Leeds Digital Festival Awards 2018

In association with Amsource Technology and Ward Hadaway

The Leeds Digital Festival Awards 2018 in association with Amsource Technology and Ward Hadaway, recognise the commitment and success of individuals and companies within the Leeds City Region. The Leeds Digital Festival Awards 2018 will take place with an evening of celebration at Headrow House, 25th April, and will see a panel of six established judges award the winning nominees.


Award Categories

Entrepreneur of the Year – ALEX CRAVEN, Founder of Jaywing Intelligence

For the business all-rounder – individuals who are consistently driving innovation, combining creative thinking, problem-solving, expertise and more to make their ideas a reality.

Startup of the Year – SYNAP

Whether the next Facebook or a social enterprise using digital to quietly improve the world, this award celebrates the hard work and success of breakthrough tech and digital startups in Leeds.

Facilitator of the Year – ODI LEEDS

This award recognises individuals, tech hubs, incubators, universities, or other organisations that are hugely important in supporting, nurturing and connecting others – creating the invaluable networks at the heart of Leeds.

Tech Innovation of the Year – HARK SYSTEMS

This award recognises the ground-breaking research, project or other work of an organisation or company that pushes the boundaries of possibility in tech and digital.

One to Watch 2018 – HANNEKA KILBURN, Head of Design at Bolser 

A perfect way to recognise the commitment and hard work of individuals within your company or organisation – for the team-player with big ambitions who goes above and beyond to do themselves and their company proud.


Melanie Parker

Melanie is a tour de force of Leeds collaboration. Drawing from her years of experience as a Business Development Manager and Consultant, developing partnerships between universities, charities and companies of all sizes, Melanie is dedicated to facilitating investment and opportunity among the regional community. Currently her work as Recruitment Specialist at Leeds Beckett University empowers graduates to find fulfilling careers.

Melissa Hendry

Melissa is Operations Director at ZiMovi and VST Enterprises responsible for driving both companies to achieve and surpass their key strategic objectives and goals. Passionate about digital, technology and security management, Melissa’s focus lies with day-to-day leadership, resource strategy, product development and the implementation and monitoring of core processes, policies and project delivery.

Ismail Mulla

Ismail is a journalist and Business Reporter at the award winning Yorkshire Post, focusing on entrepreneurship, digital and tech. He is also a part-time lecturer in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University, discussing the impact of technology on news, government and more.

Gareth Yates

A Partner and Head of the Technology team at Ward Hadaway, Gareth offers a wealth of specialist legal knowledge regarding the protection and exploitation of new technologies with particular expertise within the software, bio-tech and energy sectors. He has spoken at numerous events throughout the region on the subject of data protection and advised businesses on the impact of GDPR. Gareth has acted on behalf of an impressive array of clients from well-funded US and EU startups to multinationals. He is actively promoting the Leeds City Region as a global technology hub and encouraging investors to support the region’s growing technology community.  

Andrew Maeer

Owner and Managing Director of Amsource Technology, with over 14 years’ experience working within the recruitment industry, Andrew assists technology companies across the region to source the best and brightest minds to take their business – and the sector – to the next level. Passionate to support the development of the people at the heart of business, Andrew is also determined to address the lack of digital skills in the region and help Leeds play a pivotal role in leading the Northern Powerhouse.

Stuart Clarke

Director of Leeds Digital Festival, member of Leeds Digital Board, and a board member of Yorkshire Dance and some of the hottest digital startups in Leeds (including Synap, Signin and Jigtalk), Stuart has been described by Sky News as the city’s ‘Godfather of Tech’.