Assembling the A-Team

Brought to you by The Business Group

At this event you will learn from an unmissable line-up of speakers what makes a team investable, along with proven techniques for recruiting the best possible people to your business. FREE delegate places for start-up and small organisations.

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

“If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.” from The A-Team

Building a strong management team is critical to the success of your business. Not only will these be the people who bring your vision to life, your team is the #1 thing that investors analyse when considering whether you are finance-ready – and without funding, your operations will not scale.

As the Founder / CEO, you are the foundation upon which this team is built. How can you present yourself attractively to potential funders? How can you attract serious talent in a highly competitive market? And once you have assembled your management team, how can you ensure that the business remains aligned to your vision?

At this event we will explore the critical decisions and potential pitfalls to recruiting your A-Team with talks from experienced leaders who have been through this process before you. By the end, you will better understand the recruitment decisions that reassure both customers and investors. The unmissable line-up of speakers includes:

  • David Cleevely, Chair, Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • Poppy Gustafsson, Co-Founder, Darktrace
  • Heather Beardmore, Director, Halpenfield Ltd
  • Akriti Dokania, Early Stage Investor, Octopus Ventures
  • Mike Price, Chairman & Founder, The MPA Group

FREE delegate places for start-up and small organisations (less than 5 employees)To claim you free ticket please email

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWBusiness.

Sponsored by MPA

With over 10 years’ experience, our tax specialists and technical analysts are experts in the R&D Tax Credit scheme and Patent Box relief, delivering funding for innovative tech companies. MPA Group helps clients accelerate their innovation and business expansion. They help companies to capitalise on their research, innovation and development activities by maximising all the potential benefits from available HMRC tax concessions. MPA Group’s experienced industry specialists and tax experts focus on maximising client value with high quality client service delivery. Working with them, their clients have received more than £150m of financial benefits for their business using the R&D Tax Credits and Patent Box concessions.

View profile

Hosted by The Bradfield Centre

The Bradfield Centre is a collaborative entrepreneurial community of technology start-ups and scale-ups housed in a stunning building at the heart of the Cambridge Science Park. The new Centre is expected to become the gateway and focal point for Cambridge’s ever-expanding technology cluster. Designed to appeal to entrepreneurs, researchers and students, the Centre will become home to innovative high growth start-up and scale-up businesses. These will work alongside project teams from more mature, innovative businesses developing exciting new products. The Bradfield Centre was part-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is managed by workspace operators Central Working on behalf of Trinity College. The Centre is the largest of Central Working’s global network of rapidly expanding membership-based communities.

View profile


Expand all

The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration over networking lunch


Introduction to the Business Group from Ann Fisher, Bailey Fisher


Welcome from our sponsor The MPA Group, Mike Price, Chairman and Founder


Heather Beardmore, Director, Halpenfield Ltd

'Finding talent, retaining talent and building a motivated team’

How can you recruit and retain the right people to make your business successful in a competitive environment? Mistakes made and lessons learned on the journey to building a great team.


Poppy Gustafsson, CEO, Darktrace

'Building a Billion Dollar Business: Challenging the Status Quo'

In just five years, Darktrace has reached a valuation of over $1.65 billion and is internationally recognised for its innovation and rapid growth. A commitment to challenging the status quo has been crucial at every stage of the journey to world leader in cyber AI.


Dr David Cleevely, CBE, FREng, FIET - Chair, Raspberry Pi Foundation

‘Joining the Board: how to tell the difference between a Non-Exec and a supermarket trolley’

Why join a board? Why invite someone to join a board? I’ll be talking about what I look for, what a start-up should look for, and how to spot a supermarket trolley and other exotica.


Refreshments and networking


Akriti Dokania, Early Stage Investor at Octopus Ventures

'How to stand out from the crowd’

Akriti receives a large number of business plans, she will discuss how to build and present a strong Founder team.


Mike Price, Chairman and Founder, The MPA Group

'Start up to a team of 75 in 10 years'

The first 10 years of MPA Group have been a phenomenal journey, the majority of it going to plan, but some of its been a little more rocky than I'd hoped. I'll share with you the highs and lows in the hope that it is both interesting and insightful.


Panel session with all speakers, chaired by Toby Young, of Bailey Fisher Executive Search

With Additional Panellist: Ward Hills, Makespace Cambridge Ltd


Concluding remarks from Dr Soraya Jones, Invested Investor & Bradfield Centre


Heather Beardmore - Director, Halpenfield

Heather graduated in Computer Science and then began a career in the IT industry working for some of the top computer software vendors in the world. Initially entering the profession as a computer programmer Heather rose to the position of Professional Services Director. She built professional services teams from zero eventually managing a team of 120 consultants both in the UK and internationally. In 2004 Heather started Halpenfield Ltd, a specialist BI & Analytics company. Halpenfield delivers data driven solutions on premise or in the cloud to businesses in the UK, EMEA and USA.

David Cleevely CBE, FREng FIET - Chairman, Raspberry Pi Foundation

David Cleevely CBE FREng, FIET is the Chairman of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd. He is the founder and former Chairman of telecoms consultancy Analysys (acquired by Datatec International in 2004). In 1998, he co-founded the web based antibody company Abcam (ABC.L) with Jonathan Milner and was Chairman until November 2009. In late 2004 he co-founded the 3G femto base station company, 3Way Networks, which was sold to Airvana in April 2007. He has invested in over 55 companies and is Chairman of four of them, including the award winning restaurant “Bocca di Lupo” and its gelateria subsidiary, Gelupo. He has been a prime mover behind Cambridge Network, co-founder of Cambridge Wireless, co-founder and Chairman of Cambridge Angels and is a member of the IET Communications Policy Panel. For 8 years until March 2009 he was a member of the Ofcom Spectrum Advisory Board. From 2001 to 2008 he was a member of the Ministry of Defence Board overseeing information systems and services (DES-ISS, formerly the Defence Communications Services Agency). After being sponsored to study Cybernetics at Reading by Post Office Telecommunications, he joined their Long Range Studies Division. A PhD at Cambridge was then followed by the Economist Intelligence Unit in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the IET and he has recently held an Industrial Fellowship at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. In 2009 he was appointed the Founding Director and Executive Committee Member of the Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge and was Chair until June 2018. He was elected a Fellow Commoner of Queens College, Cambridge in 2013 and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall in 2015. He was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List in 2013.

Akriti Dokania - Early Stage Investor, Octopus Ventures

Akriti joined Octopus in 2018, with a focus on deep tech businesses within the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning software, B2B Enterprise Software, Cyber Security and next generation automation. Having worked internationally, UK, US and India, Akriti understands how to build a business. She is a computer science engineer by background and worked as a Product Manager with Windows and in the User Experience team at Windows Edge. Prior to this, Akriti built a B2B Business in India, with a focus on accounting in the retail space. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and completed an MBA at the London Business School. Whilst completing her MBA, Akriti worked with the Amazon Alexa team to help launch Alexa in new territories. She also worked at Forward Partners as a pre-seed/seed stage investor.

Poppy Gustafsson - CEO, Darktrace

Poppy is a co-founder of Darktrace, which under her leadership has reached a $1.65 billion valuation in under five years and was named Europe’s ‘Fastest Growing Super Scale-up’ by Tech Tour. Poppy is a qualified chartered accountant and previously served as the company’s CFO. Prior roles also include financial controller positions in the technology and venture capital sectors. She was named City A.M.’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2017.

Ward Hills - Director, Albion Innovations, Director, Makespace

Ward is an experienced CEO, Director and Chairman of technology and services firms. His interests range from the not-for-profit hackspace, Makespace, to business development and corporate governance for firms like AbedGraham Healthcare Strategies. Makespace is Cambridge’s community inventing shed that supports Cambridge business with prototyping facilities and where both professionals and kids train in a variety of STEM subjects. From its base in London, AbedGraham provides cybersecurity and healthcare IT advice, project management and bid support for the NHS, the European Commission and vendors in the UK, EU and US. Ward has lead several start-ups achieving medical device approvals, successful product launches, licensing deals and an exit to an AIM listed PLC (AIM:DMTR). He is an Institute of Directors certified director and active investor in companies above as well as others such as Syndicate Room.

Ward was a co-founder and CEO of an early stage medical device company focused on using 3D reconstructions to identify and track respiratory disease. He was also CEO of Ionscope, a bio-nanometrics instrument maker, and OpenIOLabs a laboratory IoT firm.

As an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Cambridge Judge Business school he lectures on doing business across borders and mentors international masters students.

Ward has experience in advising multinational aerospace, life sciences and services businesses across North America, Europe, and Asia on a broad range of topics, including corporate strategy, sales and marketing, market access, and R&D strategy.

Mike Price - Chair and Owner, MPA

Mike Price qualified as an accountant some 25 years ago. Mike built his career around his passions; technology, working in finance and general management, though his career with Deloitte was cut short when he was hit by joy riders, resulting in spinal injuries which made a 'normal' job near impossible. So, in 2007 Mike founded Michael Price Associates (MPA).

In the 13 years since, Mike has grown MPA to a company of 75 staff that works with over 800 businesses across the UK. Situated in Milton Keynes, MPA works to support innovative businesses of all sizes, tailoring their services to best meet the needs of their clients. In his spare time, Mike is a triathlon enthusiast. His latest challenge is to set a new world record for the most half Ironman events completed in 12 months.

Toby Young - Partner, Bailey Fisher Executive Search

Toby is a Technology Partner at Bailey Fisher Executive Search, working with a broad range of clients from early-stage & venture backed businesses to private equity backed companies and large corporates.  Toby has 13 years’ executive search experience in the technology and finance sectors.

Toby has recently completed the following mandates:  NED for an AIM listed location intelligence solutions company, CEO for a VC backed high-energy-density battery business, COO for an international subsea cabling company, General Manager Smart Mobility for the innovation division of a multinational corporation, CTO for a home monitoring solutions company and Commercial Director for a waste energy recovery spin-out.

Toby co-hosts Bailey Fisher’s series of CEO Dinners with a focus on knowledge sharing and thought leadership for CEOs of high growth technology companies.  Guest speakers have included the former CEO of ARM (Barron’s List of World’s Top 30 CEOs 2011 & 2013), CISCO’s Corporate Venturing Director, Head of Innovation at Jaguar Land Rover, Director of Castrol innoVentures at BP, CEO of Horizon Discovery Group plc and the CEO of Neul.

SIG Champions

Ann Fisher - Co-Founder & NED, Bailey Fisher Executive Search

Ann co-founded Bailey Fisher Executive Search in 1998, leading to a successful exit in July 2018, where she is still involved as NED. Ann has a passion for diversity, founding Women 4 Technology in 2008, a networking forum for over 1500 international female entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders in the technology sector, with events hosted in Cambridge, London and Manchester.  Ann has over 20 years' experience in executive search, focusing on high growth Technology companies and Professional Service firms associated with the Technology community. Ann is highly adept at building senior management teams for fast-paced innovative technology companies. Ann led the business development activities in Bailey Fisher; organising the Silicon Valley Comes to the UK events, supporting the Business Weekly Awards, Samsung STEM Girls, Cambridge Girls Talk and in recognition of Ann's extensive business network, she was nominated as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Business People in the Cambridge Technology Cluster. Ann has been a mentor on the Techstars Barclays Accelerator; a member of the Astia Global Advisory Board, a US organisation dedicated to the success of high-potential growth ventures, and a member of the Cambridge Campaign Committee for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. Prior to co-founding Bailey Fisher, Ann set up her first recruitment business at the age of 27, which she built to a successful exit within 5 years. Ann started her commercial career as Head of Finance with an early-stage software house in London, having trained with a Top 10 Manchester-based accountancy firm.


Collette Johnson - VP Marketing, GeoSpock

Collette works for GeoSpock leading the company’s global marketing. Her previous experience includes working Plextek leading their corporate marketing, she also worked at NHS innovations with a lead role in bringing together industry and clinical organisations for product adoption and also was the programme lead for the national SBRI Healthcare programmes, whilst in this role she focussed on the connected healthcare sector and developed a network bringing together, industry, clinical and academic stakeholders. Her experience also includes a strategic role at Cambridge Consultants for world leading corporate organisations and highly innovative start-ups.

Mike Price - Chair and Owner, MPA

Mike Price qualified as an accountant some 25 years ago. Mike built his career around his passions; technology, working in finance and general management, though his career with Deloitte was cut short when he was hit by joy riders, resulting in spinal injuries which made a 'normal' job near impossible. So, in 2007 Mike founded Michael Price Associates (MPA).

In the 13 years since, Mike has grown MPA to a company of 75 staff that works with over 800 businesses across the UK. Situated in Milton Keynes, MPA works to support innovative businesses of all sizes, tailoring their services to best meet the needs of their clients. In his spare time, Mike is a triathlon enthusiast. His latest challenge is to set a new world record for the most half Ironman events completed in 12 months.

Event Location

Open in google maps

Location info

Bradfield Centre, Cambridge Science Park, Cambridge, CB4 0GA

Email organiser

Related resources

Related events

  • CW (Cambridge Wireless)

    Positions of Trust

    Register now
  • CW (Cambridge Wireless)

    CW Christmas Founders' Dinner 2019

    Register now
  • CW (Cambridge Wireless)

    Genesis Conference 2019

    Register now

Subscribe to the CW newsletter

This site uses cookies.

We use cookies to help us to improve our site and they enable us to deliver the best possible service and customer experience. By clicking accept or continuing to use this site you are agreeing to our cookies policy. Learn more

Reserve your place

Join the CW network

CW is a leading and vibrant community with a rapidly expanding network of nearly 400 companies across the globe interested in the development and application of wireless and mobile technologies to solve business problems.

Sign in to your account

Please sign in to your CW account to reserve a place at this event and to qualify for any member discounts.

Start typing and press enter or the magnifying glass to search

Sign up to our newsletter
Stay in touch with CW

Choosing to join an existing organisation means that you'll need to be approved before your registration is complete. You'll be notified by email when your request has been accepted.

Your password must be at least 8 characters long and contain at least 1 uppercase character, 1 lowercase character and at least 1 number.

I would like to subscribe to

Select at least one option*