5 speakers 15 minutes each

Luke Johnson

on the importance of entrepreneurship

Luke Johnson is the Chairman of Risk Capital Partners Ltd, a private equity house. He is the part owner and Chairman of Superbrands, Giraffe Restaurants, Patisserie Valerie and Baker and Spice. He is a major owner and Director of the market leader in car park equipment, APT Controls. Luke was Chairman of Channel 4 Television Corporation from January 2004 to January 2010. He writes a weekly column on entrepreneurship for the Financial Times and wrote a weekly column on business matters for the Sunday Telegraph for eight years until 2006. He took control of PizzaExpress with partners in 1993 and subsequently became Chairman growing the share price from 40p to over 900p. He sold out in 1999 and started Signature Restaurants, which owned The Ivy and Le Caprice, as well as the Belgo chain, selling the business in 2005. Since 1993 he has been involved as a Director/owner of various quoted companies in retailing, pubs and bars, parcel delivery and maritime commerce, including Whittard of Chelsea, My Kinda Town, Nightfreight and American Port Services. Luke was appointed Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts in 2008. His new book is Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business Is Easier Than You Think.