Written on Wednesday, 22 November 2017

As the #StartMeUp Pitch finals in Aberdeen and Liverpool are approaching, we're delighted to reveal the panel of leading business experts who will bring a wealth of knowledge to the judging process.

10 aspiring entrepreneurs will be challenged to impress our judging panel with a powerful pitch to win 6 months' serviced office space worth £10K.

Let us introduce you to....

Zach Douglas

Orega’s very own Managing Director and joint Founder 

Zach-smZach, who will be the judge for both #StartMeUp Pitch finals, has been working in the serviced office industry as a sales person since 1996. In 2000 he decided to launch his own serviced office business and opened his first Orega business centre in Staines in 2001. During the first 18 months of trading, the business found itself in far tougher conditions than had been planned for and standing on the brink of bankruptcy. This time Zach found out a lot more about both himself personally and what it takes to make a business work. 16 years later, Orega has grown steadily within the UK and Brussels, with 15 business centres to date. Orega has won numerous awards such as Best UK Business Centre, Best British Newcomer to Belgium, they are featured in The Leap 100 list and have been recognised as a 2016 “One to Watch” by The Sunday Times Best Companies.

Judges for Aberdeen

Carolyn Maniukiewicz

Director and founder of Ideas in Partnership 


With 30 years of experience in marketing and business development, Carolyn describes herself as an “ideas” person and someone who can find innovative solutions by thinking out of the box. Fifteen years ago she formed Ideas In Partnership, which also owns the highly successful Aberdeen Entrepreneurs. As a Research Economist, she is working for SME’s and Corporates helping them with Business Strategy. In 2008, Events In Partnership was set up managing events throughout the UK. Carolyn is a business mentor and a trustee of the Greyhope Bay Project. She is also Chairman of Peterhead Energy Hub and Peterhead Energy Hub’s Decommissioning arm.

Yekemi Otaru

Founder and Managing Director of YO! Marketing

Yekemi OtaruYekemi, who was mentioned in the “40 under 40 list of business men and women making a difference in Scottish business” in 2016, is the successful founder of YO! Marketing - a strategic marketing agency helping companies create engaging content and implement new strategies and processes. She is the author of the book, “The Smart Sceptic's Guide to Social Media in Organisations” introducing the Smart Sceptic® Framework for implementing corporate social media programmes and is a highly engaged speaker in B2B conferences and guest lecturer at Universities.



Judges for Liverpool

Dave Brown

Founder and Managing Director of Apposing


Dave runs one of Liverpool’s successful and high profile digital businesses which he founded in 2010. Clients include Harvey Nichols, Footasylum, Nestle, Unilever, Nando’s, Sony PlayStation and McDonald’s. With an unquenchable passion for creating inspirational, innovative and unique mobile applications, the business has won countless awards for helping brands innovate for the future. As well as being passionate about driving Apposing forwards, Dave is also an author of the best selling ‘The iPhone App Design Manual’, the Liverpool Echo tech columnist and the co-curator of TEDxLiverpool.

Frank McKenna

Founder and Chief Executive of Downtown in Business


Before establishing Downtown in Business in 2004, Frank was a full-time politician, serving as the leader of the North West Regional Assembly, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council and a Parliamentary Assistant. Since entering the world of business, Frank has served on the Merseyside Entrepreneurship Commission, Liverpool Vision’s Strategic Planning board, and advisory boards on both the Lancashire and Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership’s. With an impressive list of connections in both the public and private sector, Frank is one of the most influential business voices in the region. He’s a regular public speaker and contributor to television news programmes as well as to business and political publications.

Victoria Brown

Founder and Managing Director of High Performance Consultancy and oneHR

Victoria Brown (2)

With nearly 20 years business experience, Victoria started her first business when she was 17 - while studying psychology at the University of Liverpool. Her two current, award-winning businesses, High Performance Consultancy (founded in 2007) and OneHR (founded in 2015) have already built a strong presence across the UK, offering exceptional HR services to a variety of businesses and helping businesses to fulfil business ambitions.




Follow us on Twitter @OregaOffices for more updates on the #StartMeUp Pitch!


start-up, Aberdeen, business, Liverpool, #StartMeUp Pitch, competition

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