Esquire Self-Made, our inaugural one-day summit on starting a successful business, brought together inspiring leaders from a range of high-profile start-ups, businesses and professions for a day of empowering keynote talks, panel discussions and unmissable networking opportunities.
Technology innovators, design leaders, career shifters, industry disruptors and property moguls — Esquire Self-Made encompassed a broad range of sectors. We heard the stories of successful entrepreneurs and what they learned in the process of setting up their businesses; and how making a career change in your thirties or forties could be the best decision you ever made.
Esquire Self-Made 2018
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NOEL CLARKE – Actor, Producer, Director
Noel Anthony Clarke is a talented actor, screenwriter, director, producer and comic book author, best known for his roles in classic TV shows Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Doctor Who. Noel is also the creator behind the highly acclaimed film Kidulthood and its sequels, Adulthood and Brotherhood, which he produced, directed and starred in.
Noel was born in London and studied Media at the University of North London – a predecessor institution of London Met – before training at London’s Actors Centre. His big break came in 2002 with the revival of hit show Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, in which he played Wyman Norris. This followed with a role in the first two series of Doctor Who, with Noel playing Mickey Smith between 2004 and 2006, as well as various appearances in later episodes. His work on stage awarded Noel the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer in 2003 with his performance in Where Do We Live.
Noel began his writing career in the early 2000’s with the screenplay for the film Kidulthood, released in 2006. The sequel, Adulthood, soon followed which Noel produced, starred in and directed. In 2009, Noel won a BAFTA in recognition of his emerging talent, with the academy giving him the Orange Rising Star Award.
In 2007 Noel and his business partner, Jason Maza, set up their production company ‘Unstoppable Entertainment’, which prides itself of giving a platform to new talent and filmmakers from diverse and ethnic backgrounds. Striving and continuing to push the boundaries of independent film and more importantly, advance those movies into an international market.
Since 2007, Unstoppable Entertainment has produced films such as ‘Adulthood’, ‘The Knot’, ‘22.214.171.124’, ‘Storage 24’, ‘The Hooligan Factory’ and 2014 EIFF’s ‘We Are Monster’, ‘Legacy’ and ‘Scottish Mussell’. The latest addition to the list is ‘10×10’, which is due for release later this year.
In 2015, Noel channelled his creativity into comic books, creating the monthly superhero series The Troop for Titan Comics, to critical acclaim. His recent acting performances include ITV police drama The Level, and film Brotherhood which was the final part of the ‘hood’ trilogy. Brotherhood was released at the end of 2016 and topped the UK box office.
Noel’s latest acting projects include Netflix’ MUTE, which is now available and Sky One’s exciting new series Bulletproof opposite Ashley Walters, due for release in spring 2018.
It has just recently been announced that Noel will star in the British crime thriller The Corrupted opposite Sam Claflin and Timothy Spall which is currently in production.
ADAM BROWN – Founder of Orlebar Brown
Adam Brown was born in Kuala Lumpur and moved to Hong Kong when he was four years old, then on to Japan, instilling a travel bug from an early age. At ten years old, his family moved back to the UK. For years, Adam worked in the voluntary sector as a fundraiser for a variety of different charities. Making it through to the final interview stage for a particular job, he realised his interests lay elsewhere and went back to college to study photography. This led to working as a portrait photographer in London for six years across editorial, private and corporate clients. Unable to find direction within this industry, he began to search for the next opportunity when he came across the idea for Orlebar Brown.
In February 2005, Adam was invited to a friend’s 40th birthday in Rajasthan. Around the pool, he noticed that the women looked great but the men were wearing a mix of briefs, board shorts or shapeless boxer-style shorts. When the men had to change for lunch, Adam’s idea of ‘a short you can swim in’ was born. The first pair was sold in 2006 and the brand launched in 2007 as a tailored approach to swim shorts.
To celebrate their 5th Anniversary, Orlebar Brown pioneered the use of photographic prints on their hero swim shorts and partnered with the world-famous Getty Images Hulton Archive. Slim Aarons’ vintage photographs documenting the glamour and grandeur of the Côte d’Azur in the 1950s perfectly encapsulate the Orlebar Brown way of life—sunshine, travel, happiness and good times. In 2010, they progressed from beach to resort with a full range of holiday clothes that can also be incorporated into everyday wardrobes, including polos, chinos and shirts. In addition, they offer a Design Your Own service which enables you to create your own bespoke pair of photographic swim shorts using the #SnapShorts app in-store or online.
From a poolside lightbulb moment to reality, Orlebar Brown has grown into a global brand with an ever-increasing number of international stores, an enviable list of stockists and a burgeoning expansion into ready-to-wear. The flagship store in Notting Hill is the epitome of all things Orlebar Brown; from the five-metre-high palm tree to the wall of hero shorts, the holiday feeling that is intrinsic to Orlebar Brown’s DNA is always visible.
2017 brought Orlebar Brown’s 10th Anniversary, marking a new chapter in the evolution of this British success story.
ANDREW JENNINGS – Founder of Larsson & Jennings
Andrew Jennings is the Founder and Co-CEO of Larsson & Jennings; a British born, Swiss-Made watch brand reimagining classic design through contemporary craftsmanship and style.
Watches always played a significant part in Andrew’s life after he inherited a vintage Rolex as a child. It was this family legacy and admiration of luxury craftsmanship that inspired him; while undertaking a modern perspective when launching his own watch brand.
Originally working in wealth management in the City, Andrew worked with a partner (who left the business in 2014) to create Larsson & Jennings. The brand gained a following on social media and saw immediate success, with its new take on timepieces garnering a cult following, all under Andrew’s helm.
Six years after its launch, the brand goes from strength to strength and in 2018 it will launch it’s first chronograph and smart watches, cementing the unison of classic and modern Larsson & Jennings has become known for.
FABIEN RIGGALL – Founder of Secret Cinema
Now in its 14th year, Fabien Riggall founded Future Shorts (since re-branded as Secret Group) in 2003 as a platform for budding filmmakers to become the biggest festival of its kind, curating the best in thought-provoking shorts globally. Since founding the company, Fabien has also been credited with establishing immersive cinema via Secret Cinema as a mainstream entertainment format in the UK, and has been recognised as a tastemaker of the modern age. Through Secret Cinema, Fabien is pioneering a revolutionary new way for multidisciplinary artists and brands to tell stories through Secret Worlds.
Secret Cinema’s experiences developed in response to society’s growing reliance on technology and the increasingly dark, unimaginative reality created by global politics. Secret Worlds turn films into real life, large-scale cultural experiences in abandoned spaces. The location and details of each World are never revealed and the film title is often kept secret. Each World is approached as a revolutionary movement, founded on the belief that art can change society and tell truth in a way that cuts through the noise of media and politics. Artists will shape the future.
Secret Cinema has grown from a grassroots film club night in London to a global box office revenue generating, revolutionary new format of entertainment for film that puts audiences at the heart of the narrative. Secret Cinema has put classic films back into the UK box office, and has generated up to a third of opening weekend box office revenue. More than 580,000 have attended Secret Worlds to date. Most recently, an abandoned warehouse in East London had been transformed into the dazzling world of Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! where 72,000 time travellers found themselves on the streets of Paris, 1899 for the night.
ISAAC CAREW – Model, Chef, Influencer
ISAAC CAREW has enjoyed a successful career as a model and chef, with major international fashion campaigns under his belt, countless features in high profile fashion and culture titles, and some serious culinary training under one of the best chefs in the country.
Isaac’s passion for food began at just eight years old, in the kitchens with his dad and Godfather. These early days planted the seed for Isaac, whose enthusiasm for food saw him complete his two-year culinary training course at THANET COLLEGE, which, in turn, led to his big break in 2007 when he began working for the GORDON RAMSAY GROUP. He began cooking alongside one of the country’s leading chefs, Angela Hartnett MBE, at THE CONNAUGHT HOTEL in London and CIELO in Miami, where his love of homemade pasta started.
Carew was model scouted in central London in 2008, which quickly led to him becoming one of Britain’s most successful emerging models that year. His portfolio boasts a string of major campaigns for global fashion houses and high street stores such as, HERMÈS, MOSCHINO, VALENTINO, ZARA, LEE, SWATCH, REISS, ETRO and TOPMAN. He has also shot covers and editorial for the likes of Hunger, Harper’s Bazaar, Dazed, Vogue Hommes, L’Officiel, Hommes, international editions of GQ, The Rake and ELLE Men. Modelling has taken Isaac all over the world, which further fuelled his passion for food, and his dedication to cooking drove him to start the very popular food website and YouTube channel, THE DIRTY DISHES in January 2016. Through the site, Isaac has been able to share his culinary skills and show a growing audience of people how to produce quick, easy and delicious meals. Harper’s Bazaar US has already spotted this excited talent, read the piece here
His flair for food presenting led to a Channel 4 primetime show – TRIED AND TESTED: THE ULTIMATE SHOPPING LIST – which saw him join Michelin-starred chef, Michel Roux Jr, as his right hand man. The show followed them as they strived to collate a definitive guide to the best food and drink products available in Britain.
With so many strings to his bow already, he is also currently working towards his debut cookbook THE DIRTY DISHES out March 2019.
OLIVER BRIDGE – Founder of Cornerstone
An entrepreneur since the age of 15, Oliver Bridge had always suffered from sensitive skin when shaving. Coupled with his preference for the convenience of online shopping, he founded Cornerstone in 2014 to bring shaving into the 21st century by providing high-quality German-engineered razors and British-made skincare products in a personalised and flexible shave plan.
The last few months has seen the brand expand into skincare and body care with new product launches such as men’s moisturiser, face wash and anti-perspirant deodorant. Cornerstone are now gearing up for some more exciting new product launches which will see them move into men’s haircare, body care, health & wellbeing and dental care.
Boasting over 170,000 active members, the startup has raised £8m in private funding and won many awards: the ‘Best Razor’ award at the 2015 ShortList Grooming Awards and the ‘Reader’s Choice Best Razor Award at the 2016 AskMen UK Men’s Grooming Awards. They have also won the ‘People’s Champion Award’ for three consecutive years at the Startups 2015, 2016 and 2017 annual award ceremonies.
NADIA JAE – Presenter and DJ
Nadia Jae is a dynamic, passionate presenter and DJ. after starting on westside radio in 2012, Nadia has interviewed a wealth of celebrities including Stormzy, Giggs, MNEK, Stylo G, Tiggs Da Author, Jamal Edwards, Eric Bellinger, Shola Ama, Lethal Bizzle, Angel, Jidenna, Ella Mai, Brandy Teedra Moses, Dru Hill and rapper Eve to name a few.
The aspiring TV presenter is currently hosting the mid morning show On The Beat London. Nadia is also a regular on BBC Radio London known for her topical, informative and frank presenting style. Covering press and attending regular red carpet events such as Wireless Festival, MOBO’s, BAFTAs and MTV EMA’s you can be sure to see Nadia chatting away somewhere with a mic in her hand.
JAMAL EDWARDS – Founder of SBTV
There aren’t many men of 27 with a CV as flowered with accidental triumph as that of Jamal Edwards. Having received an MBE for his services to music – and one of the few who can boast an A-List-filled photo collection including a selfie spudding Prince William and Harry, an image that went from Jamal’s Twitter to the pages of Vanity Fair and Vogue – it’s fair to call him the millennial’s hero of DIY entrepreneurialism.
But he’s still very much the boy next door – just with a slightly nicer front door now. Having gone from creating his own YouTube channel to curating stages at Bestival and Wireless, from filming on British housing estates to recording interviews from 10 Downing Street to the Bermuda Triangle, Edwards can now boast an expanding business portfolio and a solid reputation that sees him inspiring a new wave of digital entrepreneurialism.
Hard work has always been the ethic, his many followers on social media adopting his #SelfBelief tactics. Heck, according to one youth agency there’s already a marketing term in his namesake; ‘The Jamal Edwards effect’, a newly adopted ideology that anything’s possible in the digital age.
Considering a career in sport or music, it was while at college that Edwards edged closer to his actual beginnings in the big wide world. Juggling filming foxes and his mates on his £20 NEC phone with a part-time job at Topman (where you can now buy Edwards’ first foray into menswear, a collaborative range with American Freshman), it was the Panasonic camera he got as a Christmas present from his mum and dad that really sealed his direction. And since 2006, Jamal has grown his youth broadcasting channel, SBTV, from the inner confines of his bedroom into a renowned brand with global reach.
Encapsulating the DIY ethos of the underground music scene that inspired the teen to pick up a camera in the first place, Jamal Edwards was – and still is – responsible for documenting the rise of a new breed of previously ignored video stars. Early nods of approval came from Richard Branson and Simon Cowell, but now SBTV, the first new media business on YouTube, can boast a subscriber base of over 950,000 & 600 million+ views.
ANISH BHATT – Founder, Watch Anish
Anish Bhatt is Bristish born Indian who developed a passion for collecting watches at the age of 18. Having started with very modest means, He spent years reading about the intricacies and mechanics of both modern and vintage watches, as well as studying the pattern of sales from auction houses to gauge true market value of certain references.
At the age of 30 He started a blog to share his knowledge of watches along with other passions (fashion, travel, cars, architecture and art). The blog gained a large following fairly quickly and in 2012 He opened his Instagram page. In the following 6 years He built a team of people around the world to help create the kind of engaging and passionate content WATCHANISH is now known for, and they continue to expand and grow our desire to engage and interact with their audience around the globe.
GORD RAY – Product Marketing Lead, Instagram
Gord is an Instagram product marketing lead for Europe and advises brands of all sizes on how to use Instagram to achieve business results.
Over the past 20 years, Gord has developed an international career working with the world’s leading brands in marketing strategy and communications. Gord has held a variety of leadership roles in many aspects of marketing and media including Publishing Director of Wallpaper* magazine at Time Inc, Global Marketing Director for Georg Jensen in Copenhagen and senior positions with Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi in Toronto, Prague and London. He is also founding partner of www.SideStory.co providing curated cultural and creative experiences for travelers.
MARTIN MORALES – Chef, Restaurateur, Founder of Ceviche and Andina
Martin Morales is the chef, restaurateur and founder of the leading Michelin-Guide listed Peruvian restaurants, Ceviche Soho, Andina in Shoreditch, and Ceviche Old St as well as the new, critically acclaimed and AA Rosette awarded Casita Andina in Soho. Each is lovingly crafted and unique in menu, design and story.
A leading figure of Peruvian food in Britain he is the GQ Food & Drinks 2017 Innovator of the Year Award Winner and alongside his cooking is involved in a variety of music and arts projects including running Ceviche Old St Gallery – featuring Peru’s top 50 contemporary artists; his own Peruvian music label, Tiger’s Milk Records; and is a Trustee at the Andean children’s charity Amantani.
Martin is also the author of the bestselling cookbook CEVICHE Peruvian Kitchen, which was awarded Sunday Times Cookbook of the Year and won 3 World Gourmand Awards as well as several design awards. In October 2017 Martin released his newest cookbook ANDINA: The Heart of Peruvian Food, celebrating his love of the Andes, its dishes, ingredients, people, stories and culture. He also hosts his own successful YouTube Channel ‘Martin’s Peruvian Kitchen’.
This May, Martin will launch his latest project, introducing Peruvian baking to London for the first time with the opening of Andina Panaderia in Notting Hill, specialising in traditional Peruvian breads and pastries. Next door to the bakery will be a brand new restaurant, Andina Picanteria, featuring a new menu of Andean dishes.
Before becoming a chef, Martin worked with Steve Jobs at Apple as Head of iTunes Pan EU, and was a DJ for many years playing at clubs and festivals in over 40 countries with the likes of Gilles Peterson, Norman Jay, The White Stripes and Basement Jaxx.
JONATHAN LEVINE – Founder of Master & Dynamic
Jonathan Levine, 55, launched the design-driven premium audio company Master & Dynamic in May 2014. From a mere idea sparked by the products his then-teenage sons were using to a coveted brand with an increasing number of products, Master & Dynamic has been built on the same principles that drive Mr. Levine: design, art, creativity, collaboration, technology and a desire to create high-quality products that inspire. With Mr. Levine at the helm, M&D is rapidly expanding and can now be found in over 500 retailers worldwide, including luxury outlets such as Bergdorf Goodman, Ralph Lauren, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Harrods (London), Selfridges (London) and more.
Mr. Levine earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania.
EMILY MURRAY – Founder of The Pink House
Emily Murray is the founder of award-winning interiors blog/brand/business The Pink House, which is all about fabulous family living, despite the kids.
Graduating from Cambridge with a degree in English, Emily‘s first career was in advertising, working for top UK agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty. After a few years she switched to journalism, writing and editing for the likes of Cosmopolitan, Stylist, Grazia, The Guardian and Conde Nast Publications (with a year-long hiatus during which she worked as a stuntwoman/professional freerunner).
After having kids, Emily decided to combine her writing/editing skills and advertising background with her passion for interiors (and pink!) to start a business based on a blog. On 29th February 2016, The Pink House (www.pinkhouse.co.uk) launched, which 2 years later has become one of the UK’s most successful and best-loved interiors blogs, winning ‘Best Newcomer’ then ‘Best Written Blog’ at the Amara Interior Blog Awards, which she will be judging this year. The Pink House Instagram feed @pinkhouseliving has a loyal, engaged following of nearly 50,000, and its Pinterest account @pinkhousepins has 1.2 million monthly views.
On Christmas Eve 2017 Emily was named by The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine as one of their Top 50 UK Influencers, one of only 5 interiors influencers to be listed. Earlier this year Emily and her pink front door graced the cover of The Sunday Times ‘Home’ supplement.
The Pink House’s impressive client list includes large brands including Marks & Spencer, La Redoute, and Farrow & Ball, as well as smaller, high-end companies such as Emma J Shipley and Bloom & Wild.
This year Emily is taking The Pink House brand into new areas, with a number of exciting projects in the pipeline including a retail range and coffee table book.
PROF. MICHAEL JACOBIDES – Associate Professor of Strategy, London Business School
Michael holds the Sir Donald Gordon Chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the London Business School, where he is Associate Professor of Strategy. He has held visiting appointments at Wharton, Harvard Business School, NYU- Stern, has visited Bocconi, U. of Paris and Singapore Management University, and teaches in Columbia for the LBS/Columbia EMBA-Global. He has served on the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum on the Financial System and the Future of Investments, and is a Visiting Scholar with the New York Fed, focusing on changing business models in Financial Services. He studied in Athens, Cambridge, Stanford and Wharton, where he obtained his PhD.
Michael’s focus is change, design and strategy: he studies industry evolution, value migration, new business models, and structural change in firms and sectors. He is also interested in organizational design and how firms cope with organizational pathologies. His research has earned him the Sloan Foundation Award for the best Industry Study, and he has raised over £1M in research funds. A Ghoshal Fellow in the Advanced Institute of Management, his research has been sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust, NATO, MBAA, the WEF and other private and public bodies. He has worked with Santander, Credit Suisse, BBVA, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds, RBS, Zurich, if, Airbus, Finmeccanica, Pirelli, Lufthansa, Vodafone, Telenor, DT, Nokia, McKinsey, PwC, KPMG, MerckSerono, Chiesi Pharmaceutica, Roche and the NHS on executive development, thought leadership and strategy.
He has given keynotes for corporate events and for industry associations, including Accenture, McKinsey, PwC, Winterthur, the British Bankers Association, the Mortgage Senate, the Institute of Sovereign Investors, the Healthcare Forum, FIDI, ACE, RICS, and has spoken on TEDx, as well as in sessions for the WEF meetings in Brussels, Vienna, Istanbul, New York, Rome, and in Davos, where he has facilitated public and private events. On policy, he is working with the WEF, the UK parliament (on the future of Financial Services), the European Council (a task-force advising President Van Rompuy on Innovation & Entrepreneurship) and has spearheaded the www.RedesignGreece.gr initiative, which aims to help restructure the Greek public administration. His current degree teaching is on Managing Corporate Turnarounds, a popular phenomenon-driven strategy elective.
A former VP of the European Academy of Management and officer of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society, Michael has published in academic journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Research Policy, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, the Journal of Financial Perspectives and Industrial & Corporate Change where he serves as the co-Editor. He writes for the Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Forbes.com, Huffington Post, Business Strategy Review, Greek dailies To Vima and Kathimerini, where he holds an OpEd column. He has been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, FT, TheStreet.com, Reuters, Bloomberg, Radio 5, Radio France, El Pais, Dubai’s The National, the Russian State TV24, SKAI and ANT1, and appears regularly on CNN.
SAM CONNIFF – Founder, Livity
Sam Conniff Allende is the founder and former CEO of Livity, a multi-award-winning youth marketing agency. Sam has led the way in creating the unlikeliest and yet highly successful collaborations between brands and bright young people on the edges of society, ones which have resulted in real innovation. He has worked with Google, Unilever, PlayStation, Red Bull and Dyson, and runs Be More Pirate workshops and talks at these industry-leading companies. Sam lives in London, and Be More Pirate is his first book.
HUW GOTT – Co-Founder of Hawksmoor
Huw Gott met business partner Will Beckett at school at the age of 11 and went into business together in 2003, when they opened The Redchurch, a late night bar in Shoreditch. By 2007 they owned 4 venues – Green & Red, a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar (awarded Evening Standard Bar of the Year), the Marquess Tavern, a gastropub focusing on well sourced British produce (awarded Time Out Gastropub of the Year) and Hawksmoor, which opened in 2006 in Spitalfields and became instantly successful, rekindling Londoners’ love affair with steak.
The pair have since focused on expanding the Hawksmoor offering, opening Seven Dials in Covent Garden in 2010, Hawksmoor Guildhall in the City (Tatler New Restaurant of the Year) in 2011, Hawksmoor Air Street, just off Piccadilly in November 2012, Hawksmoor Knightsbridge in July 2014, Hawksmoor Manchester in March 2015 and Borough in March 2017. The original Spitalfields restaurant also got a standalone cellar bar in March 2012 and Foxlow, a sister restaurant opened in Clerkenwell in November 2013, Chiswick and Balham in autumn 2015 and in Soho in summer 2017.
‘We opened our first restaurant when there were fewer high end steak restaurants and have tried, over the years to keep ahead of the burgeoning number of places offering ‘prime cuts, cocktails and a fantastic wine list’ by doing something a bit different each time – burgers, dogs and wings, ‘tour-of-a-cow’ beef tasting menus and gargantuan breakfasts have all made an appearance. Their newest restaurants focus on seafood as much as on steaks and to that end, Will and Huw have collaborated with Mitch Tonks, renowned seafood chef. Foxlow, on the other hand, is a great neighbourhood restaurant, the kind of place you want to eat regularly with friends and family. In autumn 2017, the pair published their second Hawksmoor book, Hawksmoor: Restaurants and Recipes while summer 2018 will see them opening their first Edinburgh restaurant.
Huw Gott is the grandson (and great grandson) of butchers and son of award-winning café owners. In-depth discussions on the evils of vac packing and the onslaught of double-muscled Continentals (beef cattle, not body builders) were commonplace over the Sunday Roast. After stints in kitchens in London and Paris, Huw realised that he wasn’t cut out for a career as a chef, deciding that life as an owner would be significantly easier.
CASSANDRA STAVROU – Co-Founder of Propercorn
Cassandra is the co-founder of PROPERCORN, the UK’s number one, premium popcorn brand. Starting out in her kitchen when she was just 25, Cassandra now leads a team of 35 from their offices in London, selling some 3 million packs of their award-winning popcorn every month.
Since first launching in 2011, Cassandra has worked tirelessly to create a dynamic business, grounded in passion for food and creativity. Unwilling to compromise on taste or health, PROPERCORN’s gluten-free collection is now available in 10 countries, with the business emerging as the 5th fastest growing independent company in Europe.
Since successfully launching PROPERCORN, Cassandra has made mentorship of others, both internally and externally, an enormous part of her working life. Her passion for entrepreneurship has seen her involved in Warehouse’s Women to Watch initiative, Marie Claire @work live and Ted X events. Cassandra has also worked with DEFRA as a Great British Food Pioneer and is on the government’s newly formed Food and Drink Sector Council.
Most recently, PROPERCORN launched a POP IN initiative, offering desk space and mentoring to budding entrepreneurs at their London HQ.
Cassandra was rewarded for her efforts in both business and mentorship in 2016, receiving the prestigious Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award.
ALBERT HILL – Founder of The Modern House
Albert graduated from the University of Bristol with a BA in Art History, and was the Design Editor at Wallpaper under founding editor Tyler Brûlé. He has written for The Guardian, The Times and The Independent, contributed to a number of books, and commentated on architecture and property on television and radio.
Pursuing his passion for the crossover between architecture and commerce, he founded The Modern House in 2005, and continues to apply his entrepreneurial energy to growing the company and exploring new markets.
TOBY TARRANT – Broadcaster
Toby is a television and radio broadcaster and the new host on Radio X weekdays from 10am – 1pm
LENI ZNEIMER – General Manager, WeWork UK & Ireland
Leni Zneimer is the General Manager for WeWork UK & Ireland — a community that provides space, connections, and services to over 210,000 members around the world. With WeWork’s rapid expansion, Leni is focused on driving the growth and development of the business while providing members with a meaningful experience by being part of the WeWork community. Before moving to London to run WeWork’s community team in 2015, Leni headed up the community teams across NYC and was responsible for supporting the company’s rapid growth in the US. In her new role as GM, Leni continues to manage our large community teams in the UK & Ireland, whilst also overseeing WeWork’s growth and expansion in these regions.
Leni has always worked to support her community, and volunteering has been an important part of her life, whether serving as a peer advisor at Boston University or as a ClimbCorps Member of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Leni is a graduate of Boston University and joined WeWork in NYC in 2013.
WeWork provides entrepreneurs and small-medium businesses with beautiful, amenities-filled, amazingly designed workspace, as well as personalised support, business services, benefits, infrastructure, and the flexibility they need to succeed. WeWork’s mission is to build a global community that empowers anyone with an idea to take the entrepreneurial leap. Our team is a group of risk-taking, entrepreneurial spirits who instill the idea of working better together in everything that we do.
PAOLA DIANA – Founder of Sigillus
A bestselling author with a background in Italian politics, Paola has established herself as a female empowerment champion with her book ‘Saving the world. Women: the XXI’s Century Factor for Change’. Perfectly combining the theories of sociology, science and history, Paola has developed a niche for herself that has seen her lauded as a female activist renowned for digging beneath the surface to uncover what truly constitutes a patriarchal society. Paola is also an incredibly successful entrepreneur and as the Founder and Chairman of the Diana Group, she has been recognised in The Spear’s 500 2017 as one of London’s most influential service providers for high net worth individuals. Paola has proven herself to be an extremely multifaceted success story.
Paola will be appearing on the Esquire Elevator Pitch panel.
ALEX BILMES – Editor-in-Chief, Esquire
Alex Bilmes is the editor-in-chief of Esquire, The Big Black Book, The Big Watch Book and esquire.co.uk. Formerly features director at British GQ and contributing editor to British Vogue, he has been published in most of the leading British newspapers including The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Spectator and The Observer.