Business wonderkid to lead ACCELERATE 2016

Business wonderkid to lead ACCELERATE 2016

21-year-old entrepreneur Josh Valman has been named as one of the keynote speakers for Liverpool's ACCELERATE 2016, a one-day event for entrepreneurs and fast track businesses.

Josh Valman founded RPD International in 2014 at the tender age of 19 and within six months it was valued at £1m.

The London-born entrepreneur began his engineering career at 10 years old, with a fascination in robotics.

At 13, he sent off his designs and his £500 life savings to a factory in China to make the components which set him up in business.

By 15 he was working as a freelance engineering and supply chain consultant taking conference calls with China after school.

Today, RPD works with 120 factories across 40 countries to help big corporates, including the likes of Unilever, Vodafone and Heineken outsource the design, manufacture and roll-out of new products.

Earlier this year the company also secured investment estimated to be worth as much as £5m which will look to help it continue growing by around 450% per year.

His inspirational story is one of many which will be told at ACCELERATE 2016, which will feature high-octane speeches, panel discussions and masterclasses from some of the best in business from retail, fashion, design and digital marketing. It also features exclusive tech sessions from BT and Google’s Digital Garage.

He said: “I’m looking forward to coming to ACCELERATE 2016 and telling the story of starting and growing a business. When I first ventured into the business world I had, probably because of my youth, few preconceptions about what I needed to do, what would work and what wouldn’t. This somewhat fuelled my perseverance.

“I have learned a lot and am still learning. Events like ACCELERATE 2016 facilitate that process – talking to others, taking advice, hearing their stories. It is this very fact that should excite people coming to ACCELERATE – what can I learn that will improve my insight and the company – and it’s an event that allows you to focus on key areas and seek the advice you feel you need.

“RPD is growing rapidly, but I am still excited about this opportunity because I know I can take something from it that can be applied to the way we work.”

Josh will join speakers including Sarah Wood, co-founder and CEO of social video marketing platform Unruly which she still runs despite selling it for £114m in 2015.

Wood, whose company has generated two trillion online videos for clients including Adidas, Dove and Renault has just won the prestigious Veuve Cliquot Business Woman of the year award.

ACCELERATE 2016 is hosted by Wayne Hemingway MBE, celebrated designer, founder of Red or Dead fashion label and founder of HemingwayDesign.

The annual event, in its fourth outing, will take place at Exhibition Centre Liverpool on Friday 1 July and is organised by Liverpool Vision and sponsored by BT.

It is one of the flagship events at this year’s international Festival for Business.