7th October 2023

Great Malvern, UK

12th Edition



Themed Symposium

 Wednesday 9th October 2019 (afternoon)

 Coach House Theatre, Malvern, WR14 3HA 


This session was a series of conversations, in a 'fireside chat' format, devoted to instilling innovation in the heart of your business. Whether you needed to protect intellectual property, secure funding, start a new venture, grow an existing enterprise or expand overseas, this session focused on how to think creatively about your business operations and included case studies and actionable insights.

The event was free for all to attend.




Registration Opens

@festivalofinnov #InnovateMalvern #entrepreneurship #SMEs #business



Dr Adrian Burden, Festival Founder & Managing Director of Innovate Malvern CIC







The Business of Intellectual Property (IP)

A discussion that will focus on the commercial aspects of IP including the importance of having a well thought out IP strategy which aligns with the commercial strategy of the company. Illustrated with real-world examples to show the importance of IP in the successful commercialization of technology; for example licensing vs manufacturing and preparing for a merger or acquistion. This will also touch on the oft-neglected, very challenging and yet vital area of IP Valuation.

Graham Dodgson is an entrepreneur and innovator (co-founder of Keisense Ltd. which was sold to Nuance corp and co-founder of Holoxica Ltd) in medical electronics, advanced displays and human interface concepts. He now consults in the high tech sector helping companies in all aspects of commercialising their knowledge / IP. This includes global experience in new business development and technology licensing worldwide in the US, Asia and Europe. Graham is an advisor to a number of companies and part of the key team at the data privacy and security company, The Trust Bridge.


Graham will be in conversation with Vicky Young, COO of business mix and an accomplished change and project management consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience and has delivered complex, business-critical technology, business and regulatory based change management solutions to clients on a global scale.

@business_mix, @VickyYo22743155











Leading your business in a changing world

The world has become unpredictable, complex and ambiguous, and we are feeling the effects within the organisations in which we work. Issues such as trust, the environment, digitisation, privacy, shareholder accountability, and diversity are being discussed in boardrooms. The result is that most of those in leadership roles are unable to deal with these challenges because the conscious thinking required is so different from when they became leaders. We are immersed in an age of complexity where the role of leaders has changed fundamentally. What expectations does this have on business corporations, non-government organisations, governments and even the citizen? Are you ready to take on the challenge as a leader?

Hilarie Owen is one of the world’s leading experts, keynote speakers and influencers on leadership and strengthening leaders through mentoring. Graduating in Politics, Philosophy and Psychology and taking a post graduate course in Economics, her early career was with IBM before she turned round part of a global publishing company increasing the business by 600% through developing a new business strategy. Hilarie set up the first Leadership Institute in the UK that became recognised around the world. Having written 9 books on leadership, Hilarie has produced ground breaking research on how individuals actually learn leadership and how they think and make decisions. Hilarie now mentors directors, senior women, CEOs and top teams to improve their thinking and ability to cope in a fast-changing world.



Hilarie will be in conversation with Dr Emma Philpott MBE, CEO of The IASME Consortium. Emma has worked in both large and small organizations, including the Ministry of Defence in the UK, QinetiQ in the UK, the Institute of Materials Research & Engineering in Singapore, and Cientifica in Singapore. She is also the founder of the UK Cyber Security Forum.

@emphilpott, @IASME1







The challenges and approach of taking a product to market

How do you navigate the challenges of understanding the true customer need, provide the customer with what they really want and ensure that the demand for the product exists? How do you set up your product for success from the outset and mitigate risk through its lifecycle? This discussion will emphasise that it is imperative to conceive new products through the lens of users and understand the outcomes before starting to implement the technology. And even once the technology is implemented, there needs to be continual focus on whether this provides the outcome needed to satisfy users.

Etienne Smith is Venture Director (CTO) of Mohara. He heads up the Venture portfolio for MOHARA, who build and invest in startups, and new corporate ventures. Having acted as CTO for a number of startups, Etienne has a wealth of experience in taking products to market. He is the driving force behind the development of new products built and deployed within MOHARA. Termed, “a bit of a polymath,” by the MOHARA team, Etienne brings with him vast knowledge gleaned from multiple business sectors and models.



Etienne will be in conversation with Jon Downing, Business Development Director of business mix. Jon is an experienced innovation, service and technology leader, with over 25 years’ experience successfully delivering business & technology services to global financial companies – including Visa, JP Morgan, HP Enterprise Services & American Express.

@business_mix, @jdowni1



Networking break









PR for the innovators – How to raise your profile and tell your brand story 

Many innovative high-tech SMEs are faced with the challenge of operating in a crowded marketplace, where they struggle to raise their profile. Business leaders know that they need to differentiate themselves, become well known, and build relationships with influencers in their field. A common refrain is, “I know that my product is far superior to many of my competitors but we remain the UK’s best kept secret”. This discussion will focus on the hidden issues with communication, and how to get around them in order to engage effectively with your audiences. It will also look at the importance of telling success stories and show why the key to getting your message across is simplicity and clarity of message

Claire Cunningham is with Rockallwight PR, an agency dedicated to supporting innovative SMEs. Following a career of over 20-years working in journalism and communications, Claire combined her love of business and innovation and founded her new agency in March 2018. Her early career was spent working as a BBC journalist. She went on to work in senior media relations / communications roles for the UK Government. This included working as Head of Media for Innovate UK, promoting 100’s of innovative tech companies.



Claire will be in conversation with David Bott, a Principal Fellow at WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), University of Warwick. After 26 years with BP, Courtaulds and ICI, spent in both their corporate centres and business units, David began a love affair with start-ups 10 years ago. He was diverted into spending 7 years setting up and directing the Technology Strategy Board (now rebranded as Innovate UK), the UK's innovation agency. He is a non-executive director of Oxford Advanced Surfaces.





Top 5 People Tips as you scale your business

Whether you are starting to employ people or growing from 50 to 100 people, you may be thinking about how to attract and retain the right people, your organisation’s culture and how to build an organisation that can scale. Ensuring that all this drives your business goals. This discussion will explore the 5 key things to think about now and for your future: Intelligent Performance Management; Recognition, Benefits & Reward – How to engage, motivate and support your people; Organisational Design – Seeing the bigger picture; Sustainability is within your ability; and Building Well-being and Resilience

A conversation between:

Sophie Ficek is a leading HR, Talent Management and Change expert with over 15 years professional experience across multiple industries. After a decade of working for large international corporations, it was time to do something different. After a short career pause to have a family, Sophie has been enjoying a change of direction taking up a number of opportunities with smaller start-ups. Sophie uses her skills and experience gained during ‘corporate life’ to help organisations on their scaling journey. Sophie’s real passion can be found in helping organisations to grow whilst retaining the human element of their original founders. Building sustainable organisations of the future, that challenge the status quo of established big company ‘best practice’.

Gemma Ryall is a Talent, People and HR Expert along with being a Coach with over 15 years professional experience across multiple industries. She has worked for global organisations and been part of regional c-suite teams in Wunderman Thompson and Aimia. She now consults across SME businesses helping companies in all aspects of organisational performance and people.








How organisations can thrive in a connected world

We are all digital humans now, living and working within an interconnected mass of networks, people and technology. This world is so complex and fast evolving it can be considered alive. This discussion will shine a light on how to activate organizations so that they can transform themselves, making the most of their digital employees and satisfying their digital customers.

Paul Ashcroft co-founded The Ludic Group in 2004. He is passionate about creating smarter ways of working for organisations around the world. With a background in mathematics and strategic consulting, Paul is an expert in applying principles of Innovation, Design Thinking and Digital to large scale transformation, people engagement and capability building. During his career Paul has worked with many of the world’s leading companies to design strategy, align their leadership team and engage and develop their people. As an entrepreneur and investor, Paul has a successful track record in establishing and growing innovative and technology based businesses.


Garrick Jones is a co-founding partner of The Ludic Group. He is a Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where he has introduced Capstone programmes and designed the ground-breaking Open Innovation Programme. His research is focused on organisational Decision-making and the Creative Economies, as well as Cloud Based Transformation Consulting, Digital Learning Programmes and Engagement are put into practice. Garrick is interested in how very large systems are able to transform themselves through learning and outcomes-based decision-making. As a musican, he also composes for films, contemporary artists and performance.



Paul and Garrick will be in conversation with David Page, CEO & Founder of business mix. David has worked at and with large corporates for 25 years, with the last 14 years in leadership and executive positions at Barclays, Capita and Visa Europe in COO and transformational roles. He co-founded Visa Europe Collab, a stand-alone fintech innovation hub based in three sites across Europe and head quartered in Shoreditch, London.

@business_mix, @davidpage27


PorkPeddler 100pxh


With food and drink in the lead up to Startup Stories at the same venue.



The following organisations will be on-hand to discuss your business and see if they can help you develop further. 

businessmix 150pxw

business mix is a collaboration network and consultancy. They work with both large corporates seeking to innovate and start-up and scale-up companies, helping them to grow operationally. business mix focuses on a specific area; owning the space between the large corporates and the start-up world allowing them to make it work for both sides.


DITLogo 150pxw 

Thousands of businesses have increased their sales, growth and stability by selling overseas. Explore the potential of exporting with guidance, services and support from the Department for International Trade. Their export community is a network of businesses who advocate for exporting. They share success stories, offer practical advice and lead by example.


QuantumRD 150pxw


Quantum R&D Tax are a Worcestershire-based research and development tax practice helping small business owners file successful R&D Tax Credits claims with HMRC. A successful claim for your business means more money available to help you grow and continue to innovate.


MalvernBook 150pxw

Malvern Book Cooperative is a local, independent, community-owned business. They sell a wide range of new books and book related gifts in Great Malvern, and will be at the event with a range of business, science and innovation books on sale.


Novaro Publishing 

Novaro Publishing creates high-impact titles and compelling messages for different business audiences around the world. On the web, through social media and in print, they connect with those looking to grow an idea, build a business and compete internationally. They work with many leading names in enterprise, innovation, technology, growth, finance and knowledge to produce titles, stories, features and reports that inspire readers to review their options and take follow-up action wherever they are located.  Current titles cover start-ups, digital transformation, leadership, intellectual property and blockchain.

WINN 150pxw


WINN Worcestershire believe that great things happen when people get together. They are developing a community of inspirational individuals and brilliant businesses to help the region grow and become recognised nationally as a hub of innovative ideas and projects. They'll be on-hand to update you about their latest events and initatives including the Proof of Concept Grant Fund.



Business Centre

If you needed time or space to sit at a desk and respond to some emails, you could pop next door: BLOOM.SPACE kindly made part of their facility available to Festival delegates during the business sessions.

BloomSpace 150pxw

BLOOM.SPACE is located in Great Malvern at The Grange, between the Coach House Theatre and the Malvern Theatres. They have a Club Room, hot desks, fixed desks, multiple private offices, training room, meeting rooms, a treatment room, pop-up shop space and some wonderful views of the Malvern Hills. Membership includes free access to their London office.





2019 Business of Innovating Sponsors

2019 Festival Supporters