Meet the Top 10 finalists for MSDUK 2017 Innovation Challenge

MSDUK is delighted to introduce 10 innovative EMB entrepreneurs from across the country, with innovations in sectors including healthcare, fintech and sustainability, who have been chosen as finalists for the very first Innovation Challenge.

The Finalists (company alphabetical order)


Mohamed Hanslod CEO of Bri-Tek Technologies joined the company 6 years ago and has led the company to a brand that has a reputation for quality, innovation and growing sales in the UK and overseas.

An award-winning company, Bri-Tek supplies LED Lighting, super-efficient infra-red heating and voltage optimization technologies to the industrial and commercial sector. One of the few eco tech companies to hold 3 ISO’s certified by BSI we have built a reputation for providing on time full-service solutions from audit, design, supply and install including financing options.
Along the journey, Bri-Tek has evolved with the capability of developing innovative solutions. In 2016 the company launched a patent pending universal emergency battery backup specifically designed for LED Lighting. Bri-Tek emergency battery solution was designed and is manufactured in Bolton . Universal ,compact ,fast and easy to install, it’s now one of the fastest selling products of its kind in the UK, with plans to release 2 upgraded versions this year.

The plans going forward are to continue to develop commercially viable EcoTech solutions and build distribution sales.


Mahiben Maruthappu is a London-based doctor and Co-founder of Cera, a multi-award winning technology company transforming social care. He advised the CEO of NHS England on £100 billion of health spending, co-founding the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), which benefitted 3 million people in its first six months. He has a strong interest in research with over 100 peer-reviewed publications and 50 academic awards. Ben has advised a range of organisations, from startups to multilaterals, including the Swiss government, the Experiment Fund and the WHO. He is the Chairman of the UK Medical Students’ Association (UKMSA), and has authored three medical books.

Ben was educated at Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard universities. He was the first person from British healthcare to be included in Forbes’ 30under30, was listed in WIRED’s top 10 Innovators in Healthcare, and recently ranked amongst the 100 most influential leaders in health technology, globally.

Cera is a multi-award-winning, technology-enabled homecare provider. Cera’s priority is delivering best-in-class care; this is achieved through selecting the top 5% of care workers, reimbursing them 50% higher than other care providers, and empowering them using technology. Cera also uses digital to improve the transparency of its services, allowing clients, families and health professionals to see real-time updates in care delivery.

Successful implementation of Cera’s technology has allowed it to deliver tens of thousands of hours of care, with a 9.8/10 rating by Home Care UK, and a 93.3% TrustPilot Score, while experiencing up to 50% month-on-month growth. Cera also partnered with over 20 NHS organisations and local authorities to deliver high quality care across a population of 6 million, in addition to forging partnerships with multinationals including Uber, Gett and Pfizer. Since November 2016, Cera has raised over £3 million of seed funding.


Assim Ishaque graduated with BA (Hons) in Accounting & Finance at Bangor University and was selected to join HSBC’s graduate training programme.

He moved into in FMCG sales and then business telecommunications, Assim established Envirup 15 years ago to provide energy management, low carbon and sustainability consultancy. He was elected as Member of The Energy Institute and gained registration as Chartered Energy Manager. Assim has advised on a number of large scale renewable energy projects in Europe.

Envirup invented its external insulation system (granted patent in 2015), winning two development grants and one major grant for collaborative research, chaired by Assim alongside experts on building fabric from Nottingham University, Eon Energy, Eurocell Plc – the UK’s leading manufacturers of building products. The Envirup system is a technological leap forward in the external insulation sector, being one of only two certified for use on brick, concrete, timber and steel framed (non standard) two storey homes. The complexities of current products are made in the factory for a quick and simple installation process.

With its UK manufacturer preparing for a focussed market launch, targeting some of the 369,000 non standard homes, Envirup has starting discussions with potential manufacturers in the USA and Canada.


Joyeeta Das is the CEO and Founder of London based AI company GYANA. She is a TEDX speaker, an ambassador for Innovate UK women in innovation, a Top 100 Asian in UKTech and an official representative in several international UK trade delegations.

She is a high-energy, techie-entrepreneur who has built both non-profit and for-profit organisations from a young age. She believes in using technology to create a version of the world that is bigger, better and beautiful.

She started her career as an engineer and later on, a program manager, in a Fortune 10 tech company and has a degree in Physics as well as Electronics Engineering. She has obtained and MBA from the Oxford University under the Said Scholarship Scheme and was also a Fellow at The Oxford Entrepreneurial Centre.

Gyana is a cloud based platform that shows retailers what real-world factors drive their sales.

By combining over 40 sources of global data, Gyana is able to reveal the impact that anything from weather, traffic, social media and events had on a company’s performance. The core AI technology integrates a company’s data with Gyana’s macro data to identify trends, rare data sets and correlations through a super-simple interactive UX.


Reshma Sheikh  is a former award winning corporate lawyer. She joined Octavian in 2014 having left a promising legal career, so that she could have the flexibility and freedom to spend more time with her children, something her previous role could not accommodate.
Being the ambitious/hardworking individual she is, she excelled within Octavian and is now Managing Director of Octavian UK.
Octavian is an international provider of security, facilities management and more recently IT solutions/support, operating throughout the UK, Africa, Middle East and USA. Diversification into new markets and World-wide locations over the years has been a key driver for Octavian’s growth.

What is bSafe?
As an industry security expert, following the Paris attacks, Octavian were approached by a Global High Profile Fashion Giant to see if they could provide a solution to protect their employees. Reshma was part of the team that developed bSafe.

bSafe is a bespoke employee travel safety platform app which delivers real-time incident response, carries digital images of travel documents and ID, informs employee and employer about troubled geographical hotspots, and provides an anonymous feedback tool for HR/ Executive Management. This app is an invaluable tool for all global companies with employees that travel.­‐solutions


Dr. Maroof Ahmed is the Co-Founder and COO of Quit Genius. His background is as a medical doctor and management graduate from Imperial College, but he has decided to put on hold his clinical career to pursue this opportunity full-time.

Quit Genius is the world’s first app to deliver personalised and gamified cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to smokers trying to quit. The 8-week CBT programme is made up of animated videos, audio sessions, quizzes and interactive exercises, which work together to change the way smokers think about smoking. With each interaction Quit Genius learns more about the user and intelligently adapts the platform to personalise the therapy to their own triggers and motivations. It is a cost-effective, evidence-based and scalable solution tackling the biggest cause of preventable death worldwide – smoking.

 To date, they have published the award-winning research behind Quit Genius in a leading peer-reviewed journal, raised funds from the likes of Merck and Telefonica and a number of notable angel investors and have had successful pilots with NHS GPs and a large health insurer.

Their mission is to create a digital platform for personalised CBT to tackle other preventable diseases – helping people live healthier, happier and longer lives.


Syed Ahmed is the Founder and CEO at SAVORTEX Ltd, and a partner to the RBS Innovation Gateway. Syed was awarded Lloyds Banking Group, English Asian Entrepreneur of the Year 2015.

Syed’s vision is that energy and waste cannot be reduced in commercial buildings unless pinpoint source data is collected from smart devices and converted into actionable intelligence. This enables informed decision making, cross-collaboration with suppliers, employee’s and stake holders across multiple locations for profit boosting insights and transformational business models.

As the visionary and strategist behind SAVORTEX’s innovative product range, big data business model and transformational partnerships with sustainability focused multinationals such as Intel, Carillion plc and RBS.

In that context, SAVORTEX engineers have created game changing technology by combining British manufacturing, Innovation with IoT (internet of things) to produce a new paradigm of smart and revenue producing hand dryers, providing building intelligence, significantly reducing cost and waste in facilities, whilst improving hygiene, resource efficiency and boosting profitability.

Under Syed’s leadership, SAVORTEX has won numerous eco awards and been selected as one of the UK’s top 16 high growth Cleantech companies backed by the UKTi. The company, which continues to grow, also receives funding from Innovate UK to bring innovative technology to market.


Amit Pate is a founder & CEO of Snaptivity. He is an experienced serial tech entrepreneur with rare ability to innovate and foster projects on a global scale; a great combination of tech approach and business thinking makes him stand out. He is also the recipient of Young Achiever of the Year award by British Indian Awards. He is a hacker by night and a die hard cricket Fan.

Snaptivity is a Smart Stadium Technology that drives Fan Engagement and increases Sponsorship revenue at live sporting events by capturing candid emotions and reactions of fans.

It uses robotic cameras that are triggered automatically by AI and IoT sensors when fans bounce and cheer or sigh in disappointment. It is a content-generating engine; by capturing momentum, it allows brands & teams to conceive meaning to the sponsorship & reach people at scale in a targeted, emotional and personalised way.
The innovative technology of Snaptivity is backed by DIT, UK and Creative England

In terms of achievement, Snaptivity was named as a Top 5 SportsTech start-up company by Sportel Monaco. In addition, it has signed a multi year partnership with Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Wembley Stadium, the home of English football, a few leading Premier League clubs and are pre-approved at 8 stadiums for the World Cup 2018.


Karan Shanmugarajah is the CEO of WealthKernel, a provider automated wealth and asset management solutions to institutional clients and financial advisors.

With a single line of code, WealthKernel enables wealth and asset managers to service their customer’s digitality. Prior to co-founding WealthKernel, Karan was a portfolio manager at Barclays Wealth in London overseeing $500 million in client assets. He was a member of the North American Equity Committee and a voting member of the Selection Committee responsible for maintaining multi-asset reference portfolios across the UK and Europe.

Karan has also worked in the finance industry in Canada and Singapore and is currently a director at a London-based charity that promotes entrepreneurship. He has a Master of Science in International Accounting and Finance from CASS Business School in London and is a CFA® charterholder.


Jim Shaikh is the CEO of Feed Me Bottles Ltd who manufacture the unique “yoomi” baby feeding range.

Jim completed a MEng at Imperial College before obtaining a PhD from Cambridge University. Initially an academic in London, Jim quickly moved into mainstream engineering with BMW Rover and then into consulting engineering. He completed an Executive MBA at London Business School where he was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug.

At the core of the yoomi brand are the revolutionary yoomi self-warming bottles: yoomi warms milk to perfect breastmilk temperature in just 60 seconds. yoomi protects the essential nutrients that are damaged by overheating and keep the milk at the perfect temperature for the length of the feed, ensuring that baby is comfortable and drinks the maximum milk. With no batteries or wires the yoomi range is simple to use and fully portable enabling parents to feed anytime and anyplace.

Yoomi has raised approx £2.7m in equity investment since its inception in 2007 and launched the yoomi range in the UK in 2010. The business moved beyond breakeven in 2016 and now has a presence in 21 international markets including China with more planned for 2017/18. Yoomi remains an engineering company and is developing additional products based on the novel self-warming technology focused on the medical sector.

All attendees to this year’s Business Show will be offered the opportunity to watch our top 10 finalists live pitch their products or ideas. Please register here to attend the Business Show.

If you would like more information about MSDUK 2017 Business Show, please visit the official website. 

Workshops and Roundtables at MSDUK Business Show

This year’s programme of roundtables and workshops will address a diverse range of topics covering current trends and emerging issues and will be delivered by top business and industry experts.

Register for MSDUK Business Show




14:30 – 15:20- AVAILABLE | 15:40 – 16:30- AVAILABLE

Leaders, Entrepreneurs and Business people from all walks of life and backgrounds can come under immense stress and pressure. We all face challenges in leading individuals and leading teams towards achieving greater business results and staying ahead of the competition.

At this powerful roundtable join Motivational Speaker and Leadership Coach Hiten Bhatt to explore the power of Self-Mastery as a tool for greater results in business and more fulfilment in life.

This is an engaging, fun and very informative roundtable that will make you think and reflect and how you can overcome some of the mental blocks that may be holding you back from achieving your full potential in your business or career.

You will learn how you can become a better leader in your professional and personal life, you will also learn some principles of changing habits and thinking patterns. Everything begins in the mind so find out how you can harness the power of your mind to achieve the results that you are seeking.

Hiten regularly coaches and trains leaders in businesses and multi-national corporations throughout the UK and internationally, he is the Director of BE GREAT Training.





14:30 – 15:20- FULL | 15:40 – 16:30- FULL

How does GDPR affect your business? An open discussion on the way that personal data is processed by your organisation currently.

How can you start protecting your business and become GDPR compliant?

An open forum summary discussion will then be held where you can ask any questions you may have regarding GDPR compliance and regarding the security of your data.

Twitter: @PunamTiwari4




14:30 – 15:20- FULL | 15:40 – 16:30- FULL

We would all love to win that big contract with a large corporate, but do we really understand how to catch that whale?  The best clients are not always the easiest to get.

In this session we will look at the challenges and common pitfalls of selling in to large companies and discuss some of the best practices, hints and tips for navigating your way through the corporate minefield and working successfully with the corporate buyer.




14:30 – 15:20- FULL | 15:40 – 16:30- FULL

Harish will facilitate this session to provide an overview of this exciting new tool developed by MSDUK in conjunction with Accenture.

Harish, and Ben Ngobi from Accenture, will share their perspectives on how members can make best use of the tool and its many facets to travel their Supplier Diversity journey with maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

Following an introductory session, breakout groups will explore specific aspects of the benchmarking process to capture and share the insights of all attending corporate members.

Twitter: @PRMDiversity 




14:30 – 15:20- FULL | 15:40 – 16:30- FULL

This engaging roundtable will consist of  three elements:

  1. Threat Landscape– Explore the types of security threats that are common place for companies. Held in a presentation format
  2. Hackers Handbook-understand what approach hackers use to gain access to a company/or individual information. Held in a presentation format
  3. Lessons learnt– spot the hack. Held in group quiz format




14:30 – 15:20- FULL | 15:40 – 16:30- FULL

We’ll discuss the challenges and obstacles that can be faced when working with a global corporation. From being invited to a RFP to tips & tricks for doing business and how to keep a long term relationship.







15:40 – 16:30 AVAILABLE

The topic of Unconscious Bias is one of the most interesting conversations and considerations on the minds of corporate leaders and companies in the 21st century.

Some of the critical questions to reflect on would be:

Could we be inadvertently missing out on attracting, promoting the best talent?
Do we have individual and corporate blind spots that show that we are missing out on tapping into the full potential of our human capital and the marketplace?
Are we hiring in our image and encouraging groupthink?
By reducing our Bias, how can we improve our customer orientation employee satisfaction and enhance our decision making so we can achieve a return on our investment?

These are some of the questions this session will address and raise. It is through these queries that we can realise what unconscious bias is and how we can recognise it in ourselves.

Additionally, the session will demystify the nature of bias, how we recognise it in ourselves, its impact on individual and group attitudes, behaviours and decision-making processes. Other topics will include:
• Understanding the business imperative for Diversity and inclusion
• Raising awareness of tips and techniques to mitigate and manage bias and most of all;
• Be inspired to practice Inclusive Leadership.

Twitter: @FarrahGDP 



14:30 – 15:20 AVAILABLE

The nature of work is changing and so is the modern workplace. Technology is creating the ability to work anywhere and anytime, and is changing the role and purpose of the modern workplace.

In this workshop we will discuss some of the changes taking place to the modern workplace and share some of the challenges faced by organisations. Group discussions will be run to discuss these challenges and explore ideas to develop solutions, with ideas presented back to the group.

The discussions will be themed around Smart buildings, Sustainability and the rise of the Wellbeing agenda.

Why Unconscious Bias? by Farrah Qureshi, CEO, Global Diversity Practice

Most of us believe that we are unbiased.  We believe that we always make valid and carefully considered decisions that benefit all, don’t have prejudice opinions and that we remain ethical in all our actions.

However, even the most open minded person has unconscious bias and is affected by social factors such as their upbringing, background and personal experiences.

Unconscious Bias occurs when a person’s brain makes a judgment or assumption about someone or something, without them realising. The result can be harmless, but most of the time, it can produce a negative reaction to the person on the receiving end of the bias.

The need to acknowledge unconscious bias within the workplace became magnified in 2014 after Google released shocking diversity workforce numbers, revealing that it had struggled to recruit female and ethnic minority workers. The numbers proved that things needed to improve and provided an incentive for big corporates and small businesses to look internally and access their own protocols.

In the present, unconscious bias has a very necessary place of importance in HR protocols for businesses, in order to offer jobs to a diverse mix of people, based not on their race or gender, but solely on their skills and experience. Regardless of good intention, unconscious biases will remain unless an individual makes a conscious effort to change their perceptions and opinion through training.  In order for these sessions to be worthwhile, unconscious bias workshops must encourage participants to take action and adopt new strategies.

This year at the bi-annual Business Show, Farrah Qureshi, a successful entrepreneur who is recognised as one of the foremost experts on Global Diversity and Inclusion Consultancy, will be delivering an in-depth workshop on Unconscious Bias. Farrah has over 25 years’ experience in D&I and has worked extensively with clients at board, CEO and Leadership level in over 140 countries. As the CEO of Global Diversity Practice, Farrah constantly works to promote an understanding of unconscious bias in order to mend potentially damaging beliefs and introduce a fairer and effective way for corporates to meet their diversity goals, provide more opportunity and develop sustainable strategies for change.

Farrah Qureshi on Unconscious Bias

Why unconscious Bias?

The topic of Unconscious Bias is one of the most interesting conversations and considerations on the minds of corporate leaders and companies in the 21st century. The bias itself is a natural response however its consequences and implications can reach far and wide if we do not raise awareness and then attempt to reduce its impact especially if that bias promotes exclusion. But, there could be a misconception of what unconscious bias is, and what prompts diversity and inclusion training. The true reality is that, aside from focussing on gender, race, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation, the effects of unconscious bias on businesses can be reflected in recruitment, work allocation, performance management and employee relations.


Some of the critical questions to reflect on would be:


  • Could we be inadvertently missing out on attracting, promoting the best talent?
  • Do we have individual and corporate blind spots that show that we are missing out on tapping into the full potential of our human capital and the marketplace?
  • Are we hiring in our image and encouraging groupthink?
  • By reducing our Bias, how can we improve our customer orientation employee satisfaction and enhance our decision making so we can achieve a return on our investment?

These are some of the questions this session will address and raise. It is through these queries that we can realise what unconscious bias is and how we can recognise it in ourselves.

Additionally, the session will demystify the nature of bias, how we recognise it in ourselves, its impact on individual and group attitudes, behaviours and decision-making processes. Other topics will include:

  • Understanding the business imperative for Diversity and inclusion
  • Raising awareness of tips and techniques to mitigate and manage bias and most of all;
  • Be inspired to practice Inclusive Leadership.

To attend Farrah’s workshop, please register for the Business Show here.

For more information about Farrah Qureshi and Global Diversity Practice, visit the GDP website:

Bankside Recruitment announced as technology sponsors for MSDUK Business Show

bankside recruitment


As the technology sponsor, Bankside Recruitment represent all the elements of sourcing talent in today’s increasingly dynamic markets.

Created by Leena Mehta, an industry veteran of over 30 years with IT sector background, Bankside is an organisation that is not only known as a recruitment agency but as a solutions partner regardless of the business challenges an organisation faces.

Bankside have broken the mould and taken their model to not only the IT industry, but also have successfully by demand launched into the commercial marketplace. We are delighted to have them as technology sponsors.

Leena Mehta, CEO of Bankside Recruitment and thought leader, says: We look forward to being a part of this ground-breaking event and have the opportunity to demonstrate our total commitment to inclusivity which is proven and built into our own ethos.

Our agility in adapting to clients’ needs and goals has driven our model of working with, rather than purely for, our clients to a market-leading position. Based on feedback received across our tier 1 customers across all sectors, and demonstrated time and time again by providing innovative solutions in not only the most effective strategies for their challenges, but being at the forefront of many conversations and helping mould thinking at the early stages. 

We have helped many organisations rapidly realise the business outcome they needed to achieve to retain competitiveness in their markets.

Bankside Recruitment will be available at the Business Show Exhibition.

For more information about Bankside, please visit their website here

Register for the Business Show here

For more information about MSDUK 2017 Business Show, please visit the official webpage



20% off full GDPR consultancy with Zuri Technologies

Is Your Business Ready For GDPR?

With fines of up to 4% of annual global revenue or€20 million, whichever is greater, you simply can’t afford to sleep on it! EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in the UK on 25th May 2018 and is the biggest change to data privacy legislation in over 20 years!

What is GDPR?

  • It applies to all businesses operating within the EU. Any organisation collecting, storing or processing the personal data of EU residents is liable.
  • It provides citizens of the EU and EEA with greater control over their personal data and assurances that their information is being securely protected across Europe.
  • According to the GDPR directive, personal data is any information related to a person such as a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, updates on social networking websites, location details, medical information, or a computer IP address.

The Implications

The task of complying with this regulation falls upon businesses and organisations. Failure to comply could be the difference between success or insolvency.

How Can We Assist?

Our consultants begin by holding an EU GDPR Discovery workshop with your business, articulating the requirement obligations of EU GDPR and gain a shared understanding of current personal data held by your business.

We then perform a comprehensive review of your existing compliance against the EU GDPR.

Following this review, we then present back our findings in a clear business level executive report highlighting the current compliance level, short-term recommendations, and a full high level strategic roadmap for your business to achieve full compliance with the EU GDPR.

As part of our exclusive deal available only to MSDUK members, we are offering 20% off our full GDPR consultancy!

How to claim

To claim your 20% discount, call or email our team, quoting ‘MSDUK20’


t: + 44 (0) 207 993 9344

For more information about Zuri Technologies, please visit their website:

Innovation driven supply chains perform better

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Innovation- the ultimate survival skill that every business and corporation needs to utilise; without it, such companies, including supply chains, condemn themselves to painful death. In other words, innovation is essential to ensure business longevity.

In a world where networks and customers no longer exist only on a business’ front door step, globalisation has created higher customer expectations and a demand for companies to constantly bring new ideas to life and offer something different to their local and national competitors. Doing so is no longer a difficulty as hardware, software and even mobile technologies are now readily available, in both cost and accessibility, to anyone who wants to use it.

Although new products can be an obvious move towards innovation, a focus on process innovation will avail much more as product innovation can be as simple as reverse engineering.

The job of the supply chain professional is to consider inevitable changes that affect the processes and work towards ensuring that such processes, including their products and services, flow effectively.  Implementing these new strategies will aid growth and, just as important, sustainability.

One corporate who have identified the need for innovation when addressing environmental sustainability, is Cummins, who, as explained by Jim Johnson, Corporate Indirect Purchasing Sourcing Specialist of EME Facilities at Cummins, have recently launched Environmental Gateway.

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“Environmental Gateway is a process that encourages and invites innovation within the environmental supply chain to positively impact Cummins 2020 Environmental targets whilst promoting supplier inclusion. The project team works to identify ‘themes’ that they wish to be solved via innovations and then invites suppliers to put forward their innovations that can support these themes. Suppliers are then shortlisted and invited to present escalator pitches to senior Cummins leaders, with successful suppliers invited to trial their innovations at Cummins facilities.”

The programme is essential to helping Cummins achieve their 2020 targets by reducing cost, waste, energy and water consumption while promoting supplier inclusion and environmental innovation.

The need for innovation within the supply chain should also drive the need for a diversity of innovation, providing creative minds from outside of the industry the opportunity to offer solutions that better the chain efficiency.

The MSDUK Innovation Challenge seeks to provide such opportunity to BAME entrepreneurs from across the country. Finalists will present their innovative product or service, to a panel of industry experts and potential buyers with the view to access market. In addition, the event will attract buyers and category managers from top global corporate organisations including Cummins and hundreds of businessmen and women from ethnic minority owned business across the UK, who will have the opportunity to watch the pitches from the live audience.

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Cummins are proud sponsors of the Innovation Challenge; Johnson attributes Cummins’ desire to get involved to the Innovation Challenge’s goal to reach more suppliers and make use of innovation that would have otherwise been missed had the competitions not existed.

“The Innovation Challenge furthers Cummins commitment to increasing supplier inclusion as it helps gain access to some of the latest and most innovative suppliers in the market place. We also see this competition as a potential direct route into business, with suppliers pitching to a host of business leaders.”

Entries to the Innovation Challenge are now closed. Finalists will be announced soon. To register to attend MSDUK Business Show and Innovation Challenge, please click here

For more information about Cummins Environmental Gateway, please click here