THURSDAY 30 NOVEMBER 2023
The most powerful question in business is "what's next?".
Step into the future of business innovation at Disruptors, the Northern technology conference designed for forward-thinking businesses and SMEs ready to embrace digital transformation.In today's ever-evolving world, technology has become the driving force behind disruptive change. It's reshaping industries, redefining markets, and revolutionising the way we do business. At Disruptors, we recognise that this rapid pace of innovation is only gaining momentum, and we invite you to be at the forefront of this change.To truly be a disruptor in today's competitive landscape, businesses must be agile, adaptable, and ambitious.It's no longer enough to simply stay ahead of the curve; you must be able to anticipate it.Disruptors empowers you to do just that by providing you with the knowledge, tools, and strategies to embrace what lies ahead and unlock the hidden potential that already exists within your organisation.Hear the insights and experiences from our technology experts and industry thought leaders, as they reveal lessons from driving digital transformation programmes and share what they are focusing on now.Disruptors goes beyond the theoretical and delves into the practical aspects of successful implementation. We understand that true transformation requires a holistic approach, and our sessions will provide you with actionable strategies, best practices, and real-world case studies that you can immediately apply within your own organisation.Transformation is not limited to a single department or level of the organisation. It requires a cultural shift and a collective effort. That's why Disruptors emphasises the importance of cultivating the right mindset and fostering innovation throughout your entire organisation. Our sessions will help you to create an environment where disruption thrives and innovation flourishes.Whether you're already a disruptor blazing a trail of innovation or you aspire to be one, Disruptors is your gateway to unlocking the full potential of your business.Register now and join us at Disruptors on November 30.
- THURSDAY 30 NOVEMBER 23- NEXUS, LEEDS
Registration & Networking9:00 - 9:30
Check-in and network with other conference attendees.
Welcome & Keynote9:30 - 10:00
A short welcome by TheBusinessDesk.com.Keynote speech from Vivek Ganotra, Chief Executive, THG Ingenuity
Disrupting Technology10:00 - 10:45📍 Lecture Theatre
Bringing in new or updated technology at scale can be complicated and challenging.But successful implementation can be transformative for an organisation, introducing efficiencies, adding momentum and multiplying opportunities.Our experts will share how they have led on transformation projects, what they learned, and how they are planning to use emerging technologies to strengthen their companies' performances.
Founder Stories - Lessons Learned, Reflections and Adaptations10:00 - 10:45📍 Conference Theatre
Join us for an inspiring session as successful entrepreneurs share their personal journeys, highlighting their biggest mistakes and the invaluable lessons they learned along the way.Discover what these leaders would do differently if they had the chance to start over, armed with hindsight and experience, and gain insight into their perspective on launching a business in the ever-evolving technological landscape of today.Hear their strategies, innovative approaches, and expert advice on seizing opportunities, overcoming challenges, and thriving in the dynamic world of SMEs and start-ups.
Coffee Break/Networking10:45 - 11:15
Disrupting the customer experience11:15 - 12:00📍 Lecture Theatre
Discover how disruptive technologies enable companies to challenge traditional norms, create innovative business models, and capture new opportunities.Uncover strategies to leverage data-driven insights, personalised experiences, and seamless digital interfaces to deliver value to customers and stay ahead in today's dynamic marketplace.
Scaling your innovation11:15 - 12:00📍 Conference Theatre
Unlock the secrets to scaling your innovative ideas and taking your start-up to new heights.Hear how to leverage the power of the ecosystem to fuel growth, build strategic partnerships, and access the necessary resources for scaling.Gain invaluable insights into overcoming the unique hurdles that arise during this critical phase, including attracting and retaining first customers, hiring and managing the first employees, and establishing a solid foundation for sustainable expansion.Whether you're an early-stage start-up or looking to propel your business to the next level, this session offers practical strategies and proven tactics to accelerate your growth trajectory.
Lunch12:00 - 12:45
Maximising your growth potential12:45 - 13:30📍 Lecture Theatre
From an idea to a scalable business, we will bring to life areas of focus to maximise growth and value potential.
The Growth Journey: People13:30 - 14:05📍 Lecture Theatre
This session will provide valuable insights on how to harness the potential of your workforce as key drivers of successful technological change.We will discuss the importance of your workforce and teams in supporting technological change. Learn about effective strategies and change management techniques to ensure a smooth transition and increase employee buy-in.Explore the benefits of fostering a collaborative environment that encourages employees to contribute their perspectives and ideas.Get insights into how to develop and strengthen your team by addressing the changing skills needs.
The Growth Journey: Technology14:05 - 14:40📍 Lecture Theatre
Almost every day there is a new AI tool that is offering more possibilities on how our working day and working world can and will be transformed.How should businesses embrace emerging and fast-evolving technologies, and what is the risk of waiting for the technology to mature?How are businesses already embracing the power of AI to disrupt their markets and get ahead of their competition?
Sherin Mathew, Founder & CEO, AI Tech UK
Sherin Mathew is an AI Leader and Ethicist, Founder, and Serial Entrepreneur, with a deep-rooted passion for AI Strategy and Intellectual Privacy. He is a Tech4good champion and a pioneer in the space of Ethics and Sustainability Management for Digital Transformation.As a former IBM AI Lead at Global Business Services UK, Sherin’s specialism is transforming businesses into cognitive enterprises.Sherin is the CEO of AI Tech UK, delivering the National AI Strategy, and also the Founder of SmartEthics.net leading the development of an Open AI Ethics Compliance Platform with global partners and institutes. He is also the Chief AI advisor for ambitious SMEs and DeepTech Startups looking to scale with cutting-edge solutions.Sherin's mission is to "Disrupt the AI Disruption", and is an untiring advocate for the creative, innovative, and ethical elements of intelligent technologies. As an accomplished Public Speaker, AI Ethicist, and Evangelist, Sherin promotes thought-provoking ideas, shares his technical knowledge, and advises on best practices.
Pete Hanlon, CTO, Moneypenny
Since joining Moneypenny back in 2019, Pete has dedicated his time to taking the business’s existing technology solutions and software development to a whole new level by leveraging new tech, such as AI and deep learning.With many years of experience as CTO in his back pocket, Pete
saw through the reinvention of digital culture and technology at MoneySuperMarket and created a new website platform for over 5000 dealerships across the UK during his time at Auto Trader.Under Pete’s leadership, Moneypenny has developed innovative products to improve and scale the services provided to clients. It’s this passion
for technology that resulted in him being accepted into Forbes Technology Council - an invitation-only community for world-class CTOs.Above all, Pete’s vision of using technology to enhance human interaction continues to grow and shape Moneypenny’s service offering now and over the years to come in order to provide more personalisation in real time, predicting clients wants and needs with ever-increasing accuracy.
Vivek Ganotra, Chief Executive, THG Ingenuity
Vivek Ganotra joined THG as CEO of Ingenuity in 2022, bringing significant experience in technology, operations, and digital commerce. He previously held positions as Chief Customer Officer for Salesforce UK and Chief Information & Marketing Officer at British American Tobacco.Vivek has a proven track record of driving innovation, delivering outstanding growth, and exceptional leadership across international businesses.
Saile Villegas, Chief Executive, Seeai
Tech Entrepreneur, Co-founder of Seeai, an AI-focused software development company. Saile has been recently recognised as one of the Women in Innovation Award Winners by Innovate UK that showcases high-potential female business leaders with game-changing innovations and ambitious plans that inspire others. She founded Seeai during her Masters degree at the University of Leeds and now the company has won multiple awards including Rising Stars in Tech Nation and Northern Star Tech Awards.
Gareth Humphreys, Group CEO, Solution Performance Group
At Solution Performance Group, Gareth works with clients to understand their technology and operational challenges, identifying the "unknowns" along the way.The reality is that if you don't know about something, you can't address it, so we like to use tried and trusted tools and techniques to provide end to end visibility of the challenges and opportunities as they present themselves.Throughout his career his been fortunate enough to work for a number of large-scale organisations on some major transformational projects, most recently here at SPG:* Helping a major UK outsourcer to identify and remediate their technology architecture challenges.
* Working with a high-street bank to isolate the source of a problem that seemed unsolvable.
* Consulting for a high-performing Financial Services organisation to define their technology strategy.
* Building a software platform that provides crucial insight across a variety of sectors.
* Advising a global, prestigious airline on their Enterprise Information Management strategy.
* Working across the justice and blue-light sectors to deliver transformational digital services.
Mike Stewart, Intelligent Automation Practice Lead, Arvato CRM Solutions
Mike Stewart has 30 years public sector experience and has worked within Intelligent Automation for the past 10 years. Mike created Arvato CRM Solutions automation centre of excellence and has been responsible for designing and delivering intelligent automation solutions for some of the worlds most respected brands, as well as innovative public sector clients.He works with a number of clients, including Fremantle, BMG, Hertfordshire County Council and Neath Port Talbot Council, to deliver a vision for digital transformation and automation which directly aligns with their strategic objectives and the outcomes they want to deliver for those that matter most.Recently, Mike's been working with Wales Air Ambulance Charity as their digital transformation partner to help them raise funds more effectively and reduce their environmental impact, by transforming and future-proofing their systems. This has saved them time, reduced costs by up to 95%, and allowed their employees to focus on more value-added tasks.
Dr Keith Tsui, CEO and co-founder, Medwise AI
Dr Keith Tsui, CEO and co-founder, is a medical doctor and graduated with an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from University of Cambridge. As a management consultant Keith has delivered £20M annual productivity saving to a chain of NHS hospitals. Prior to founding Medwise AI, he was previously a clinical product manager at Huma, closing the first life science deal with Johnson and Johnson and worked on a partnership with Tencent AI.
Steve Crow, Business development director, Clarion
Over 30 years Steve has developed a detailed understanding of the economic landscape in terms of structure and change dynamic. He leverages this to provide insights and opportunities for clients in all aspects of strategy and BD particularly those with UK/international growth strategies. He has a particular interest in technology market disruption and its adoption.
Prof Jo-Anne Murray, Pro-vice chancellor, digital transformation, University of Leeds
Professor Jo-Anne Murray is Pro-Vice Chancellor: Digital Transformation at the University of Leeds where she is responsible for leading the overall digital transformation strategy. This includes enhancing ways of working, supporting an excellent student experience and improving student success, as well as enabling innovation, collaboration and knowledge exchange in research.Prior to joining Leeds, Jo-Anne was a Managing Director at Higher Ed Partners (HEP) where she worked with senior executive-level colleagues within Universities across the UK to define and deliverstrategic vision for digital transformation in education.Jo-Anne was also Assistant Vice Principal for Digital Education, at the University of Glasgow andbefore that held senior roles at the University of Edinburgh leading learning technology teams and online learning. She is Professor of Educational Innovation and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has led the development of many novel approaches to learning, teaching and assessment, including virtual worlds, mobile apps and the use of robots in education.Jo-Anne has also led and participated in a range of research activities in education and the biological sciences and has published over 130 peer reviewed articles in these areas.
Paul Roberts, Sales Development Manager, Universal Robots
Paul is the UK Business Development Manager for Universal Robots. He has work for UR since 2019 following other commercial roles within Manufacturing and Aerospace markets.Paul helps companies of all sizes to start or improve their automation journey and improve productivity. Working mainly in Manufacturing and logistics but also in areas such as media and advertising.Universal Robots disrupted the automation world by starting the collaborative robot market in 2005. Since then it has gone on to supply over 75,000 robots worldwide and continues to lead the market it created, with the goal of creating a world where people work with robots and not like robots.
David McKee, Founder, Slingshot Simulations
Dr David McKee is a globally recognised technology leader, managing partner at Counterpoint Technologies, and fractional CTO. Until recently he was founder, CEO and CTO of University of Leeds spin-out Slingshot Simulations having raised over £5m in venture capital funding. David is a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow and has been recognised by Business Insider and Technation. He leads international standardisation work on digital twins with the Digital Twin Consortium and is guest lecturer at the universities of Oxford and Leeds.David works with a portfolio of businesses, entrepreneurs, and researchers across the UK and North America helping bring deep technical ideas to market. He specifically focuses on digital solutions and jointly leads international standardisation efforts on digital twins.
Ian McAleese, International HR leader, Snowflake
Ian is a seasoned international HR leader who is well versed working with hyper growth businesses. Having worked across several industry sectors he specializes in international high growth markets. Ian previously served as HR Director at Pace PLC where the business grew from circa £200m to £2.5bn in 4 years. He also worked at US-based start-up companies including Splunk and Cylance.Currently, Ian is the international HR leader for Snowflake, the Data Cloud, working to develop international markets across Europe, Asia, Japan, and India. Snowflake became a public company raising $3.4 billion, one of the largest software IPOs on its first day of trading. With a headcount of circa 7,000 worldwide, Snowflake has become a global force to help mobilize the world’s data in less than a decade, and is now one of the largest cloud computing, data and technology companies in the world.Organizations use Snowflake's Data Cloud to unite siloed data, discover, and securely share data, and execute diverse analytic workloads across multiple clouds. Learn more at snowflake.com
Nicola Frampton, Operations Director, Frasers Group
Andy Haigh, Partner, Translink CF
Andy has been providing deal making and corporate finance advice to privately owned businesses for over 15 years, both within the M&A and Private Equity team of one of the large consulting firms and now at Translink Corporate Finance.He has substantial experience in advising shareholders and management teams on many areas of strategy including value creation, corporate finance, acquisitions and exit/succession strategies.
Henry Coates, Associate Director - Intellectual Property Solutions, Aon
Henry Coates is an Associate Director within Aon's IP Solutions EMEA Risk & Insurance team with 8 years of experience in the insurance sector. Henry works to expand Aon's IP risk & insurance offering across EMEA. Focused on leading client conversations and developing the European insurance market for a wide range of industries.
Anna Sutton, Co-Founder & CEO, The Data Shed
Anna’s career started with 15 years’ Marketing experience in agencies and businesses across a variety of sectors where she came up against a variety of data and insight challenges. For Anna, data & analysis is the beginning and end of every business decision, stating that “Gut Feel” has no real place in organisations, but getting the information needed to get by without it, is often difficult.The Data Shed was set up by Anna and her business partner to help other organisations optimise the data they hold. Integrating, cleaning and enhancing for trust and insight; then pushing out to appropriate analysis tools and supporting business change programs to give the decision makers access to data in a meaningful way.Over the last 10 years, The Data Shed have worked with clients of all sizes and shapes to tackle all sorts of data problems and in the last 12 months they have pushed their own SaaS product live and onboarded their first customers. Data Democratisation is at the heart of everything The Data Shed do!
Nathan Berry, Head of Collaboration and Health Tech Lead, Nexus
Nathan is responsible for leading high level collaborations between Nexus member businesses, senior academics at the University of Leeds and key stakeholders in the region’s thriving health tech ecosystem. He also advises on regional, national and international opportunities for our community.Having previously worked in industry, Nathan has extensive experience in health-related businesses and across the University of Leeds, including within the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Research and Innovation service.
Professor Mark Mon Williams, Chair in Cognitive Psychology, University of Leeds
Mark holds a Chair in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Leeds, is Professor of Psychology at the Bradford Institute of Health Research, Professor of Vision Science at The Norwegian Centre for Vision, and a Turing Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute (the UK’s National data analytics and AI Centre).
Bobby Thandi, Founder & CEO, XR Games
Bobby Thandi is the Founder and CEO of XR Games - an award-winning VR game development studio. Bobby secures contracts and develops key relationships with global partners such as Sony Pictures and Meta, as XR Games rapidly scales off the back of the hit VR game 'Zombieland: Headshot Fever'.
Sam Young, Operations Director, NG Bailey IT Services
Sam Young is operations director of NG Bailey IT Services and part of the business’s Senior Leadership Team. With a focus on transforming connectivity to build better businesses and empower people, NG Bailey IT Services is trusted by international companies including Coca Cola, Fujitsu, Tesco and HSBC as well as organisations including the NHS and armed forces, because of its unrivalled technical expertise and unmatched end-to-end capabilities.With over a decade’s experience within the IT services sector Sam has witnessed the growth of digitalisation and directly helped businesses to build resilience, transparency and efficiencies by embracing the latest innovations.
Ben Ward, Business Development Manager, MIDAS
Ben Ward is a Business Development Manager and has been part of the team at MIDAS since 2018, specialising in supporting businesses grow within the creative, digital and tech industries in Greater Manchester.Ben has eight years' experience in the tech sector and is well embedded into the ecosystem. Through is previous roles in recruitment and now in business development he has built a deep understanding of the local talent market, cross-industry innovation and is well versed in creating connections for business leaders to collaborate.
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