International leaders and tech entrepreneurs the draw at Manchester Tech Forum – November 1st

19 October 2016 - 10:07am

The University of Manchester and the Manchester Tech Trust in association with Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK) is staging the Manchester Tech Forum on Tuesday 1st November.

In the last ten years the business landscape has changed enormously as companies large and small have had to react to massive changes in consumer and business technology.  

Among these, the all-pervasive adoption of smartphones and the accompanying rise of social media and mobile web have forced companies to innovate more quickly. 

The forum will look at what major corporations are doing to address these challenges and how this represents a huge opportunity for smaller tech companies.

The forum is free of charge and open to any Greater Manchester company, organisation or entrepreneur developing a tech-based business. 

Attendance is free of charge, however advanced registration is requested - click here for details.

The conference’s panel of international entrepreneurs and tech experts includes Dido Harding, the CEO of TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC which employs a large workforce in Great Manchester, and the former CEO of BT Openreach Liv Garfield, now the CEO of Severn Trent PLC.

Also on the panel representing start-ups in the tech sector is Elizabeth Clark (CEO & Co Founder, Dream Agility) and Steve Flavell co-CEO of LoopUp, which recently floated on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (LOOP) and has recently been valued at £40m.

As an example of how the biggest companies are looking to technology to drive change, the conference will also hear from Coca-Cola’s Anthony Newstead (Global Group Director, Emerging Technologies & Strategic Innovation).

The panellists will offer insights into their companies, their journey as an entrepreneurs and leaders, and their view on trends both in Silicon Valley and the UK.

 This event is being organised by the University of Manchester and the Manchester Tech Trust and runs from 14:00 -17:00 in the Roscoe Building, Brunswick Street, Manchester M13 9PY.

Peter Lusty, CEO of Manchester Tech Trust, says: “With a combination of large corporates and up and coming smaller companies, it promises to be a stimulating afternoon offering some valuable insights and discussion. We are encouraging as many businesses as possible in Manchester to participate.”

The Speakers: 

Elizabeth Clarke

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.

The Ramsbottom-based company is a Google Premier Partner and won both EMEA Google Partners New Business Award and the Northern eCommerce Award for Innovation in 2016. Dream Agility has just been invited to participate in a pioneering cross-faculty Knowledge Transfer Partnership on machine learning with the Alliance Manchester Business School and School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester.

Steve Flavell

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.

Liv Garfield

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.  Liv, 41, is originally from Harrogate in Yorkshire, and is married, with two boys. She is also a life-long Everton fan. Liv is a British Business Ambassador for The Department for International Trade.

Dido Harding

Dido is Chief Executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC.  Prior to her appointment Dido was Sainsbury's convenience director, having been appointed to Sainsbury's operating board in March 2008. Dido joined Sainsbury's from Tesco PLC where she held a variety of senior roles both in the UK and international businesses.

Prior to this, she worked at Kingfisher plc and Thomas Cook Limited where she gained considerable retail experience 

She was appointed as a non-executive director on The Court of The Bank of England in July 2014.  She has also served on the boards of The British Land Company PLC and Cheltenham Racecourse.  In August 2014 Dido was offered a Peerage and now sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative Peer.

Anthony Newstead

Anthony is Global Group Director Emerging Technologies & Strategic Innovation, The Coca-Cola Company. 

A career that began in music took a detour into programming, migrated into investment banking via reinsurance and then progressed into leading large scale multi-year Business Transformation initiatives within Coca-Cola Bottling around Western and Eastern Europe, including vending operations in the Far East. 

After taking up an engagement leading business development in a UK financial startup, a return to Coca-Cola Europe beckoned, leading a Pan-European iTunes/Coca-Cola music program and developing data visualization and crowd-sourcing ideation solutions. 

Now based in Atlanta - and after continuing to drive a number of business transformation initiatives including the implementation of an enterprise-wide social collaboration platform and crowd-sourced ideation - the current focus is on leading an IT Innovation Pipeline powered by the creation and co-founding of “The Bridge”, a Software Technology Incubator launched in Tel Aviv, Israel with an innovative commercialization program for early stage startups.