Converge Challenge 2013 judging panel
The Converge Challenge judges have been drawn from across the business community, creating a diverse panel of experts who run, influence, evaluate, research, and write about entrepreneurial and business ventures.
Mervyn Jones (Chair)
Mervyn has over 20 years experience in the oil industry having held a number of senior trading, commercial and business restructuring roles at BP both in the UK and overseas.
Following a long career at BP, Mervyn set up the Maple Jones Consultancy in 2003 to provide business and management consultancy and mentoring to SMEs and start-up businesses.
Mervyn is Chairman of independent arts company UZ Arts, a Non-Executive Director of SMRU (Sea Mammal Research Unit) Ltd and a Member of Court of the University of St Andrews. He is also a member of the advisory board of MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland). Until recently Mervyn was Chairman of Aquamarine Power Ltd.
Mervyn was formerly Chairman of the Grangemouth Development Group and Vice President of the Central Scotland Chamber of Commerce. He is a former Council Member of the Scottish Funding Council for Further and Higher Education, where he chaired its Strategic Funds and Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Groups.
In 2010, Mervyn was named UK Director of the Year for Environmental Leadership by the Institute of Directors UK and Non-Executive Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors Scotland.
Dr Douglas Anderson
Mr. Douglas Crombie Anderson, OBE, FRSE, FRSA founded Optos plc in 1992 and has been its Vice President of Global Advocacy since April 1, 2009 before retiring in 2012. At Optos, Mr. Anderson devised an innovative business model whereby Optos retains ownership of the device and the clinic pays a fee to Optos for each exam performed. He has extensive experience in successful management of the product development process and building early stage companies in the healthcare field.
He founded and serves as Chairman of Crombie Anderson Associates Limited. He founded and served as Chairman of Creos International Limited. He worked for Fortronic Limited and Aberglen Industrial Design, providing management and technical leadership in all aspects of industrial product design. Mr. Anderson served as Executive Vice Chairman of Optos plc until April 1, 2009. He has been a Non-Executive Director of Michelson Diagnostics Ltd. since July 2010. He served as an Executive Director of Optos plc. until April 1, 2009. He served as Director of Creos International plc. He serves as a Member of The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. He was awarded an OBE for services to life sciences and elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree in November 2008 from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Mr. Anderson holds a Higher National diploma in Industrial Design from Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Paul is an entrepreneur and serial angel investor, with a substantial track record of building value for companies in the technology and services sector and taking them to a successful exit. He is a founding Partner in Par Equity LLP, an investment firm that backs potential high growth businesses with innovation at their core.
Paul began his career in semiconductor manufacturing, working initially as an engineer with Phillips, before joining Millipore Corporation in a sales capacity. He moved into selling IT hardware and software with US company Data Translation before transferring to work in IT recruitment with Computer People. Following this, he moved to IT recruitment business Trident Computer Services as a Regional Director, then spent a period working in a consulting capacity for clients including Royal Bank of Scotland and IBM. In 1995, Paul founded the IT recruitment business, Direct Resources, which he sold in 1999 to NASDAQ listed Mastech Systems Corporation for £3.4 million. During this period he also launched a spinout business, RecruitmentScotland.com that was sold to TMP Worldwide in 2000 for £9.0 million.
Since this time he has invested or been involved in the foundation of a number of fast growth IT and Services companies, including the recruitment firm, Head Resourcing, top-ranked company in this year’s Recruiters Fast 50, the 50 fastest growing privately owned staffing companies in the UK.
Paul became a professional investor in 2008 with the formation of Par Equity LLP.
In addition to his investment activities, Paul is Chairman of Head Resourcing, Non Executive Director of Rocela Group and Board Member of HR Forum, Devonshire House Scotland. He is also a Founder and Coordinator of the Scottish IT Directors’ Forum.
Paul has a BSc in Physics from Manchester University. Originally from Yorkshire, he has lived in Scotland for over 20 years.
Mark is ideally placed to consider information technology investments and to make a highly positive contribution to portfolio companies in the IT sector. His operational experience is extensive and he was previously European Director of Sensory Networks, a network content security company. Mark also researched high speed semiconductors with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition, he has acted as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies, including Boeing’s space programme.
Shahida has spent more than 10 years in the Scottish technology arena. A CIMA qualified accountant, her recent engagements have encompassed the technology, software and renewable energy industries predominantly for emerging venture capital backed companies. She has led the financial management of businesses working closely with the executive management team in some of the most successful Scottish Technology Companies such as Optos plc, Voxar Limited and most recently Rocela Ltd.
She has extensive experience of the financial, operational and commercial requirements within a business and supporting major strategic initiatives such as acquisitions, takeovers, securing equity or grant funding and global expansion (including Far East Asia and USA), but also ensuring that robust scalable financial systems and processes are in place to support rapidly growing businesses.
Professor David Milne
Professor David Milne, who founded Wolfson Microelectronics while working in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, has been awarded the Royal Society of Edinburgh Royal Medal 2012.
David, who served as the CEO and Managing Director of the company until 2006, saw Wolfson Microelectronics grow to an international company with 400 employees and become a leading global supplier of high performance audio solutions for many of the world’s leading consumer electronic products, including smartphones, tablets and eBook readers.