Previous Judges


The UK Business Tech Awards have been judged by industry leaders and experts.
Current Judges

Previous Judges include:

Judges

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

Mo Aldalou is Entrepreneur Engagement Manager (EEM) for the North West at Tech Nation, the Government-backed growth platform for tech companies and leaders. Tech Nation fuels the growth of game-changing founders, leaders and scaling tech companies so they can positively transform societies and economies. A former business and technology journalist with more than 8 years of experience in the UK and Dubai, Mo is passionate about championing and supporting a network of ambitious tech founders and entrepreneurs across the North West region.

Dawn Anderson | MD of Bertey Agency, Lecturer in Digital and Search Marketing, Strategic & Technical SEO Consultant | Bertey |

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.

LinkedIn profile

Rik Barker | CIO - UK and Ireland | Flutter

Rik has been in software development in one form or another for over 20 years. Initially working as a developer, tech lead and development manager on desktop software, before moving to focus on how to develop tech teams and Web technology. Rik joined Web Agency Technophobia in Sheffield as the Head of Production and progressed to Technical Director and then CTO after a restructure and acquisition. Rik joined Sky Betting & Gaming during a period of extreme growth, as the business moved from under Sky ownership into a VC backed private ownership model. Over the next five and a half years, Rik was heavily involved in scaling the business, the teams and the technology, and investing in the culture to support the growth. Initially joining as the Head of Gaming Technology and working in several areas of the business, Rik has spent the last two years as CTO, overseeing the organisation as it transitioned back into group ownership through two acquisitions. In September, Rik moved to take on the role of CIO for UK and Ireland for the combined Flutter group, running technology across Paddy Power, Betfair and Sky Betting & Gaming. In all roles, Rik focuses on building high performing teams and developing people and has always taken a people-first approach to building software.

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.

Gavin Barton | Chief Technology Officer | Booking.com

Gavin is the CTO at Booking.com Transport where he has overall accountability for the technology in the Ground Transport business unit of Booking.com and running Rentalcars.com, the world's largest online car rental service. Gavin started out as a developer in a family business over 25 years ago, since then he has worked and led in technology across Aerospace, Sports Gaming, Telecoms, Transport, Automotive, Travel and Digital sectors. Gavin joined Booking.com Transport in 2015 and has driven the technology transformation of the business to an agile product organisation whilst modernising the technology platforms guided by two key principles “cloud by default” and “you build it, run it & own it”. It isn’t all about agile engineering and transformation for Gavin, he is also an active supporter of grass root talent having shaped and launched talent initiatives such as our apprenticeship programmes and mentoring programmes and is now looking to start community outreach programmes.

Liam Bateman | CTO | Silverchip

CTO And software developer, Liam has over 15years experience in the digital industry, working with some of the UK's leading companies and brands. In 2010, with his friend and business partner, he co-founded Silverchip, an award-winning digital agency in the heart of Manchester, boasting an impressive client list and being renowned for its bespoke software development. Liam is extremely passionate about the importance of developing a ‘real-world curriculum’ within schools and colleges, working alongside students and young people to provide opportunities and routes into the sector.

Martin Bryant | Technology Consultant, Speaker, Writer and Educator

Martin Bryant is a consultant, speaker, writer, and educator in the fields of technology and media. He works to help technology companies craft a narrative around their products and business. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of international technology publication The Next Web, and Community Editor at Tech North, where he shone a light on the stories of startups and entrepreneurs in the North of England.

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.

Graham Cunningham | Head of Digital | NWF Fuels

Graham has a passion for all things digital, and that really comes through in the way he approaches his work. After spending almost a decade at a blue-chip data company in the financial services sector, he moved into the construction industry, where he crafted and implemented a range of digital disruption strategies to shake up a highly traditional marketplace. Driven by a data-oriented approach and a focus on user experience, Graham has a proven track record for developing, tracking, and optimising digital marketing channels and platforms across web, email, social media, marketing automation and CRM. Following on from a successful spell in the construction sector, Graham then switched to fuel distribution and currently heads up the digital programme at NWF Fuels, the UK’s third largest distributor of commercial, domestic and agricultural fuels.

Richard Dawson | DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIST MENTOR AUDITOR AND TRAINER | The Cheshire Digital Marketing Agency

Richard is an experienced Digital Marketing Strategist Mentor Auditor and Trainer. He has nearly 20 years of experience helping clients in a wide range of sectors with a full range of online marketing activities. He is also a lover of Disruptive Technologies. He also write about Politics and Digital Campaigning.

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.

Lawrence Dudley | Co-founder & Director | Parallax

Lawrence co-founded Parallax with three friends back in 2010. Fast forward a decade and the Leeds-based digital transformation agency has gone from strength to strength. Now a team of 30, Parallax has an international portfolio including the likes of Amazon, NASA and British Airways. Lawrence has been instrumental to the company’s growth, with a keen eye on how to best use technology to solve key business problems. Recent projects have included the development of internet-enabled street lighting, electric vehicle charging software and more.

Chris Dymond | Director | Sheffield Digital

Chris has worked in digital technology and communications for the entirety of his 30 year career to date, having been instrumental in the growth of two successful web development firms between 1995 and 2012, and splitting his time more recently between Sheffield Digital, the association for digital industries in Sheffield, which he co-founded in 2016, and his own consultancy Unfolding, which specialises in strategic thinking and capacity building around the digital evolution of places. Chris has been closely involved in the development of Sheffield's digital technology ecosystem over the last 15 years, and has mentored and supported many startup and scale-up companies during that time. He is also a Director of the Sheffield UTC Multi-Academy Trust, which operates two secondary schools in Sheffield with specialisms in computing and creative digital media.

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.

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.

Jamie Hinton | CEO | Razor

Jamie is CEO and Co-Founder of Razor. He is first and foremost a ‘techy’, but one who can translate the complex world of software development into language that everyone else can understand. Jamie has a long history in software engineering and a proven track record in translating business opportunities into living, breathing software that delivers real value. He has architected solutions for blue chip companies and large financial institutions including, Alfa Romeo, Co-Operative Bank, HCCi and Dyson. Jamie now applies his development thinking and extensive passion for technology to fuel the growth of Razor.

Dr David J Hardman MBE | Managing Director | Bruntwood SciTech - Birmingham

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.

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.

Mark Kuhillow | Founder | R.O.EYE

Starting his career on 1994, Marks media roots are firmly planted within the offline direct response world, moving online in 1999. Seeing the opportunity to apply a digital direct response agency model to affiliate and performance marketing campaigns, Mark founded R.O.EYE in 2004. Now seen as the largest specialist in its sector, R.O.EYE counts the likes of HMV, Best Western and Jessops amongst its clients.

Stefan Lewis | Head of eCommerce and Digital Marketing | Represent Clothing

In my early teen years I grew fond of digital design and media. Through school I focused on being a creative, choosing graphic design form college and graduating The University of Salford with a First Class Honors degree in Graphic Design. Throughout this course I worked with my friends on building a fashion brand heavily focused on design and marketed through the rise of facebook and instagram. This project enabled me to grow at a fast rate through self teaching alongside the brand. 5 years later I am head of Commerce and Digital Marketing at that very same brand, Represent Clo. Currently I manage 3 digital advertising and marketers and a ux software team whilst handing digital content, ecom content and working heavily on strategy with the founders, George & Michael Heaton. The brand has grown significantly since we began in 2012. With over 200 retail stores and an 8 figure turnover ecommence platform through Shopify. I’ve sat at the forefront of the digital landscape throughout this time, and have been instrumental in the business growth. We strive for high-end perfection at an affordable price point, whilst maintaining the brand’s unique look and specific market identity.

Shilpa Lindley | Head of Digital | Together

Results-driven, insightful and pragmatic Digital leader with a proven track record of success gained in senior roles in both a start-up environment as well as complex blue-chip organisations. Almost 20 years of Digital experience combined with a sharp commercial focus as a result of a background in trading and yield management. A strong leader, with the ability to inspire people and manage performance across a range of disciplines, encouraging passion, fun and commitment to achieve company goals, whilst always putting the customer at the centre. I specialise in helping organisations to get started or deliver a step change in their Digital capabilities and performance. Typically this will include Digital Strategy and Vision , Educating key stakeholders and leadership, helping to gain buy in to get investment, Organisational Design,, Digital profitability, Delivery of Change (including Transformation) and setting up of ongoing correct MI & routines. Currently working at Together Money, Responsible for all aspects of Digital across the Business from setting the Strategy, Building the team, Digital Marketing/ Trading, Website Development, Social Media, and User Experience and Product Ownership for Digital Transformation. All underpinned with robust Tracking, Insights and Analytics and the latest UX & Design techniques to create the perfect mix of Art & Science.

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 36-years old and has led her national PropTech company, MakeUrMove, through a series of innovative changes by adopting and embracing advances in technology. 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, with only basic computer skills in the beginning she set her mind to understanding software and web development and how it can be utilised to build award winning solutions and deliver outstanding service. In February 2020 she was announced as the Tech Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 in recognition of her work at MakeUrMove and the wider industry. 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 and to have led the growth and development on a digital first basis, something which is paying off as MakeUrMove is able to adapt quickly by offering a leading in-house built software and removing dependency on outside parties, unlike their competitors. Alex is a Member of the ARLA Propertymark (MARLA). She is passionate about giving back and mentors a number of local businesses and students in Manchester with a strong focus on promoting the industry to more women, paving the way for a stronger and more diverse future. Spare time is spent with family, embracing a life-work balance raising three children is a key priority and she enjoys long walks with them and the family dogs at the weekend. She is also studying part time with the Open University for a law degree with just one year to go and is aiming for an ambitious first class honours.

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.

Erin Portsmouth  | Director of Corporate Affairs | Oldham Cares

Erin is a Chartered public relations practitioner who started her career in private sector marketing and communications consultancies, but for the past eleven years has worked in the National Health Service. She is currently Director of Corporate Affairs at NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group where she oversees a portfolio including communications, engagement, public affairs, equality and diversity, organisational development and governance. She has a Masters degree in public relations, and served on the Chartered Institute of Public Relations North West Group Committee as a volunteer for ten years, also holding a three year term as Chair. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees of homelessness charity Emmaus Salford in 2017.

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.

Matt Read | Director of Social Media | GSMA

Matt Read is the Director of Social Media at the GSMA. An award-winning social & content strategist with over 12 years of experience in the industry, Matt's innovative approach to social media marketing and relentless drive to stay ahead of the game has afforded him many opportunities to create forward-thinking strategies for some of the world's leading brands and organisations.

James Toothill | Chief Technology Officer | Machine Compare

James is the CTO at Machine Compare, a leading marketplace for industrial machinery and spare parts. Combining years of hands-on industry knowledge with the very best in technology, Machine Compare is revolutionising the B2B sector thanks to its easy to use platforms that allow organisations to better preview, plan and purchase machinery and spare parts , generating huge cost savings and business efficiencies. James started as an e-commerce developer 16 years ago and will talk for hours about the three main concepts he believes are the secret tools for success in e-commerce development, speed, usability, and on-site SEO

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.