Brian Donnelly, Synapse Information
Tech entrepreneur Brian Donnelly founded business information software firm Synapse Information in 2012 after working in Silicon Valley for eight years with his first business, Constellar, which he sold to IBM. Cloud-based Synapse helps businesses struggling with spreadsheets to automate their business-critical operations. Synapse employs 30 people and turns over more than £1.5 million. Mr Donnelly also has a management consultancy business.
David Hardman MBE, Innovation Birmingham
David Hardman is chief executive of Birmingham Science Park Aston's Innovation Birmingham Campus. Taking up the post in 2008, he has led the re-branding and development of the campus's incubator environment and is bringing in global support to drive Birmingham's knowledge economy. A PhD microbiologist, he has worked to integrate Innovation Birmingham's activities into the city's development plans. He spent ten years in Cambridge leading the commercial development of the Babraham Research Campus focussed on support for healthcare and bio-ventures. Mr Hardman received an MBE in 2009 for services to science.
Simon Jenner, Silicon Canal
Simon Jenner co-founded not-for-profit organisation Silicon Canal to support Birmingham's tech community and start-ups. An entrepreneur who has a technical background, he has worked with more than 100 start-up companies. Mr Jenner launched Adventures in Business, a vehicle for new entrepreneurial start-ups, and Birmingham Entrepreneurs, the largest entrepreneurs group outside of London. He is a consultant with Res:Harmonics, a property management platform launched last year and aimed at apartment managers. Mr Jenner is also co-founder of the café group Urban.
David Maclean, Packt Publishing
Packt Publishing is a leading provider of technology e-books and coding e-books to help IT professionals develop their software. Packt was founded in Birmingham in 2004 and has published more than 5,000 books and videos. The Livery Street-based company also has an office in Mumbai. Alongside traditional publishing activities, Packt supports open source projects. The business turns over more than £11 million. David Maclean is its managing director and was previously founder and managing director at Wrox Press.