National Business Awards – Judges

The judges of the Scale-Up Business of the Year come from a diverse range of companies and disciplines, from well-known retailers, to expert consultancies, previous winners and academia.

The Judges

David Spencer-Percival
David Spencer-Percival

Awarded Entrepreneur of the Year at the National Business Awards, David’s been making waves in global recruitment for 20 years.

After co-founding the award-winning Huntress Group, David launched Spencer Ogden as a specialist energy, infrastructure and engineering recruitment business in 2010 with co-founder Sir Peter Ogden. Since then the business has seen exceptional growth propelling it to an annual turnover in excess of £100m in five years. With over 15 offices located across the globe, David's company continues to grow at a strong pace. David has now transitioned to a Co-Chairman position with Spencer Ogden in order to start an exciting new venture in the beverage industry with a brand new product - No.1 Rosemary Water.


Michael Tobin
Michael Tobin

Michael Tobin OBE is a serial technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. As the former ‘maverick’ CEO of Telecity Group, the FTSE 250 data centre operator he took from £6million to £3billion, Michael is known across the globe as the leader who created the data centre industry in Europe.

After stepping down from his role at Telecity in 2014, Michael turned his attention to supporting entrepreneurs, businesses and leaders in the digital and technology space.

One of Debretts 'People of Today', Smith & Williamsons Top 25 UK Entrepreneurs, Stevies Chairman of the Year and three times Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Michael gives every ounce of his energy to support others. In 2016 he raised £90k for The Prince’s Trust by running 40 marathons in 40 days.

Mike Clare
Mike Clare

Mike is a passionate serial entrepreneur, best known as founder and previous Chairman/CEO of Dreams Plc. which he grew to over 200 superstores before successfully selling out in March 2008.

In 2009 Mike formed Clarenco which has developed into a considerable property portfolio consisting of commercial properties, large residential homes and ‘Amazing Venues’ - a collection of unique, unusual & iconic hotels including Castles, a Chateau, a Monastery and three Sea Forts in the Solent.

Mike supports many philanthropic organisations but also set up The Clare Foundation which supports charities in Buckinghamshire, helping them become more efficient, commercial and entrepreneurial. 

Mike is heavily involved in the local community and in helping and mentoring local businesses, entrepreneurs and business students. Mike is an Ambassador and Deputy-Lieutenant for Buckinghamshire, a Freeman of the City of London, as well as a winner of numerous entrepreneurial awards. Mike holds an Honorary Doctorate from Bucks New University in recognition of his achievements and entrepreneurship.

Simon Calver

Simon Calver

Simon Calver grew up in the family supermarket business in Gloucester but after a degree in Computer Science followed a career in large blue chip companies such as Unilever, Pepsi and Dell. He returned to his technology roots leading early stage digital businesses as COO/President of the EdTech business Riverdeep plc in San Francisco and CEO of LOVEFiLM, Europe’s leading online DVD and Digital Entertainment Company, which he managed for seven years up to the ultimate sale to Amazon Inc in 2011. In 2010 he was a finalist of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year representing London and the South East.

He left to become Chief Executive Officer of Mothercare plc leading their transformation and digital turnaround plan. He currently Chairs and Gousto, and is on the Board of Toucan Box and Network Locum.

Simon also advises/invests across technology/e-commerce businesses in the UK and is a speaker on business change, the digital revolution and leadership. He was recognised in the Masarati 100 in the Sunday Times as one of the leading UK entrepreneurs helping the next generation. In 2015 Simon became a founding Partner of BGF Ventures with Harry Briggs and Rory Stirling to launch a new £200m early stage venture company, investing £1 to 6m in leading tech entrepreneurs across the UK.

Titus Sharpe

Titus Sharpe

Titus Sharpe is Co-founder and President of MVF, a leading customer generation business with offices in the UK and US. Titus’s background is in artificial intelligence; he began studying for a PhD in collaborative robotics before leaving to launch his first tech business. MVF is Titus’s fourth successful venture to date, with previous notable success with B2B marketplace Approved Index which he sold to Reed Elsevier in 2008.


Chair of the judges

Guy Rigby - Partner, Head of Entrepreneurial Services, Smith & Williamson

Guy Rigby

Guy is a highly-regarded and well-known personality in the entrepreneurial community, and leads the entrepreneurial services group at Smith & Williamson. His diverse career has taken him from chartered accountant to entrepreneur to author and now adviser to dynamic owner-managed businesses. Under Guy’s leadership, Smith & Williamson is fast becoming the ‘go-to’ accountancy firm for entrepreneurs.

The deadline for entries has now closed.



Related content

About the awards

About the awards

Now in its 16th year, learn more about the National Business Awards here

The judges

Find out who will be judging the Scale-Up Business of the Year

About the SW scale up award image

About our category

What does it take to be the Scale-Up Business of the Year – find out here

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