Judges

Find out more about the expert panel of judges who will be casting their eyes over the Open Up 2020 applications

Christine Foster – Managing Director for Innovation, The Alan Turing Institute (Chair)

Christine Foster is a commercial leader with data science and machine learning expertise.  As Managing Director for Innovation at The Alan Turing Institute, she is responsible for driving forward the institute’s goal to translate its data science and artificial intelligence research into real-world impact. Previously, she has worked with Virgin Media, Liberty Global, a fintech startup, American Express, and EMI Music, building talented technical teams and implementing algorithms into production.  Christine started her career as a strategy consultant with Bain & Company. She holds an MBA from INSEAD and a BA in economics from the University of Toronto.

Susanne Chishti – CEO, Fintech Circle

Susanne Chishti is the CEO of FINTECH Circle & the FINTECH Circle Institute, Susanne chairs the 1st Angel Investor Network focused on FinTech investments and is the Co-Editor of the bestselling FINTECH Book Series published by Wiley consisting of The FINTECH Book, The WealthTECH Book and The InsurTECH Book. She advises financial institutions how to launch and manage internal enterprise innovation programs. As part of the successful FINTECH MasterClasses she works with Boards and Managing Directors at leading banks globally to fully understand and leverage the fintech opportunities ahead. FINTECH Circle leads a 120,000 global FinTech community.

Farhan Lalji – Principal, Venture Partnerships, Anthemis

Farhan is a Principal in the Venture Partnerships team at Anthemis. Previously a Partner and Managing Director of Rokk3r Labs, a global venture builder, Farhan worked with corporates and on starting new companies and building products. Farhan has also been an executive at PeerIndex, a social media analytics platform that was acquired by Brandwatch in 2014, Yahoo! and various other startups and later-stage private companies. He is an entrepreneur-in-residence at King’s College London and a part-time lecturer in managing in digital organizations at London Business School. 

Colm Lyon – CEO and Founder, Fire.com

Colm is the CEO and founder of fire.com. Fire help businesses to manage their payments with digital accounts and debit cards, that support a range of payment services which are accessible via a powerful API. Regulated since 2010, fire.com has over 3,000 business clients using its services. In addition to offering sterling and euro accounts & cards, fire.com is also authorised as a payment initiation provider under PSD2 and is a member of the Open Banking ecosystem in the UK. Colm also founded Realex Payments, which was acquired in March 2015 by Global Payments. From 2000 to 2015, Colm led Realex Payments to be one of Europe’s largest online payment gateways, processing in excess of €28B euro per annum in online payments for over 12,500 retailers, including some of the world’s leading brands. Colm was appointed to the UK Finance Payments, Products & Services Board in July 2018, where he represents the interest of non-bank financial institutions and acts as Chair of the fintech community group. He has received many awards and held several industry leadership positions, including chairman of the Irish Internet Association, founder of Payments Ireland and co-founder & chairman of the Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland. Colm is an adjunct professor for University College Cork and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Innovation Academy in University College Dublin.

Varun Paul – Senior Manager – Future of Finance, Bank of England

Varun Paul is a Senior Manager at the Bank of England, leading on the Future of Finance. He has a Masters in Economics and joined the Bank in 2008. Through the financial crisis, his analysis helped guide the Monetary Policy Committee’s decisions on interest rates. He then supported the Financial Policy Committee in their goal to maintain financial stability, leading on the Bank’s risk assessment of Fintech developments and crypto assets. And most recently, he delivered a review on the Future of Finance, looking at what the Bank could do to enable a financial system in the future, which continues to be both innovative and resilient.

Faith Reynolds – Independent Consumer Expert

Faith is a consumer finance expert. She acts as the Independent Consumer Representative on the Open Banking Implementation Entity Steering Group and authored the widely-read reports: Open Banking: A Consumer Perspective and Consumer Priorities for Open Banking. Faith is a non-executive director for Fair4AllFinance and the Current Account Switch Service at Pay.UK. She is a member of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Open Finance Advisory Group and until recently, a member of the FCA’s Financial Services Consumer Panel. This year she was named as one of the Standout 35 on Innovate Finance’s Women In Fintech Powerlist.

Ilse Treurnicht – Former CEo, MaRS Discovery District  

Ilse Treurnicht’s career spans scientific research, growing technology firms, venture capital and public policy. From 2005-2017 she served as CEO of MaRS (marsdd.com) in Toronto, a leading urban innovation hub. Ilse was chair of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance in 2010. She chairs the Impact Canada Advisory Committee, is a member of Canada’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth and Advisory Committee on Open Banking, executive chair of Triphase Accelerator Corporation (a cancer drug development firm), and a director of the Public Policy Forum.  She holds a doctorate in chemistry from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

Matthew Upton – Director of Policy, Citizens Advice

As Director of Policy at Citizens Advice, Matthew leads on the organisations work on consumer, debt, health, housing and public services. This has included work on how the ‘loyalty penalty’ can be reduced for vulnerable consumers, research to inform action in high cost credit markets such as rent to own, and advocacy leading to the introduction of a ban on letting agent fees. Before Citizens Advice, he worked in local government and as a Director at a communications consultancy.

Drew Graham – Director of Digital Strategy, Barclays

Drew is a serial entrepreneur turned banker. He joined Barclays as Director of Digital Strategy in April 2019.  He was previously the Head of Platform for the Standard Chartered Virtual Bank in Hong Kong. He joined Standard Chartered as Director of Fintech Strategy and Engagement in 2016. Prior to this, he founded and led a financial inclusion payments company in Indonesia, a financial services Cloud services company in Hong Kong, an oil and gas technology infrastructure company in Papua New Guinea, a data analytics startup in Berlin and a zip line in Singapore. He is a believer that the only difference between bravery and insanity is success, a keen mentor of entrepreneurs, a passionate advisor to startup accelerator programs and a reluctant wearer of formal clothes.

Chris Michael – Head of Technology, Open Banking and CEO, Ozone

Chris is an experienced industry expert in building cross functional teams, technology platforms and digital products for global brands. He is currently leading development of the UK Open Banking Standard, including creation of the collaboration and governance model which covers both regulatory compliance and commercial requirements. Chris is a strategic innovator and founder of Ozone, a FinTech providing Open Banking technology solutions and advisory services to banks, third parties and regulators in UK, Europe and Globally.

Due Diligence Partner

Applicants’ application information will be shared on a confidential basis with our due diligence supplier, Addleshaw Goddard, to assist the judges in their assessment of the applicants. The Judges will have the final say.