Events & Interviews

Interview: Stampede, Bitcoin and AI

Last week, I had the opportunity to do my first Facebook and YouTube Live Stream with Gary A. Fowler, venture capitalist, CEO, and Co-founder of GSD Venture Studios.

We not only had a brief discussion about the ‘Connectivity of the Global Private Capital Markets in a Decentralised World’ but had a candid conversation ranging from the Calgary Stampede to Scotland to Bitcoin and the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the emerging world of decentralized finance.

It was great fun and in case you missed it, click below to listen in to the recording.

Scotland Hosts Ethical Finance Summit

Earlier this month, Scotland hosted the Ethical Finance Summit organised by the Global
Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) which organises and coordinates a series of
programmes promoting finance for positive change and bringing together leaders in
Islamic and conventional finance from around the world.

The summit aimed to “help define and shape the transition to a sustainable financial
system where finance delivers positive change”. With the Bank of England recognising
climate change as a key financial risk and growing recognition of sustainable investment
and finance, both conventional and Islamic finance practitioners have started to pay
attention to not only the economic returns but the social impact of their investment and
finance decisions.

Key partners of the summit included the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), the Scottish Government and the Bank of Scotland. Hosted in the capital of
Scotland, Edinburgh, the summit attracted over 400 finance practitioners from across
the globe discussing a range of topics including ethical investing, Islamic finance,
impact and sustainable finance.

Keynote speaker at the event, First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, who took the
summit as an opportunity to introduce the ‘Green Investment Portfolio’, a new
investment programme, estimated to be worth £3 billion over a three-year period
providing capital to local authorities and third sector organisation committed developing
projects to help the country achieve a net-zero economy by 2045.

The First Minister stating, “The Green Investment Portfolio supports our ethical finance
ambitions by matching projects which are reducing emissions with investors so we can
fully maximize their potential and promote them globally.

This could include projects that are making buildings more energy efficient, reducing
industrial emissions or even restoring peatlands.”

Scotland’s ambitious Green Investment Portfolio is aligned with the UK’s commitment
to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and it was only May of this year the UK
parliament declared a climate change emergency.’ Expect green investment strategies
including green bonds and sukuk to get more attention in the coming months.

Courage, Compassion and Confidence

So proud of the Know You More team and founders Tim Mart and Chirag Mehta for winning The Scottish Herald Digital Business Awards in the Social Enterprise category. Having won the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) International Award for Coaching last year, it was great to see Know You More being recognised on home turf.

With years of effort and dedication in developing a digital platform that seamlessly delivers executive-level coaching to organisations in the simplest, most cost-effective way, Know You More is redefining how coaching should be delivered. Thank you to all our partners, coaches and of course our clients that entrust us with helping their people improve mental wellbeing, accelerate leadership development and support career transition.

Special thanks to Evelyn Walker our Strategic Board Adviser who has been a true champion of our vision to create a future in which people have the courage, compassion and confidence to be their best self and inspire others around them.

Congrats to all the finalists and winners at The Scottish Herald Digital Business Awards


Edinburgh, 29 October 2019

Know You More (“Know You More”), U.K.’s emerging leader in executive-level coaching at scale was awarded the Scottish Herald Digital Business Awards in the Charity and Social Enterprise category on Oct 23rd, 2019 at a ceremony in Glasgow, Scotland.

With a vision to create a future in which people have the courage, compassion and confidence to be their best self and inspire others around them, Know You More has been providing virtual coaching since 2016 helping people develop the essential skills and behaviours to improve leadership, mental wellness, and support career transition.

Tim Mart, CEO and Co-founder of Know You More, said: “We’ve had an opportunity to work with great organisations such as the NHS, St. Andrews University, Siemens recently to help create responsible leaders of today and tomorrow. The award is wonderful recognition for all the hard work of the team and my Co-founder Chirag Mehta over the past four years. Having won the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) 2018 International Award for Coaching last year, it’s great to get the local recognition for our efforts and a testament to the amazing community of qualified coaches we have on the platform.”

Suhail Ahmad, Executive Chairman of Know You More, said “Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of the Herald Scotland 2019 Digital Business Awards. It was an outstanding group of trailblazing businesses and organisations across Scotland. We were honoured to take home an award this year and will continue to contribute to digital excellence in Scotland and beyond.”

The awards event was attended by business leaders from across Scotland reflecting the range of organisations from social enterprise to corporates who were recognised for their digital work. The Digital Transformation Director of Newsquest Scotland, organisers of the event welcomed the attendees saying, “We social responsibility we have to society and to ourselves, to make our work inclusive and a force for good is surely of critical importance more than ever before.”

Other Digital Business Award winners across several categories included PODFather, Intelligent Mobile, DYW Glasgow, Blue2Digital clients Simon Howie and The Scottish Butcher, Enterprise Screen for The Power of Attorney campaign, After Digital for Chase Distillery, Storm ID (several awards), Neu, Barry Feam, Jenn Hood and Brian Corcoran.

Know You More is a company based in Scotland, delivering the simplest way for organisations to provide their people with executive-level coaching at scale. It’s on a mission to create thriving cultures within organisations and communities by combining the power of real human conversation with innovative technologies. With clients in the U.K. and abroad spanning both the corporate and public sector, including National Health Service (NHS), Siemens, Novartis, Ocado, St. Andrews University and many more.

Suhail Ahmad, MBA – Executive Chairman
+44 131 208 2786

Eagle Labs: A Space to Create, Innovate and Grow

#AD #EagleLabs

Using a one-team approach, the Barclay’s Eagle Lab in Scotland provides entrepreneurs access to mentoring, business and technology development. Resources not readily available anywhere else in the country.

Based in Edinburgh and in partnership with the technology incubator Codebase, Eagle Lab focuses on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and development of innovative products. Using leading digital fabrication tools such as Laser Cutters and 3D Printers to enable rapid prototyping and testing.

I had an opportunity earlier this month to spend time with entrepreneurs and the team at Eagle Labs to get a first-hand demonstration of the technology available at the Lab.

Learn more about my experience at the Eagle Labs, read my LinkedIn Article (click here).

To learn more about Barclay’s, visit

DIGIT’s 4th Annual Digital Transformation Conference

This is the largest annual digital transformation conference held in Scotland. The event is geared towards senior technologists and digital leaders, and aims to provide a forum for knowledge exchange, discussion and collaboration. The conference will explore the business impact of digital technology right across the organisation; from data-driven decision making to leadership, marketing and customer engagement.

This is the largest annual digital transformation conference held in Scotland. The event is geared towards senior technologists and digital leaders, and aims to provide a forum for knowledge exchange, discussion and collaboration. The conference will explore the business impact of digital technology right across the organisation; from data-driven decision making to leadership, marketing and customer engagement.

Alternative: AI & Blockchain for professional services 2018

Alternative AI & Blockchain for Professional Services will help you cut through the hype about both technologies and focus on their business benefits.

This one-day event is specifically for law firms, accountancy practices, consultancy practices and corporate legal departments with an interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and block chain and their potential to transform the professional services market.

AI 201 – taking your understanding to the next level:

More mature and better understood than blockchain, AI still presents challenges. We’ll provide a non-technical overview of the technology and its latest developments and uses, allowing you to hit the ground running for the rest of the day.

An introduction to the capabilities of blockchain for those who want a broad view of the opportunities available from this disruptive technology. How it works, what it does, why it’s different and who is using it now, and how.

Alternative AI & Blockchain for Professional Services will focus on the immediate outcomes for professional services, by providing “everything you need to know” about AI and blockchain, in one place in one day.

The objective content will come from law firms, accountancy practices, management/property/strategy consultancies, in-house legal teams, academics, advisors and vendors – the entire AI & blockchain universe.  The programme will be a mix of strategic plenaries, panel debates, case studies and round table discussions with AI & blockchain covered independently in streams and breakouts.   The entire programme will focus on the here and now, not what could happen in 10 years’ time.

The pace of technological change poses a significant challenge for incumbent market leaders. A strategy of investing in tech incubators, or directly in start-ups, is a path that many firms have chosen, and one that many have rejected – a path that requires big decisions and big changes to organisational models and cultures.

What are the reasons that firms have invested, or chosen not to invest? How, if at all, should your firm interact with incubators and/or start-ups?

How must you adapt your processes to succeed in this strategy? What additional advantages do you get from investing in tech products over simply purchasing them?

Delegates will leave able to make informed decisions about both AI & blockchain – the opportunities, the threats and the impact on professional services now.

Bernard Marr with Suhail Ahmad – CEO (Adviser Direct)



Blockchain World Summit London 2018

Blockchain Summit London 2018 is a 2 day conference and exhibition connecting over 2,500 industry leaders, business decision makers, tech innovators and investors.

A unique agenda has been specifically created to maximise the busy schedule of the senior executive.

Cutting edge case studies offer a “how-to” approach to deploying Blockchain technologies across industries like finance, insurance, logistics, utilities, media and entertainment, and more.

Nexus provides live media and events that bring businesses from all over the world together. Their conferences and exhibitions help a range of industries to connect, and provide organisations with the information they need to evolve effectively in current and future markets.

Roundtable discussions and hosted networking sessions provide exceptional opportunities for attendees to connect with peers and deep-dive into topics.

The summit’s main focus is encouraging use of and gathering information on Blockchain technology, along with the impact this will have on private and public sectors. Our guest speakers will educate concerning B2B and B2C Blockchain capabilities. Consumers will gain an in-depth understanding of the ecosystem – a unique summit feature.



1: Taking Blockchain from proof of concept to reality

2: Blockchain applications – a mainstream option

3: Interoperability and collaboration

4: Disrupting industries – transportation, health care, public services and banking

5: Blockchain rights management

6: Security and privacy challenges

7: Supply chain management

8: Advantages of Smart Contracts

9: The future of data in a Blockchain world

10: Innovation and core technologies


ZeroIn Tech Conference (Amsterdam)

Zero-In Conference focuses on showcasing global companies and speakers in targeting/personalization for Fintech and Marketing products.Suhail was attending to exhibit and demo the dFinancial Network platform.

Zero-In is a tech conference with a people first approach, focus on the long-term trend of personalization in tech products and experiences. Our companies are on the bleeding edge of automation, targeting and building positive customer experience. We have our roots in the UPRISE Festival Europe series with 6 events on its belt and more to come.

The key nature of the acceptance of technology is recognition on how relatable it can be, to us as users and present the value in a clear fashion while maintaining an empathic approach for copy and problem resolution.

Photo credits: dFinancial Network


The conference focuses on the real people building ‘personalization’ into technologies in the fields of digital banking, payment tech, AI, retail, automation, and Blockchain tech. That’s on the Fintech Stage and understanding data and personalization with boundaries of data protection on the Marketing Stage.”

What is in it for startups founders and teams that they can’t achieve by going to another tech conference in Amsterdam?

“There are a plethora of expos and standard conferences replicating formats that focus on numbers but our attention falls on enabling valuable relationships between attendees in an informal environment. We bring together decision-makers and global CEOs who build products and are influencers in their field of expertise. We arrange more meetings with better people.

Personalization is not just our focus but our mantra and it comes to life in the form of our sessions from intimate Workshops and Speaker Round Table sessions with a lot of attention paid to networking and building relationships between attendees, companies, and speakers.”

The workshop space holds 5 workshops delivering hands-on tips & tricks on topics such as valuation and investment negotiations. The 50X network consists of industry leaders, influencers, and VCs that can be booked in for one-on-one meetings.

Tell us about some of the speakers who will be at the conference.

We have two primary stages – Fintech Stage & Market Stage with top-tier speakers from all over the world. The companies represented by C-Level decision makers are leading forces and rising stars in banking & payments, marketing & advertising and targeting & automation.




Last year over 2000 delegates and 300+ FinTechs gathered together in London to explore the topics changing the face of financial services. Join the Innovate Finance and be immersed in the ideas shaping global Fintech this coming March 2018.

IFGS 2018 will convene the global Fintech community to the Fintech capital world: London. Taking inspiration from the expansion of Fintech globally, the summit will welcome the world’s leading lights, from innovators, institutions, and investors to policymakers, regulators, and international trade bodies.

The annual Innovate Finance Global Summit 2018 kicked off the start of UK Fintech Week in London. Gathering over 300 Fintech companies, 200 speakers, and thousands of innovators, influencers and supporters from the global financial technology industry to explore the ideas and innovations shaping global fintech.

There were over 60 sessions held across the two days, from in-depth roundtable discussions on how to deliver real change with Open Banking, to ‘fireside chats’ with founders of Fintech unicorns. We did our best to take on as much as possible, whilst impossible to make an appearance at every event, we certainly made our mark on trying.

A journey from UK startup to global giant

Monday morning saw, Lance Uggla, founder of unicorn Markit (now IHS Markit)  talk about his journey from zero to 19 billion dollar company with Philip Stafford. Starting out as a UK startup, Lance noted from his experience in growing this startup to a global information giant that,

“Competitive edge comes in many different ways – but above all it’s subject matter experts and content. Use technology to leverage these to achieve the leading product and service”, and whilst in a world where technology seems to be at our every beck and call his words of advice were that “we need to ensure people feel enhanced by technology, not replaced” – something of reassurance in a time where we fear the rise of the robots. Lance’s thoughts were a great way to start the summit as they are certainly a business that many of the FinTechs in attendance would surely love to emulate.