Top entrepreneurs join Startups 100 2019 judging panel

Drawn from the worlds of energy, tech, fashion, and rugby, we’ve assembled a crack team of business experts for this year’s line-up

Following the news that the Startups 100 2019 deadline has been extended by a week, we are delighted to announce that a team of top entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders has been assembled for this year’s judging panel.

It includes a former England rugby player, the entrepreneur and influencer behind Mutha Hood, and the CMO of national renewable energy company Bulb.


Enter the Startups 100 2019 here.


The longest running index of its kind, the Startups 100 has featured some illustrious alumni in its 11 year history, including Notonthehighstreet.com, Deliveroo, PROPERCORN, Monzo, and Hello Fresh.

This is your chance to get your business in front of a board of experts, as well as free media coverage across Startups.co.uk and a range of major publications, including  The Guardian, The Independent, and Forbes.


Who are the Startups 100 2019 judges?

The judges are drawn from a wide variety of sectors and backgrounds, making them an excellent panel to judge the smorgasboard of businesses that enter the Startups 100.

In no particular order, they are…

Tim Rodber, rugby player and CEO of Instant Offices

Tim Rodber is the CEO of the Instant Group, a workplace solutions company and the flexible workplace specialist. Instant is #25 on the Sunday Times list of the fastest growing companies in the UK by International Sales. He brings a wealth of experience in the outsourcing industry, most recently as CEO of the Americas business for global firm Williams Lea.

Prior to this, Tim was Managing Director at London based marketing and communications company Rodber Thorneycroft Ltd. Tim began his career as an Army officer and as a successful international rugby player, having played for Northampton Saints between 1989 and 2001. Tim appeared 44 times for England, twice for the British and Irish Lions and was a Rugby World Sevens Cup Winner.

Gemma Metcalfe-Beckers, Mutha Hood

Gemma Muthahood

Gemma Metcalfe-Beckers is an influencer, entrepreneur, and small business supporter. A mother of two young girls, she set up Mutha Hood with the aim of empowering women and girls through positive, strong and meaningful merchandise.

The brand, which has a following of more than 84,000 on Instagram, sells a range of ethically and sustainably-produced clothing and accessories. Pre-baby raising, Metcalfe-Beckers had a career in fashion buying.

Gi Fernando MBE, Freeformers

gi fernando

Gi Fernando is an engineer, investor, and inventor who specialises in technology, data and behaviour. He is interested in creating businesses that are not only valuable, but that are focused on having a positive social impact.

His current venture is Freeformers, a digital growth partner for FTSE 100 organisations that helps prepare and train employees for digital transformation.

As an angel investor, he has backed the likes of YPlan, Citymapper and Century Tech.

Titus Sharpe, co-founder and president of MVF

Titus mvf

With a background in artificial intelligence and collaborative robotics, Titus Sharpe has launched a number of successful businesses including Approved index, which he sold to Reed Elsevier in 2008 (and subsequently bought back).

His fourth business, MVF, is a customer generation firm that has taken top spot in the Tech Track as the fastest growing tech business in the UK. It’s also scooped the Queen’s Award for Enterprise twice, and been voted the 2nd best company to work for in the Sunday Times Best Company List.

Alex Farrell, founder of Gift Wink and The IT Job Board (now Dice)

Alex-Farrell-CEO-and-founder-of-Gift-Wink

Alex Farrell is an entrepreneur and angel investor who’s passionate about the digital and tech community. She is the founder and CEO of intelligent gifting platform Gift Wink, and a non-executive director of recruitment tech platform SourceBreaker.

She founded The IT Job Board in 2000, acting as CEO until she completed a successful trade sale to Dice Inc. in July 2013.

As in investor, she has backed truedash, Powermeeter Recruit, and The Sandpit.


Startups.co.uk editor Bryn Glover said:

“It's really exciting to be able to announce the group of entrepreneurs involved in judging Startups 100 this year. We invited these entrepreneurs to judge not just because of their personal successes, but also because they are supporters of startup businesses.

“Each judge brings their own perspective to the process. We have founders who on their 4th or 5th ventures, a representative from one of last year's winning businesses, those who have sought investment, and an entrepreneur who used social media to boost her sales organically. Each judge will be looking for something different, and we can expect a diverse and exciting list.

“Good luck to everyone applying, and make sure your application is on before the deadline on Friday 7th at midnight!”

Enter the Startups 100 2019

Whether you make sausages, software, sex toys, or, well, anything really, you can enter the Startups 100.

As long as you’re UK-based, privately-owned, and launched on, or after, 1 January 2014, you’re eligible.

We’re looking for innovative startups with exceptional founders and great potential.

Enter the Startups 100 2019 here! Entries now close on Friday 7 June, with the index announced in July