2017 Judges TBC

2016 Judges below

Click on the names below to reveal more about our Judges.

Jean Bourcereau - Ventech

JeanJean is a Managing Partner with Ventech, and has been investing in the Internet, Mobile and Communication Infrastructure sectors since 2000. He brings to the team his expertise in this area as well as knowledge of these industries’ business models and key actors. Jean serves as a board member for Crocus Technology, Ekinops (EKI), Intercloud, Ogury, and Unilend. He was instrumental in many of Ventech’s investments, including Altitude Télécoms (ILD), Arteris (QCOM), Ateme (ATEME), Musiwave (MSFT), Muzicall (RNWK), Wengo (VIV) or Withings (NOK).

Richard Brass - Berenberg


Richard Brass, Head of Private Banking UK, Berenberg, IVUK Founder Richard, Head of Private Banking UK joined Berenberg in June 2011 from Schroders Private Banking. Richard began his career in corporate finance having initially qualified as a chartered accountant at KPMG. He went on to co-found the European office of the transatlantic corporate finance firm, Compass Advisers before spending two years in emerging markets with Montpelier Asset Management. Richard is Director and non-family trustee of The Montpelier Foundation and Founder of Impact Ventures UK, an award winning social enterprise investment fund. He is a Chairman of the Arts Impact Fund and Board Director and member of the Advisory Council of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Richard sits on the Advisory Council of the Institute for Family Business and is a member of the Family Business Steering Committee for the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Richard is recognised by Spears as one of the top 50 UHNW Wealth Managers in Britain and is featured on the Citywealth Private Bankers & Investment Managers Honours List

James Brocket - Calibre One

_W9A6605James is a co-Founder and Managing Partner of Calibre One and manages the firm’s activities in the EMEA region, based in London. With over 20 years of experience, his major focus has been on recruiting at Board and C-level for businesses headquartered in Europe. He works closely with the private equity community and is a trusted advisor to a number of funds. He has also managed a vast number of leadership assignments for US companies across the EMEA region. Outside of work he is an active angel investor in tech companies, a parent to twin boys and an avid sports enthusiast (anything, but especially golf and rugby).

Eileen Burbidge - Passion Capital

eileen-burbidgeEileen Burbidge (@eileentso) is Partner at Passion Capital, the leading early-stage technology venture capital investment firm in Europe, based in London. She brings extensive operational experience to her investment activities gleaned from business and product roles at Yahoo!, Skype, Apple and elsewhere.

Eileen was ranked #18 in the WIRED100 (2012, and again in 2013 with her Passion Capital partners); is one of London’s 1000 Most Influential people according to the Evening Standard newspaper (2014); was named one of the 12 Most Influential People in Tech by  the Telegraph (2014); and is Technology Ambassador for The Mayor of London Boris Johnson. She is also a frequent guest and commentator for media including Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Sky News and the BBC television and radio.

On behalf of Passion, Eileen serves as board director for DueDil, Digital Shadows, Lulu, wireWAX, and other portfolio companies. She holds a BSc Engineering degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

George Coelho - Octo Telematics

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George is Chairman of Octo Telematics Ltd. Previously he was head of venture capital at Good Energies, which he joined from Balderton Capital. Prior to that, he led all of Intel Corporation’s international venture capital investment activities, having been Assistant Treasurer in charge of M&A. George holds a BS from The American University and an MBA from The George Washington University, where he is both a trustee and an adviser to the School of Business.


Kerstin Cooley - MOOR

Kerstin-CooleyKerstin Cooley is CEO of MOOR, a private investment firm founded by Kaj Hed, majority shareholder in Rovio. MOOR is an early-stage investor focused on digital opportunities springing out of the Nordics. Previously, Kerstin held senior positions in SEB’s hedge fund practice, investing in start-up hedge funds and developing alternative investment products for institutional clients. With 20 years’ experience in the financial/IT industry, she started her career at Silicon Valley-based Echelon. In 1998, Kerstin co-founded global integrated communications agency Cognito, and spent eight years at Trema Group, managing M&A transactions and the company’s consulting organisation in the US. Kerstin holds a Master of Science from Umeå School of Business and Economics.

Robert Easton - The Carlyle Group

robert-eastonRobert Easton is a Partner and Senior Advisor at The Carlyle Group, the global alternative asset management company. Across his 16 years at the firm, he has lead investment teams in buyouts and technology, and served on multiple portfolio company boards in many different sectors. Prior to joining Carlyle in 2000, Robert was Vice President of Corporate Development at Invensys plc. He is an independent non-executive director at Imperial Innovations Group, a past Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association, and a founding Director of the Walker Guidelines Monitoring Group for private equity disclosure. Robert invests extensively across Carlyle’s portfolio, but also as an angel investor in start-ups and early stage technology companies. Charitable and education interests include being a Trustee of the British Heart Foundation, and serving on advisory boards at Imperial College’s Business School and the new White City campus development. He has a first class honours degree in Chemistry from Imperial College and a Doctorate in organic synthesis from Oxford University.

Chris Grew - Orrick

chris-grewChris Grew is a partner in the London office of Orrick, a leading US law firm. Orrick has one of the foremost practices for emerging growth technology companies in Silicon Valley as well as elsewhere in the US, Europe and Asia. Chris is based in London and is recognised for his expertise in advising technology and emerging growth companies in venture capital transactions, IPOs and cross-border M&A. Chris is one of the foremost authorities on European venture capital transactions and has completed more than 50 venture investments in the last year alone.

Manish Madhvani - GP Bullhound


Manish Madhvani is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of GP Bullhound. Manish has executed M&A and capital raising transactions since 1997, involving some of the best known global internet, software and media companies, including: Spotify, King.com, The Telegraph, WPP, Concentrix, Fjord, eCommera, Handbag, Hearst Corporation, Accenture, Newscorp and Experian. Manish who was selected as one of the top 40 dealmakers globally by M&A Advisor, started his career at Barclays Capital’s Private Equity team.

He has advised the Treasury on Entrepreneurship and graduated from Southampton University with an LLB in Law / MA in Marketing. Manish is currently Chairman of the Investor Allstars and Media Momentum judging panels and is a regular speaker / panellist at conferences including Digital Hollywood, The Global E-commerce Summit, TiE, Internet World, Red Herring, BVCA and EVCA.

Christian Nagel - Earlybird

Christian Nagel photographed by Kevin AboschChristian has more than 20 years of entrepreneurial and investment experience. He was Chairman of the Board of Tipp24 AG (Prime Standard Frankfurt Exchange: TIM) and Interhyp AG (Prime Standard Frankfurt Exchange: IYP), which returned more than 50x the original Earlybird investment. Up till the trade sale to SMSC (NASDAQ: SMSC) he also served on the board of BridgeCo AG. He is currently on the boards of Auctionata (Berlin), Bonagora (Berlin), Cashboard (Berlin), LiquidM (San Francisco/Berlin), Number26 (Berlin), Smava (Berlin), Ubitricity (Berlin) and Versus (Berlin).

Prior to founding Earlybird in 1997, Christian, together with a group of investors, acquired various companies from the Treuhandanstalt (the former East-German state holding) and gained operational experience. He was a shareholder and an Executive Director of HNP Präzisionsteile GmbH & Co. KG, SMB Industrieholding GmbH, DH Industrieholding Hohenthurm GmbH and a number of other subsidiary companies of these holding companies.

Previously, Christian was a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. Inc. focusing on restructuring, strategy and M & A projects within various industries. He holds a Diplom-Wirtschaftsingenieur degree (Industrial Engineering, MSc equivalent) from the Technical University of Hamburg, specializing in process engineering and a PhD degree in management from the University of St. Gallen.

Praseeda Nair - GrowthBusiness.co.uk

Praseeda NairPraseeda is the editor of GrowthBusiness.co.uk, the publication behind the High Potential Business Awards. As a global nomad, Praseeda’s journalism career spans Singapore, Dubai and London, where she has written across national broadsheets, lifestyle publications, trade magazines, and business titles before working with the UN Development Programme on industry benchmark reports in the Middle East. In her current role, Praseeda frequently profiles inspirational business owners, visionary serial entrepreneurs, and experts in growth finance.

Hans Otterling - Northzone

Hans Cropped 3Hans Otterling is General Partner of Northzone since 2006. Prior to joining Northzone, Mr Otterling was active as an entrepreneur in Europe and USA. He founded StreamServe Inc. in 1997, (backed by Apax London) grew to become one of the largest privately held software companies in Europe before it was sold to OpenText (Nasdaq). Mr. Otterling is also the founder of Waymaker which revolutionized the field of Investor Relations in Scandinavia sold to Cision (NasdaqOMX).

Hans holds an MBA from Stockholm School of Economics and University of Massachusetts (Fulbright scholar). You are most likely to find him in London, Stockholm or Berlin.

Northzone has raised 8 funds to date, and has some €900 million under management. Portfolio includes companies like Spotify, Trustpilot, MarketInvoice, Klarna and iZettle. The fund has a team of 10 investment professionals and offices in London, Stockholm, New York and Oslo.

John Rosenberg - TCV

John_Rosenberg_ 1393

John joined TCV in 2000 and leads the firm’s European efforts. His primary investment focus is in the software, Internet, and financial technology sectors. John currently serves on the boards of Believe Digital, Dough, Elevate, NewVoiceMedia and WorldRemit. He was also actively involved in TCV’s investments in Automated Trading Desk, Capella Education, FinancialForce.com, FXAll, Interactive Brokers, kgb (118-118), Orbitz, Spotify, Thinkorswim, and Travelport, among others.

Prior to joining TCV, John was a Business Development Manager at WeddingChannel.com where he focused on strategic development and financial reporting activities. John started his career as an Analyst in the technology investment banking group at Robertson Stephens & Company in San Francisco. John also previously served on the board of Rocketship Education, a non-profit public school system for low-income elementary students.

John received a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University.

Rory Stirling - BGF Ventures


Rory Stirling is Partner and Co-founder of BGF Ventures, the UK’s largest fund dedicated to backing early stage UK technology companies. Launched in 2015, BGF Ventures’ current investments include NewVoiceMedia, ROLI, Gousto and PeopleGraph. Before launching BGF Ventures, Rory was previously a partner at MMC Ventures where he invested in software companies including Masabi and Reevoo, marketplace companies including Appear Here and Love Home Swap, and consumer internet companies like Pact and Tyres on the Drive. Before throwing himself into venture capital investing Rory had his own angel-backed start-up and before that, was an investment banker at Greenhill & Co. Yoga and fitness-loving Rory grew up in an entrepreneurial household, since his dad ran his own business in the music industry. He has a MA in Economics from Edinburgh University. He was born in London where he still lives with his wife Ashleigh.


Shani Zindel - Livingbridge

Shani-Zindel-2012Shani is a founding partner of Livingbridge, a leading lower mid-market investor based in the U.K. Livingbridge focuses on buyout and growth equity transactions across four sectors – Consumer Markets, Business Services, Healthcare & Education and TMT. Livingbridge has invested in more than 100 fast growth businesses since 1995 taking both majority and minority positions in portfolio companies. Shani joined Livingbridge in 1997 and is CIO. She has led investments in over 30 companies in a wide range of sectors and currently sits on several portfolio company boards including an international business travel services company and a specialist loan finance business. Shani is additionally a Trustee of Street League, a charity which specializes in changing the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds through the power of football. Shani qualified as a Chartered Accountant in South Africa and is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (USA).


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