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Tuesday 23rd April 2019

The Leeds Digital Festival Awards take place next week (30th April 2019).

The LDF Awards celebrate the success of the digital and tech industry in Leeds and the wider city region over the last year. The thriving scene is not only home to start-ups and SMEs, but also much larger businesses where tech is at the heart of everything they do.

The awards will celebrate the organisations and individuals who are driving the vibrant industry and making Leeds a fantastic hub of digital innovation. 

With a week to go until the big night, we thought we'd take the opportunity to get to know our fantastic shortlisted individuals and organisations.

In this blog we hear from the 'One to Watch' shortlist. We asked them 'What does being shortlisted for a Leeds Digital Festival Award mean to you?' 

Find out what some of them said below...


Myles and Bradley Jensen

Here's one of the many reasons they were shortlisted...

"Where do I start with the Jensen Brothers... They possess an infectious attitude that regardless of what obstacles are thrown at them... or what they throw themselves at.
They always manage to find an innovative solution to the challenge. 

Some how they have managed to convince a group of over 15+ people to work for free, the best bit. They've managed to retain them for over 7 months and built an impressive business off the back of this.

When questioned about this they stated very clearly it was for two golden rules; 
1. Complete transparency 
2. Under promise and over deliver

For some reason I don't doubt this is the catalyst for their success. I Truly have nothing bad to say about them as their attitude towards others and business speaks for themselves. If you can convince over 15 people to work for free and be passionate about the business then you are doing something right.

This is why I believe the Jensen Bro's should win the One to Watch 2019 award. Couldn't think of anyone who suited the award better!"

Here's what Myles had to say about being shortlisted...

Holly Rae 

Here's one of the may reasons Holly was shortlisted...

"Holly is a new IT Operational Lead within the Application Support team at the University of Leeds.

Moving from the Help Desk and being promoted into this new role, the IT leadership were convinced by her passion, attitude and dedication to leadership and making a difference, not only for the IT Service but for her fellow members of staff. 

She has already got her team in great working order and focused positively on delivering excellent services within a 3 month period.

Holly is a role model to her other Operational Leaders, was first to volunteer and chair that leadership group and made sure to arrange sessions for other operational leads on coaching and mentoring, supporting the professional and personal development of her team and peers.

She has very quickly adapted and grown into the role, taking a lead on engaging with Microsoft and driving the rollout of Office365 across the University and is driving the changes and communications required for all staff and student to take advantage of this new service.

A committed and dedicated digital professional, at the start of her long career, she is already demonstrating a great potential for future growth, and is an outstanding member of staff who is one to watch for in the future."

Here is what Holly Rae had to say about being shortlisted...

James Smith

Here's one of the many reasons James was shortlisted...

"James Smith is a Senior Platform Consultant at The Data Shed

I’m nominating James for an outstanding commitment to his role but more-so a continued desire to improve technical solutions for the benefit of the end user.  James understands the impact on people that he can make with better technical solutions and this is a rare and important trait.  He has a continued desire to learn and get better and is someone who has always got time to help people and pass his skills and knowledge on.  He is also the first person to step into difficult or challenging situations and owns things end to end.  In short, he is a trusted and respected team member who embodies the values we would all want in a colleague.

James is a big believer in the tech community in the North and attends, as well as speaks at events (which is something he intends to do even more of in the future).  He continually strives to improve himself with learning and sharing outside of work, purely to continue to improve.his skills and his team."

Here is what James had to say about being shortlisted...

Manisha Prabhakar

Here's one of the many reasons Manisha was shortlisted...

"Manisha left a career in teaching behind to work with Synap - knowing very little about technology & startups. 

Over the last year, she's grown incredibly quickly - writing bits of code, working with clients and is able to confidently pitch and explain the business. 

She spends her free time reading books on Software Sales, SaaS and Lean Startups - something she would not have expected to be doing or to have such an interest in. 

She has brought in new business, and is establishing herself as 'someone to know' in the Leeds tech scene, and we're really excited to see how she develops in 2019."

Here's what Manisha had to say about being Shortlisted...

Marcel Ruhf

Here's one of the many reasons Marcel was shortlisted...

 "Marcel is currently finishing his final year at the University of Leeds in Computer Science and will then return to BJSS to work as a Software Engineer based out of our HQ in Leeds.

I first met Marcel during a BJSS coding evening at his university and even then it was clear that he was “one to watch”. We were lucky in BJSS that he applied to join us for his placement year (2017-2018) during which he excelled at his assigned tasks.

My interaction with him was during his participation with the BJSS Academy, in which he paid careful attention and asked great questions and much more importantly “learned”.

Even though he was a placement student, we assigned him as a Tech Lead of one of the Academy projects.

His commitment to learning by attending and contributing to many out of office tech community events and his attitude in general is fantastic. A credit to the Leeds tech community."

Here's what Marcel had to say about being sortlisted...

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