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Business Forum Scotland Event

 

Wednesday 18 June 17.30 – 20.00
The Ghillie Dhu, 2 Rutland Place, Edinburgh EH1 2BN

Business journalist turned entrepreneur, Alastair Balfour, will interview our star panel of entrepreneurs, Chris Gauld, CEO Spark Energy - Keith Neilson, CEO of Craneware and Mike Welch, Founder of Blackcircles.

The audience will be made up of entrepreneurs, investors, start-up companies and other senior business people.  The evening will commence with informal networking and food and refreshments will be served before the interviews begin.  Afterwards there will be a Q&A session for the audience and more time to network.  

This event will be a great opportunity for SMEs and entrepreneurs to connect and network with our Forum members and other corporates and organisations, and vice versa.  Please share this with your contacts.

GUEST BACKGROUNDS:

Alastair Balfour is an award-winning business journalist turned entrepreneur turned specialist business advisor. After a 17-year newspaper career  he co-founded the Scottish Business Insider publishing group in 1984 and built it to a £3m sale in 1999. He has since been personally involved as a director and investor in the launch of seven businesses.  His major interest now is Company Creators  which he co-founded in 2001 and for which he has handled business planning, strategy and funding for over 50 high-growth ventures.  Alastair is a director of ScotlandIS, the technology industry trade body, and judges the annual Scottish Digital Technology Awards.  He was one of the original founders of the Entrepreneurial Exchange in 1994, and served as a director for six years. He has been a member of Strathclyde Business School’s advisory board and the Archangel Informal Investment group.

Chris Gauld started his career in hospitality then moved into property in 2004, working with Grant Management, a fast growing, Edinburgh based property investment, renovation and management company.  Chris headed up the Investor Sales and Letting teams, rolling the model - buy traditional stock for investors, renovate to achieve maximum rent, then rent and manage - to eight cities across the UK.   In 2007 Chris left Grant Management to join the newly created Spark Energy, initially as Sales Director. In January 2009 he became Managing Director and led the company to a turnover of £80m per annum.  Earlier in 2014 Chris became CEO of Spark, now one of the most exciting and fastest growing energy companies in the UK.

Keith Neilson co-founded Craneware in 1999 and has served as its CEO ever since. Under Keith’s direction he has helped Craneware to win multiple prestigious awards in such areas as international achievement, business growth strategy and innovation.  Keith was named The Entrepreneurial Exchange’s “Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2003” and was a finalist in the 2004 World Young Business Achiever Award, winning the Award of Excellence in the Business Strategy category.  He received the UK Software & Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young in 2008 and was the Insider Elite Young Business Leader of the Year in 2009.

Mike Welch founded Blackcircles in 2001 after leaving Kwik-Fit.  Headquartered in Peebles, near Edinburgh in Scotland,   Blackcircles is the number one online tyre retailer in the UK, with a 1,200 strong network of independent garages around the country.   Away from selling tyres and winning a series of entrepreneurial and industry awards, Mike is a former amateur boxer and keen cyclist.  He also sits on the board of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) and Blackcircles is a major sponsor of National Adoption Week.

To find out more and book a space, please click on this link http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=adeb84281fd43de8e1bbcf4f8&id=607ff97c0b

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