Pitch@Palace Boot Camp, University of Nottingham, EMCC

March 13, 2017, by The Ingenuity Lab

Pitch@Palace 7.0: Meet the Speakers

Pitch@Palace 7.0 Boot Camp is around the corner. The event takes place on 15 March 2017 at East Midlands Conference Centre and we are excited to introduce you to the topics that will be covered and the keynote speakers.

How corporates can support and nurture entrepreneurship

Elizabeth Fagan | Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Boots

Pitch@Palace, Elizabeth Fagan, Boots

Elizabeth Fagan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Boots

“Boots is the UK’s largest pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, and innovation in health has always been at the heart of what we do. We’re pleased to be supporting Pitch@Palace and the University of Nottingham’s Ingenuity Lab to further support the next generation of new entrepreneurs, and I’m looking forward to hearing the participant’s innovative ideas on 15 March 2017.” – Elizabeth Fagan, Director of Boots

Elizabeth Fagan is Senior Vice President, Managing Director of Boots.  In this role she leads all of the Boots businesses, both across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, with the support of Boots senior leaders. Her career highlights in Boots Opticians include:

  • Senior Vice President, Managing Director, International Retail, Walgreens Boots Alliance from December 2014 to June 2016
  • During this time she was responsible for the development of the Company’s pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in Latin America, Asia and Europe (outside of UK and Republic of Ireland)
  • Marketing Director, Health & Beauty International & Brands for Alliance Boots from October 2013
  • Executive Marketing Director for Boots UK from July 2007
  • Managing Director of Boots Opticians in 2006
  • Boots Group Buyer

Entrepreneurs as Leaders: Personal Discipline and Motivation

Ian Filby | CEO, DFS

Entrepreneurship is a powerful force, and even at an established retailer such as DFS, we are constantly seeking to be entrepreneurial in the way we develop our business, recognising upcoming trends in the way consumers are shopping, and then innovating at DFS to anticipate and evolve around those changes.” – Ian Filby, CEO of DFS

Pitch@Palace, Ian Filby, DFS

Ian Filby, CEO of DFS

As CEO of DFS, Ian Filby has brought a fresh approach to the furniture store changing its image with the resultant increase in EBITDA from £72m to £94.6m. As a retail expert, Ian champions the importance of marketing and has a focus on the customer being central to everything he does.

Ian joined Boots as a Retail Marketing Trainee and subsequently enjoyed a number of Buying and Marketing roles culminating in his appointment to the Boots Executive, mainly as Trading Director. Ian left Boots in July 2009 although he remained there as a part time Consultant until September of 2010 as well as being their representative on the BRC where he was Honorary Treasurer.

During this year of plurality, Ian was Interim CEO of Groupe Aeroplan London (Nectar) for 6 months and remained a non-Executive member of their Group Advisory Board for a further three years.

In 2014 Ian became Chairman of the BRC Policy Board and sits on the BRC Board.  He also became Chairman of Shoe Zone PLC, a position he recently relinquished after a successful post-IPO period.


The Importance of Entrepreneurial Skills

David Ross| Co-founder, The Carphone Warehouse Group plc (BA Hons Law, 1987)

Pitch@Palace, David Ross, The Carphone Warehouse Group plc

David Ross, Co-founder of The Carphone Warehouse Group plc

“Uncertainties in the global economies provide opportunities for entrepreneurs. Never was there more need for the hard work and ingenuity of risk takers.” – David Ross, Co-founder of The Carphone Warehouse Group plc

David Ross is a UK based entrepreneur and philanthropist best known for co-founding The Carphone Warehouse Group plc in 1991.  He led the company’s IPO and subsequent growth to become Europe’s leading mobile communications retailer.

David’s philanthropic work is carried out through the David Ross Foundation which he founded.  This makes charitable donations to a range of educational, community and cultural initiatives, including the David Ross Education Trust (DRET), the University of Nottingham, Nevill Holt Opera Festival and John Ross Community Fund.

David is a board member of the British Olympic Association, Commonwealth Games England, Serpentine Gallery (Council member) and The University of Nottingham’s Development Committee (Chair). David is a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and Uppingham School.

He has also been a member of Sport England, the Home Office Audit Committee, and Lord Carter’s Review of Legal Aid Procurement. He was appointed to London United, the body supporting the capital’s bid to be a host city for the 2018 World Cup bid, having previously been the Mayor’s representative for the planning of the 2012 London Olympics.

He spent the early part of his education at Uppingham School and later studied law at Nottingham University; he went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen & Co, working with the firm from 1988 to 1991. In September 2016, the University of Nottingham opened the brand new £40 million David Ross Sports Village with the support of David.

Entrepreneurship in the Information Era: AI, IoT, and the API Economy

Phil Westcott | Director, IoT Global Practice & Partnerships, IBM (BEng Hons Environmental Engineering & Resource Management, 2000)

“Invention and entrepreneurship is in the psyche of this country. Fortunately the technology landscape – AI, IoT & the API economy –  now gives rise to huge opportunity to innovate. The visionary can turn an idea into a business more rapidly than at any time in history. In short, there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur…” – Phil Westcott, Director of IBM Watson Internet of Things

Pitch@Palace, Phil Westcott, IBM

Phil Westcott, Director of IBM Watson Internet of Things


  • Applied AI applications, Internet of Things (IoT), Business transformation with AI & IoT, Economic development, Smarter cities, Systems Engineering
  • Management, Sales, Business development, Strategic partnerships and business model design


  • MBA from Colombia Business School, NY and IESE Business School, Barcelona
  • Chartered Engineer, Institute of Engineering & Technology
  • MSc Systems Engineering, University College London
  • BEng Honours Engineering, University of Nottingham
  • Accredited by the Association of Project Management

Phil leads a global team building strategic & technical partnerships for the Watson IoT platform. He is also responsible for building out the industry’s first global IBM Watson IoT Consulting Solutions practice, with 1,500 experts across the globe. When IBM established the new Watson business in Feb 2014, Phil launched the Watson Ecosystem in Europe, building up a portfolio of product, agency and systems integrator partnerships.

Phil was recruited into IBM in August 2011. Initially working as a Senior Managing Consultant, he was a key thought-leader in the UK Smart Grid and Electric Vehicles strategy. In early 2012, Phil pioneered IBM Smarter Impact, the company’s approach to using data driven solutions and greater private-public-third sector partnerships to drive inclusive economic development at city and national level, with its first solution now in implementation.

Previously, Phil led Business Development for the Smarter Cities business in Southeast Asia, developing the regional go-to-market strategy, forming strategic partnerships with global players like AECOM and regional players like the Malaysia Economic Development Agency. Phil has 16 years of experience working in technology from startups to multinationals across four continents. Between his multinational experience, Phil also spent time in entrepreneurial technology businesses, most notably driving business development for educational technology platform Glovico.org. He also worked in the London Venture Capital scene working for Zouk Ventures on their Low Carbon Technology investment pipeline.

We can’t wait to hear more about their stories and insights on entrepreneurship!

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