The Pitch team are excited to announce the 2016 judging panel!
Name: Tod Perry
Title: Head of SME Direct Sales
Tod is the Head of SME Direct Sales at E.ON. In his previous role he managed Meter Operations in the UK, responsible for installing smart meters across the country. Prior to that, he helped set up E.ON’s award-winning global corporate venture capital activity based in Germany, leading customer-facing investments. These investments formed the backbone of E.ON UK’s digital and energy efficiency toolkits for our residential and SME customers.
Before moving to Europe, he was an analyst for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where he provided guidance to the U.S. Department of Energy (and similar organizations in other countries) on innovation and commercialisation strategies. He worked at Harvard Business School and received his Ph.D. in Engineering from Harvard University. While there, he also co-founded two companies.
Name: Emma-Jane Packe
Company: Prelude Group
Title: Managing Director
Emma-Jane Packe is Director at Prelude Group, whose mission is to help make Britain the most enterprising nation in the world. Prelude is home to The Supper Club, the membership club exclusively for fast-growth entrepreneurs and The Directors Club, offering peer learning and strategic development for directors.
Emma-Jane is passionate about enterprise and after consulting on a start up at post product stage was inspired to get more involved with entrepreneurial businesses. She now supports fast growth business owners and their teams and enjoys meeting some of the country's most inspiring minds on a daily basis.
Emma-Jane is an authority in developing successful teams. Her insight comes from working with and talking to hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders about their experiences as well as growing her own teams across Europe.
She is a regular blogger, a columnist for Business Zone and is known for being an engaging and lively compere.
Name: Duane Jackson
Duane Jackson is a London- and Brighton-based technology entrepreneur. He founded KashFlow Accounting Software, one of the first software-as-a-service businesses in the UK, in 2005.
He grew it to 40 staff and 20,000 customers without taking any significant external funding and eventually exited in 2013, seling to IRIS Software Group for £20m.
He’s since set up supdate.com, a tool for businesses to track and report their progress to external shareholders.
Having been a care-leaver and ex-offender himself, he is passionate about promoting entrepreneurship to those from a similar background. He’s a Patron of The Prince’s Trust, the charity that helped him start in business.
Throughout his journey, Duane was mentored by Lord Young of Graffham. Lord Young wrote the foreword to Duane’s autobiography, Four Thousand Days, which is available on Amazon.
Name: Luke Lang
Title: Co-founder and CMO
Luke Lang is co-founder of Crowdcube, the world’s first, largest and most active investment crowdfunding platform, which enables everyday people to invest in businesses alongside angel investors, venture capital firms and the UK Government. In 2015, its investor community grew to +230,000 who collectively invested £120m through the website, with 20 businesses successfully raising between £1m and £4m. Camden Town Brewery (sold to AB InBev) and E-Car Club (sold to Europcar) marked the first exits for crowdfunding investors.
Named on the Fresh Business Thinking Power 100, which ranks British influencers, movers and shakers, Luke is one of the world’s leading experts on crowdfunding and alternative finance. He is a prominent industry thought leader, public speaker and has contributed to numerous books on business finance. His visionary approach to business finance has helped transformed the fortunes of hundreds of businesses, created thousands of jobs and enable thousands of armchair investors.
Name: James Walker
Title: Founder and CEO
The Pitch Champion 2015, James is the founder and CEO of Resolver.co.uk, a free online complaints service for consumers. Founded in 2012, since launch Resolver has helped 800,000 consumers to resolve £109 million of issues for free without any marketing spend. Resolver has become the 4th largest consumer rights website in the UK and will shortly become the 3rd. James is also a columnist for Mirror, INews, the Express, as well as a number of regional publications, and provides commentary on consumer rights in the media. Resolver was the winner of the Pitch 2015 and this has helped the business grow from strength to strength.
Prior to starting Resolver, James ran innovation for Kingfisher Plc where he was responsible for incubating a number of new product and service ideas. James has also been in charge of Innovation for EzGov Europe (now CACI), the largest transactional service provider to Government and Belgacom in the UK.