Rushlight Events

Scaling-Up a Cleantech Business

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

5.30pm to 9pm

 Hosted by

       S&W logo 2015_marsala grey_RGB

25 Moorgate, London EC2R 6AY


The 2014 Scale-Up Report identified and focused on 6 key areas for scale-ups: market knowledge and data; talent and skills; accessing infrastructure; finance; leadership and increasing sales at home and abroad.  While these areas are key for all early stage businesses, they are arguably especially relevant for cleantech businesses. The market strength and presence of the incumbents and the legacy behaviours of consumers and corporate procurement specialists mean that the hurdles of behaviour change and achieving a market presence are even higher for new cleantech companies.

Finding the right talent to complete senior management teams at an affordable cost is also a real challenge in cleantech, which can be seen as being perversely more risky by some and less exciting by others than technology.

The number of active cleantech investors, especially in the scale-up phase, is seen as being low and certainly some notable early investee failures have encouraged investors to take a less risky approach to investment in the sector.  This situation is then exaggerated further by the alternative investment opportunities provided by lower risk deployment projects, such as those in renewable energy, coupled with the current low interest rates.

As noted above, creating a recognisable presence in the market is also a real issue for cleantech companies.  Market knowledge is often hard to gain and access to the decision-makers in corporates’ procurement and sustainability departments can be challenging.

This event will be ideal for any cleantech-related business that has completed its early start-up phase and is now looking to break into its chosen markets and really grow.  As a particular benefit for 6 companies that attend, we are inviting you to present yourselves and ask a question in 90 seconds on this topic to a panel of experts in open forum as a precursor to a panel discussion and Q&A.  In order to be one of the companies that makes this 90 second presentation and question, simply register and let me know you would like to participate.  The participants will be chosen on a first-come-first-served basis on the completion of registration and your request by email to me.

During the evening, we will be looking to set out all the key issues that have been recognised as the main hurdles for scaling-up for cleantech businesses, and then through 2 exciting case studies, our direct questions session and our panel of experts, we shall be setting out the solutions and the support that is available to address these hurdles one-by-one.  This event provides a singular opportunity to ask specific questions about your particular situation either in open forum or during the networking afterwards and this will be invaluable for cleantech companies at this stage of development.


5.30pm Registration

6.00pm Welcome – Andrew Bond, Smith & Williamson

6.10pm Introduction – Clive Hall, Rushlight Events

6.15pm Keynote: Findings and lessons learned from the Scale-Up Report – Irene Graham, CEO, ScaleUp Institute.  Her presentation slides are HERE

6.35pm Success Story 1: Worldsensing – Ignasi Vilajosana, CEO & Founder.  His presentation slides are HERE

Success Story 2: Breathing Buildings – Shaun Fitzgerald, CEO.  His presentation is not being made available here.

Success Story 3: Vital Energi – Nick Gosling, Sales & Strategy Director.  His presentation slides are HERE

Success Story 4: Sentec – Andrew Dames, Co-Founder and CTO.  His presentation slides are HERE

7.20pm Case Study Q&A

7.30pm pre-registered open questions from companies asking about their specific scale-up issues including:

Paul Arwas, Vice Chair, Inflowmatix

Robin Hardy, Projects Director, BasePower

Steve Munn, Managing Director, Hevasure

to a panel of experts consisting of:

John Morris, Partner, Smith & Williamson

John Rowland, Managing Partner, White Lake Group

Patrick Sheehan, Partner, ETF Partners

Paul Gillespie, Partner, Gillamor Stephens

7.30pm Panel discussion and Q&A

8.15pm Networking

9.30pm Close


Irene Graham – Scaleup Institute

Irene is the CEO and a board director of the ScaleUp Institute. A former senior banker at Standard Chartered Bank where she held both European and global managing director roles, she set up, ran and scaled several of the bank’s key client and product businesses and led several global M&A activities. Before joining the ScaleUp Institute she was Managing Director at the British Bankers Association (BBA) responsible for Commercial Banking. She led the Business Finance Taskforce set up by the CEOs of the UK banks which resulted in the creation of the BGF, the Enterprise Research Centre, the SME Finance Monitor, and Mentorsme as well as many other key export and business policy initiatives on which Irene advised Government and industry. She is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University and sits on the advisory boards of the UK Business Angels Association, Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative and Stratford Circus Arts Centre.


Worldsensing is a widely recognized global IoT pioneer.  We provide customers with the tools to make the right operational decisions based on real-time intelligence. Our insights enable operators to understand the performance of distributed infrastructure, make predictions, improve efficiency and prevent disasters.  We use wireless sensor technology and real-time software solutions to provide operational intelligence to operators and decision makers.  This is what we call Connected Operational Intelligence.  We work with customers in more than 50 countries across 5 continents, reinventing the world we will live and work in tomorrow.

Shaun Fitzgerald – Breathing Buildings

Shaun undertook his PhD at Cambridge University and then joined the faculty at Stanford. After 4 years at Bain & Co in London and further research at Cambridge he founded Breathing Buildings in 2006. He is the Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in Sustainable Buildings at Cambridge University and a Teaching Fellow at Girton College.

Nick Gosling – Vital Energi

Nick Gosling has more than 25 years’ experience providing energy services to the public and private sectors. Previously he was UK regional director at Dalkia and energy services director at MITIE. Nick’s areas of expertise include project engineering, product and service development, energy procurement and asset management. His combination of operational and business expansion experience makes him ideally suited to the task of leading Vital Energi’s plans for transition into financed asset ownership and management.

Andrew Dames – Sentec

Sentec was formed in 1997 by Andrew Dames and Andrew Howe, engineers and inventors who used to work with Generics at Harston.  Sentec has generated income through consultancy, using the funds to spin out new companies,including SmartBead Technology, Polatis, and Visual Protection. By 2001, Sentec was placed third in the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 competition in the Cambridge region.   One of Sentec’s biggest clients is Invensys in the U.S.  Sentec has been able to realise some of the value it has created and new finance has come from 3i and Alta Berkeley.

Patrick Sheehan – ETF Partners

Patrick is a founder and Partner of the Environmental Technologies Fund. He has worked in venture capital since 1985. He was instrumental in founding 3i’s venture capital practice, and later became the founding Managing Director of its Silicon Valley operation. Before this, he was a research engineer for GEC and Marconi Space Systems.  He was a member of the Executive Committee and Board of EVCA from 2007 to 2010, during which time he also chaired the Venture Capital Committee.  He has a Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from UCL, London.

John Morris – Smith & Williamson

John helps ambitious business founders, owner-managers and leaders achieve their personal aspirations, as well as the financial goals and objectives of the companies they run.   He leads Smith & Williamson’s Scale-Up programme: an integrated suite of solutions, expertise and support, designed to help businesses scale quickly.  He has spent 15 years providing strategy and consulting advice to a variety of businesses in a diverse range of sectors, including management consulting, business process outsourcing, IT services and manufacturing.

Paul Gillespie – Gillamor Stephens

Paul leads the Venture Capital Practice, delivering global searches to find the best talent for European, Nordic and Baltic early and mid-stage technology companies. Paul specialises in broad based physical technologies – recently including the electronics, IoT, PV, wireless and semiconductor sectors. Prior to founding Gillamor Stephens in 1998, Paul was Director of Search & Selection for a recruitment company finally sold to a publicly quoted executive search business.

John Rowland – White Lake Group

John has been investing in Private Equity for the last 8 years. Prior to founding White Lake, John was an Investment Manager at a large Family Office, whom he still advises. The Family Office invested over $500m in new Energy and Environmental Infrastructure private equity investments. John has spent several years working on Cleantech transactions for the $250m Abu Dhabi Masdar Cleantech Fund and Inspired Evolution Fund with Board responsibilities across the portfolio of investments. He currently advises a tech­transfer PE fund between South Korea and Israel. Prior to this John spent over 3 years managing high net worth equity portfolios for Custom House Capital where he also led research.  John has also worked in industry as an engineer designing leading edge telecommunication systems. John has degrees in Electronic Engineering and Business, holds the CFA designation and is a qualified accountant.



Waste Manager to Resource Broker

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

5.30pm to 9pm

 Hosted by

       S&W logo 2015_marsala grey_RGB

25 Moorgate, London EC2R 6AY


The waste industry is in the middle of a major transformation.  Where once society looked for the industry simply to remove what was deemed rubbish from the sight of communities, now it is becoming a handler of a range of resources that feed the wood, paper, metal, glass, plastic and construction industries, the reuse sector, and green gas and waste to energy plants.

Society is now asking for as much as possible to be diverted away from the municipal and commercial waste streams through circular business models and reuse.  There is increasing pressure on waste companies to segregate resource streams and for alternative uses to be found which are pursued ahead of waste to energy.  The waste hierarchy pervades upstream so that there is a resource handling hierarchy too.

This transition from waste handler to resource broker has not been straight forward.  Regulations designed to protect health and the environment, principally set and managed by the Environment Agency, have challenged the progress by those in the vanguard of innovations appertaining to certain resource streams.

The need for One Planet Living and the ensuing requirement to manage our resources more effectively, together with the unknown impacts of Brexit both with regard to the EU Circular Economy Programme and future trading activities, are accelerating this transformation of the industry.

Biffa was one of the first large waste companies to make fundamental changes to its strategy and, most recently, the launch of the newly merged Renewi highlights the changes that are happening.

This event will set out the changes that are taking place, identify the drivers and hurdles to the transition, look at the process from the perspective of a waste company, a local authority and an investor/ financier and seek to set out what the future resource system will be like.



5.30pm Registration

6.00pm Welcome – Andrew Bond, Smith & Williamson

6.10pm Introduction – Clive Hall, Rushlight Events

6.15pm UK Waste Industry Update – Mark Terrell, Principal Consultant, Ricardo-AEA.  His presentation is HERE.

6.40pm The Local Authority Perspective – Annie Baker,  Strategic Partnership Manager, South London Waste Partnership.  Her presentation is not available.

7.00pm Panel, augmented by

Mike Tregent, Environment Agency

James Capel, Simply Waste Solutions

Natalia Agathou, Advance London Team Leader, LWaRB

8.15pm Networking

9.30pm Close



Mark Terrell – Ricardo-AEA

With a long history of experience in the waste sector, Mark has worked in many sectors of the waste industry from most recently RDF/SRF production and end market development, through to composting, AD, IVC, food waste, wood waste and even sewage sludge. He is a Materials Engineer (BEng), and began his career as a chemist in the chemical, cement and waste industry. He has mix of technical expertise and commercial market knowledge from working for Thames Water, Veolia, Lafarge, Environment Agency, Suez and most recently Ricardo.  Working for the Worldwide Energy and Environmental consultancy Ricardo Mark provides support to the financial, energy and waste sectors on; Technical Due Diligence/Owners Representative, Expert Witness/Legal and Regulatory Compliance, and Market Assessment UK and Europe (RDF/SRF/Wood).

Annie Baker – South London Waste Partnership

Annie is the Strategic Partnership Manager at South London Waste Partnership.  She has worked in waste management in London local authorities for nearly 15 years. In her role heading up the South London Waste Partnership, she manages waste on behalf of four partner boroughs: Croydon , Kingston, Merton and Sutton. Before managing the SLWP, she spent over 10 years working in the London Borough of Southwark.

James Capel – Simply Waste

James is the CEO and owner of the fastest growing waste collection company in the UK. Simply Waste Solutions was founded in 2006, initially with only two lorries and a strong work ethic. Its meteoric rise was achieved by breaking the mould of how traditional large waste management companies operate and by delivering the highest standards of customer service that many of its larger competitors struggle to match. Now Simply Waste has over 45 vehicles and employs more than 120 staff, collecting from more than 7000 sites a week and handling over 100,000 tonnes of waste per year.  James has had over 20 years’ experience in the waste industry and has been at the forefront of change in the sector. He led the first joint venture to offer a complete solution for coffee cup recycling and Simply Cups remains the only company in the UK to offer a fully auditable solution for this waste.

Natalia Agathou – LWARB

Natalia joined the London Waste and Recycling Board in 2017 and she is the Business Advice Manager of the Advance London team a 3 year programme supporting SMEs in London transition to circular business models. She has previously worked for 8 years as an environmental advisor specialised in sustainable businesses and responsible sourcing in emerging economies. She has assisted businesses in developing sustainability strategies and resource efficient business plans. She has designed waste collection and delivery plans for municipalities and has analysed and restructured internal processes for organizations and businesses in the retail, packaging, banking, textiles, recycling and sanitary sector. She has managed and implemented waste and resource efficiency management programmes for international clients like Philips, IFCO Systems S.A., Textile Enterprises, IBM, the World Bank, the EU, the UNDP, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mike Tregent – Environment Agency

Mike is responsible for Waste Stream Assessment Waste Planning and Strategy Environmental Regulation and Compliance at the Environment Agency.  He has been at the Environment Agency for 10 years, before which he had waste regulation roles at Berkshire and Hampshire County Councils.


Natural Capital Investment

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

5.30pm to 9pm

 Hosted by

       S&W logo 2015_marsala grey_RGB

25 Moorgate, London EC2R 6AY


Natural Capital has been defined as the elements of nature that directly and indirectly produce value or benefits to people, including ecosystems, species, freshwater, land, minerals, the air and oceans, as well as natural processes and functions.

Increasingly, companies are seeing there are real commercial benefits to be gained from investing in the very ecosystems that their supply chains rely on and looking to nature to address some of their issues.  Examples include a US chemical company that invested USD 1 million in a wetland which naturally filters water, rather than USD 40 million in a wastewater treatment plant.  In the UK, a snack company is providing free bee kits to help to develop a more local honey supply chain.

Biodiversity offsetting has been introduced as a way of managing the overall environmental effect of projects where some degradation cannot be avoided, for instance in some transport infrastructure projects.  However, with the time it takes for habitats to become established, can biodiversity offsetting really work or is it simply an opt out for the less-environmentally conscious?

Even the most carbon-conscious energy projects have an impact on the environment when the new energy farm is built.  Increasingly, energy projects are taking the habitats in which they are located into account, transport projects have natural capital programmes and landfill sites have biodiversity plans as part of their closure programmes.

This event will look at the key non-mineral natural capital components and assess how attractive they are for investors and for companies to become engaged.  Beyond PR and the desire  actually to be doing some good,  is there a commercial reason for companies to invest in natural capital?  In particular, we will look at:

  • biodiversity offsetting
  • business risk of natural capital degradation
  • investing in natural capital to make supply chains more resilient
  • using natural capital solutions for commercial issues
  • taking corporate sustainability into the woodland, oceans and freshwater
  • investor returns from natural capital


5.30pm Registration

6.00pm Welcome – Andrew Bond, Smith & Williamson

6.10pm Introduction – Clive Hall, Rushlight Events

6.20pm Overview of Natural Capital – Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director, Natural Capital Partners.  His presentation is HERE.

6.40pm The Government perspective of Natural Capital – Nick Barter, Deputy Director, Natural Environment Strategy, Defra.  His presentation is HERE.

7.00pm  The Risks and Rewards of Natural Capital Management – Olivia Darby, Chief Operating Officer of the Capital, Science & Policy Practice at Willis Towers Watson.  Her presentation is HERE.

7.20pm Panel discussion and Q&A, augmented by

               James Spurgeon, Director, Sustain Value

Duncan Bott, Managing Director, Belectric Solar Ltd

8.00pm Networking, drinks and eats

9.00pm Close




Jonathan Shopley – Natural Capital Partners

Jonathan Shopley is Managing Director at Natural Capital Partners.  He joined the company, trading then as FutureForests, as CEO in 2001 to initiate its evolution to a leading international provider of services delivering positive impact for the environment and business in the areas of climate, energy, water, and biodiversity.  Previously as Managing Director in Arthur D. Little’s Global Environment & Risk Consulting business, Jonathan advised corporates & government agencies on the mitigation of environmental impacts from industry.  He chairs a UK Community Renewable Energy Cooperative, and is a board member of the International Emissions Trading Association.  He was a founder of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance, and helped establish the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change.

James Spurgeon – Sustain Value

James Spurgeon is a Director at Sustain Value, a consultancy that specializes in advising businesses on valuing and managing natural and social capital issues. He has 25 years experience quantifying and valuing environmental and social impacts for businesses, governments and financial institutions globally.  This has involved undertaking over 250 projects for many sectors and companies.  James is a lead author of the Natural Capital Protocol, he leads the EU’s Business and Biodiversity Platform workstream on Natural Capital Accounting for Business, and has authored numerous guides for WBCSD, A4S and IPIECA.  Key areas of interest are: ecosystem service assessments; natural and social capital valuation assessments; developing associated excel tools; evaluating and offsetting impacts in relation to Net Zero/Net Positive; Integrated Reporting and Environmental Profit & Loss accounts; and water valuation.  He has a BSc in Zoology and an MSc and MBA specializing in environmental valuation and environmental markets, and began his career at KPMG training to be a Chartered Accountant.

Duncan Bott – BELECTRIC

Duncan has been working in the renewable energy sector for over ten years, and has extensive knowledge and experience across a wide spectrum of low-carbon technologies, from hydrogen and fuel cells to solar PV and smart grid technologies. Duncan has managed the construction of over 120MWp solar farm capacity throughout the UK and more than 2MWp of solar rooftops, with several more projects in construction and development.

Olivia Darby – Willis Towers Watson

Olivia Darby is Chief Operating Officer of the Capital, Science & Policy Practice at Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. The Practice confronts large scale challenges of risk and seeks innovative uses of insurance-related mechanisms to build resilient economies and societies around the world to support sustainable growth.  She also sits on the Advisory Board of two climate finance organisations, the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance and the Finance for Resilience (FiRe) initiative and is a member of the Valuing Nature Programme’s Business Interest Group.  She has previously worked in reinsurance and banking and has an MA in Classics from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from Imperial College London.

Nick Barter – DEFRA

Nick Barter is the deputy director in Defra responsible for leading the development of the 25 Year Environment Plan and for managing the secretariat to the independent committee that advises the UK Government on natural capital, the Natural Capital Committee. Prior to joining Defra in 2012, he worked for 15 years in the Department for Transport and Her Majesty’s Treasury on a variety of economist and policy roles, mainly in the area of environmental modelling and European financial legislation.