2024 TBAT Innovation Challenge

Workshop 2

People & Recruitment Workshop – Retaining the best people you can


This free-to-attend online workshop, which will run as part of the Innovation Challenge, is designed to delve into the people and recruitment solutions you need to know in order to support your business growth. We will discuss problems, challenges and highlight opportunities to reduce the effects of barriers within people and recruitment – supporting you on your journey to commercialisation and being a disrupter in the marketplace.

The Innovation Challenge has been designed by a group of well established experts, to stimulate and support innovation in SMEs by leveraging the expertise of our unique partner network.

This event is one of four interactive workshops, designed to support growing SME’s through the highs and lows of how to successfully innovate, grow and succeed.  All of the workshops are open to the public and free-to-attend, with no requirement to apply to The Innovation Challenge. If you would like to find out more about the application process, please click here.

This informative People & Recruitment workshop will consist of short presentations, Q&A’s, comfort breaks throughout and a panel discussion towards the end.

Take a look below at our workshop speakers and the topics they will be covering.

TBAT Innovation Challenge Headline Sponsor

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Workshop Speakers

Sam Stephens Innovation Challenge Speaker

Sam Stephens, Director – TBAT Innovation


After establishing TBAT Innovation in 2002 as a consultancy catering to the SME sector, Sam led the company’s evolution into the innovation-centric enterprise it is today. TBAT now specialises in supporting companies throughout the entire new product and process innovation cycle. Sam began his career as a graduate and manufacturing engineer at Rolls-Royce Aerospace before transitioning to Rolls Royce and Associates as a Development and Project Engineer. Currently, Sam heads up the Business Development and R&D Tax Credits side of the business.

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Simon Bucknell Speaker

Simon Bucknell, Co-owner and Managing Director – EMBS Talent

Talent & Recruitment Fitness 

As Co-owner of EMBS Group and Managing Director of EMBS Technology, Simon has an active role in not only running the Technology arm of EMBS, he is also heavily involved in creating and devising new solutions to ensure clients are the best version of themselves. 
Simon will coach, mentor and advise organisations on best practice within talent management and show you how to stay ahead of your competition. 

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Matt Bull, Founder – ActionCOACH Loughborough 

Grow yourself, grow your business

Matt Bull, a dynamic business strategist and founder of ActionCOACH Loughborough, brings a wealth of expertise to the Leicester Innovation Awards stage. With a passion for empowering entrepreneurs, Matt’s innovative coaching approach has propelled businesses to new heights. As a respected leader in the local business community, he combines a deep understanding of market dynamics with a commitment to fostering growth. Join Matt as he shares invaluable insights, inspiring fellow innovators to reach their full potential. 

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Chris Hill, Equity Consultant – Vestd

Investment and Share Incentives 

Chris is an Equity Consultant and share scheme specialist and joined Vestd in August 2021. He works mainly with founders, financial directors and accountants to help them understand and identify the best share scheme solutions to meet their needs. Chris’ background is mainly in the manufacturing sector working with UK SMEs. He is familiar with the issues of recruitment, retention and incentivisation after several years running teams in a large US Global Company. 

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Rhys Whyborn speaker

Rhys Wyborn, Partner – Shakespeare Martineau

Practicality of employment contracts & key employment obligations

Rhys works with clients from a range of sectors and is a trusted adviser to many longstanding clients. He is regularly instructed to deal with complex disciplinary and grievance issues, Tribunal litigation, redundancy and business reorganisations, TUPE transfers, together with drafting bespoke employment contracts and HR policies. 

Rhys also advises on employment disputes and severance agreements for senior executives and other employees. This includes the drafting of terms and negotiating matters to a conclusion. In addition, he provides training on HR issues via seminars and forums and bespoke training events for clients including Mock Tribunals and managing investigations. 

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Ali Buck, Regional Director – The CFO Centre

The role of the non-executive director

Ali Buck is the Regional Director for Nottingham and Derbyshire at the CFO Centre. Ali’s Team of highly experienced CFOs support a wide variety of clients through challenges, accelerating growth and exit planning; delivering everything an SME needs on a part-time basis. Ali’s “people first” approach to clients and his team prioritises identifying each individual’s needs, to build a clear vision of the journey to success. 

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Adam Rhodes, CEO – Rhodes Wealth Management 

Start with the end in mind

Adam spent several years as a Stockbroker in London before moving to the East Midlands to look after HSBC’s high net worth clients. For the last 17 years, Adam has been CEO of Rhodes Wealth Management after establishing the company back in 2007 with a mission to “Change People’s Lives for the Better”.

Adam regularly advises local businesses and individuals, particularly those with more complex needs, and prides himself in building strong, long-term relationships with his clients.

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