Speakers

Andrew Bolster

Andrew Bolster

Founder, Farset Labs

Andrew is an accomplished technologist, founder of multiple technology-based groups and organisations, an award winning researcher, innovation community leader, and a consummate troublemaker.

He founded the Farset Labs hackerspace in Belfast in 2012. Farset Labs provides the technical and entrepreneurial community with a place to share resources, knowledge and experience in a relaxed atmosphere, laying the foundation for the next wave of Northern Irish industry-leading technologists and business leaders. He is also a Researcher at The University of Liverpool (formerly at Queen’s University Belfast’s ECIT Institute) investigating Trust and Reputation in Autonomous Underwater Robotic Networks. Previous work has included High Performance Computing for real-time network optimisation, atomic-clock assisted location technologies for underwater systems with NPL, and studies on Human Interfaces for Autonomous Systems with DSTL and its international partners. Andrew also sits on the DFPNI Open Data Advisory Panel, is a consulting researcher at the wireless security startup, TOM Ltd, and a co-founder of the Eubius consultancy group. Andrew is an advocate of Open Source Innovation; Collaborative Economies; and Open, accessible data being used for education and community engagement as well as commercial applications. He’s @Bolster pretty much everywhere except Github where he’s AndrewBolster (Thanks squatters).
Jonathan Crawford

Jonathan Crawford

International Inside Sales Manager at Micro Focus

Jonathan sits on the management team of Micro Focus that covers the portfolios of, Identity, Access, Security, IT Development and IT Ops management tools.

Jonathan is responsible for relationships with key partners and clients across EMEA and is a member of the Micro Focus product leadership team, contributing to road maps and providing innovative solutions for Micro Focus clients. A keen tech enthusiast and gamer, loving to be ahead of the curve. Jonathan enjoys football, and if he is not in the gym, you can usually find him supporting Man United at Old Trafford or at his local or spending time with his wife-to-be and 3 children. Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO.L) is a global enterprise software company helping customers innovate faster with lower risk. Our software helps customers build, operate and secure IT systems that bring together existing business logic and applications with emerging technologies to meet increasingly complex business demands. For more information, visit: www.microfocus.com.
Aislinn McBride

Aislinn McBride

Solution Architect

Aislinn is an architect in Kainos with 10+ years’ experience of software delivery and likes to keep it simple.

Her role involves bringing technologists together to support the development of innovative, client centric services. After experiencing waterfall and agile deliveries using COTS and FOSS products, she is confident that it's all about the people and that DevOps culture, fully embraced, makes a fundamental difference to how we deliver.
Aislinn McBride

Eoin McFadden

Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment

Over the past 25 years Eoin has worked across a wide range of policy areas including community relations and community led economic regeneration; as a statistician; managing Assembly and Parliamentary business and in the Secretary of State’s Private Office.

Since 2006 Eoin has worked on innovation policy within the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment. Eoin’s work is focussed on the role of the public sector in facilitating innovation in the economy through innovative procurement (SBRI) and open data. Eoin is an advocate of public servants embracing digital technology and especially the use of social media as a vital tool for sourcing knowledge and engaging with stakeholders. He has recently blogged for NESTA on Risk Aversion and Public Sector Innovation: http://www.nesta.org.uk/blog/innovation-public-sector-risk-aversion-cause-or-symptom.
Suzanne McLaughlin

Suzanne McLaughlin

Open Data Program Manager

Suzanne is the Open Data Programme Manager at Digital Transformation Service in the Department of Finance & Personnel.

She previously worked in Land & Property Services and was responsible for the development of the Spatial NI portal for public sector bodies to comply with the EU INSPIRE Directive. She is quite passionate about data, especially open and spatial data and has a PhD from the University of Ulster relating to GI and coastal vulnerability.
Marty Bell

Marty Bell

Lead Engineer at Bitnet

Marty has been knocking around the IT Industry for over 20 years, the last 14 of which have been spent in the Financial Services sector designing internet banking solutions and payment services.

He enjoys dealing with challenges both in the large and the small and likes to keep a thesaurus handy to ensure designs have meaning….Before that Marty worked as a consultant, but we don't hold that against him!
Fergal Downey

Fergal Downey

Vice President of Engineering at Bitnet

Fergal has spent the last 13 of his 20+ years experience in management and leadership roles for various FinTech organizations where he has been responsible for the delivery of numerous High Availability, Enterprise Banking and Payment solutions.

Fergal brings a blend of technology, process, people and domain competencies to the table providing the cohesive glue across the functions.
Jascha Franklin-Hodge

Jascha Franklin-Hodge

CIO, Department of Innovation and Technology, City of Boston

Mayor Martin J. Walsh appointed Jascha Franklin-Hodge as the City’s Chief Information Officer in June 2014.

As Chief Information Officer, Franklin-Hodge leads the City’s efforts to enhance online service delivery, empower City employees with effective digital tools, and improve access to technology and the Internet for all Boston neighborhoods. Prior to his work with the City, Franklin-Hodge co-founded Blue State Digital (BSD) in 2004 and ran BSD’s Boston technology office. He oversaw the development and operation of the BSD Tools, an online fundraising, email, and CRM platform that powered the digital presence of President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. He previouly worked for Howard Dean's groundbreaking 2004 presidential campaign, where he led the technology team responsible for scaling, securing, and maintaining a high visibility, high traffic website. Since 2009, Franklin-Hodge has served as an advisor to Code for America, a nonprofit which connects technologists with cities to solve civic challenges and encourage innovation in government technology. Previously, Franklin-Hodge was the director of software development for AOL's Digital Music Division, and has worked for the Art Technology Group and Software Tool and Die, and has consulted for the Computer Museum, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Niemen Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Franklin-Hodge studied computer science at MIT and lives in South Boston.
Martin Jordan

Martin Jordan

Security Architect

Martin Jordan is a security architect currently working within UK Government. He has worked in IT for the past 23 years, focusing on security for the last 17 years.

Previously, Martin headed up the Ethical Hacking team at KPMG for 10 years, where he was responsible for the evaluation of major UK Government projects under the CESG CTAS scheme. Other organisations Martin has worked for include Defcom Security, Oracle and Babcock Power & Marine. In 2014 Martin formed his own company, NEDForum to perform bespoke cyber assessments as well as delivering a GCHQ certified cyber essentials course, teaching professionals how to assess a company’s ability to withstand a cyber attack. He also teaches a course on Open Source Intelligence gathering.
Doug Safford

Doug Safford

Vice President - Technology Innovation, Allstate

Doug Safford is the vice president of Technology Innovation and Strategic Ventures Technology for the Allstate Insurance Company.

In his current position, Safford leads the engineering side of Allstate’s Innovation strategy. He is focused on using innovation and technology to quickly bring to life the ideas of his business partners. His responsibilities also include leading CompoZed Labs global product development. CompoZed Labs is Allstate’s corporate push into extreme programming on cloud foundry. Safford took his current position in August 2015, and prior to that he was Allstate’s Chief Enterprise Architect. He has a long track record of creating and building high-performing teams in the most complex technologies. Safford joined Allstate in 2004 after eight years designing and developing a wide range of applications while working as a consultant for Sears, Allstate and other well-respected firms. He has contributed to articles and books as co-author and technical editor and also has been a speaker at a number of industry-related events. A native of Rochester, New York, Safford studied at the State University of New York and is a graduate of the Naval Nuclear Power Program and spent eight years in the U.S. Navy, six of them stationed on a nuclear submarine. He lives in St. Charles, Illinois.
Columb Duffy

Columb Duffy

Senior Team Manager, Allstate

Columb graduated in Computer Science from UUJ in 1999 and has been working in IT ever since. He has been involved in leading edge software engineering technology for most of that time, and has been co-founder of a start-up company in the early noughties.

Since 2004 he has been architecting software intensive solutions for major US-based blue-chip corporations and in 2014 became responsible for local architecture and technology innovation teams at Allstate Northern Ireland. Bringing new technology to industry is one of his passions and Columb works very closely with major universities and organisations to help Allstate leverage academic research as quickly as possible. He works closely with QUB and Lero, and is a member of the CSIT Industrial Advisory Board. He is also driving innovative programs at Allstate such as Inner Sourcing and technology research.
Caoimhin Graham

Caoimhin Graham

Solution Architect - Kainos

I graduated from QUB in 2009 with MEng in Computer Science and have worked for Kainos since joining as a placement student over 8 years ago.

I have been working within Government for the past 3 years having been primarily involved with implementing the government digital services’ ‘digital by default’ policy across a number of transformational exemplars. This saw me design and build the infrastructure that underpins the ‘register to vote’ service to support Individual Electoral Registration which represents the single largest change to democracy in the UK since universal suffrage in 1928. Interested in all things related to operations from deployment automation, configuration management or cultural shifts such as those brought about by DevOps.
Dejan Bojic

Dejan Bojic

Director - Smart City Solutions

Dejan Bojic has held a series of roles in NEC Europe focusing on the development of market and technology strategies.

He is responsible for identifying new business growth segments in the region, and for defining high level solution concepts required for early stages of incubation. Dejan’s current focus is on business models and technology platforms within a broad range of Smart City services and applications. Dejan joined NEC in early 2009, prior to which he has held senior positions in product management and technical services in both blue chip and start-up companies in telecommunications industry.
Tom Gray

Tom Gray

CTO - Kainos

Tom is a 25-year tech veteran, and is the driving force behind many of Kainos’ most imaginative and successful customer and staff initiatives, including HealthHackEU, Kainos AppCamp, Code4Derry.

Tom joined Kainos in 1990 as a Software Engineer and, subsequently took on roles in Support, Pre-Sales and Solution Architecture before being appointed CTO in 2005. Tom is Chairman of the University of Ulster Industrial Liaison Board, and is a member of the Industry Board of Manchester Connected Health.
David Anderson

David Anderson

Director of Technology - Liberty IT

David has over 20 years’ experience in building software systems across many domains and technologies. As Director of Technology with Liberty IT, working on many Liberty Mutual key systems, David has exposure to a wide range of technologies and techniques covering Architecture, UX, Dev, Test, DevOps, Analytics & Cyber-Security.

A life-long programmer, David brings deep technical knowledge along with strong collaboration and teamwork skills to deliver business value. Since 1997, Liberty IT has created complex world class IT solutions exclusively for Fortune 100 U.S. parent company, Liberty Mutual Insurance, developing a wide range of enterprise scale, Customer Focused solutions which leverage cloud technologies, agile engineering and disciplined practice to enable highly dynamic business needs. Software Development is a critical component of digital transformation.
Hazel Moore

Hazel Moore

Co-Founder and Chairman- First Capital

Hazel is chairman of FirstCapital, an investment bank which has been successfully providing mergers and acquisitions, private equity and growth capital advice to high growth technology companies since 1999.

With offices in London and Silicon Valley, FirstCapital’s portfolio of clients has rapidly expanded alongside its reputation for delivering smarter deals based on exceptional industry knowledge, insightful advice, an extensive global network and a tried and tested SMART dealmaking process. An authority on M&A, private equity and venture capital. Hazel is regularly invited to speak at conferences and seminars in Europe and the US. In 2015 Hazel won the Women in Private Equity Award for Best Corporate Finance Advisor, and in 2016 she was featured in the “Women Invent: 100 women in tech whose names you need to know” by Silicon Republic. In both 2013 and 2014 Hazel was identified as one of 100 Women to Watch in the Female FTSE Board Report. Hazel is a member of the Governing Board of Innovate UK, the national innovation agency for the UK. From 2012 to 2015 she chaired the Emerging Technologies and Industries Steering Group for Innovate UK which identifies and prioritises new industries of strategic importance for the UK. Hazel was previously a member of the Investment Advisory Panel of the North West Fund, a £155mn fund providing debt and equity funding to businesses in the North West of England. Earlier in her career Hazel was based in Hong Kong and London for W.I. Carr, a leading Asian institutional stockbroker, where she held senior roles, including Head of Equity Research for Hong Kong. Previous positions include technical roles with GEC Marconi. Hazel has an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Alex Turnbull

Alex Turnbull

Software Engineer - Kainos

Alex graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2014 and has since worked as a software engineer for Kainos.

He got the opportunity to work in the Kainos R&D team where he used some of the latest ‘bleeding edge’ technologies around at the minute. He is particularly interested in mobile application development and is currently working on a local government project which allows people in Northern Ireland to buy fishing licence online, as apposed to the old paper based system.
Brendan Smyth

Brendan Smyth

Chief Operating Officer - Bitnet

For 15 years, this MBA/computer scientist’s wheelhouse has been establishing and running successful software development centers that deliver innovative e-commerce products for international financial services organizations.

Case in point: Growing operations at CyberSource (as employee #1) into a high-value delivery unit with 80+ employees. Formerly: Visa/CyberSource, HBOS.
Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts

Managing Partner - Xcell Partners

Diane Roberts has spent her entire career in international Sales and Marketing roles, and brings over 15 years rich industry experience, selling in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia Pacific.

From 2002 – 2007, Diane lived and worked in Silicon Valley, where she was the West Coast Director and the Manager of Enterprise Ireland’s US Software and Services team. During this time she developed a strong network of contacts and an up close understanding of the some of the world’s leading technology companies, and in particular, the approach of the world’s largest venture capital community. From 2009-2012 Diane was the National Director for HBAN, Ireland’s angel investment network establishing syndicates in Dublin & Cork. She is uniquely qualified to understand both the entrepreneurial and investment communities, North and South of the island.
Jonathan Hacking

Jonathan Hacking

Solicitor - A&L Goodbody

Jonny trained in London and qualified in September 2009. Jonny specialises in commercial law with a particular focus on cyber security.

Jonny advises client's on their legal requirements in relation to cyber security and provides advice as to the best practices to adopt as well the appropriate steps to take in the event of a security breach.
Judith Totten

Judith Totten

Managing Director - Upstream Working Capital Ltd

Judith is Managing Director of Upstream Working Capital Ltd, a company she originally established as Keys Commercial Finance Limited in 2011.

Upstream remains the only truly independent provider of working capital funding for Northern Ireland SME’s. Upstream currently supports new funding in excess of £120M on a revolving basis principally to indigenous NI business owners and Judith and her team are driven to see the alternative finance market growing exponentially in the years ahead. Following a buy out of her original business partner last year , Judith is now the majority shareholder in Upstream and the business has recently relocated to modern Grade A offices at 40 Linenhall Street , Belfast in readiness for further growth and diversification through 2016 and beyond.   Judith has had a lengthy and successful career in banking, principally with Danske Bank (formerly Northern Bank Ltd) and she is much respected in the local business and professional community. She is an accomplished business developer with over 25 years of experience within the Banking and Invoice Finance industries throughout Ireland. Judith is passionate about working capital and she prides herself in leading a solutions based and empathetic team of like minded professionals in the credit management, trade , supply chain and cash flow funding sector. In terms of service, ethics and independence Judith’s business has built a flawless reputation for reliability, flexibility and integrity.   In addition to her ‘day job’, Judith is also a Board Member with Invest NI , a role she feels privileged to fulfil and one to which brings a fresh perspective from the private sector. She is also involved in mentoring and advising small businesses locally and sits on the membership and strategy committee of the HALO Business Angel network in NI. She has also recently been appointed Chair of the Economic Affairs Committee for the CBI in NI. At the end of the day though Judith is a mum first and foremost and loves nothing more than spending time with her family and her little grand daughter, Emily.
Jayne Brady

Jayne Brady

Partner - Kernel Capital

Jayne joined Kernel Capital 2013 having held a Senior Executive role in Kernel Capital portfolio company since 2007.

Jayne’s investment focus is ICT, Telecoms and Engineering. Jayne is currently Chairman of the Institute of Engineering and Technology in Northern Ireland (2013/2014), and holds and has held a number of advisory and board roles with organisations focused on economic and social development. Jayne’s career has involved leadership positions with both multinationals and start-ups, across a variety of operational and executive roles. Jayne has lived and worked in culturally and politically complex environments in a variety of global locations including Europe, China, India and North America. Roles have included international sales, business development, corporate due diligence and ownership of a range of cross functional technical projects of scale.
Andy McCartney

Andy McCartney

Founding Partner - Whitespace Ventures Ltd

This quintessential tech entrepreneur has travelled from bedroom coder to chic geek to working for one of the largest tech firms in the world and becoming a keystone for the booming British tech ecosystem.

Andy is no stranger to the world of entrepreneurialism, having founded and acted as CTO for his fair share of tech start-ups, including the award-winning JamPot Technologies. Unsurprisingly, he has been recognised by some of the industry’s biggest players and was welcomed into the fold by Microsoft Ventures, where he founded Microsoft Ventures UK launched in London, helping build successful global start-ups. The next natural step for Andy was to take all this expertise and start investing into the next global successes, where he has become one of the founding team for Whitespace Ventures.
Mark Nagurski

Mark Nagurski

Co-Founder of MakeMatic

Mark is co-founder and CEO of MakeMatic - a platform for video-based masterclasses that teach young people creative and digital skills.

Before launching MakeMatic, Mark was the CEO of CultureTECH, one of the country’s largest creative and digital industries events, which welcomed over 100,000 attendees over 4 years from 2012. He has a love for creative education and was responsible for making Minecraft available to all secondary schools in Northern Ireland.
Niamh Scanlon

Niamh Scanlon

EU Digital Girl of the Year

Niamh Scanlon is 13 years old. She loves coding and is a mentor at CoderDojo DCU (Dublin City University).

Her work has won awards at Coolest Projects and Eir Junior Spiders. She is a member of the Digital Youth Council of Ireland and was awarded EU Digital Girl of the Year in December 2015.
Gareth Burns

Gareth Burns

Head of Development & Build Services - SQS

Gareth Burns is the global Head of Development & Build Services for SQS with a passion for producing high quality software.

With a primary focus on Development Consultancy, Gareth’s background is in application development for web and mobile. With over fifteen years commercial experience developing and delivering solutions for Enterprise and SME clients worldwide, Gareth’s expertise includes Development Management, Agile, Cloud Technologies, Development Tooling, Continuous Delivery and Development Quality. Gareth is a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer and studied Computing Science at the University of Glasgow.
Sakir Sezer

Professor Sakir Sezer

School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Sakir Sezer is the Director of Research at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast.

His research combines core cybersecurity related topics in malware, cloud, network and ICS security and advancements in anomaly detection, malware forensics, DDoS for real-time cloud and network-based threat detection. Prof Sezer has successfully co-ordinated and managed a number of large industrial, EPSRC and EU funded research projects of over £10M as Principal Investigator and over £50M as Co-Investigator. Professor Sezer's research is leading major (patented) advances in the field of high-performance content and security processing and he has co-authored over 170 conference and journal papers. Professor Sezer is also co-founder and CTO of Titan IC Systems and is a member of various research and executive committees.
Simon Fisher

Simon Fisher

Solutions Architect - Chef

Simon Fisher is a Solutions Architect with Chef, having started off his 9 year IT career in development, he has spent the last few of those years helping people improve their DevOps practices through the use of automation.

In his spare time he develops and runs a website for people with Type 1 Diabetes in Ruby on Rails.
Conall Laverty

Conall Laverty

Founder & CEO - Wia

Conall Laverty is the Founder & CEO of Internet of Things startup Wia.

Wia provide a cloud platform for developers who are building connected products helping them bring ideas to life in minutes instead of spending months writing code. They have recently received investment from NDRC and have partnerships with Intel & Ubuntu. Conall has architected and developed software solutions for a wide range of companies including Net-A-Porter, BBC, Cambridge Silicon Radio, IBM, Deezer and startups throughout UK & Ireland.
Sakir Sezer

Steven Hunter

S.T.E.A.M Officer, FAB guru - Fablab Belfast

Steven is a self taught hacker/coder with experience in mechanical and electrical engineering.

He has been involved in FabLab since 2012 and being a hardcore maker / 3d designer he was able to add a new facet to the FabLab. It is his job to welcome, teach and inspire you to create on any level. He teaches accredited course in Digital Fabrication and Graphic Design software to a wide range of demographics. His passion is all things robots from machines to humanoids. His work has been recreated and exhibited in many places around the world from robotic arms to open source housing. Fablab engages with the local community, business, schools and colleges through a range of projects. These provide users with a unique experience in the world of digital design and manufacture. Fablab is heavily involved in the provision of STEM to schools and colleges through the North of Ireland again through a range of innovative and unique projects and accredited training with bodies such as City and Guilds and OCN.
Paddy O'Hare'

Patrick O'Hare

Technical and Operations Manager - Fablab Belfast

Patrick is a proficient design engineer responsible for developing maker programmes that engage with people of all ages. As a trained teacher his is passionate about using every opportunity to allow people to learn, particularly using digital maker technology.

Patrick or Paddy as he is known to most people is a trained teacher and Design Engineer. Paddy has been involved in FabLab in establishing project in 2012. Coming from a Design and Education background he is a natural fit for this innovative project. Patrick has a passion for Computer Aided Design and Manufacture which he regularly demonstrates to the users of Fablab. He has presented about Fablab all over Ireland and has gained the title of a “fab guru” and is always on hand in the lab to help you bring your ideas and concepts to life. He is also an accomplished musician and instrument builder. Fablab engages with the local community, business, schools and colleges through a range of projects. These provide users with a unique experience in the world of digital design and manufacture. Fablab is heavily involved in the provision of STEM to schools and colleges through the North of Ireland again through a range of innovative and unique projects and accredited training with bodies such as City and Guilds and OCN.
Kerry Ritz

Kerry Ritz

Managing Director - MassChallenge UK

Kerry has a broad range of international experience with both start-ups and corporates. Before joining MassChallenge, he was Chief Marketing Officer of FTSE 250 Euromoney Institutional Investor plc, where he was responsible for marketing, sales, customer service, fulfilment, marketing technology, product management, and customer insight.

Previously, he was CEO for Palringo and VP Business Development for EVRYTHNG, both innovative early-stage start-ups. He has also advised, mentored and invested in start-ups in the UK and the US. His passion for start-ups extends to working as an expert for the social enterprise Apps for Good, which aims to help primary and secondary students to become entrepreneurs. Kerry has a track record of bringing innovative and disruptive businesses to market: he was the President of Vonage UK and was one of the Founding Directors and one of the first 20 employees of “3”, the first 3g mobile operator in Europe. Although Kerry is originally Canadian, he has been in Europe for more than 25 years and has lived in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. He has an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, LL.B from Birkbeck College (University of London) and a BA in Political Science from The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.
Diego De la Hoz

Diego De la Hoz

IT Consultant - NEC Spain

Dr. Diego De la Hoz is an IT Consultant for NEC IBERICA specialised in product development of IoT platforms and end-user services for the smart city market, particularly focusing on guiding and launching prototype build-outs.

Trained originally as a telecom engineer (MEng. degree at the University of Cantabria, Spain), he started his career as as a Project Manager for Mondragón Corporation in Spain. He later developed an interdisciplinary profile, acquiring skills for a sociotechnical approach to the analysis of technology, an area where he completed doctoral studies at the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation in the University of Edinburgh. Prior to his current role, he gained valuable experience in European research programmes through a spell of four years at the European Science Foundation as a Science Officer – the first two years as a secondee of the former Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation.
Chris Acheson'

Chris Acheson

CEO and Founder - CADshare

Chris Acheson (CEO and Founder of CADshare) is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with 15 years’ experience in the Mining and Mineral Processing industry.

He has a strong history in engineering plant design, new product development and subsequent commercialisation on a global basis. Chris lived and worked in Australia for 10 years – one of CADshares’ key geographic markets. While he gained significant exposure to all aspects of the supply chain. He successfully designed and subsequently commercialised new capital equipment. He has managed design projects in excess of $1million, and delivered capital projects whilst managing the Projects team at the largest gold mine in Australia. He has worked in North America, throughout Asia and the Middle East, giving him a truly global outlook, and an acute insight into the challenges faced by distributed teams in modern engineering design.
Neil Thom

Neil Thom

Placement Software Engineer - Kainos

Neil is a member of the Applied Innovation team at Kainos Software, and likes to stay on the bleeding edge of technology.

He is currently studying Computing at University of Ulster’s Coleraine campus and has had a huge interest in computers and technology for his entire life. The Applied Innovation team at Kainos has fostered this greatly, and has made it possible for Neil to gain experience in the newest advancements in software & web development, with his area of expertise being Virtual Reality.
Steven McNamara

Steven McNamara

Co-Founder and CTO - Bitnet

Stephen has hacked on complex software for almost 25 years, working on everything from medical systems, middleware and protocols, very large test automation suites (think millions of tests) and payments (3 times).

Most recently as CTO for CyberSource, he was responsible for all aspects of technology vision, strategy and architecture.
Leeann Monk Ozgul

Leeann Monk Ozgul

Director - Elemental

Leeann is a digital health and social innovation entrepreneur with over 13 years’ experience in community development & health, engaging the hardly reached across areas of disadvantage.

Leeann has designed and implemented numerous award winning community programmes which have reduced health inequalities and increased awareness of the impact of Chronic Conditions. Leeann is the Co-Founder of Elemental Software. A health software and patient engagement organisation. Their core platform 'Elemental' is changing the interaction between the health and social care stakeholders, reducing the risk of chronic conditions with social prescribing at the core.
Adam Flanagan

Adam Flanagan

Founder - Future

Adam is a fourteen year old developer and entrepreneur from Belfast.

Having been frustrated at the lack of tech events for teens, Adam recently launched Future to inspire the next generation of tech leaders.
Mark Elliot

Mark Elliot

Founder - ProfitBees

ProfitBees aim to make SME business loans less stressful and more efficient, offering access to multiple lenders through 1 business loan application, and business support experts trained to speak the language of lenders.

This we feel offers SMEs a way to accelerate loan borrowing decisions, so they can grow and expand faster. Our technology is clean and simple to use, and most importantly, it is a collaborative platform where SMEs and lenders can work together to understand each other. We have created a standard format of financials & forecasts that a lender understand, making it simple to communicate business growth strategies. Our Beta platform is launching soon so if you are a business looking to raise money quickly get in touch and see how they can help.
Martin Woodward

Martin Woodward

Executive Director of the .NET Foundation - Microsoft

Martin Woodward is the Executive Director of the .NET Foundation where he helps foster open development and collaboration around .NET.

He is also a Principle Program Manager on the .NET team in Microsoft. Martin joined Microsoft in 2009 after their acquisition of the small start-up company he had helped create to provide tools to Mac, Linux, Java and Eclipse developers. He went on to introduce Git into the Microsoft and was part of the cross company team helping the company become more open source focussed.
Caron Malone

Caron Malone

Northern Ireland Electricity

Caron graduated from QUB in 2011 with a MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

She works for Northern Ireland Electricity Networks after being on a Power Academy Scholarship with them through University. She has held a number of roles in the company and currently is in the Connections business working on the introduction of contestable connections in Northern Ireland.
Seamus Sands

Seamus Sands

Senior Analytics Engineer – Kainos / Steering Group Member – Bank of Invention

Seamus graduated from the Ulster University in 2012 with a BSc in Computing Science, and has since worked in Kainos across numerous public and private sector projects using a variety of different languages and technologies.

He is currently part of the Big Data & Analytics Practice within Kainos, developing and deploying production level Analytics Solutions. Kainos is his “9 to 5” job and they firmly believe in a great work-life balance, so in his “5 to 9", Seamus is apart of numerous organisations, Bank of Invention, IAESTE, Young Influencers, The IET to name a few. These organisations allow him to network with a range of people from different disciplines and the wider world. The Bank of Invention have the aspiration to develop a knowledge economy, that by 2030 will produce 500 startups annually, a new culture of innovation with access to talent that will create a self-sustaining economy, built by the people who care the most.
Ronan Cregan

Ronan Cregan

Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Resources - Belfast City Council

Ronan Cregan is Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Resources at Belfast City Council.

Ronan was appointed Director of Finance and Resources in June 2011 having previously held the post of Head of Finance and Performance. Prior to this, he was Improvement Manager for the council’s Core Improvement Team for a five year period and was responsible for implementing key change strategies within the organisation. From 1989 to 2004 Ronan worked in the council’s Audit Section and achieved his CIPFA professional qualification in 1992. In his current role as Director of Finance and Resources, Ronan is the Council’s designated chief financial officer with lead responsibility for Corporate Financial Management, Digital Service and also Corporate Assurance, Governance and Risk (including Health and Safety). He is also the Senior Responsible Officer for the council’s Smart City programme and Leisure Transformation Programme.
Timothy Brundle

Timothy Brundle

Northern Ireland Electricity

Timothy Brundle is Director of Research & Innovation at Ulster University.

Timothy directs Ulster’s research strategy, governance and administration, and guides its commercial output through knowledge transfer and intellectual property commercialisation. He also holds the position of Executive Director of Innovation Ulster Ltd, Ulster’s venturing and investment company. Timothy has worked throughout his career in research-led organisations, with a focus on developing their customer-orientation, economic impact, business outcomes and shareholder value. He has led the establishment of more than 35 high tech start up companies, secured over £380m of Venture Capital, managed a profitable investment fund and ensured investor value from company acquisitions and a stock market floatation. He is an experienced and skilled member of the Board of both young companies and mature public Institutions, including serving as a Director of many of Ulster’s spin out companies, Invest NI and the UK Knowledge Transfer Network.
Allen Martin

Allen Martin

Snr. Investment Executive - Kernel Capital

Allen who is a Chartered Accountant joined the Kernel Capital team in 2014 from Invest NI where he was an executive for five years within Invest NI's Corporate Finance Division, responsible for leading and project managing key elements of Invest NI’s Access to Capital Strategy.

Prior to this Allen worked in corporate finance for three years at Ulster Bank and in his early career he worked for three years at Grant Thornton Belfast. Allen has extensive established networks across the business community in Northern Ireland through interactions and execution of a large number of commercial transactions with technology driven start up, growth and later stage companies.  Based at our Belfast office Allen is focussed on equity investments in the £500k to £2m range in Northern Ireland technology companies.
Maire O'Neill

Maire O'Neill

Research Director of Secure Digital Systems - CSIT, QUB

Máire O’Neill is Research Director of Secure Digital Systems at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), Queen’s University Belfast.

She has received numerous awards for her research work in Information Security which include a 2014 Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal and British Female Inventor of the Year 2007. She has authored two research books and has over 120 peer-reviewed conference and journal publications. She has also had success in commercialising her research work and her research into high-speed AES security was successfully commercialised by Amphion Semiconductors and collaborative research on a novel security architecture for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging systems was licensed by LG-CNS. She has given numerous invited talks and was an invited speaker at the 2015 Global Grand Challenges Summit organised by the Chinese, UK and US National Academies of Engineering.
Tara Simpson

Tara Simpson

Managing Director - Instill Software

Tara Simpson is managing director of Instil Software, a bespoke software development and training consultancy based in Belfast.

He has been developing software for 35 years, and has worked on a wide range of systems including emulators, compilers, application frameworks, and embedded systems. The culture within Instil is very much an extension of Tara's passion for software engineering, teaching and getting stuff done.
Ben Bland

Ben Bland

Account Manager - Sensum

Ben has a wide background in digital marketing, media and innovation.

He spent the last eight years as a freelance consultant in London and Belfast, particularly focused on startups. He is a founding member and former director of Farset Labs, the Belfast hackerspace. Ben recently started a new full-time role at Sensum, a Belfast-based tech startup that uses biometric data to create real-time insights on people's emotional states.
Chris Meenan

Chris Meenan

Director - QRadar Security Intelligence Product Management and Strategy, IBM

Chris Meenan is the Director or QRadar Security Intelligence Product Management and Strategy within the IBM Security division.

He has been with the QRadar team for over 5 years in customer facing, technical and marketing roles. He has 15 years experience in product management and has been involved in developing, managing, releasing and selling software products for over 25 years. Chris has extensive market domain and customer knowledge in IT security, customer relationship management and telecom OSS solutions. Chris hollds a 1st class honours degree in Physics, and has a PhD in telecommunications.
Deborah Colville

Deborah Colville

Smart Cities Portfolio Manager - Belfast City Council

Deborah is currently leading on the development of a Smart City Framework to support collaborative working with local universities, public and private sectors across the city to deliver innovative technology solutions that support the vision and aspirations identified in the new Belfast Agenda.

Deborah is a member of the BSI Cities Institute Board which develops Standards to support the UKs Smart City approach. She has extensive experience in local government, working mainly for Belfast City Council. As a member of the senior management team she was responsible for the development of the digital strategy for the Council. She has experience implementing digital transformation through the use of cutting edge technologies to ensure value for money the delivery of quality citizen services.
Russell Kane

Russell Kane

Lecturer - School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, QUB.

Currently lecturing in Software Engineering & Project Management, coordinator and supervisor for BSc Software Engineering final year projects, which incorporates company proposed projects as well as student proposed projects leading to potential start-ups, coordinator and supervisor for MSc Software Development projects which also includes company proposed projects and student proposed projects.

Exploring with students who propose their own projects how they may progress their ideas. Chair of Professional Advisory Board in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in QUB. Member of the QUB EEECS Computing Education Committee. Coordinating marketing for computing within the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at QUB. Facilitator of Hackathons including interdisciplinary Hackathons with other schools & universities which has included Medical & global Hackathons as well as Hackathons with companies exploring new technologies. Through the Hackathons encouraging students to develop their ideas beyond the Hackathons. Previous modules delivered included Introduction to Multimedia, Tournaments in Computing, Networks & Communications, Multimedia Systems, Applied Multimedia, Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Course director for Foundation Degree in Creative Multimedia. Participate monthly with Code for Ireland which was developed from Code for America model of reaching out to communities. Captain of Innovation for Microsoft Imagine Cup across Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. Chair of judging panel of a Computer Games Programming competition across Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. Particular interest in how innovation is encouraged in other countries and how those models may be applied to NI.