Judges (Croydon)








Mark Burgess

Director // Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Mark has worked in banking for over 35 years and heads up the Corporate and Commercial lending business in the Croydon and South London area for NatWest. He is member and supporter of Croydon BID and Croydon Commitment organisations which are both local partnerships which mirror his role at NatWest in terms of its focus on supporting the growth and development of the local business community.











James Booker

Editor // Croydon Advertiser

Born and bred in Chesterfield, James cut his journalistic teeth in Oxford for two years before becoming news editor of the Croydon Advertiser in April 2014. He has just been appointed the paper’s content editor.









Simon Maddox

Partner // Owadally & King

Simon has been a Partner of Owadally & King since October 2005 joining the firm after leaving university in 1986 as a trainee accountant and studying for his ACCA qualification. Simon acts for a mixed portfolio of small and medium sized businesses providing tax and technical advice together with broader business guidance.









Lorraine Nugent

Managing Director // Media Word Waves

Lorraine has no shortage of expertise in media relations having worked for a prominent leading newspaper group for 7 years – managing a business paper with strong links in both local and national media. Lorraine now heads up the successful PR Agency – Media Word Waves who act for a variety of clients.









Matt Turner

Managing Director // Creative Pod Ltd

Creative Pod are located at the heart of the South East. Working on projects such as re-brands, marketing material and websites. Matt won Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards 2010.


Ben Towers // Towers Design // Social Marley 

At just 17 Ben is CEO of multi-award winning digital agency – Towers Design and social media managing platform – Social Marley and has recently become a non-executive director of Young Start-up Talent.  Ben is one of the UK’s most successful young entrepreneurs and has had great success as a worldwide keynote speaker. He has recently been named by Richard Branson as one of the worlds most exciting entrepreneurs as well as being placed as Number One in The Times ‘Super Teen Power List’.











Salim Somjee // Partner // Cripps 

Salim is a partner in the corporate team of Cripps LLP, specialising in corporate transactions and advice to directors and shareholders.His primary focus is on helping clients to achieve their goals; he engages with them to understand their needs and works with them to find a sensible way to achieve the overriding objective. His approach is to balance the need for legal formality with the desire to reach the desired outcome in a pragmatic and commercial way.  This is particularly important when advising business start-ups, as they quite often need to prioritise where to spend their limited resources.