A date for your diary – ‘Inside the Mind of an Entrepreneur’ is back at Huddersfield Town by popular demand!

In simple we’ve got 3 new entrepreneurs for us to grill about how to be successful in business and the benefits of different business strategies.
When – Thursday 8 September 2016
18:00pm – 20:00p
Where – PPG Canalside, 509 Leeds Rd, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD2 1YJ

Please RSVP to –

The session will explore their journey and provide a useful insight on tips for successful business strategies.

Apart from getting a three in one bargain and being able to learn from John McDonnell, Martin Port and Paul Rose, the evening will also enable you to meet approximately 100 business partners of the Club. Completely free of charge and strictly by invitation only but very informal with some pie and peas thrown in!

The event is aimed at our area’s business leaders from companies of all backgrounds and sizes. It will appeal to typically MD’s, Partners, CEO’s, FD’s or very senior personnel.

Entitled ‘Inside The Mind of Not One but Three Entrepreneurs’ this will be an exclusive interview with three of the region’s leading businessmen. The session will explore their journeys and provide a useful insight on tips for successful business strategies. Our entrepreneurs, who will part with considerable expertise and invaluable experience, are:

John McDonnell
After graduating in 1987 with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, John started a full time job in sales at Thorn.

Following that, experience in wholesaling and then electronics manufacturing at Arlen and Advanced Lighting gave him the tools to start his own business.

Harvard Engineering, founded in 1993 had been a long term ambition for John. Building on his experience and spotting a gap in the market for compact electronics for 2D lamps, John started production of a design based on his University project in his kitchen. Soon after, a factory was established in Leeds, paving the way for the Harvard Engineering of today. Harvard Engineering is a world leader in the design, development and manufacturing of electronic HID ballasts, LED drivers and control products for the lighting industry.

From a standing start Harvard has built its turnover to £36 million in 20 years and have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2011. In 2013 a venture capital company ECI took a substantial stake in Harvard and in 2015 John left the business.

Martin Port
Martin founded Masternaut in 2002 as a pioneering technology business specialising in vehicle telematics and mobile software solutions.

Masternaut was one of the first companies to offer ‘software as a service. Masternaut grew to become one of the UK’s fastest growing technology businesses, and had places in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

In 2008, Martin was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Technology and Communications. By 2009 the company had reached a turnover of £25m when it was sold to Aéroports de Paris, Europe’s second largest airports operator.

Martin was also involved in the combination of Europe’s leading telematics players, Masternaut and Cybit in 2011. Martin started Big Change Limited in October 2011 and has achieved 300% pa growth since then. Big Change Limited plans, manages and schedules a company’s transport needs and turned over £1.1m in 2014.

Paul Rose
Paul’s background is in sales and marketing and he has over 30 years’ experience in manufacturing businesses in the building products sector.

Paul joined Rixonway as Sales and Marketing Director in 1992. He was a key member of the management team that exited 2 VC’s during the mid-1990’s and in 2006 he led the MBO of Rixonway Kitchens, as CEO the business has more than doubled in size, employing 460 people and with a turnover of c£40m.

In December 2014 Paul and the PE backers sold the business to the large Swedish Group Nobia in a deal worth £34m.