With more than 30 years of doing things differently, Lawrence Jones MBE is an ambassador for British business with a truly unique entrepreneurial mind. In just 17 years he has led UKFast’s phenomenal growth from a startup in a spare bedroom to a £250 million enterprise. Today, Lawrence continues to mentor diversely, inspiring professional athletes, musicians, fellow entrepreneurs and others who want to make a difference in any discipline.
Having served as director for Scan Computers since 1996, Elan Raja has seen the rise of computer and mobile technology first hand. Employing over 200 staff and turning over almost £80 million per year, the care and passion Elan invests in every single customer experience is reflected in Scan's success. Dedicated to pushing the boundaries of tech, Elan is keen to see Manchester's tech scene come together and grow further.
Chris Oglesby has been CEO of commercial property giant Bruntwood since 1999, having joined the company in 1991 and opened its Manchester office in 1993. At the helm of a multimillion pound business championing Manchester's knowledge-based economy and the Northern Powerhouse, Chris is a treasured spokesperson for the city. Having led initiatives such as Corridor Manchester and CityCo, Chris is also recognised nationally for his contributions to community and culture.
Setting up digital agency magneticNorth in Manchester in 2000, Lou Cordwell has built a market-leading and extremely successful business that has won numerous awards and high-profile clients. Lou is a great influence in the growth of digital innovation in the city, on the board for Greater Manchester's Local Enterprise Partnership and CityCo and chair of Future Everything. With a host of business and digital accolades to her name, wherever Lou’s voice is heard, it speaks volumes.
Richard Law has been instrumental to the success of identity management company GBGroup, raising its value from £5m to £360m in his 14 years as CEO. He is renowned for his investment in Manchester's tech community, backing and nurturing startups like Reality Mine and Zuto. Richard's reputation for discerning and relevant business insight spans the UK business industry, with awards such as Grant Thornton's 'Chief Executive of the Year' placing him as more than just a great tech voice.
With a strong commercial legal background, Nicola has been an invaluable asset to hosting provider UKFast since she joined in 2015. From being a partner at Cobbetts, a corporate partner at DWF, ranking in Chambers and Partners 2015 as a leading legal specialist in Manchester, to placing in the Legal 500 in 2014, Nicola has longstanding experience of the legal workings of tech businesses and intimate understanding of directing Manchester's tech landscape.
To become the leading tech city in the UK, Manchester needs to be more than a collection of individuals doing inspirational things in one location. For Manchester to reach the next level it must provide a platform for its tech community to engage and collaborate, driving economic growth and raising the city's profile with a wider audience.
Manchester City Council’s Chief Executive, Sir Howard Bernstein, identifies the need for a central, not-for-profit body to bring together the Manchester tech community in one place, under one banner. Tech Manchester exists to provide a space, both physically and digitally, for startups to link with those who have been there and done it, for investors to find incredible projects to back and for the inquisitive to connect with like-minded innovators; all with the goal of lifting Manchester's tech offering to new heights.