Judges (Brighton & Hove)

Our Judges











Max Leviston // General Manager // SEA LIFE Brighton

We are absolutely delighted to be hosting an array of Young Start-up Talent events, in our Victorian Arcade here at SEA LIFE Brighton. We’re really excited to be involved and look forward to seeing all of the fantastic talent that Brighton has to offer, all taking place in the world’s oldest operating aquarium.










Lorraine Nugent // Managing Director // Media Word Waves

Lorraine Nugent heads up a leading public relations agency, Media Word Waves, based in the South East. Lorraine has no shortage of expertise in media relations. Lorraine has developed strong links in both local and national media. Previously, Lorraine worked at both Price Waterhouse Coopers and Deloittes in their marketing Departments.

As one of the original initiator’s of this project, Lorraine is in the community to further inspire and create employment opportunities.










Dan Simpson//Partner// Hartley Fowler LLP

Dan is a Partner in Hartley Fowler and is based at the firm’s Brighton office.

Dan advises a wide range of business clients of different sizes across a broad spectrum industry sectors.  Dan is delighted to be working in Partnership with Young Start-Up Talent and he and his team at Hartley Fowler have the energy and experience required to guide new businesses through those difficult early years and help them towards a successful future.











Matt Turner //  Managing Director // Creative Pod Ltd

Matt started his own business at just 20 years old and won young entrepreneur of the year and Business Person of the Year at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards. Matt is MD of Creative Pod who are a leading design, marketing and print agency based in the South East. As one of the initiators of Young Start-up Talent. Matt is passionate about encouraging enterprise and other young people to start their own business.










Gary Chown// Regional Director of RBS// Brighton & Hove

I have spent my entire working career with Nat West, undertaking a variety of roles across Sussex and Kent. Predominantly, I have specialised in the SME customer space and spent time as a Relationship Manager looking after start up and small businesses before joining the Commercial Banking segment looking after businesses in the £2m to £25m turnover bracket. For the last three years I have led the Commercial Banking team for East Sussex, a team of nine Relationship Managers based from hubs in Brighton and Eastbourne.










Stephen Mason // Managing Director//Mason Consulting

Stephen Mason is a Director of Mason Consulting. His specialist areas are Management and Financial Markets. Stephen’s companies have a combined group turnover of £60m. Stephen is looking to invest in one of our finalists.

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’.










Martin Hess // Vice President of Sales // Hewlett-Packard Company

Martin Hess is Vice President of Sales for the Enterprise Services Business UK&I at Hewlett Packard Ltd and within his current role, which Martin took up in August 2010, he is responsible for the growth of Enterprise Services (formerly EDS) in the UK&I, a $3.5 billion revenue business and has sat on the HP UK Board for seven years. Martin has over 30 years of experience in the IT industry, including senior roles with major players such as ICL, IBM and Sequent as well as smaller software and services companies.










Penina Shepherd//Managing Director//Acumen Business Law

Penina is the founder of Acumen Business Law, an award winning, innovative and creative business law firm with a clear vision to change the way in which legal services are being purchased and provided in the market place.

Named Entrepreneur of the Year for the South of England by the British Chamber of Commerce. Penina has been in the legal profession since 1996. She worked for top 100 UK Law Firms both as Partner & Head of Department and she regularly advises clients on Company, Commercial and Business Law matters. She is also an expert in the region on Employee Incentive Schemes advising regularly on HMRC Approved Schemes as well as Unapproved.