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The Judges

Osama Hirzalla
Vice President Brand Marketing & eCommerce Europe
Marriott

Osama Hirzalla is a skilled hotelier with 24 years of experience spanning across Europe and Middle East & Africa with an excellent experience in Hotel Operations, Sales, Marketing, eCommerce and Public Relations.

Osama is a dedicated hard-working individual with a particular passion for Digital Marketing and Big Data. In his current role as Vice President of Brand Marketing & eCommerce Europe, he is responsible for driving brand awareness, differentiation and preference for all of the Marriott Brands in Europe. He oversees Marriott's European digital distribution strategy including growing Marriott.com and managing OTA platforms to drive profitable revenue for European hotels. Osama is a keen advocate of Corporate Social Responsibility and plays an active role in the development and execution of Marriott’s CSR strategy. He is also responsible for Marriott Rewards Programme in Europe and takes an active role in the development of the loyalty programme and the CRM strategy.

Guy Kedar
Digital partner, head of social and innovation lead at MEC
MEC

Guy Joined MEC in 2010 to help connect social media and emerging platforms to the broader communications and business objectives of clients. He helps brands drive digital transformation by using digital platforms to create new value exchanges that bridge gaps between consumer needs and business objectives.

Through his work, Guy has learned the power of ‘open innovation’ and the (mutual) benefits of connecting brands with disruptive start-ups to foster strong collaboration.

Elizabeth Varley
Serial entrepreneur
TechHub

Serial entrepreneur Elizabeth founded TechHub, the global community for tech entrepreneurs, that works with over 750 tech companies across the world to help them scale. TechHub also helps corporates access innovation culture, enhance their internal innovations and to work with startups to solve business challenges or develop new products.

Elizabeth sits on the board of the Digital City Exchange programme at Imperial College and has been selected for Computer Weekly’s UKtech50 top influencers, the Evening Standard’s Silicon 60, the Debrett's 500, and Vogue UK’s Generation Tech among others.

Will Mercer
Head of Strategy at the Trampery
The Trampery

Will Mercer is Head of Strategy at The Trampery, an organisation that specialises in creating habitats for innovation. Since 2009 it has opened seven workspaces across London including Tech City UK’s first start up space and recently announced Europe’s first entrepreneur village. In 2015 The Trampery launched the Traveltech Lab in partnership with London and Partners. It is the first travel-focused tech space in the UK. It currently is home to a community of 39 start ups working to disrupt the travel industry. As Head of Strategy, Will overseas the development of the Lab and the support it provides to the start ups. As such, he is immersed amongst a community of market leading entrepreneurs and sector defining trends.

Will is an entrepreneur, a business strategist and intrepid adventurer. His career spans entrepreneurship, venture capital and social enterprise. He holds a Master’s in Physics from the University of Reading. When not ‘strategising’ he runs stages at music festivals across the UK and Europe, climbs mountains and is an avid sailor.

Oli Barrett

When not working in the start-up and business community, Oli is a regular MC and speaker at international events. He has led eleven trade missions to the US, India and Brazil helping British companies to explore business opportunities. Oli’s entrepreneurial career started as a student and has included an events business in nine cities, an international language practice website and a sock subscription website which continues to ship internationally. He is an advisor to the Centre for Entrepreneurs and NewCo in London.

Osama Hirzalla
Vice President Brand Marketing & eCommerce Europe
Marriott

Osama Hirzalla is a skilled hotelier with 24 years of experience spanning across Europe and Middle East & Africa with an excellent experience in Hotel Operations, Sales, Marketing, eCommerce and Public Relations.

Osama is a dedicated hard-working individual with a particular passion for Digital Marketing and Big Data. In his current role as Vice President of Brand Marketing & eCommerce Europe, he is responsible for driving brand awareness, differentiation and preference for all of the Marriott Brands in Europe. He oversees Marriott's European digital distribution strategy including growing Marriott.com and managing OTA platforms to drive profitable revenue for European hotels. Osama is a keen advocate of Corporate Social Responsibility and plays an active role in the development and execution of Marriott’s CSR strategy. He is also responsible for Marriott Rewards Programme in Europe and takes an active role in the development of the loyalty programme and the CRM strategy.

Guy Kedar
Digital partner, head of social and innovation lead at MEC
MEC

Guy Joined MEC in 2010 to help connect social media and emerging platforms to the broader communications and business objectives of clients. He helps brands drive digital transformation by using digital platforms to create new value exchanges that bridge gaps between consumer needs and business objectives.

Through his work, Guy has learned the power of ‘open innovation’ and the (mutual) benefits of connecting brands with disruptive start-ups to foster strong collaboration.

Will Mercer
Head of Strategy at the Trampery
The Trampery

Will Mercer is Head of Strategy at The Trampery, an organisation that specialises in creating habitats for innovation. Since 2009 it has opened seven workspaces across London including Tech City UK’s first start up space and recently announced Europe’s first entrepreneur village. In 2015 The Trampery launched the Traveltech Lab in partnership with London and Partners. It is the first travel-focused tech space in the UK. It currently is home to a community of 39 start ups working to disrupt the travel industry. As Head of Strategy, Will overseas the development of the Lab and the support it provides to the start ups. As such, he is immersed amongst a community of market leading entrepreneurs and sector defining trends.

Will is an entrepreneur, a business strategist and intrepid adventurer. His career spans entrepreneurship, venture capital and social enterprise. He holds a Master’s in Physics from the University of Reading. When not ‘strategising’ he runs stages at music festivals across the UK and Europe, climbs mountains and is an avid sailor.

Oli Barrett

Co-founded StartUp Britain, Tenner, social innovation agency Cospa and Speednetwork the Globe. When not working in the start-up and business community, Oli is a regular MC and speaker at international events. He has led eleven trade missions to the US, India and Brazil helping British companies to explore business opportunities.

Oli’s entrepreneurial career started as a student and has included an events business in nine cities, an international language practice website and a sock subscription website which continues to ship internationally. He is an advisor to the Centre for Entrepreneurs and NewCo in London.