2016 Speakers

  • Speakers

    In 2018, our speakers consisted of prominent entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts who met with more than 2000 guests at our 16 events in Oxford, Cambridge and London. We were particularly thrilled to invite one of our founders; Reid Hoffman back to where it all began.

    An accomplished entrepreneur, executive, and investor, Reid Hoffman has played an integral role in building many of today’s leading consumer technology businesses. Alongside Reid and another of our founders; Sherry Coutu CBE, joined Megan Smith, CEO of Shift7 and Ruzwana Bashir, CEO of Peek to share their thoughts on the cross section between technology and humanity at King’s College.

    In Cambridge, we welcomed an all-female panel to discuss debate trust, tech and transformation; Irina Kofman from Google AI, Nicole Quinn from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Susan Alzner from Shift7 and Sarah Hunter from X.

    And at our Good Growth Summit, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE led a lively discussion on raising and scaling between Karen Appleton Page, founder turned investor, Kara Goldin, CEO Hint, Ashley Sumner, Founder Hint and Alexis de Raadt from Merian Ventures.

    In 2019, we kicked off our speaker series during London Tech week with Julie Hanna, Executive Board Chair at Kiva, in conversation with Sherry. Their focus was on breaking down the barriers to scale, leveraging partnership and embedding purpose into the DNA of your business.

  • Sherry Coutu

    Founder and Chair, SVC2UK

    Sherry Coutu CBE, is a former CEO and angel investor who serves on the boards of companies, charities and universities. She chairs Founders4Schools and is a non-executive member of Cambridge University (Finance Board), Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge University Press and a NED of Zoopla and the London Stock Exchange Group. She also serves on the advisory board of LinkedIn.com.

    Philanthropically, she supports the Prince’s Trust, the Crick Institute and serves on the Harvard Business School European Advisory Council. Sherry has an MBA from Harvard, an MSc (with distinction) from the London School of Economics, and a BA (Hons with distinction) from the University of British Columbia, Canada. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to entrepreneurship in the New Year’s Honours List 2013.

  • Dr Vishal Gulati

    Venture Partner, Draper Esprit Plc

    Vishal is a qualified physician and chairman of the Digital Health Forum. Over the last decade he has championed deals across areas including diagnostics, devices & biotech. He is currently on the boards of Horizon Discovery PLC and EcoEos. His investments include Napo Pharmaceuticals, Glenmark, Renovo, Phagenesis. He has also held board positions at Psynova Neurotech, Bioscale and Enigma Diagnostics. Previously, Vishal worked at Atlas Venture, The Wellcome Trust and Radiant Capital.

  • Sarah Kerruish

    Chief Strategy and Growth Officer, Antidote

    Sarah Kerruish is the Chief Strategy and Growth Officer at Antidote in London, where she helps patients all around the world get access to promising new treatments through clinical trials.  Antidote’s mission is to accelerate the breakthroughs of new medicines by bridging the gap between medical research and the people who need them. Recent highlights include collaborating with the Cancer Moonshot Team at the White House.

    Sarah began her 20-year career in Silicon Valley at a remarkable startup called General Magic, which changed life as we know it. Her previous roles include co-founder and CEO of Spellbound Inc. and co-founder and CMO of tech startup, MePlease Inc.

  • Dr Sophie Bostock

    Sleep Evangelist, Big Health

    Sophie Bostock, PhD, is Sleep Evangelist at Big Health. Big Health is a digital medicine company which harnesses the power of technology to deliver evidence-based solutions to better mental health. Big Health’s first product is the award-winning digital sleep improvement programme, Sleepio. The company works with large employers and healthcare providers in the US and UK to promote better sleep and wellbeing.

    Sophie has a PhD in Health Psychology from UCL, specialising in mental wellbeing. Sophie has featured as a sleep expert in the media including for the BBC, The Times, Glamour magazine, and TEDxNHS.

  • Jackie Hunter

    CEO, Benevolent Bio

    Jackie is Board Director of Benevolent AI and CEO of Benevolent Bio (formerly Stratified Medical), a company at the cutting edge of bioscience and artificial intelligence, creating the next generation of medicines through a combination of machine learning and drug discovery expertise. Benevolent AI’s mission is to accelerate global scientific discovery by turning the world’s highly fragmented scientific information into new insight and usable knowledge that ultimately benefits society.

    In 2010 Jackie received a CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours list for Services to the Pharmaceutical Industry and was awarded the 2010 Women of Achievement in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) in the category SET Discovery, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In 2012 she was elected a fellow of the British Pharmacological Society and in 2013 received a Personal Chair in Life Sciences Innovation from St Georges Hospital Medical School.

    Jackie has run a global R&D organisation and been CEO of an SME. She previously served as a non-exec director of an AIM listed biotechnology company as well as serving on many national and international boards and research panels. She is currently a member of the Governing Board of the University of Hertfordshire and was previously on the Governing Board of Royal Holloway and Bedford College, University of London

  • Megan Smith

    United States Chief Technology Officer (CTO), The Office of Science and Technology Policy

    Megan Smith is the  the United States Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In this role, she serves as an Assistant to the President. As U.S. CTO, Smith focuses on how technology policy, data and innovation can advance the future of our nation. Megan Smith is an award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist. She most recently served as a Vice President at Google, first leading New Business Development and later serving as a VP in the leadership team at Google[x], where she co-created the company’s “SolveForX” innovation community project as well as its “WomenTechmakers” tech-diversity initiative and worked on a range of other projects. Megan has served on the boards of MIT, MIT Media Lab, MIT Technology Review, and Vital Voices

  • Corinna Zarek

    Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer, The White House

    Cori Zarek is the Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer at the White House where she leads the team’s work to build a more digital, open, and collaborative government. Cori also coordinates U.S. involvement with the global Open Government Partnership, a 70-country platform driving greater transparency and accountability around the world. Previously, she was an attorney at the U.S. National Archives, working on open government and freedom of information policy. Before joining the government, Cori worked for The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press where she assisted journalists with legal issues, and she also practiced law with a Washington, D.C. law firm.

  • Elizabeth Clarke

    CEO and Co founder , Dream Agility

    Elizabeth is the CEO and co-founder of ad tech specialist Dream Agility. The winner of the 2014 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards (Best Start-up), she is also an international speaker and bestselling author. Formerly part of a technology transfer company with a portfolio of 400 patents that floated for £50 million, she had a tangential break working as a flirting expert for KPMG and Barclays. Dream Agility saw her return to her technology roots in order to exploit the opportunity wrought by Google Shopping and the advent of dynamic feed and bidding optimisation. Today, Dream Agility’s patent-pending platform is acclaimed as the Rolls Royce of shopping technologies, offering access across all Google and Bing territories, Facebook, Amazon, eBay and Affiliate Window.

  • Blaise Aguera y Arcas

    Machine Learning, Google

    Blaise leads a team at Google focusing on Machine Intelligence for mobile devices—including both basic research and new products. His group works extensively with deep neural nets for machine perception, distributed learning, and agents, as well as collaborating with academic institutions on connectomics research. Until 2014 he was a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, where he worked in a variety of roles, from inventor to strategist, and led teams with strengths in inter­ac­tion design, pro­to­typ­ing, computer vision and machine vision, augmented reality, wearable com­put­ing and graphics. Blaise has given TED talks on Sead­ragon and Pho­to­synth (2007, 2012) and Bing Maps (2010). In 2008, he was awarded MIT’s prestigious TR35 (“35 under 35”).

  • Francoise Brougher

    Business Lead, Square

    Francoise Brougher is Square’s Business Lead and oversees the company’s growth operations including revenue products, international expansion, customer support, and partnerships. She was most recently the Vice President of SMB Global Sales and Operations at Google, where she led global teams in charge of acquiring, growing, and retaining small advertisers. Prior to that, she led the business operations group leading a team of strategy and operations experts who worked cross-functionally to help Google innovate at scale by designing business processes and solving strategic business problems. Before joining Google, Brougher served as Vice President of Business Strategy at Charles Schwab & Co. for five years, and from 1998–2000 as the Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Gem Pearl Corporation. She also was a management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton in Europe and the US, and early in her career worked in manufacturing for L’Oreal in Japan. Brougher earned a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1994, and a Masters in Engineering from Institut Catholique d’Arts et Metiers in France. She joined the board of Sodexo S.A., the global food services and facility management company, in January 2012.

  • Obi Felten

    Director, Google X

    Obi works at X, the team behind self-driving cars, self-flying delivery vehicles, energy kites and internet from balloons. As Director of X Foundry, she is responsible for getting early stage X projects from the lab into the real world – or ensuring they fail fast. Previously, she was Director of Consumer Marketing for Google in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Obi is a startup mentor and angel investor, with a focus on women entrepreneurs. She set up Campus London, a Google-funded space for tech entrepreneurs, and is on the board of Shift, a social enterprise designing products to address social problems like youth obesity and depression. She is also on the board of tech startup Picasso Labs.

  • Laura Weidman Powers

    Co Founder and CEO , CODE2040

    Laura Weidman Powers is the co-founder and CEO of CODE2040, a nonprofit that creates pathways to success in the innovation economy for Blacks and Latino/as. She brings to this work a background in entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, youth development, and technology. Laura has started two organizations in the education space, one nonprofit arts education organization in West Philadelphia that is currently celebrating its 10th year, and one for-profit tutoring company that gave rise to a book. Laura is a 2016 New America California Fellow. She was a 2013 Echoing Green Fellow and a 2013 Stanford Social Innovation Fellow. The Root named her one of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans in 2013 and Goldman Sachs named her one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2013. In 2015, San Francisco Magazine saluted her as one of  37 Soldiers of Social Change, and Fortune named her one of 10 Female Executives on the Rise. Laura currently sits on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.Laura and CODE2040 are based in San Francisco.

  • Brian Forde

    Director of Digital Currency, MIT Media Lab

    Brian Forde has spent more than a decade at the nexus of technology, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He is currently the Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab where he leads efforts to mainstream digital currencies like Bitcoin through research, and incubation of high-impact applications of the emerging technology. Most recently he was the Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation at the White House where he spearheaded efforts to leverage emerging technologies to address the President’s most critical national priorities. Prior to his work at the White House, Brian founded one of the largest phone companies in Nicaragua after serving as a business and technology volunteer in the Peace Corps. In recognition of his work, Brian was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and one of the ten most influential people in bitcoin and blockchain.

  • Crystal Hutter

    Co Founder and Adviser, Edmodo

    Crystal Hutter is an accomplished leader, entrepreneur, advisor, and impact investor based in Silicon Valley. She is a co-founder of Edmodo, the number one K-12 social learning network in the world, where she served as COO and CEO until the beginning of 2015. In addition to her ongoing advisory work with Edmodo, Crystal supports several companies in the education technology and social media spaces. Prior to Edmodo, Crystal made investments in microfinance, mobile banking, and education ventures for Omidyar Network. Previously, she was a senior engineer at Oracle Corporation where she worked in Oracle’s government, education, and healthcare software groups. Crystal has an MBA from Columbia Business School.
  • David Hornik

    General Partner, August Capital

    For the last 20 years, David has worked closely with technology companies to help them grow and prosper. David joined August Capital in 2000 to invest in a broad range of software companies. Since that time, he has invested in dozens of companies across the software spectrum, including a number of enterprise software and SaaS, consumer services, and payments related businesses. Along with colleagues at August Capital, David started the first venture capital blog, VentureBlog, and the first venture capital podcast, VentureCast. He is the creator and executive producer of the The Lobby and Lobby: Enterprise, August Capital’s annual gatherings of the thought leaders across digital media and enterprise/SaaS software. David also serves as the Tech Curator for the TED Conference in Vancouver and is the co-creator and host of TEDxStanford. He received Deloitte’s 2013 Venture Capitalist of the Year award and has been honored by Forbes Magazine as a member of its Midas List of top Venture Capitalists.

  • Nevin Taylor

    Air Force Initial/Interim Chief Data Officer

    Nevin serves on the Air Staff as the Air Force’s Deputy Chief Technology Officer and initial and interim Chief Data Officer developing a strategic framework to operationalize data. As acting Air Force CDO he Co-chairs the newly established Data Science Interagency Working Group, under the Executive Office of the President’s National Science and Technology Council.  In addition, he is leading the adoption of data science best practices through the Data Science Community of Practice, the Data Cabinet.  A military reservist, Colonel Taylor has served five tours in the Pentagon, to include the Sr. Military Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary and Senior IMA to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Integration and Chief of Staff. In his civilian capacity, he is the CEO of Digital Forensics Consortium, a non-profit organization focused upon supporting our country’s national defense, economic competitiveness and strategic viability.

  • Liv Garfield

    Chief Executive, Severn Trent

    Liv took up the reins as Chief Executive of Severn Trent in April 2014.  Severn Trent is the Midlands based Water and Waste Company responsible for providing clean water and taking away dirty water to around 10m people in the Midlands area of the UK.  Prior to this Liv worked at British Telecom for 12 years. Her last role was at Chief Executive of Openreach, the engineering division of BT. In her Openreach role, Liv was responsible for the delivery of one of the fastest and most ambitious deployments of fibre broadband in the world.

  • Steve Flavell

    Co CEO, LoopUp

    Steve is co-CEO of LoopUp, which recently floated on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (LOOP). Based in London, Steve oversees global commercial activities and is accountable for setting and delivering the Group’s financial plan. Prior to LoopUp, Steve was EVP and main board director at GoIndustry, an online industrial auctioneering platform. As part of its founding team, Steve was involved in GoIndustry’s organic growth and several acquisitions. Previously, Steve spent five years in strategy consulting with Monitor Company and Mars & Co, and two years with Mobil Oil. Steve has an MBA from Stanford and MEng from St. John’s College, Cambridge.

  • Professor Rose Luckin

    Professor of Learner-Centred Design, UCL Knowledge Lab

    Rose Luckin is Professor of Learner Centred Design at the UCL Knowledge Lab, focusing on Artificial Intelligence and Educational Technology.

    She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, two edited volumes and one research monograph. In 2012 she worked with Nesta to produce the influential ‘Decoding Learning’ report. She has been a member of numerous conference committees, has advised countries across the globe and research councils within the United Kingdom. Until 2011 she was a member of the board of BECTA (the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency), the body charged with implementing the UK government’s eLearning strategy. A Governor at St Paul’s School in London, Rose has previously served on the governing bodies of state primary and secondary schools. Her research applies participatory methods to the development and evaluation of Technology for learning. This work is interdisciplinary and encompasses education, psychology, artificial intelligence and HCI. Rose investigates the relationship between people, their context, the concepts they are learning, and the resources at their disposal. Rose holds a 1st class BA in Computing and Artificial Intelligence and a PhD in Cognitive Science.