Taj is a commercially focused, practical, hands-on executive and MBA; having a 20 year track record of direct management, growth and turnaround in both private & Plc environments.
Having a firm understanding of VC/PE & corporate financing, Taj has led numerous funding rounds and has also been directly involved in trade sales and IPOs for PE owned businesses. Over the last 5 years he has become a multi business Director within a number of Guinness Asset Management’s invested portfolio along with running a VC.
Furthermore Taj is co-founder of numerous entrepreneurial businesses spanning renewable energy, technology, software, on-line apps, childcare/education and motor vehicles.
He joined GEN UK as MD in early 2019 and is proud to be part of a team that has the vision to make a difference within the entrepreneurial landscape of the UK and beyond.
Marc has worked across the media industries as a Founder, CEO, Director, Strategist and Creative Director.
As an entrepreneur he has founded several ventures including three creative agencies and two digital businesses. Marc has managed projects for global brands, teams of 50 people, and annual turnovers up to £8m. In addition to his role as Chair of GEN UK, he consults on brand communications and is part time Marketing Director for the Tony Buzan Group.
Marc started at the BBC and Channel 4 before co-founding Ortmans Young International and later running multi-national design agency group Button. He helped launch UEFA Champions League, First Direct bank, the Homeless World Cup, and created the first satellite TV brand in UK for Satellite TV, bought by Murdoch and renamed Sky.
Along the way he picked up a shelf load of awards including BAFTA, D&AD, Paris Citi and New York Festivals. Since 2008, Marc has managed the creation and expansion of the GEW and GEN family of brands. He is currently leading the development of the GEN UK HUB.
Elaine has been involved in the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) for over 11 years, and is an Adviser to the Global Board of GEN.
In returning to the UK 4 years ago, after living in the Middle East for 8 years, Elaine became a Co-Founder and Executive Director of GEN UK and is frequently invited to speak at international conferences on entrepreneurship, diversity, innovation and creativity. Whilst in the Middle East Elaine held the post of Director of Organisation and Strategy for Silatech, a Qatari social enterprise supporting youth entrepreneurship and the development of employability skills across the MENA Region.
This role involved many joint partnerships and programmes delivered in collaboration with a variety of internal NGO’s, Government funded programmes and partnerships with international organisations. Elaine has travelled to over 40 countries and delivered workshops and speaking engagements in over 20 countries.
Elaine understands the complexities and demands of working cross-culturally and in diverse organisations.
Apart from her day to day management role, Elaine is responsible for the delivery of the GEW campaign across the UK.
Nikki is currently working with 4 organizations including the role of Chairman for a small charity (Spotlight YOPD) and Non-Executive Director for GEN UK. Qualified as an Electronics Engineer, Nikki initially worked as a design and development engineer in the Aerospace industry based at Rochester Airfield.
In the following 40+ years Nikki built experience in working in Technology Industries, Education and the NHS. The sizes of companies Nikki worked with, and managed, ranged from small start-ups through medium sized business to large corporates.
A Chartered Engineer by background Nikki has worked with a variety of Industries including Health Service, Avionics, Defence, IT, Telecommunications, Finance, Pharmaceutical and Community Care.
Her last remunerated role was as Chairman at a large NHS Trust. Specialist knowledge areas: Diversity/ Unconscious bias, Cyber security, IT Systems, Digital, Outsourcing, Government Regulators, Organization Behaviour/Change, Governance, Risk Management.
As part of her NED duties, Nikki provides Corporate Governance support to GEN UK.
Tom is the cofounder of Global Growth Hub Ltd (GGH), which operates seed and growth acceleration programmes for promising technology startups and scale-ups from around the world.
In 2019, entrepreneurs in 15 countries were supported by programmes created and operated by GGH. Tom has collaborated with incubators, accelerators, universities, governments and investors in over 30 countries.
Past clients include the Global Accelerator Network, the European Investment Bank, the InfoComm Development Authority of Singapore, The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development in Abu Dhabi, Virginia Tech University, Re:Coded in Iraq, the GITEX Summit in Dubai, among many others.
Tom is a visiting lecturer on entrepreneurship at Liverpool John Moores University, a Subject Matter Expert for the Brandery Accelerator in Cincinnati, Ohio USA, and a mentor with the Santander Hub in Liverpool and Y Accelerator in Rotherham, UK.
Dr Christopher Haley is Head of New Technology & Startup Research at NESTA, the innovation foundation. He leads NESTA’s research interests into how startups and new technologies can drive economic growth, and what this means for businesses, intermediaries and for the government.
Prior to joining NESTA, Chris worked for several years at Imperial Innovations (now part of IP Group), the technology commercialisation and investment company of Imperial College London. His role there focused on assessing emerging technologies and early stage investment opportunities, with particular attention to cleantech.
Following this, he spent two years within Imperial College itself, developing and managing the institution’s strategy for enterprise, technology transfer and translation. Chris has a first class degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, a PhD in History & Philosophy of Science, and a postgraduate diploma in strategy and innovation from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.
He has advisory roles with the APPG for Entrepreneurship, the UK Intellectual Property Office, the Enterprise Research Centre, the ScaleUp Institute and Startup Olé, and is a ‘Startup Europe’ Ambassador.
Founder of startup RunFriendly (Airbnb for showers) matching demand among runners, cyclists and those on-the-go in cities with under utilised showers & changing facilities in hotels, and gyms. Scott writes on the subject for the Guardian, Men’s Running and Runner’s World. He is Honorary Senior Research Fellow at UCL Bartlett (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) working on connected environments, active travel, urban design and wellbeing.
In addition to his role as GEN UK board member, he has advisory and associate roles at innovative firms including ASI Data Science, PAN Studio, Centric Lab and PSYT. Previously Scott was Exec Director & Chief Business Officer at Future Cities Catapult; Executive Director at Hub Launchpad; Co-founder and original Chair of Global Entrepreneurship Week; Co-founder Make Your Mark with a Tenner.
Jonathan is founder and president of GEN, a platform of programs and initiatives to help new firms start and scale within one global entrepreneurial ecosystem headquartered in Washington, DC. Jonathan launched GEN’s cornerstone initiative, Global Entrepreneurship Week, in 2008 with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Each November since then, millions of people are welcomed into the entrepreneurial culture through thousands of local GEW activities and competitions. Since 2009, he has chaired the annual Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) that gathers well over 5,000 leaders from the world’s entrepreneurial ecosystems. As an economist, Jonathan worked on Capitol Hill and served as CEO of a health care and trade policy think tank.
His entrepreneurship experience includes two successful startups.
He has served as an advisor to the Kauffman Foundation and currently serves on the Board of the Center for American Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC. Outside the United States, beyond chairing the Boards of dozens of GEN affiliates, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Entrepreneurship in Moscow.
Jonathan speaks and writes about high-growth entrepreneurship regularly, and has emerged as a global strategist for healthier ecosystems for entrepreneurs around the world.
Russell has enjoyed the benefits of a highly successful international career in the technology sector and now focuses his efforts on supporting owners and boards of companies to devise and implement growth strategies to create shareholder value. In his earlier career he has held board leadership positions with International companies achieving turnover more than £200m. Core areas of focus are Leadership, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic thinking. He is a regular speaker at events on Leadership in business and has spoken at conferences from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi. Russell is founding Managing Partner of the advisory group, Exolta Capital Partners, www.exolta.com and Founding ChairmanScottish Business Network, www.sbn.scot the global network supporting Scottish business leaders. He is a member of Scotland Trade Board and regularly named in the 100 most influential British Entrepreneurs list.
Kosta is an award-winning and global super-connector who co-designs leading startup and tech initiatives in Europe, scouts innovation for the private and public sector. He supports tech startups and scale-ups to explore collaboration with potential clients, partners, and funders through Empact Ventures.
Based in Bournemouth, Empact Ventures co-designs the Super Connect Series in 12 cities across the UK and Ireland with Hays to match-make tech startups and scale-ups with corporates, SMEs and funders to explore collaboration. Kosta has co-designed leading initiatives including the Super Connect Series (with Hays UK&I), the I-COM Global Data Startup Challenge, and StartUp Britain amongst others.
He acts as an advisor and super-connector to many tech startups and scale-ups including X0PA, Adaptai, UGenie, and Zasteo. In addition, he supports a number of charities, causes and campaigns, is an adviser and super connector for good to super connect them to the people, resources and wider support they need to create social impact including UnLtd, Young Enterprise and Feel Fab UK. www.empact-ventures.com and www.superconnectseries.com
At just 28 Katie Matthews is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, growth mindset educator, speaker, founder, mentor, trauma-informed practitioner and mental health and wellbeing trainer. Katie supports mental health, entrepreneurship, leadership, community development, growth mindset development and the next generation of young people. Katie is the founder of The Mind Tribe UK, a mental health and wellbeing training and consultancy business, and a tuition company, Excel In Education Tutoring School. With a passion for youth development and leadership, combined with entrepreneurship and mental health, Katie established the Young Entrepreneur’s Network Northern Ireland, as a voluntary organisation and dedicated platform for young entrepreneurs and business professionals across Northern Ireland, aged 18-30. Part of Katie’s ethos is to give back to the community. Apart from her role as GEN UK National Director, Northern Ireland, she is an Independent Member of the Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Area Policing Community Safety Partnership, on the board of Trustees for the charity Home-Start North Belfast. Katie was recognised on the NI 40 Under 40 List in 2019, was awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2018 FSB Awards, the Future Star Award at the NI Maternal Mental Health Awards 2019 and was a judge and panel chair for The Diana Award 2020.
Francesca James is the founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, a national celebration of entrepreneurship in its eighth year.
The awards programme visits eight cities a year and receives over 3,000 applications each season. Above and beyond the awards programme though, Great British Entrepreneurs has evolved into a community and eco-system of support all year round.
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards and community connect their alumni via a community magazine (Great British Entrepreneurs) and regular events, both online and digital. Awards alumni include the founders of Clearscore, Brew Dog, The LAD Bible, Grenade and Tangle Teezer.
Francesca also owns and manages Fresh Business Thinking, an online resource for business owners, directors and entrepreneurs. Based in Cardiff, Francesca is developing GEN UK’s role in Wales and driving the GEW UK 2020 campaign across the Welsh nation.
Matt oversees the research, policy and network activities of the Centre for Entrepreneurs. He was recruited by Luke Johnson in 2013 to design, launch and run the Centre as a think tank, before merging it with the New Entrepreneurs Foundation in 2017 to create a unified entrepreneurship foundation. Previously, Matt co-founded student enterprise charity NACUE and worked at Enterprise UK. He also helped launch the European Startup Network and served as board member from 2016-2019. Matt is a judge for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and the Heropreneurs Awards.