Opening Address



Vicky Hunter

Entrepreneur and Engagement Manager for Tech Nation South West

Vicky has spent eight years working with tech startups in various engagement roles. Originally from the North East she she began her startup journey in Newcastle as part of Ignite’s first cohort and has since fostered community in the London tech scene working for Central Working and 3beards, then on a global scale with the expansion of Silicon Drinkabout from 6 to 40+ cites around the world. Having joined Tech Nation earlier this year she is keen to know everyone and everything happening related to tech in the South West so she can help join the dots and tighten the regional network.

David Ralph

Chair, Heart of the South West LEP

David Ralph started as Chief Executive of Heart of South West LEP in June 2018. Previously, he had spent 5 years as CEO of the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire (D2N2) LEP from 2013 and oversaw the development of the D2N2 Strategic Economic Plan sector strategies, 3 Growth Deals with Government to deliver a £1mbillion capital investment programme, securing and implementing £200m ESIF programme, the Derby and Nottingham Enterprise Zone, the D2N2 Skills Deal and Time for Innovation programme, community fund and led the executive team to develop the HS” East Midlands hub.

Before the East Midlands, David was CEO of the Have Gateway Partnership working closely with local stakeholders including the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich and Ipswich and BT Adadastral Park across Suffolk and Essex.

David is a keen sailor, walker and trail runner.

Mark Duddridge

Chair, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP

Mark was a main board director of Samworth Brothers which owns Callington-based Ginsters and Tamar Foods in South East Cornwall. He was Managing Director of Ginsters for 15 years, Samworth Brothers for almost 20 years and until recently was a Director of Roddas Clotted Cream. Before that he held a variety of roles with Northern Foods, including commercial and site Director of a number of their operating businesses.
He is currently an associate Non Executive Director of the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
A passionate gig rower, he is a member of Caradon Gig Rowing Club and is a veteran of several Pilot World Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly.