2019 conferences: disrupt or be disrupted.
For business leaders and professional advisers.
For many businesses, commercial survival in uncertain markets can only be secured by embracing change.
But what does that mean for the people, processes and projects employed within an organisation? And ultimately what impact will transformation have on profits and performance?
Managing Director, Innovation Birmingham
Managing Director, WM5G
CEO, Updates Media
Whisk.com’s founder and CEO is Nick Holzherr, who first pitched the business idea to Lord Sugar on BBC One’s The Apprentice. Nick made it to the final round of The Apprentice and then secured private investment to build Whisk.com. In 2013, they launched their first product: a smart grocery shopping list tool that helps people around the world to discover, save and enjoy recipes and food. Since launching in June 2012, the company has won many of the UK’s biggest retailers, FMCG brands and digital food publishers as clients. Nick now leads Whisk at Samsung NEXT, Samsung’s software and innovation division.
Before Whisk, Nick founded two successful start-up companies after graduating with a 1st in International Business from Aston University. In 2011 he was named Birmingham Young Professional of the Year for entrepreneurship after being named Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year by Business Insider in 2010. Nick and his businesses have been featured in leading publications including Newsweek, The Guardian, The Telegraph, bbc.co.uk and The Next Web and have won multiple awards including a Cisco BIG award, The Drum’s "One to Watch" honours and The Grocer’s "Top New Talent" award.
Moving to Birmingham in 2008 to develop and implement a strategy that would build on the legacy of the third oldest science park in the UK, David Hardman has successfully transformed Aston Science Park into Innovation Birmingham Campus; the region’s leading location for digital and tech companies. With over 20 years’ experience in knowledge transfer, David has successfully encouraged the creation of appropriate partnerships and infrastructures to promote the development of knowledge-based businesses across a range of sectors including life sciences and, in Birmingham, digital technologies
Robert Franks is Managing Director of West Midlands 5G Limited (WM5G) – the UK’s first region-wide 5G innovation testbed. Over the next three years WM5G will accelerate the deployment of 5G and fibre networks and accelerate the development of new 5G services to benefit citizens, public services and businesses. Prior to leading WM5G, Franks held senior general management and strategy positions at O2, T-Mobile and Orange. At O2, Franks led the company’s new business portfolio where he profitably doubled revenue into the hundreds of millions by launching an scaling new businesses in sectors including WiFi, internet of things, payments, messaging, data analytics, advertising and fintech.
Oli is the CEO of Updates Media, the company behind the well renowned and respected social media channel Birmingham Updates. Birmingham Updates has grown a following of 600,000 and create local interest content on a day-to-day basis, keeping their followers up to date with all things going on in the second city. This has led Updates Media to building a network of social first, independent news publishers around the UK to help brands reach local people at scale.
Oli started his career in finance before leaving the corporate world to set up his first tech start-up, BibShot that led to him founding Zento, which used image recognition to analyse brand usage at major sports events. It was on this journey that he was approached with the CEO role at Updates Media.
Executive Director, Tech Manchester
CEO, The Institute for Turnaround
Patricia Keating heads up Tech Manchester, a non-profit organisation funded by British hosting firm UKFast that supports early-stage technology companies.
Tech Manchester provides tech-focussed businesses with a host of initiatives including intensive educational workshops, a structured mentor programme, PR and comms support and soon a media centre and workspace incubator space at UKFast Campus.
Patricia is also internal lead on diversity and inclusion within UKFast.
Milly has enjoyed a successful career in board level roles within complex organisations, leading large-scale operations and strategic functions, notably stakeholder relations spanning the senior judiciary to regulators and corporates. In consultancy, she has advised organisations at board and executive level and delivered transformational change in national organisations and large service providers.
A seasoned PR and stakeholder management professional, she has worked within and advised membership organisations, focusing on member engagement, strategic partnerships and developing profile.