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An award-winning serial tech entrepreneur, Ash Ali is a multiple startup founder and Angel investor. He sold his first digital business at the age of just 19 and was part of JUST EAT's £1.5 Billion IPO in 2014.
Ash Ali was the First Marketing Director at Just Eat UK, the online food-ordering giant in 2007. During his time there, he used his commercial acumen and growth hacking skills, including launching its first TV campaign to grow it at breakneck speed. Just Eat went on to IPO for £1.5 Billion on the London Stock Exchange - making it one of the UK’s largest tech IPOs in the last decade. He has consulted, advised and invested in hundreds of startups at various different stages, specialising in the lean startup methodology for early-stage startups. Having sat on both “sides of the table” - as a hands-on founder and also as an investor, he understands what it takes to raise funding and investment. After Just Eat, he founded Fare Exchange - a bootstrapped performance voice-based lead-generation startup in transportation that generated more than £25 million in revenue.
Ash Ali is an award-winning serial tech entrepreneur known for his high-speed innovative growth hacking, his insightful startup strategies, and his undying love of pho soup and ultra-smooth lattes. Born to working class immigrant parents and raised in inner-city Birmingham, Ash found his way into digital entrepreneurship when he sold his first award-winning internet business at the age of just 19.
He moved to London in 1999 and worked a solid 8 years in the trenches building his expertise in marketing and product development when everything was done more manually. He managed and promoted fourteen lead generation websites across Europe, America, and Australia generating over 60 million unique visitors each year and producing millions in sales revenue. Ash was fanatical about Search Engine Marketing in its early days and as an early pioneer has hands on experience in SEO, including all the usual digital marketing channels. Over his career, he has signed partnerships with Virgin Media, Easy Group, 118 118, as well as many other well known internet companies and worked with all the well known affiliate networks.
When the founder of a young Danish startup that had just moved into the UK asked Ash to become their first UK marketing director in 2007, Ash hesitated. They were an online takeaway-ordering startup - and these were the days before smartphones and apps! Who’d order food using their computer? Everyone discouraged him, however, he soon saw the opportunity and brought his innovative growth tactics coupled with his no-nonsense commercial acumen and built its first marketing department - hiring new talent who are still with the company today. With Ash on board, this fledgling startup grew at break-neck speed from a company with only a few takeaway orders in their first month, to ultimately getting a £1.5 billion IPO on the London Stock Exchange in 2014 - making it one of the UK’s largest tech company floatation in the last ten years. That company was Just Eat.
Ash was heading up the marketing for the brand all over Europe, and as the third senior management hire in the UK, played a crucial role in securing over £10.5 million in VC funding from Index Ventures in 2009. With his growing marketing department, Ash forged ahead to make Just Eat a Top 10 Hitwise site and a Top 100 Techcrunch company in Europe, growing orders 210% year on year and prompting an increase in brand recognition from 6% to 15% during his time there.
In July of 2010, Ash helped create the renowned Belly & Brain TV ad campaign with Hooper Galton & EGS agencies - a series of commercials for Just Eat airing on primetime slots on national television channels. This campaign was later shortlisted for best consumer response award by Thinkmedia. He also took Just Eat into mobile with a Belly & Brain iPhone game, making it one of the top 10 most downloaded game apps and reaching a number 3 position in the free apps charts.
His work has been recognized with several nominations and awards throughout the digital world and he is well respected among his peers, and has appeared on several round-tables and marketing debates and panels.
Ash can talk in depth digital both historically, current and looking to the future with informed charisma, specialising in digital transformation and leadership, finance and investment, M&A, marketing, customer service, branding, data, strategic growth, performance, entrepreneurship.
He also has his motivational personal experience to share, Ash Ali unpacks what it means to have an 'unfair advantage'. He discusses how to discover your strengths and personal competitive advantages. Stop focusing on your weaknesses, rather double down on your strengths and finally how to stop feeling disempowered and aiming too low or focussing on your disadvantage. Born to working-class immigrant parents in the crime-riddled inner city of Birmingham, a 19 year-old with only a rucksack, a head full of dreams and no degree arrives in London for a job in digital. A few years later, he is the first marketing director of a scrappy young startup that turns into the UK’s largest tech IPO of the last decade - floating for £1.5 billion on the London Stock Exchange. That was Ash, and the startup was food-ordering tech giant Just Eat.
Freddie Monk, Ernst and Young
Cyrus Hessabi, Salesforce
Andrea Angella, Programme Manager at TechitaliaLab
Parshu Aryal, Managing Director, Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp