Scale-Up Awards

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Meet The Judges

Judges are senior business and community figures who have been carefully selected for their expertise and professionalism.

Judges

Touker Suleyman

Judges

Caprice Bourret

Caprice Bourret

Former model and tv personality Caprice is known today for her business acumen having founded ‘By Caprice’ in 2006. The brand has gone onto become hugely successful. Firstly focusing on lingerie and due to huge success, By Caprice Home followed.

2019 sees By Caprice Home launch an exclusive bedding collection with Dunelm which is available now in all major UK Dunelm stores nationwide.

Caprice has won Mumpreneur of the Year for her achievements and now uses her own success and life experiences to empower and inspire through motivational talks she gives to college students, entrepreneurs and CEOs.

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Dr Saima Rana

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Steve Malkin

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Donna O'Toole

Judges

Irene Graham OBE

Irene Graham OBE

Irene is the CEO and a board director of the ScaleUp Institute. A former senior banker at Standard Chartered Bank where she held both European and global managing director roles.Before joining the ScaleUp Institute she was managing director at the British Bankers Association.

She is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University and holds a variety of non-executive director and advisory roles across the creative, business and finance communities.

Judges

Josh Robson

Josh Robson

Josh leads External Affairs at the ScaleUp Institute engaging at a national and local level to help grow and enhance the UK scaleup ecosystem.

He has worked extensively in the private sector including Heading up European Public Affairs for a large German manufacturer and across multiple industry bodies, representing UK businesses at an international level on key EU level and global projects.

He has advised both business and government on legislation for more than ten years, including on the passage of three Energy Acts, the Localism Act and the Digital Economy Act. For the private sector he has also led negotiations on strategic sectoral changes and investment cycles with FTSE 100 companies and with Government.

Judges

Piers Linney

Piers Linney

Piers Linney appeared on the BBC TV series Dragons’ Den from 2013-2015, he is also a Non-Executive Director of the UK government-owned development bank, British Business Bank, which has facilitated over £12 billion of financing for UK small and medium-sized businesses and also operates the StartUp Loan Company and British Patient Capital, a £2,5bn fund launched in 2018.

Judges

Jackie Fast

Jackie Fast

Arriving from Canada in 2007 with the intent to backpack Europe, Jackie Fast ended up staying in London and launching her career. Her first business – Slingshot Sponsorship – was started in her bedroom in 2010 with just a laptop and £2,000. Six years later, she sold it for millions.

Recently Jackie launched her latest disrupter business REBEL Pi, an ice wine brand and starred on the latest season of The Apprentice.

Judges

Matt Gubba

Matt Gubba

Matt Gubba is CEO & founder of BizBritain, a provider of alternative start up finance, and of the largest brokers of UK government funded Start Up Loans.

In 2012, Matt founded BizBritain, an organisation which works closely with the UK government and to date has funded close to 2,000 entrepreneurs to the tune of around £14m.

Judges

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza has been CEO of Funding London since 2009, Maggie has been at the helm of two funds which have been launched: the MMC London Fund and the London Co-Investment Fund.

Funding London has invested £50m through its equity and loan funds into more than 500 small and micro enterprises.

Judges

Steven Smith

Steven Smith

Steven Smith Founded Poundland In December 1990. He Sold His Business For An Astonishing £50 Million In 2002.

Steven was part of BBC1’s prime-time programme “Pound Wars and he recently featured on the ITV show ‘Million Pound Properties’. Steve is now an investor and mentor and was recently also voted Britain’s Best Boss.

Judges

Mark Nutter

Mark Nutter

Mark is a successful Entrepreneur and has founded, acquired and sold several business in the IT and software sector and sold his last business to Capita Plc in 2015.

Having experience in start-ups through to being a CEO at the Isys Group, Mark is now an active investor and business mentor.

Mark is also Chairman and Founder of Emirates HR, a Dubai based HR software business.

Judges

Umerah Akram

Umerah Akram

Umerah is Head of ELITE in the UK and outside Europe. ELITE is London Stock Exchange Group’s initiative for private companies. Umerah led the launch of ELITE UK in 2014 and since then has focused on continuing to grow the ecosystem to support ambitious, private companies prepare and structure for external investment and the next stage of growth.

Umerah joined London Stock Exchange in 2005 as part of the AIM Regulation team responsible for the day to day regulation of the Exchange’s market for small and mid caps. Prior to LSEG, Umerah worked within the Audit & Assurance practice of Deloitte where she qualified as a chartered accountant.

Judges

John Stapleton

John Stapleton

John Stapleton is an entrepreneur, angel investor, business leader and speaker with over 30 years’ experience in pioneering new FMCG categories and establishing and growing successful consumer-led businesses in both the UK and the USA.

In 1987 John co-founded The New Covent Garden Soup Co Ltd., which pioneered and grew the fresh soup category in the UK. On reaching over £20m revenue, Daniels PLC bought New Covent Garden Soup Co in 1998.

Judges

Manjula Lee

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Guy Rigby

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Douglas Hansen-Luke

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