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Ellie Coyte

Ellie Coyte is Founder and Head of Marketing at Haelu, a start-up which builds software to support health and social care.  She  joined the Alacrity Foundation after graduating in 2020 and that provided her with mentors and enabled her to develop the concept behind Haelu’s product. It also introduced her to the fellow students with whom she set up the business.

Haelu’s tool empowers social care workers without clinical training to record signs and symptoms, and alerts them when a health professional is needed. “The aim is to help meet people’s needs earlier so that they can live happier and healthier lives,” she says. ”Because while people are tending to live longer they are not necessarily healthier.”  She also hopes it will help social care workers be more valued by giving them a means of sharing much of the knowledge they already have about people they work with.

It is early days and the tool is still under development. However, Ellie believes it has the potential to be adopted in health authorities across Wales and the rest of the UK and Haelu is going through an intensive growth period which she finds stimulating and rewarding. “The best thing about this situation is having room to grow,” she says. “It’s so exciting to be always learning something new that you didn’t know yesterday.

Dr Angus Cheong

In the early 2000s, Angus Cheong saw the potential to use real-time structured and unstructured data analysis to improve the quality of insight from data mining. Angus was a lecturer focused on developing techniques to take public opinion research beyond conventional surveys and polling and after 13 years in academe, he left university life to set up a consultancy focused on data analysis for industry and government using advanced techniques such as AI and machine learning. 

In 2017, this became uMax Data Technology. Angus is still the company’s chief executive, and the business now has offices in Hong Kong and Singapore and clients across Asia. He calls their approach “DiVo” (data in value out) in contrast to many previous “GiGo” systems (garbage in, garbage out).  

a portrait photograph of a woman with bobbed curly hair wearing a white blouse

Dr Rebecca Harding

Entrepreneurs want to change things all the time. So says Dr Rebecca Harding, economist and serial entrepreneur. Rebecca’s career has certainly involved breaking traditions and rattling cages. “I’ve always been a self starter who knows my own mind and has a clear sense of direction in my education and career,” she says.

When her comprehensive school did not offer A’ level German she joined lessons at the local boys’ grammar. Participating in drama clubs and student productions has also helped her throughout her professional life, she says. At Sussex University Rebecca gained a BA in Economics with German. The interdisciplinary nature of the course has proved very helpful in business life, she says. “It enabled me to study politics, philosophy, economics, sociology and international relations.”

 After taking a doctorate in Technology and HR, she began working in academe, which she describes as “a brilliant training for entrepreneurship because academics spend their time generating ideas and thinking of ways to solve problems.” At London Business School, Rebecca ran the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor — a survey of entrepreneurship worldwide. It helped her understand the power of data in helping people and driving success.

 In 2007, Rebecca founded her first company, Delta Economics, and began analysing why people start businesses and the challenges they face achieving growth. Her research showed that their motivation “is more about solving problems and innovating than making money.” It led to her second start-up, Coriolis Technologies, formed in 2017 to provide trade and trade finance data and analytics for the trade finance sector.

“Global trade is worth $21 trillion a year and the value of trade finance is between $15tn and $17tn: 90 per cent of it is still paper-based,” she says. “Digitising global trade is a huge opportunity.”

Simon Gibson CBE & Mike Doyle

Professor Simon Gibson CBE co-founded the Alacrity Foundation with Owen Matthews in 2009. Mike Doyle was appointed CEO when the Foundation opened its doors in South Wales in 2011.  With the backing of Sir Terry Matthews, OBE and the UK and Welsh Government, Alacrity aims to educate graduates to become a new generation of IT entrepreneurs.

Simon joined the GPO as a telephone technician. He worked with telecommunications companies during the period of deregulation and joined Newbridge Network Corporation at its start-up in 1987. He was VP of marketing and helped build it into a $7.1 billion company. Simon and Michael Doyle founded Ubiquity Software in 1993, which was a leader in the development of the (ubiquitous) Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and achieved one of the biggest VC funding rounds in the history of the software industry in the UK.

 

Michael Doyle was sponsored through university by GEC Telecommunications, where he wrote software for the Systems X exchange. He worked as a contractor for five years and then co-founded Ubiquity with Gibson. 

 

The Alacrity Foundation is operating in 8 locations around the world. It has been responsible for helping young entrepreneurs launch new ventures based on a demand-driven model. Many graduated companies from Alacrity have successfully scaled up and raised further funding rounds.

Mischa Dohler

Mischa Dohler is now Chief Architect in Ericsson Inc. in Silicon Valley, USA, having previously been Professor in Wireless Communications at King’s College London.

He was born in Germany, into a family of scientific academics, who were also talented in music and business.  He has continued the family tradition, as academic, entrepreneur and musician.  Mischa brings all those skills and interests to bear on his approach to technology, speaking eloquently of its relevance to diverse aspects of our lives; industrial, personal and cultural.

He demonstrated the power of 5G communications to enable collaboration over the Internet in a real time duet with his daughter 1000 km away and looks forward to medicine, industry and culture developing with 6G and the Internet of Things, Skills and beyond.

Pamela Cook

The youngest of six children, Pamela Cook was born in a Birmingham slum with no electricity or indoor sanitation. But the family was re-housed when she was three and she describes her childhood as very happy.

Her lack of enjoyment at school and the need to earn money from her early teens, gave her an understanding of the working world and a will to survive. But she also inherited her parents’ strong sense of moral ethics, making her determined to try to do good in the world.

Pamela has achieved that goal as CEO of Infoshare, a data technology company which creates accurate single views, for example, of people, places, addresses and objects. When she took the helm in 2010 she re-mortgaged her house to fund a major company restructure. Since then, she has tried to re-shape the business to use its technology and position to benefit vulnerable people, from children at risk and victims of crime to those likely to be most badly affected by Covid-19.

“What I have discovered is being able to make a real impact on people’s lives,” she says, whether they are at risk, need early intervention or are trying to disguise their true identities.

Pamela is also a magistrate in Thames Valley, and sits on the Cabinet Office SME Panel, fighting for the rights and fair treatment of small businesses in the UK. She is a popular speaker on successful information sharing, protecting citizens and the implication of legislation on data sharing and analysis.

She was named the Female Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2019 Enterprise Awards, and listed on the 2020 DataIQ 100 people in data, and on the 2020 Global Top 100 Data Visionaries.

Paul Excell

Paul Excell’s first job was working in his family’s village shop; he has gone on to become an entrepreneur, investor, NED, executive coach and eminent figure in the telecommunications industry. His father taught him crucial business lessons, such as having empathy with customers, being curious about their needs and understanding how you can help them rather than focusing on selling.

State educated, Paul gained much of his drive and inspiration from “fantastic” teachers in topics ranging from maths, physics and computer science to history. People who bridge the science / arts divide will be increasingly important as technology develops, he says.

Following BT sponsorship through university, Paul became an apprentice technician and rose steadily eventually to become a pioneering Chief Customer Innovation Officer, Group Technology Officer and SVP Global Services. While at BT he fulfilled his passion for innovation, launching internet, broadband, mobile and media services and serving on several of the group’s global boards. ”If you don’t innovate, you die,” he says.

After leaving BT in 2012, Paul founded Excelerate, which provides agile executive services focused on transforming leadership and team performance. In 2016 he established ScaleUp Group, which aims to support the many smaller UK companies which he says have potential for “massive impact” and growth. So far it has raised more than £30m and generated some £4bn in enterprise value.

Richard Little

Richard Little is a serial angel investor who learned to be an entrepreneur by watching his father and trained for a life in technology by studying languages.  Richard built and successfully exited his own business in the 1980’s and 90’s, applying cheaper new technology in financial services.  His first big idea failed but the second one worked, and he says that is not a bad formula for building a business.

In the 21st century he has turned his hand to helping others’ companies grow by leveraging investment with his acquired expertise.  Richard believes that helping small companies grow is good for the economy and society, as well as being a rewarding occupation.  His current portfolio includes Cloud, AI and EdTech.

Geoff Squire OBE

Geoff Squire OBE spent 50 years in the UK IT industry, from machine code to $Bn companies.  Geoff learnt arithmetic and the value of pounds, shillings and pence at an early age doing sums upside down over his father’s shoulder.  University was never an option but interest in numbers led on to jobs in programming and thence to growing roles in ICL.

He is perhaps most famous for establishing Oracle in the UK with an opportunistic pitch to Larry Ellison.  Subsequently Geoff led Veritas to a Y2K $75Bn market cap.  In recent years Geoff has focused, with his wife Fiona, on their grant giving charity and he serves as Chairman of Give as You Live Ltd, a technology company dedicated to raising money for UK charities.