This is the perfect opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from successful entrepreneurs. The Bettany Centre Entrepreneurship Speaker Series gives you the chance to hear from a variety of entrepreneurs from across a range of industries.
The speakers will give you an insight in to their journey, identifying their successes and any mistakes that they may have made along their way. You will also be given the opportunity to ask questions, allowing you to delve even further in to the backstory of these well-established entrepreneurs.
Attending these events will provide you with a great chance to network with like-minded individuals who share your passion for entrepreneurship.
The events are entirely free of charge.
Dates for your diary
All of our Speaker Series events take place at 18:00 on Thursday evenings. More speakers to be announced shortly.
Steve Jolliffe – Thursday 9 February 2023
Founder, Co-Founder & CEO
Steve Jolliffe completed his Cranfield MBA in 1986 after which he successfully invented and grew the Mystery Shopping, Topgolf and Puttshack. BDI Ltd (Mystery Shopping) was the fastest growing market research company in the UK for 10 consecutive years and employed over 1,000 full and part-time staff when it was purchased in 1997 by United News & Media plc.
Steve launched Topgolf in the year 2000 and there are now over 80 sites worldwide, with revenues approaching $2 billion per annum. It is projected that more people will play Topgolf in the US in 2024 than traditional golf. Puttshack is now transforming mini golf in a similar way that Topgolf transformed golf driving ranges.
Puttshack has recently raised $150m from BlackRock to open 20 new sites per annum. Revenues are forecast to be in excess of $1billion by the end of 2025.
Panel Discussion – Thursday 16 February 2023
Dr Edgar Lopez-Rojas
Founder, Entrepreneur, Researcher and Consultant
Dr Edgar Lopez-Rojas (The inventor of FinCrime Vaccines) has a PhD in Computer Science from BTH in Sweden. He is the founder of FinCrime Dynamics (UK). This company specialises in Simulation for Financial Crime Analytics using Synthetic Data to solve financial firms' challenges in benchmarking their controls. He has been working on innovative products for AML Compliance and Optimisation with the FCA, leading AML vendors and financial firms in the UK for the past three years. Previously he was a post-doc researcher at NTNU with more than 20 years of combined academic and industrial work experience in software development and data analytics in corporations and startups across the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and the UK.
Dr Lopez-Rojas is an international speaker on Fighting Financial Crime using advanced analytics in several scientific and professional venues worldwide in the past five years, including top conferences such as Security and Privacy and prestigious universities such as Oxford University and King’s College. He has been a visionary and a mentor at the FCA TechSprint in 2020 and 2021.
As a researcher, he developed a method to synthesise financial transactions to measure the performance and effectiveness of finCrime analytics. These methods have the advantage over traditional methods in that they can quantify the impact of the countermeasures in FinCrime Analytics. He made available the PaySim simulator for the scientific community in Kaggle, and the code is available on GitHub.
Dr Daniel Murray
Scientist and Entrepreneur
Dr Daniel Murray is an experienced multi-award-winning scientist and entrepreneur, including recognition by the SETsquared incubator cluster as one of its "Top 50 entrepreneurs in the last 15yrs". Daniel is an expert in the development of commercial processes for the industrial scale use of microalgae and, through the company he founded (Industrial Phycology), has built some of the largest and most advanced algal processes in the world, where he focused especially on the treatment of wastewaters and recovery of value.
Since stepping back from a full-time role at I-PHYC, Daniel has also been working with several start-ups developing ground-breaking, novel biobased industrial processes, including Remediate UK and Phycobloom. Daniels' current activities include working with the London VC fund Deep Science Ventures, where he is leading in investigating the potential for using biobased processes as negative emissions technologies. Outside his main activities, Daniel also sits on the board of the UK steering group for the algae industry - Algae UK. He often talks about his journey and taking early-stage science from a concept to a commercially deployed technology.
Co-Founder and CEO - Citispotter Limited
Pallav Sethiya is the CEO and Co-Founder of Citispotter, a multi-award-winning deep tech start-up based in Cambridge, UK. Citispotter recently launched an AI-based Edtech writing assistant (Upcopy.ai) that provides various advanced tools to improve writing abilities through 360-degree analysis and real-time suggestions. The platform is currently used in over 30 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Finland, Germany, Nigeria, France, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine and China.
Pallav is an accomplished computer science graduate from India and a serial entrepreneur. He holds a Masters in Management and Entrepreneurship from Cranfield School of Management at Cranfield University (UK) and is a graduate of the Maxwell's Centre Impulse Entrepreneur Programme at the University of Cambridge (UK). He is currently part of the Global Entrepreneur Programme backed by the Department of International Trade (UK). He was named the winner of the Oslo Innovation Week 2020 and was featured in Cofinitve #21toWatch People List 2021.
Michael Toxvaerd – Thursday 23 February 2023
Founder and Executive Director
Michael is a serial entrepreneur, investor and private equity professional.
After exiting a telecoms manufacturer in Denmark as CEO in 2003 and completing a Cranfield MBA in 2004, he founded and led the IPO of NeutraHealth plc on the London Stock Exchange in 2005. He grew the business to a turnover of £35m and EBITDA of £2.3m before stepping back as Deputy Chair and exiting it to Mumbai based Elder Pharmaceuticals plc.
Michael was later Managing Partner of HBG Holdings UK and CIO of HBG Holdings, the Dubai based private equity group as well as a director of the specialist asset management and investment banking group Rasmala plc in the UK, Dubai and Egypt.
He has over 20 years of mergers and acquisitions experience and extensive experience in capital markets, investing, strategy, finance, listing and advising private and public companies. During the last lockdown in 2021 Michael co-founded and listed Nightcap plc on the London Stock Exchange with his wife Sarah Willingham to consolidate the late night bar industry in the UK. They have grown rapidly to a turnover of £50m+ both organically and through three acquisitions. Michael leads Nightcap’s acquisition and corporate strategy.