Michael Acton Smith, OBE. Founder, CEO and creative director Mind Candy
Chairman: Phil Male.
The UK technology sector is alive and most definitely thriving, with significant government initiatives to stimulate investment and growth both in the public and private sectors. Companies born and bred in the UK, large and small, are standing on a global stage providing innovative products and services in a world where always-on and the network dominate. We have selected individuals who are the key policy makers, those driving investment in the small and the large, and - most of all - the innovators and entrepreneurs who are, and always will be, at the heart of the UK technology sector.
Phil Male has been instrumental in the development of internet and telecoms services in the UK for more than 20 years. After graduating from Imperial he spent his early career with the UK news agency The Press Association, developing new electronic news collection and distribution systems including teletext. He joined internet pioneer Demon as CTO in 1997, floating that business as telecommunications operator THUS in 1999. In 2008 he joined the executive at C&W. Today Phil is CEO of hosting company UK2 Group and serves as a non-executive director for several technology companies, working closely with Private Equity investors.
Ian Spence. Founder and CEO Megabuyte
Ian Spence is the CEO and founder of Megabuyte, the independent corporate and market intelligence provider. The company initially started as a blog but today Megabuyte is the go-to source of market intelligence for the IT, software and telecoms industry in the UK. Spence originally worked as a reporter for Investors Chronicle before going on to working in the City as a technology analyst. For nearly 20 years, Spence has been involved in researching and directing companies in the technology sector. Until very recently, Spence was the only independent analyst to have been voted TechMARK Analyst of the Year twice.
Colin Tyler. Head of Technology Sector OC&C
Colin Tyler heads up the technology team at OC&C, a management consultancy business bringing strategic advice to large organisations. To some degree, the firm has been involved with just about every major technology deal in Europe over the last five years. The company’s technology team works on deals both at the established end of the technology market and at the cutting edge; evaluating, advising investors and steering companies in the right direction in order to maximise their opportunity. Tyler has advised major investors on many of the most prominent transactions in the sector that have occurred in recent time.
Mike Bracken, CBE. Executive director of digital Cabinet Office
Mike Bracken is the executive director of digital at the Cabinet Office. In 2011, shortly after joining, Bracken established the Government Digital Service, a Cabinet Office team tasked with transforming government digital services and creating a performance framework for all online Government services. Bracken ensures that the Government offers world-class digital products across all of its activities, and its strategy ‘Digital by Default’ is specifically focussed on delivering a high quality experience between people and government through .gov.uk. The Government Digital Service is the architect and engine room of government digital service provision and Bracken is the power behind the machine.
Joanna Shields, OBE. CEO Tech City UK
Joanna Shields is the CEO of Tech City UK, an initiative to stimulate a cluster of technology companies in and around the Old Street area of London. On current estimations, it is thought that there may be as many as 5,000 tech companies in the area. Google opened their Google Campus there where they provide workspace for new start-ups. Throughout her career, Shields has been involved with some of the world’s leading technology companies including Real Networks, Google, AOL and Bebo. Prior to her current role, she was the managing director of Facebook in Europe. Shields is also the UK’s business ambassador for digital industries and sits on Boris Johnson’s London Smart Board.
Andrew Hornigold. Partner and head of Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Services Sector Pinsent Masons.
Experienced legal adviser Andrew Hornigold is a partner at the international law firm Pinsent Masons, where he is head of client relationships, advanced manufacturing and technology services. He has acted for some of the largest privately owned and quoted technology companies in the UK and also handles venture capital fundraising for institutions, vendors and management teams. He also sits on the London Stock Exchange Technology Advisory Group. In the UK today, Hornigold is probably the most active and informed technology lawyer, working across all areas of technology, for large and small companies alike.
Neil Rimer. Co-founder Index Ventures
Neil Rimer is a partner and co-founder of Index Ventures, a highly successful and prolific technology investment fund operating in the UK, US and mainland Europe. Rimer helped to raise the firm’s first fund of $17 million in 1996 and is a driving force behind what is arguably Europe’s leading venture capital firm, having invested in Betfair, LoveFilm, Dropbox, Skype, and more recently Flipboard and Cloud.com.
Clive Selley. CEO BT Technology, Service and Operations
Clive Selley was a BT sponsored student while at university in Bristol, and is now the CEO of BT Technology, Service and Operations. Selly states that his career path was influenced by "a belief that telecoms, and technology more generally, would be a fast-changing and growing sector with influence over the way business operates, people interact, are entertained and educated". As the dominant telecommunications provider in the UK, BT is one of the most significant influencers of the ‘art-of-the-possible’ in the UK today. Selley has teams working across the globe identifying new technologies and how they can be leveraged into the core BT business. The BT Research and Innovation division at Adastral Park, Suffolk, which has innovation scouting teams and global development centres worldwide, also forms part of BT Technology, Service and Operations for which Selley is responsible.
Prof Sir Tim O'Shea. Vice-chancellor and principal University of Edinburgh and chair Jisc
Educated at Royal Liberty School Essex and the Universities of Sussex and Leeds, Prof Sir Tim O’Shea was first introduced to computer science by one of his Maths teachers, Bill Broderick, who secured a new Elliot 903 computer for his pupils’ use. O’Shea says, “I became fascinated by machine learning and started writing computer programs that found their way through mazes”. He is the current vice-chancellor and principal of the University of Edinburgh, and the chair of Jisc, a non-departmental public body which supports the use of information and communications technology in education and research. O’Shea has a clear passion for education technology research; he worked as a researcher in the Computer Science Department of the University of Texas, the Bionics Research Lab at the University of Edinburgh and the Systems Concepts Lab, Xerox PARC, California. In 1978 he founded the Computers and Learning Research Group at the Open University and in 1986 was promoted to a personal chair in Information Technology and Education. O’Shea was knighted in the 2008 honours list.
Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, CBE. Co-founder of lastminute.com
Baroness Lane-Fox is the co-founder of the online travel and gift business, lastminute.com, which she sold in 2005 for £577 million. In 2009, she was appointed the UK Government’s Digital Champion to lead a two year programme aimed at making the British public more computer-literate. This role was later expanded to form the framework for all government digital initiatives and led to the formation of the Government Digital Service. Lane-Fox launched Go ON UK in 2012, a charity aimed at giving every individual in the UK technology skills and the confidence to benefit from the new digital services. In March 2013, Lane-Fox joined the House of Lords as a cross bencher, becoming its youngest female member.
Michael Acton Smith, OBE. Founder, CEO and creative director Mind Candy
Michael Acton Smith is the founder, CEO and creative director of Mind Candy, a children’s’ entertainment business and the owners of the BAFTA award-winning game Moshi Monsters, which now has in excess of 75 million users around the world. Acton Smith began his career launching online retailer Firebox.com in his early twenties with a rent-free attic and a £1000 loan from his mother. Today, Acton Smith is considered to be one of the UK’s most successful gaming entrepreneurs and a prolific supporter of new technology initiatives in and around London. In 2013, the World Economic Forum identified Acton Smith as a Technology Pioneer.
Joep van Beurden. CEO CSR plc
Joep van Beurden is the CEO of the Cambridge-based company CSR plc, a designer and developer of silicon and software for the consumer electronics market. The company is a pioneer of Bluetooth technology and was constructed in 1999 to create the Bluetooth chips in mobile phones. Van Beurden has over a decade’s experience in managing technology companies, both in the UK and in the US. He also serves as chairman of the Global Semiconductor Alliance, the trade organisation that co-ordinates semiconductor industry activities around the world and influences our technological future.
Lesley Cowley, OBE. CEO Nominet
Lesley Cowley is the CEO of Nominet, the .uk internet domain name registry, having joined the company in 1999. In this role, she is responsible for leading Nominet and for the development of its implementation strategy. Nominet advises on all aspects of internet policy but more importantly, it sets policy and operates the infrastructure that makes .uk operate across every connected business in the UK. Nominet has grown to have a turnover of around £30 million with a staff unit of around 150. In 2011, Cowley was made an Officer of the British Empire for services to the internet and e-commerce.
David Stokes. CEO IBM UK and Ireland
David Stokes in the CEO of IBM UK and Ireland, one of the world’s leading technology companies. The firm is pioneering the push towards ‘smarter’ cities, by working with cities around the world to drive sustainable economic growth and deliver better services to their citizens. Thanks to the numerous government contracts that must be delivered over the next few years in order to improve the technology infrastructure of the UK, Stokes continues to be one of the most influential people in the deployment and mass adoption of technology across the country.
Lewis Brindley. Managing director Yogscast Ltd
30-year-old Lewis Brindley is the managing director and co-founder of Yogscast Ltd, a small company based in Bristol that comments on the online gaming industry. Lewis was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford, before studying chemistry at the University of Manchester after failing to get into Cambridge. Founded in 2008, the Yogscast channel now has one of the largest followings on YouTube and is currently one of the most influential voices in online gaming in the world. In 2012, the Yogcast’s primary channel became the first Youtube channel in the UK to reach one billion views.
Denise McDonagh. CBE. Chief technology officer Home Office
Whitehall IT reformer Denise McDonagh is the chief technology officer at the Home Office and a pioneer of the Government’s G-Cloud initiative. Having worked in IT for over thirty years, including positions at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department of Health, in 2012 Denise received a CBE for services to IT. McDonagh has been praised for her use of IT to cut costs; in 2009, one of McDonagh’s Home Office programmes saved £100 million. She now heads up technology at one of the Government’s most intensive users of IT.
Prof Sadie Creese. Professor of cyber security University of Oxford
Sadie Creese is a professor of cyber security at Oxford University and a leading specialist in cyber security research both in academia, government and industry. She is director of Oxford’s Cyber Security Centre, director of the Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity at the Oxford Martin School and a co-director of the Institute for the Future of Computing at the Oxford Martin School. Creese has held leadership roles in excess of £2.5 million worth of funded research, since joining the world of academia in 2007, with sponsors including the Government, the European Commission and Industry. Creese has also served as director of strategic programmes for QinetiQ’s Trusted Information Management Division.
Prof Dame Wendy Hall, DBE. Professor of computer science University of Southampton
Dame Wendy Hall is a professor of computer science at the University of Southampton; she was the first female professor of engineering at the University. Hall is also one of the first computer scientists to embark on serious research into multi and hyper media technologies and is a leading light in the development of web services. When asked what her biggest challenge has been, Hall says “the easy answer to that is being a woman, of course” but she recognises that pursuing an out of the ordinary career has also been difficult, I was “out of the mainstream on both counts”. Hall was a founding director of the Web Science Research Initiative along with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and was president of the British Computer Society.
Matt Brittin. Vice-president Google UK
Matt Brittin is the vice-president of Google UK & Ireland, the biggest market for Google outside of the US. He was formerly managing director of the company, where he was responsible for all of their operations. Brittin has held previous roles as director of strategy at Trinity Mirror and a consultant at the McKinsey Group. He is recognised as being a leading figure in global technology development and in 2010 Wired magazine voted him the Most Influential Person in the Digital World. Brittin was also a member of the Great Britain rowing team in the 1988 Olympics.
Bernadette Wightman. MD emerging markets partner organisation Cisco UK and Ireland
Bernadette Wightman is the managing director of the Partner Organisation of Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking. Wightman is responsible for almost all of the networking technology Cisco ships throughout the world and how that inter-operates with thousands of other systems and services. Wightman joined Cisco in 1999 and since this time, has held a number of influential positions within the organisation. Named as the tenth most influential woman in UK IT by Computer Weekly, Wightman is also the executive sponsor for Cisco’s ‘connected women’ network, set up to inspire and attract the next female talent into the ICT industry. She cites her father as the person who has most inspired her, saying “you leave the conversation [with him] feeling passionate with the courage to take anything head on”.
Prof Sir Tim Berners-Lee, OM, KBE. Inventor of the World Wide Web
As the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee is one of the most influential and important computer scientists of our time. He currently leads the Alliance for Affordable Internet, which was also launched in 2013, and forms a coalition of public and private companies including Facebook, Microsoft, Intel and Google. The body hopes to make access to the internet less expensive so that access to the service is expanded to cover more people in the developing world, broadening Berners-Lee’s extensive reach. In 2013, he became the joint winner of the first Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.