Rising Stars in Technology 2016

 Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Technology category for 2016

Babs Ofori-Acquah


As a Business Development and Marketing professional, I have worked across a number of industries, focusing on technology in the last two years. At Olswang, a technology law firm, I joined as a Business Development Executive with the goal of bringing innovation and change to the way the firm communicated with potential clients. I was pivotal in the development and launch of the Olswang equIP Programme for tech start ups, which launched in October with an event at Google Campus.

I was also instrumental in building Olswang’s adtech practice, focusing on events and thought leadership. I created the Adtech Stars event series, which has been held in London and New York with influential speakers such as Sarah Wood of Unruly, helping to build Olswang’s brand as the go to law firm for adtech. My success at Olswang has led me into a new role as Business Development Manager for MVF, one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe, where I will be supporting clients in reaching new SME customers.

Outside of my day job, I run a blog and network – Working Girl London – for women who want to get ahead at work while enjoying everything that London has to offer. The blog has been live for just over a year, and the launch event for the network was at the end of 2015 with another event coming up soon. I am also a member of the Tech London Advocates and, specifically, their Women in Tech working group.

Ellie Ulrich


Ellie is the Apprenticeship Manager for Cisco UK and Ireland, and leads the delivery and development of their growing programme.

Since joining Cisco in 2014, Ellie has expanded the Apprenticeship programme into new areas of the business; doubling the number of opportunities available to young people to start a career in technology. Prior to joining Cisco Ellie completed her own Apprenticeship, which lead her into roles with the National Apprenticeship Service, promoting the programme as a desirable opportunity for both companies and young people alike.

Ellie never envisaged being an Apprentice or having a career in technology. Because of this she is a passionate advocate for young people, particularly young women, to consider this pathway to progress into digital careers.

Her biggest focus is to inspire future talent to see the potential technology has; by identifying and and tapping into an individual’s passion, then relating it to technology. This has resulted in two successful industry days specifically for young women and careers events that have reached over 8000 young people since September 2015. This activity, alongside gender balanced assessment processes that promote Cisco’s existing female talent, has ensured that the Cisco Apprenticeship has an above average gender profile of 35% with the aspiration to achieve 50:50 diversity during the next phase of recruitment.

Lucie Svandelikova


I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, and studied at the University of Nottingham. I joined BT on the Business Management graduate scheme and now work as a Commercial Finance manager in Global Services.

When I look back on life I want to feel that I have made a positive impact and contributed to something transformative. That is why it is exciting for me to work in technology and play my part in innovations which touch every aspect of our lives and transform our social landscape.

Outside work, I have been involved with schools and universities to inspire young people to go into STEM careers and currently serve as a School Governor at a local school. This is important to me because I believe that whether or not an individual fulfils their potential in life is strongly determined by the quality and level of education they receive as a child.

Sarah Chapman


Obsessed with STEM education and people development, Sarah loves connecting people and ideas to make things happen, with energy and creativity. After graduating Sarah wanted to use her scientific skills in a commercial environment so joined diversified technology company 3M. She has had a variety of technical roles including approvals administrator, technical service engineer, regulatory specialist and build project manager for a multi-million pound Customer Innovation Centre. Sarah has interacted with thousands of students including hosting work placements, supporting science and code clubs and organising STEM career events; she was instrumental in the development of 3M Careerwise and contributed to 3M’s Big Tick Education award in 2011. Sarah is part of 3M’s Technical Forum and Women’s Leadership Network; a passionate and determined advocate for diversity, mentoring and flexibility, she leads by example. She has recently taken on a junior technical management role, launched 3M Lean-In circles and started a family.

Sarah Khan

Sara K Digital

Having worked in digital marketing for nearly 10 years, l noticed the rarity of experts, companies who genuinely care for employees and customers beyond financial gain and company politics. How can the UK be the leaders in technology if we aren’t providing British SME’s the tools to grow their businesses at honest prices? As a result, SARA K Digital was born.

I serve the hardworking SMEs of the UK and support them to grow their business through online marketing such as social media. My current project provides practical, simple and empowering online marketing training and advice to SMEs – accessible online 24/7 with an expert at hand for further support.

SARA K Digital is an honest business that values each and every stakeholder and gives back to the community because it genuinely cares for people. I practice what l preach as a result, l volunteer my time to mentoring students, young professionals and helping startups who are unable to grow due to personal financial difficulties. Furthermore, a percentage of project profits go directly to educational schemes to help third world countries. And my next venture involves helping children with learning difficulties in the UK.

I believe it’s our duty to inspire and help make the world a better place through our actions for the next generation.