)


Heidi Corr

Managing Director of New Level Consultancy & Project Executive, Dublin Business Innovation Centre 

Heidi has extensive experience in growing businesses, sectors include innovative technology and software to commercialisation of a product idea. Heidi worked in a founding team of a UK start-up first to market Company Heidi grew the business to a turnover in excess of UK£15 million within 5 year period. This included seeking, identifying and managing international agents to increase and grow export sales as well as growing the workforce to in access of 100 employees. Heidi originally developed her skills in sales, marketing and business management in the retail, healthcare and financial sector, both here in Ireland and the international markets.

Regional Judge (London)

Kimeshan Naidoo

Chief Technology Officer, UniBuddy

Kimeshan Naidoo is a South African computer scientist and technology entrepreneur. Kimeshan Naidoo is the CTO & Co-Founder of Unibuddy, a London-based EdTech Company. Unibuddy has become one of the fastest growing education technology startups in the world, to date helping over 400,000 students to decide where and what to study across 350 universities in over 30 countries.  Unibuddy has raised $12 million to date and has offices in London, New York and Bangalore.  He moved to the United Kingdom in 2015, and graduated from University College London with an MSc Computer Science. He was recently listed on the 2020 Forbes 30 under 30 list.

Regional Judge (North)

Deb Hetherington

Head of Innovation, Bruntwood SciTech

Deb Hetherington is an award-winning innovation specialist with over 10 years experience in business support for startup and scaling companies. Deb has a particular interest in LegalTech and the advancement of AI and Data led innovation in supporting business change and growth. She is an Associate at Leeds Beckett University and plays an integral role in connecting young businesses with the relevant support and funding required to grow. As Head of Innovation at Platforms Tech Hub at the heart of the digital eco-system in Leeds, she oversees the design and delivery of innovation services to a wide range of disruptive SMEs. 

Regional Judge (West)


Taj Heer

Managing Director, Global Entrepreneurship Network UK (GEN UK)

Taj is a commercially focused, practical, hands-on executive and MBA; having a 20 year track record of direct management, growth and turnaround in both private & Plc environments. Having a firm understanding of VC/PE & corporate financing, Taj has led numerous funding rounds and has also been directly involved in trade sales and IPOs for PE owned businesses. Over the last 5 years he has become a multi business Director within a number of Guinness Asset Management’s invested portfolio along with running a VC. He joined GEN UK as MD in early 2019 and is proud to be part of a team that has the vision to make a difference within the entrepreneurial landscape of the UK and beyond.

Regional Judge (Scotland)


Karen Meechan

Chief Operation Officer, ScotlandIS

Karen is a passionate supporter of the Scottish digital tech industry and has been for over 15 years.  As Chief Operating Officer of ScotlandIS, the membership and cluster management organisation for the sector, she oversees the work of the team, ensuring strategic priorities are met and our industry continues to thrive.  Karen is inspired daily by meeting and talking to our members who create technology solutions that change the way we all live. One of the greatest parts of her job is watching these companies take something from little more than an idea on paper to a hugely successful business.

Industry Judge (EdTech)

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Keith Lee

Partnerships Manager, Young Enterprise

Keith is Partnerships Manager at Young Enterprise with over 10 years in fundraising and 15 years in the Events Sector with a proven track record in securing new business and funding, account management and developing partnerships as well as the delivery and programming of all types of events, including management of staff and service partners. He has held roles with the Royal Air Force Museum (Development Manager), Brake (Corporate Partnerships), Betteshanger Sustainable Parks (Head of Programme) and Demelza Hospice Care for Children (Corporate Partnerships.

Regional Judge (South)

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Sally Prichard

Propositions Lead, Ordnance Survey

Sally is a business mentor, experienced product owner and value proposition consultant who helps ambitious businesses achieve their potential. She started out as a chartered accountant but soon joined Deloitte spending 11 years in both the UK and US. During that time she launched a Global RegTech solution in partnership with a hypergrowth AI company. She also helped launch a new renters insurance proposition for LV= and now working on realising the value of Geospatial data at Ordnance Survey.

Regional Judge (East)


Mark Littlewood

CEO, Business of Software Conference

Mark has spent 30 years in the tech sector collecting great people and ideas and connecting them to customers. Before Business of Software, he was part of the founding team at Library House, an investment research business based in Cambridge serving the global venture capital & banking communities, & The BLN, a business events company. He led the business development activities for the organisation & built a network of angels, early stage, venture & corporate investors. Previously, he has worked with university spin-outs; run a 40 person consultancy business; & founded a web portal for the CAD community.

Regional Judge (North)

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Dr Kim Johnston

City Manager, CityFibre

I am City Manager for CityFibre, the UK’s leading alternative provider of fibre infrastructure. I oversee a multi-million pound construction project across Bradford, Harrogate, Leeds and York and utilise my experience and knowledge of digital technology, MedTech, STEM and digital inclusion within this broadband rollout.

Regional Judge (East)


Kevin Celia

Senior Business Director, Hays

Kevin is the Technology Lead for Hays East of England business and is responsible for driving the Technology strategy across our Milton Keynes, Ipswich and Cambridge offices. Kevin’s core focus is supporting a wide range of clients with their unique temporary workforce solutions whilst building local networks across start-ups, scales-ups, SMEs and Corporate clients.

Regional Judge (Northern Ireland)


Daniela Menzky

COO, Angoka

Biography coming soon

Regional Judge (London)


Tom Wood

Business Director, Hays

Tom has spent over a decade partnering with some of London’s most innovative tech companies, helping them to build high performing teams by attracting top technical talent. The businesses he has supported include Tier 1 investment banks, boutique fund managers and start ups at all stages from bootstrap to unicorn.

Regional Judge (Scotland)


Victoria Lennox

President Emeritus, Startup Canada

Principal of The Lennox Group and Founder of NACUE, Startup Canada and Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation.

Regional Judge (Scotland)

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Justin Black

Business Director, Hays

Justin is a Business Director at Hays for IT & Digital recruitment in Scotland. He has a wide ranging remit, operationally running a team of recruiters across Scotland and providing strategic insights into IT and Digital careers for both candidates and clients. Currently he is focussing on delivering recruitment services and talent insights into the start-up and scale-up sector across Scotland.

Regional Judge (Northern Ireland)


Juliann Deegan

Business Director, Hays

Juliann is the Business Director of Digital Technology in Northern Ireland. She specialises in placing permanent Technology professionals across Software Development and Test and aIso runs the Digital Technology Business in Northern Ireland. This team is made up of specialist recruiters within Cyber Security and Data Management & Advanced Analytics. Juliann has built the business on strong principals of customer service and delivery.

Industry Judge (HealthTech)


Dr Chris McKee

Business Development & Innovation Manager, St James University Hospital

Dr Chris McKee’s role as the Business Development and Innovation Manager based in Leeds is to support the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust (LTHT) in Research and Innovation, support both Leeds NIHR Medtech In Vitro Diagnostic Cooperatives, and support the University of Leeds to identify and engage with innovative medical/health technologies for future collaborations and NHS evaluations in areas of unmet clinical needs. Further to this he also works closely with the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network supporting their interests at a national level.

Regional Judge (Northern Ireland)


Matt Hughes

Editor-in-Chief, Top Business Tech

Top Business Tech is a tech publication platform with a difference. Re-branding and re-positioning the Top Business Tech brand to make waves within the industry. I strive for change, to refresh the monotony of news consumption and, deliver experiences through information. The knowledge I have allows me to work easily with others, plan effective strategies and strive towards creating work that is to be remembered.

Regional Judge (Republic of Ireland)


Ronan O Dulaing

VP Engineering at Workhuman

Ronan has established high-performing software product design, development and cloud services teams by creating a culture of customer-focus, technical excellence and innovation. His market-centric approach ensures business objectives are well understood and built into every aspect of the product. He breeds success by coaching key individuals to realise their potential and that of their teams, so maximising their overall contribution. Equally adept at engaging in technical and commercial matters, his ability to develop strong relationships within other business functions and stakeholders ensures alignment between strategic business goals and product delivery.

Regional Judge (North)


James Wilson

CTO, Red Flag Alert

James has started a number of technology start-ups over almost twenty years. In this time, James has successfully exited three start-ups.

Latterly, James has worked for a Financial Services company. James went on to start another technology business and is currently CTO for Red Flag Alert.

Regional Judge (South)

Ian Woodgate (Smart Cities Specialist, BCP Council)

Ian Woodgate

Smart Cities Specialist, BCP Council

Ian has worked with large multinationals and small startups. He has strong data analysis and technical skills from his background in software development, along with the commercial experience that comes from leadership roles within successful businesses. In all roles, he helps develop effective strategies, partners and internal teams, architect innovative value-adding solutions, and ensure a smooth delivery. He also co-runs a BI and Data Analytics user group in Eastleigh he is a STEM Ambassador.

Regional Judge (South)


Jason Oliver

Director of IT, University of Sussex

Led celebrated teams at University of Sussex, Science Museum Group and Royal Opera House, where he specialised in digital modernisation and transformation.

Consistently named one in CIO UK’s top 100, which celebrates the UK’s most transformative technology leaders, and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society

Regional Judge (South)


Martin Pardey

Business Director, Hays

Martin Pardey is a Director for Hays Specialist Recruitment and runs the Technology division across the South East Region. Martin has over 17 years experience within the technology recruitment industry and his team has supported numerous start-up and scale-up businesses to grow their teams and is always willing to provide advice and insight to support his clients with their recruitment activities.

Regional Judge (North)


Dave Reynolds

CTO, Quilter plc

Biography coming soon

Regional Judge (West)


Mike Morgan

Business Director, Hays

Mike Morgan is the Director of the IT and Digital Technology business in Birmingham. He has been at Hays for 18 years and is a proactive member of the Silicon Canal which supports Birmingham’s Tech Ecosystem. He runs a team of 20 technology recruiters who focus on providing employers in the Midlands with local market insights and access to talent pools of increasingly hard to find tech skills.

Mike is also a well-known advocate for ED&I within Birmingham and is one of the co-founders of the Alliance network and is also the chair of the UK&I Hays Pride Network which supports all of Hays LGBTQ+ staff.

Regional Judge (West)


Simon Jenner

Co-Founder, Million Labs

Simon has a passion for supporting other entrepreneurs and for the last 10 years, Simon has been working with entrepreneurs from across the world firstly through running Birmingham’s only technology incubator and then moving to become the CEO of a leading technology accelerator. The technology accelerator was voted a European top 10 accelerator by the Guardian newspaper. He foundded Birmingham Entrepreneurs (the largest entrepreneurs group outside of London) and Co-Found Silicon Canal, Birmingham’s answer to London’s tech city. In 2016 Simon was listed in the Maserati 100 for his work with entrepreneurs and listed as a Power 250:

Regional Judge (North)


Zjak Grobbelaar

Business Director, Hays

Zjak is a portfolio sales lead and business director across the technology and digital businesses for the Hays Group. He is heavily involved with tech and digital start-up communities and ecosystems in the northern regions and provides consultative services and tailored resource solutions to help start-ups and scale-ups overcome some of the business and talent management challenges they face during stages of growth.

Regional Judge (North)


Colin Tan

Director of Operations, TUS Park UK

Colin Tan is the Director of Operations for TusPark Newcastle, the first international TusPark fully-owned by TUS Holdings, China’s largest innovation ecosystem of over 200 bases in every major city in China. He works with TUS’s partners in the UK to help businesses, universities and governments to enter and scale-up in the Chinese

Regional Judge (Republic of Ireland)


David Burke

Senior Business Director, Hays

David has worked in the technology recruitment sector in Ireland since 2004 and been responsible for delivering very diverse talent services including large scale, outsourced international project solutions to support fast scaling future unicorns. He has been an advisor for many years, to many early stage technology businesses, on talent acquisition / retention strategies and the evolution and impact of culture in the modern workplace. He is also a co-founder of Dublin tech Talks, one of Irelands fastest growing tech meet-up communities.

Regional Judge (Republic of Ireland)


Peter Oakes

Founder & CEO, FinTech Ireland

Peter Oakes, Founder of FintechIreland.com & FintechUK.com is recognised by Chambers & Partners in its International Fintech Ranking (2020) as a leading fintech expert.  He is an non-executive director of several successful regulated fintech companies spanning investments, market marking, emoney and payments.  He also advises regtech firms on regulation.

Regional Judge (South)


Rich Vibert

Co-Founder & CEO, Metomic

Biography coming soon

Regional Judge (West)


Joel Blake OBE

CEO, GFA Exchange

Joel is a multi-award-winning businessman and public speaker.

He is the Founder & CEO of award-winning fintech firm www.gfaexchange.com, specialising in portfolio risk management solutions for lenders.
He is also President of the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce, a Non-Executive Director and was awarded an OBE for Services to Business Support.

Regional Judge (Scotland)


Brian Hills

Deputy CEO, Data Lab

Brian has 17 years experience in analytics and software engineering, across domains including Telecoms, IT and Digital. He joins the Data Lab from Skyscanner where he launched and grew the Business Intelligence team. Prior to Skyscanner, Brian held analytics and engineering roles with Sumerian and HP.

Regional Judge (Northern Ireland)


Gerard Loughran

Head of Engineering, Sonrai Analytics

An experienced software engineer, project manager, and marketer with 10+ years working with technology start-ups. He manages engineering, cloud, and product development at Sonraí which delivers Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning within Healthcare.

He was previously the CTO of Tapa Healthcare, a CE marked Class I Medical Device Software Manufacturer.

Regional Judge (Ireland)


Ken O’Neill

Head of Technology, Enterprise Solutions @ AIB

An Innovative Technology Leader with over 20 years’ experience within the Financial Services sector. Playing a pivotal role in the senior leadership team, leading the design, delivery and support of technology solutions for Enterprise functions such as Data , Risk, HR and Finance in addition to developing and owning the strategic direction and initiatives for the technology services team –  QA, DevOps and technology engineering. Extensive experience supporting and driving large cross functional teams to convert the strategic objectives of the Bank into tangible outcomes, through some of its most challenging and transformational times.  With an agile and lean first mind-set and a proven robust delivery framework, has a reputation for delivering and realising real business benefits that provide a ROI at the earliest point in the journey every time.

Regional Judge (London)

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Meri Beckwith

VC @ OMERS Ventures

Meri is an investor with Omers Ventures, a new $750m VC fund backing Europe’s most ambitious founders, where he focuses on digital health and enterprise software. He was previously with seed investor Oxford Capital, where he led investments in Attest, Latent Logic and HelloSelf.

Regional Judge (Ireland)

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Stephen McDougall

Chief Technology Officer at Lila Fuches Limited

Steve has been helping companies to scale their Digital Products for the last decade, working heavily in the startup space helping to scale teams alongside products. He recently set out as a consultant CTO, helping companies across the country to tackle transformation projects and push innovation through R&D.

Industry Judge (Smart Cities)


Hannah Roden 

Leeds City Council

 Data and Innovation Officer

Hannah has worked for Leeds City Council for 15 years and joined the open data team in June 2018.  With a background in customer access Hannah’s previous work involved looking at how technology could improve the customer experience. Hannah supports Leeds City Council’s Smart Leeds programme and on the council’s Innovation Labs, where developers and other stakeholders come together to re-use open data to create new and innovative services.

Regional Judge (Northern Ireland)

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Alexander Yudin 

Sharp Laboratories – Flexible source of specialist skills and expertise for early stage technology companies

Alex is an experienced research and development scientist with a passion for developing technology from the lab into products for the benefit of end users. Currently he is expanding Sharps Laboratories R&D business by forming new partnerships with external technology companies.

Regional Judge (Scotland)


Elaine Doherty

City Fibre

City Manager

Born in Stirling, Elaine now lives in Edinburgh and has more than 25 years’ experience in the telecoms industry, playing a role in delivering some of Scotland’s first internet services for businesses.

Throughout her career, she has held senior leadership roles at Motorola Global Handsets, Logica and most recently served as director of marketing, sales and IT for Rabbie’s Trail Burners, a major Scottish travel operator.

Regional Judge (Republic of Ireland)


Daniel Ryan

Private Banker at Arbuthnot Latham & Co Ltd

Daniel is a Private Banker at Arbuthnot Latham within their London office. For the last 18 years he has worked exclusively with Entrepreneurs to deliver practical advice in order for them to achieve their financial goals and ambitions. Daniel is a Chartered Member of the CISI and PCIAM holder.


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Edwin Frondozo

Co Founder and CEO of Slingshot VoIP

An international keynote speaker, Edwin Frondozo is an award-winning podcaster, technology entrepreneur and top advisor.  Edwin, co-founder and CEO of Slingshot VoIP, a telecommunications network.  He is well known for finding the intersection where people, business, and innovation meet.