Founder & CEO Seedlip & Æcorn Drinks
Ben is the Founder of Seedlip and Æcorn Drinks, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits and aperitifs. His mission is two-fold: Solve the dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’ and continue his family’s 300 years of farming heritage.
With offices in the Chilterns, Los Angeles and Sydney, Seedlip is now available in 29 cities including New York, Barcelona, Shanghai & Singapore and served in many of the world’s most awarded bars, restaurants and hotels including 350x Michelin * Restaurants & 9/10 of the world’s best cocktail bars.
Ben was named as one of the Top 50 most influential people in food and drink by The Telegraph and awarded Young Achiever of The Year by The Drinks Business. He continues to pioneer the non-alcoholic category forward with the launch of Æcorn Drinks in Selfridges and The Savoy in May 2019.
Founder Brand Advance
Christopher Kenna is CEO and Founder of Brand Advance (BA), a startup 100 2020 company which connects brands with diverse audiences globally, through Insights, Media and Creative that more authentically engages these communities.
Chris is also the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at OUTvertising, the Advertising industry Lobbying Group and as a mixed race, out gay father - is a strong advocate for diversity and representation within the Media and Advertising industry as a member of the WFA Diversity Advisory Board and is also on the advisory board for the V&A Museums.
An award winning entrepreneur having received the Innovator of the Year Award at the second annual Ex-Forces in Business Awards and was recently named on EMPower’s 100 Ethnic Minority Executives 2020.
Diana Verde Nieto
Co-Founder & CEO Positive Luxury
Diana Verde Nieto is the Co-Founder and CEO of Positive Luxury, the company behind the Butterfly Mark, a unique interactive trust mark awarded to luxury lifestyle brands in recognition of their commitment to having a positive impact on people and our planet. The Mark provides wordless reassurance that a brand can be trusted.
Positive Luxury was founded in partnership with Karen Hanton MBE, founder of toptable.com. The two trailblazing entrepreneurs combined their experience and knowledge to use technology to demystify sustainability and positively communicate a brand’s actions directly to the consumer.
Diana’s entrepreneurial spirit has driven innovation in the way that brands communicate their commitment to social and environmental sustainability, enabling organisations to unlock the value of their investment in this area.
This began with founding the first international sustainability communications consultancy in 2002 which Diana built to international success with a presence in five markets, including China and the USA, at the time of exiting the business in 2008.
Diana holds a degree in Global Leadership & Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. Diana is a globally recognised figure in the sustainability field, honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2011 and subsequently being trained by former US Vice President, Al Gore.
Diana serves on many advisory boards, frequently teaches at Cambridge Judge School and Oxford Said School and was recently given an honorary professorship at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Dominic McVey is an award-winning business leader who was recognised by Her Majesty the Queen as a pioneer in entrepreneurship at the age of 18 for his role in the initial boom of micro scooters in the late 1990s. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the Gates funded Coalition for Global Prosperity and a trustee for Computer Aid International. He was previously a trustee for the Royal Chartered Landscape Institute and has recently been appointed to the board of the ODI, the worlds leading independent global think tank.
Dominic is the former executive chairman of Hela Clothing and driving force behind the award-winning garment manufacturer, which is recognised widely for its sustainable and ethical practices creating over 15 000 jobs in the developing world and generating over $200 million in revenue.
Jamie started his career in music and music media, spending over 14 years at MTV Networks international, culminating in the role of SVP for talent, music and events for the world ex US. Having built extensive experience in experiential activations, communications, marketing and partnerships he moved into hospitality.
Joining Soho House in 2008, he was tasked with structuring and building all the customer and member facing functions of the company, working closely with Nick Jones, ultimately as CMO, to roll out the business internationally, tripling its revenues, and helping steer the brand to become one of the most powerful and influential in the sector.
In 2015, Jamie launched his own boutique consultancy, Sevengage to provide guidance and expertise to companies in the hospitality and real estate industries, with a specific focus on brand development and community building. An expert on clubs he has supported the development and success of many of the world’s most innovative social communities, as well as consulting for leading workspaces, and pioneering co-living concepts.
More recently Jamie has made a significant foray into the worlds of hotels and major mixed use developments, and is currently working on projects in San Diego, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Saigon, Miami and Singapore, as well as 5 new club openings in London between 2022 and 2024.
Global Head of Market Research Knight Frank
Liam is Global Head of Knight Frank's market leading research team. Based in London, Liam writes and presents on property market trends around the world with a particular focus on residential markets. He also leads Knight Frank’s flagship publication, The Wealth Report – which tracks private wealth investment into property. Over the past decade, Liam has grown and deepened the market insight offered by Knight Frank’s research team and now runs a global team of over 100 people covering: residential and commercial property; geospatial insight; data and analytics and customer intelligence.
Partner Deloitte Digital Strategy
Matthew Guest is the founder and Head of Deloitte’s Digital Strategy Practice in Europe. He began his career by launching two successful technology startups and after selling these businesses became an advisor to major corporates, helping them to launch radically more productive digital businesses by incorporating the innovative practices of startups into their business practices. In this capacity he has helped businesses globally, launch fast growing products and services in the media, insurance, telecoms, consumer goods and high technology sectors. He has also worked to transform a number of public sector organisations to adapt and thrive in the face of demand increases and budget cuts by using the cultures and working practices of the digital economy.
Founding Partner Vedra Partners
Max Gottschalk is the Founding Partner of Vedra Partners, a multi-family office with operations in London and Switzerland. Prior to Vedra, he co-founded, Gottex Fund Management in 1998, a global asset management company that he built and brought to market in 2007 on the Swiss stock exchange with a market cap of US$ 2.2bn. Prior to Gottex Mr. Gottschalk ran Bear Stearns fixed income derivatives hedge fund sales team in New York. Mr Gottschalk has traded, seeded and invested with hedge funds for over 25 years and has extensive experience in venture capital and private equity where he has successfully started, backed and operated several private ventures. Mr. Gottschalk is married with five children and has a business degree in finance, marketing and international business from the University of Virginia where he graduated with honours. More recently, Mr. Gottschalk has been making several impact investments and co-founded Ocean 14 Capital, a private equity fund investing in emerging companies and technology to help protect and sustain our oceans.
Head of Data Science & Insights EMEA Bloomberg Media
An accomplished data science, research and insight leader experienced in combining traditional research methods with data analytics to answer complex business problems.
Phil currently leads Data Science and Insights for Bloomberg Media Group across EMEA. He spends the majority of time understanding audience behaviour and analysing content topics to ensure all marketing recommendations are based on evidence. He is a big advocate towards data informed storytelling and promotes a data driven mentality.
CEO & Founder Appear Here
Ross Bailey is the CEO & Founder of Appear Here, the leading online marketplace for short-term retail space. Based on the concept that renting retail space should be as easy as booking a hotel room, Appear Here’s mission is to create a world where anyone with an idea can find space to make it happen. Hailed a "Digital game changer for the high street" by The Guardian, Appear Here lists over 10,000 spaces across the UK, US and France.
With over 250,000 brands in its community, Appear Here works with everyone from Google, Chanel and Apple to start-ups including Daily Paper, Rip N Dip, Away and thousands more independents and creatives. Named as one of Wired’s ‘100 Hottest Start-Ups’, Appear Here has become the go-to destination to make innovative and creative ideas happen. Ross started his entrepreneurial journey aged just 16 when he attended the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. Determined to launch his own business, Ross tested his different ideas by launching a string of successful pop-up shops in destinations across London, including the Rock & Rule pop up for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It was from this experience, Ross’ vision for Appear Here was born.
Widely quoted on retail, e-commerce and technology, Ross has appeared in many publications including GQ, Monocle, Wired, and TechCrunch. Recognised for his achievements, Ross has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and British Airways’ 100 most influential Britons.
Consumer M&A Partner Deloitte
Sandeep is a Financial Advisory Partner at Deloitte who specialises in the Consumer industry and leads the M&A relationships with a number of Consumer companies globally including Unilever Prestige, Diageo Reserve, Ferrari, Richemont, Yagi Tshusho Group, LVMH, Tresalia Capital and a number of other Fortune 500 businesses in the Consumer sector. Sandeep has significant experience advising on large cross-border transactions and has worked extensively across both developed and emerging markets for both Corporates and Financial Sponsors. Sandeep also is a significant contributor to Deloitte’s insight papers on consumer trends, with recent publications including; ‘Bling it on – what makes a millennial spend more’ and ‘Self-disrupt or self-destruct’.
Senior Futures Analyst The Future Laboratory
The Future Laboratory is one of the world’s most renowned futures consultancies. With a unique blend of trend forecasting, consumer insight, foresight, brand strategy and innovation, they inspire and future-proof organisations.
Victoria specialises in strategic foresight, leading a team of researchers to anticipate change and translate global trends and cultural insight into actionable growth opportunities and creative brand concepts. Helping clients to be more prepared for the future, she leads our bespoke projects for brands in the beauty, media, tech, retail and fashion industry.
Her obsession with building resilient and culturally relevant brands has seen her run bespoke projects for Chanel, Diageo Prestige, l, and Google as well as regularly contributing to industry panel discussions and publications in the futures space. When not in The Future Laboratory studio in Shoreditch, analysing the new and the next, she can be found roaming the globe from New York to Tokyo, interviewing early adopters, viand seeking out the most exciting new innovations.
James Lohan MBE
Founder and Chief Creative Officer Mr & Mrs Smith
James is an entrepreneur with a background in the events industry, and the creative soul of the Mr & Mrs Smith brand. With his wife, Tamara, he conceived the first Mr & Mrs Smith guidebook in 2003, inspired by a disastrous weekend away together at a spa hotel in the Lake District, where the accuracy of an existing guidebook had been so laughably wide of the mark, they decided to write their own. Instead of trouser presses and parking spaces, it focused on more intimate, useful details such as the best table in the restaurant, or whether two can fit in the bathtub. It surprised publishers by selling 20,000 copies in its first three months and several volumes followed. As the hotels included experienced an increase in bookings, the couple decided to capitalise by becoming a boutique travel agency, servicing their growing membership base by helping them book their trips, too. Today, ‘the travel club for hotel lovers’ has over a million members worldwide able to choose from a carefully curated, 1,500-strong collection of hotels, villas and experiences – all bookable online or by phone with Smith24, its round-the-clock team of in-house travel specialists, based in London, New York, LA and Singapore. Each hotel is personally vetted by Smith’s globetrotting experts and then reviewed (anonymously) by a range of actors, writers, influencers, entrepreneurs, chefs, DJs and other personalities. Past reviewers have included Lauren Laverne, Raymond Blanc, Olivia von Halle, Tom Dixon, Pandora Sykes, Tom Aikens and Stella McCartney. This year, he teamed up with foresight consultancy the Future Laboratory to create a report, Modern Love: Exploring the next decade of romantic travel. James ensures consistent, high-quality execution across every Smith initiative, as well as bringing a keen strategic mind to the board and acting as global ambassador for the business. In 2014, James received an MBE for services to the British travel industry.
Co-Founder and CEO HURR
Victoria Prew is the co-founder and CEO of HURR Collective, the UK’s first peer-to-peer wardrobe rental platform. Offering luxury fashion to women who prefer to rent rather than buying, HURR was deemed the ‘Airbnb of Fashion’ by Forbes in 2019.
Headquartered in London, HURR Collective aims to address an underserved market of women who want access to the latest trends, without the commitment of purchase.
Prew is the first to tap into the growing market, spearheading rental fashion and shifts in millennial behaviour. The entrepreneur identified an opportunity born from two complementary movements: the rise of sustainable fashion and the rental revolution.
The website showcases an unlimited ‘virtual wardrobe’ for luxury rentals, including curated edits, the latest trend pieces and celebrity wardrobes. HURR carries over £1 million+ of inventory and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Partnerships with Selfridges, Eco-Age and TRAID are putting HURR on the map as a pioneer of the fashion tech sector.
Raissa De Haas
Co-Founder Double Dutch Drinks
Raissa de Haas, co-founded the award-winning premium drinks brand Double Dutch with her sister Joyce. They launched the brand in 2015 after noticing a lack of innovation in the mixer market. Since then they have received numerous accolades for their revolutionary tonics and mixers including a Foodpreneur Award from Sir Richard Branson as well as a listing on the prestigious Forbes 30under30 list. Low-calorie, vegan-friendly, and 100% natural using sustainably sourced organic ingredients, Double Dutch mixers enhance the enjoyment of all spirits. The brand sells just under a million bottles per month to 26 countries worldwide and is sold in UK bars and restaurants nationwide. A recent share was sold to the Heineken Group.