Posted on November 9, 2018 by staff

UK Business Tech Awards: Entrepreneur of the Year


BusinessCloud’s inaugural UK Business Tech Awards are set for November and will recognise the individuals and businesses who are making the most impact in the world of technology.

Every day we are highlighting a different category ahead of a glitzy ceremony at London’s Montcalm Marble Arch on November 20.

There will be 18 gongs up for grabs including ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ with four names in the frame after they were shortlisted by our stellar line-up of judges: Ian O’Rourke, Jacyn Heavens, Kevin Jabou and Louis-James Davis.

We profile them below. Tickets are available at the Business Tech Awards website.

Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact [email protected].

The judging panel included David Hardman, MBE, managing director of Innovation Birmingham; Louize Clarke, co-founder, ConnectTVT; Elizabeth Clark, CEO, Dream Agility; former director of Tech North Richard Gregory; Tom Cheesewright, founder of Applied Futurism Practice; former Vodafone exec Rob Mukherjee, director of Greater Sport; Chris Dymond, director, Sheffield Digital; and Scott Henderson, managing director of Jumpstart.


Ian O’Rourke, founder and CEO, Adthena

Ian O’Rourke has been involved in technology businesses and start-ups for over 22 years in Australia, Taiwan, Silicon Valley and the UK.

He has grown Adthena since 2012 to its current position as the premier global provider of competitive intelligence, securing significant investment from Candy Crush entrepreneur Mel Morris, who sits on Adthena’s board as it expands its operations in the US, UK and Australia. Adthena achieved more than 100 per cent growth in 2018.

His main objective is to build what he calls ‘a good company,’ whose employees are engaged and whose output solves problems and provides true value to its customers. He has launched a ‘New Leaders Programme’, designed to train rising stars in the organisation, and every quarter he takes the whole company offsite where each department and every individual sets their own objectives that feed into the overall yearly objectives.

He also volunteers with Founders for Schools, where he talks to secondary school students about starting and running your own business.

Jacyn Heavens, founder and CEO, Epos Now LTD

Jacyn Heavens is founder, CEO and sole shareholder of Europe’s 46th fastest growing company, point-of-sale provider Epos Now.

Heavens founded the company with £80,000 of his own money and ran it from a small room above his bar in 2011. The EPOS systems available on the market before were costly, antiquated systems catering primarily to large corporate chains. Heavens believed he could offer a better alternative and set about creating a new standard — an affordable, scalable, user-friendly cloud-based system tailored to aid independents eager to detach from legacy systems.

He has built it up so 30,000+ businesses in 109 countries now use its software. With more than 350 employees, Epos Now won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2016.

Heavens leads entrepreneurial workshops and panels with Barclays Eagle Labs, delivering keynote and mentoring sessions at Cambridge University and the University of East Anglia — where he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science. He facilitates close community relationships with local universities and colleges, creating graduate programmes and apprenticeship opportunities within Epos Now.

Kevin Jabou, founder and CEO, Kaelo Ltd

Kevin Jabou gambled his career and £30,000 of borrowed credit from his mum – who came from poverty – on his vision of creating a new way to serve and enjoy drinks.

Teaching himself a variety of manufacturing techniques – creating roughly 300 prototypes over seven years – and working countless unsociable jobs allowed him to develop an integrated wine cooler using revolutionary dry-cooling technology.

Kaelo has now launched in the UK, Germany, SA, AUS, UAE, Austria and Benelux, has a global board of directors and investors and is expanding into markets worldwide.

Jabou has created a collaborative and supportive company culture including initiatives such as wellness Wednesdays, weekly mediation sessions and personal goal-to-goal meetings.

Louis-James Davis, founder and CEO, VST Enterprises

Louis-James Davis is the founder and CEO of rapidly growing cyber security and consumer technology company VST Enterprises.

Davis, who started out as a sole trader in web development at the age of 17 and ran his band’s website, is now rolling out his VCode concept and VPlatform, which is set to revolutionise consumer interaction, security, and physical/digital asset traceability in a number of industries and government.

His aim is to fix global issues such as the supply of counterfeit goods in Hong Kong and China, the circulation of conflict minerals and currency counterfeiting in Africa, providing a virtual wallet for secure payments across mainland Europe from Armenia and eliminating fraud from the benefits system, something he is working on with the Indian government.

He is also Creative, Digital & Health Care Technology Ambassador for Manchester Metropolitan University; ambassador for KidScan Children’s Cancer Trust, Cancer Research UK and Forever Manchester; has hosted a series of events, formerly known as In The City; and is Science and Technology Ambassador to the Zimbabwean Government.