Tech entrepreneurs look to experienced generation for skills exchange

An event matching experienced professionals who have left corporate life with tech entrepreneurs who would benefit from their skills and experience is to be held.

The Next-Up conference, on 20 November at Northern Ballet’s conference venue in Leeds, will bring together a number of tech entrepreneurs, charities and headhunters who are looking for experienced professionals as advisers, consultants, trustees, non-executives and investors. Space is limited to 200 delegates.

Victoria Tomlinson, chief executive of Next-Up, said: “We want to show how different generations can add value to each other and open up very different opportunities for ‘unretired’ people.  Delegates will meet and hear from exciting businesses and charities, all looking for their advice, skills and experience, whilst also providing an easy way to get up to speed with the latest innovations in business.”

The day is interactive, with charities and entrepreneurs putting a challenge to conference delegates.  Issues to be explored will range from adapting products to international markets, contingency planning for Brexit and the best way for a charity to develop its property.

Tomlinson added: “We have an amazing line-up of speakers – with the tech entrepreneurs talking about technologies from virtual reality and cyber security to data analytics and voice search.  They will be looking at where the business opportunities are for the future – and their current business challenges. Charities have wide-ranging issues they would also like help with, from leadership development to working with local government.”

Sue Tyrer, partner of executive search firm The Orcid Partnership and speaker at the Next-Up conference said: “The non-executive directors who stand out are those who can add value in terms of changing markets, technology and spotting disruption and threats coming over the horizon.  This conference is an easy way for non-executive directors and advisers to keep up to date and demonstrate that wider interest and conversation, when discussing non-executive roles with chairpeople.”

Rich Wood, managing director of the fast-growing digital agency Six and Flow in Manchester, will talk about the future of conversational marketing – the art of humanising the sales and marketing process when people go online. He believes this conference is a great opportunity for experienced directors and professionals.

“I have seen too many people with valuable experience and skills who are really keen to share their knowledge as a non-exec or adviser, but it just doesn’t happen,” said Wood.

“There is a lot of talent being wasted. I am hoping this conference will inspire delegates to take the leap into helping and/or joining businesses like ours. I may be wrong, but the conference seems totally unique in its approach to connecting those thinking about ‘unretirement’ or a portfolio career with those who could use the experience.”

Confirmed speakers include Simon Barratt – virtual reality; Michael Henderson – cyber security; Danny Ingham – influencer marketing; Emily McNicholas – high tech start-up issues; Zandra Moore – data analytics; Lucy Rimmington – edtech; Jonny Ross – voice search; Rich Wood – conversational marketing. Steve Kuncewicz, intellectual property lawyer and media commentator on digital, will facilitate panel sessions.

Next-Up – an ‘unretirement’ platform launched in May 2018 – is based on market research showing significant numbers of senior business leaders plan to carry on working in ‘unretirement’.  Next-Up membership will help turn a dream into a reality, starting by creating a personal ‘unretirement plan’ then followed up with practical support, advice, ideas and skills on how to make it happen. Members enjoy access to personalised online programmes, coaching, events, guides, videos, community groups, and practical support.

This includes finding organisations that need their expertise, whether a charity project, start-up business or business school; or perhaps starting a business or becoming a consultant; or finding speaking opportunities; or much more.

Half price early bird tickets are £150 until the end September.  Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 01423 562400.