Judges


The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the judging is a rigorous two-stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to show on the evening and give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

Mo Aldalou | Entrepreneur Engagement Manager for North West | Tech Nation

Mo Aldalou is the Entrepreneur Engagement Manager for the North West at Tech Nation, the UK's national network for ambitious digital tech entrepreneurs. Mo is passionate about empowering ambitious digital tech founders to grow faster through content, events, connections and growth programmes. Prior to joining Tech Nation, he spent seven years as a business and technology journalist both in Dubai and the UK, including at Insider Media and BusinessCloud magazine, set up by UKFast co-founder and CEO Lawrence Jones.

Dawn Anderson | Lecturer in Digital and Search Marketer, Researcher & International SEO Consultant | Move it Marketing Agency

Past roles at Carat and Latitude, working on search marketing campaigns for major brands. International Search Marketing Conference speaker on SEO and Digital Marketing Strategy. International SEO Consultant to brands in-house teams covering ecommerce, sports, travel, food and nutrition, legal, finance and insurance. A decade in SEO. Researcher into search engine crawling and crawl efficiency.

Laura Bartlett | Founder | House of CoCo

Laura Bartlett is the award winning founding editor and publisher of global magazine House of Coco, sold all over the world as well as in store at Harrods and Selfridges. Having built this business in her tweeties with zero investment from the ground up, Laura is a leading voice for young female entrepreneurs and a larger than life example of failure breeding strength. Laura is a #girlboss with a passion for speaking, inspiring and motivating others to be the best possible versions of themselves. Laura is passionate about encouraging all readers, but especially millennials to live their best lives, to take risks to follow their dreams and be in control of living on their terms.

Tom Cheesewright | Applied Futurist | Book of the Future

Tom Cheesewright is the founder of applied futurism practice, Book of the Future and creator of the Applied Futurist's Toolkit, a suite of strategy tools for agile organisations. Through consulting, speaking and media work Tom helps people to see, share and respond to a coherent vision of tomorrow. Clients range from charities and government bodies to large enterprises and global brands. Tom appears frequently in the media, with over a thousand appearances across TV, radio, print and digital providing insight and analysis of the latest technology news and future trends.

David Crawford | FOUNDER | THE DIGITAL STRATEGY UNIT

David Crawford has worked for the last 25 years in marketing and digital agencies of all shapes and sizes. He was most recently Managing Director of Branded3, one of the UK’s leading search agencies, and has also held senior positions at McCann, BJL and twentysix. He has worked directly with clients such as American Airlines, UPS and Bentley as well as help a couple of tech start-ups develop and deliver their digital & marketing strategies. He now works with creative, digital and tech agencies as a Non-Exec Director, Board Advisor and Coach.

Amy De-Balsi | Founder | Herd

Amy De-Balsi is Head of Innovation and Partnership for Bruntwood SciTech and is responsible for building a strong tech community within Platform. Amy has a long track record in championing entrepreneurial tech talent in the Leeds City Region and brings a wide network of tech business, professional services providers, investors and regional universities. Amy is the founder of the Herd which runs Leeds Digital Job Fair that brings together 50 tech companies all looking to recruit. Prior to founding Herd, Amy worked in both the private and public sector. She spent five years at Yorkshire Forward overseeing a portfolio of projects to develop the region’s digital sector and also held a number of senior positions at Sky Betting and Gaming. In her time as a consultant, Amy’s clients included the NHS Digital Delivery Centre, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University.

Richard Gregory | Digital Director & Non Exec | NED

Richard is chairman of tech companies Ruler Analytics and Ash.tv, non-exec director of Fluid Digital and co-founder of SAScon - a digital marketing conference. Heralding from “Silicon Ramsbottom” he is an ardent supporter of the digital and tech industry in the North of England. Previously, Richard was the managing director of digital agency Latitude, director of Tech North and Manchester Digital council member. With 20 years of digital expertise, Richard now advises agencies and start-ups on marketing and growth strategies.

Marcus Hadfield | Chief Strategy Officer | Apadmi

With over twenty years’ experience in digital and brand marketing, he’s delivered award-winning campaigns across every discipline and most sectors. In 2017, he jumped into the mobile world, and since then has helped clients get more out of their technology offering. He now splits his time between leading on strategy for Apadmi’s clients and working with Apadmi Ventures to identify and support the highly scalable tech start-ups they work with. Clients have included Expedia, Argos, Costa, United Utilities, American Airlines, Cross-country Trains, Which?, Homebase, Co-op, Aldi, World Vision and more.

David Hardman MBE |

David’s career over the last twenty-five years has been in knowledge transfer; working at the interface between applied research and commercial application and exploitation. His expertise and interests are directed at creating appropriate partnerships and infrastructures to promote the development and success of cross sectorial knowledge-based businesses. He started out as a PhD microbiologist, with research interests in the application of microbes in what is now described as ‘clean technology’. In 1992 co-founded and led a start-up biotech venture and this experience developed into a wider interest in the translation of science into good and applicable technologies. In 1998 David moved to the Babraham Institute, Cambridge to establish and lead a wholly owned trading subsidiary, Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd. focused on the development of the commercial aspects of the Babraham Research Campus. In 2008 he moved to Birmingham developing and implementing a new strategy to build on the legacy of Aston Science Park. The result is the Innovation Birmingham Campus; an urban focal point promoting digital innovation and adoption across all sectors. In 2018 the Campus became part of Bruntwood SciTech to create a focal point for a thriving innovation district in Birmingham. David was awarded an MBE for ‘contributions to science’ in 2009.

Scott Henderson | Chief Executive | ABGI-UK

Scott has had a colourful career across a range of industries in both large and small companies with exit experience from two transactions. He has a BSc in Anatomy & Biochemistry, an MBA and a post-graduate diploma in Marketing. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Scott has held senior roles in Marketing, Sales, Operations and Finance and recently led the sale of newly banded ABGI-UK to Visiativ, a French listed business. ABGI is one of the world’s leading tax incentive and innovation management advisors. With a 30+ year heritage and 200 experts & advisers we manage £600m of global tax incentives annually for an enviable client list of some of the world's best-known brands. Our aim is to help clients accelerate and fund their innovations. We operate on the entire value chain of innovation in 13 countries through our multidisciplinary international teams. Our core market is companies who are already claiming tax incentives but looking to optimise their claim, experience a better service or pay a competitive price – or all of the above of course.

Abraham Joseph | Founder & Editorial Director | IOT Insights

Abraham is Founder and Editorial Director of IOT Insights. He has over 20 years’ experience in telecommunications and IT and has managed major projects for investors, regulators, telecoms and cable TV operators, equipment vendors, independent software vendors and enterprises. He founded IOT Insights in 2014 as a spin-off from Device Management Forum, which he founded in 2006. Prior to founding Device Management Forum, he was Director of Consulting at Gartner and Consulting Director at Ovum. Previously he worked for over ten years in a variety of strategy, business development, marketing and product management roles at Alcatel and Nortel, and as IT manager at a major UK health district. He has written for and been featured in a range of publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Telegraph, Total Telecom and Mobile Europe. He is a frequent chairman, speaker and moderator at international conferences on a broad range of topics. He was producer and chairman of IoT Summit at CeBIT in 2017 and 2016. He has an MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School and a BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Polytechnic of the South Bank (South Bank University London).

Brendan Keegan | Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing | MMU

Brendan has taught digital marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School for ten years. With a short stint in agency land in digital comms and web development, his teaching and research focuses on digital marketing strategy in the services industry. Recently awarded a PhD that focused on the role of analytics in social media marketing campaigns, Brendan uses a combination of industry experience with a wide network of Manchester agencies to further understand digital which feeds into his teaching.

Davina Lines | Managing Director | Ecommerce Club & Mixing Digital

Davina Lines is Managing Director of Mixing Digital and the Ecommerce Club. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a big black book of digital contacts to ensure Mixing Digital’s event management services are of the highest standard. Davina co-founded Netimperative in 1999 and became Managing Director in 2002, stewarding the brand into new product launches and creating one of the most successful events programmes in the digital marketing industry. In the mid 90s Davina cut her digital teeth on New Media Age (now Econsultancy), forming part of the founding team and was responsible for the commercial development of the magazine and its early events from launch in May 1995 to 1999. In recent years Davina launched an ecommerce peer-to-peer community, the Ecommerce Club, which runs regular events in London and Manchester on topics relevant to the retail community.

Neil McKay | CEO | Endlessgain

For more than 15 years, Neil has been helping businesses here in the UK, Europe and USA grow their online profits. He started his career at publisher Media Ventures Group (MVG), helping to build and sell Global Media GmbH to private equity firm The Carlyle Group before leading the UK acquisition of Bigmouthmedia (now part of DigitasLBi). He later led Lakestar Media to success before it was acquired by McCann Worldgroup in 2012. Neil's latest venture is Endless Gain – a Conversion Optimisation Agency which launched in January 2016.

Paul Morris | DIGITAL MARKETING DIRECTOR | MARSHALLS PLC

Paul has 20 years’ experience leading Marketing & Digital both Agency & Brand side. Paul was previously Head of Marketing at Tesco Bank, global Digital Director at PZ Cussons (brands including St Tropez, Imperial Leather & Original Source), led Digital marketing at the Co-op Group (Food > Funeralcare) and has through the line experience of working both client and agency side with brands including Wickes, Laterooms, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Cash Generator, Stagecoach and Silverstone.

Alexandra Morris | Managing Director | MakeUrMove

Alexandra is 34-years old and has seen her national PropTech company, MakeUrMove, grow by 20 percent since becoming Managing Director in mid-2017. She started as the first employee of MakeUrMove in 2008, initially as customer service advisor before progressing to Operations Director and finally, Managing Director in June 2017. Alex joined the board of MakeUrMove aged just 24 and has risen through the ranks to shape the future direction of the technology platform. Alex’s experience as a woman in business, and in particular in the property and tech industries, shape her ethos today. She’s proud to have grown a business organically, something that is paying off as MakeUrMove continues to grow while competitors struggle in today’s challenging housing market. Alex is a Member of the ARLA Propertymark (MARLA). She also sits on the board of Techcelerate. Alex is also studying part-time for a law degree with the Open University in addition to her role at MakeUrMove

Rob Mukherjee | Director | EveryCloud Security

A firm believer in a people-led future fuelled by new technologies (and not vice versa), Rob is Director of Transformation at EveryCloud Security - a leading cloud security and digital workplace consultancy with clients ranging from global financial services firms to premier league football clubs. Rob also leads EveryCloud’s award-winning partnership with Workplace by Facebook, making work better for everyone by turning companies into truly connected communities through the power of employee social networks. A regular public speaker on Diversity & Inclusion and The Future Of Work, Rob has won numerous awards for his work on inclusion and is currently listed in the EMpower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives and the HERoes Top 50 Male Champions Of Women In Business. A Trustee on the board of GreaterSport, a charity passionate about changing lives through sport and physical activity – Rob is a lifelong Everton fan and is old enough to have been at Wembley the last time they lifted a trophy!

Tim Ng | COO | Now Healthcare Group

Tim joined the business as chief technology officer, just after it was founded in 2013 and was quickly promoted to the role of COO. He has a strong background in operations, succession planning and growing a business from an operational level, as well as first-class technical acumen. Tim’s role at Now Healthcare Group sees him leading the management team to develop and deliver company strategy. He and his team also built the NHG platform and operations from inception and drove the penetration of NHG services into the UK market Prior to his role at Now Healthcare Group Tim worked as an operations director for a leading financial organisation. Since he arrived at Now Healthcare Group, Tim has been pivotal in attracting financial investment to developing the Now Healthcare Group app products and penetrating new markets to grow the business.

Manoj Ranaweera | Founder & CEO | Techcelerate Ventures

Manoj has been setting up, failing, growing and exiting tech product companies since 2004. In 2013, GP Bullhound acquired Northern Tech Awards from Manoj. In 2015, Accusoft, Inc acquired edocr.com from Manoj. When tech startups weren't mainstream, Manoj took it upon himself to build the first phase of Manchester's tech ecosystem from 2006 to 2013. Today, Manoj is working with founding teams of tech companies until their exits by finding ways to accelerate their growth including raising investment and M&A.

Jo York | Co-Founder and CCO | Ricochet Technologies

Jo York is a tech entrepreneur and UX designer who's been working in the digital sector since 1998. She co-founded digital agency Ki Media, in 2007, and in 2013 Jo and her business partner Kev Price were accepted onto the Ignite Accelerator and founded the multi-award winning ReframedTV, bringing together live video and tweets. The ReframedTV video player was used by companies such as BBC, ICO and Trinity Mirror, raised half a million pounds from Angels and institutional investors, and achieved Twitter partner status. Jo's latest project is Ricochet is a technology startup that automates B2B sales prospecting to help SMEs spend less time researching leads and more time closing them. As well as being a co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Ricochet, Jo is also a trustee of the Newcastle Tech Trust, where she uses all she’s learned to support, advise and champion other tech startups and their founders.

Jim Young | Head of Creative Technology | Sparq

With event experience going back 20 years, Jim’s covered it all – from event planning right through to AV. But it’s digital events when Jim comes into his own. Culturally aware with a keen eye for detail, Jim has developed cutting-edge interactive systems for some of the world’s best-known brands, travelling all over the globe in the process. As Head of Creative Technology, it’s Jim’s job to ensure Sparq’s finger is on the pulse when it comes to innovation and development of our suite of digital services. His passion for usability and intuitive design coupled with his love of typography and graphic design, means he’s completely at home creating incredible interactive platforms that reimagine user experience.