James Benham JBKnowledge
James Benham



James Benham began writing code at the age of 11 and by 14 had developed his first application. James went on to complete a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science in Information Systems at Texas A&M University. During his final year at Texas A&M in 2001, James established JBKnowledge, Inc., makers of the SmartBid, SmartCompliance, SmartReality and SmartInsight cloud solutions, where he is currently CEO. With his extensive experience in the design, development and use of technology to improve efficiency, James is a sought-after international speaker on business information technology, data security and innovative software tools.

William George CFO of Comfort Systems USA

William George


Comfort Systems USA

William George, age 53, has served as Comfort Systems USA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since May 2005. In addition to being CFO, Mr. George leads the acquisition program and is a Regional Vice President. Mr. George was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary from May 1998 to May 2005. From September 1992 to September 1995, Mr. George practiced corporate and antitrust law at Ropes & Gray, a Boston, Massachusetts law firm. Mr. George is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Harvard Law School.

Charles Lovatt University of St Andrews
Charles Lovatt

Senior Teaching Fellow

University of St Andrews

Charles is the Senior Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity at the University of St Andrews. Prior to entering academia, Charles was a successful entrepreneur. His commercial interests reflect a life-long love of music and fascination with technology. He has founded, or co-founded, over a dozen businesses – two of which became market leaders and continue trading today. Charles has been involved with entrepreneurship education since 2004. His academic interests include strategy, innovation, technology, business development and enterprise history in the Creative Industries. Charles is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts where he is active in the Media, Creative Industries, Culture and Heritage Network group based in Edinburgh.

Oliver Novakovic Barratt Developments PLC

Oliver Novakovic

Technical & Innovation Director

Barratt Developments PLC

Oliver has been involved with innovation in the construction sector for over 20 years, working in product development, application, and cultural change management. As a young engineer, Oliver patented a foam injected whole house solution, which became the widely used Space4 system. Oliver has also worked for the BRE as a Board Director, working on the Green House on BRE’s innovation park. Leading a team that has assessed 100 innovations in the last 2 years, Oliver’s role at Barratt is to assess and initiate innovation across the business, including integrating offsite methods of construction and delivering BIM.

Michael Pearson DSA Technologies

Michael Pearson


DSA Technologies

Michael Pearson has been with DSA since it was founded in 1991. DSA Technologies has had consistent growth and been an early provider of cloud (IaaS) and ITaaS (IT as a Service) to its clients. Michael has a desire to provide IT services for DSA’s clients that is both first class and a clear change from what they have experienced IT to be in the past. Whether purchasing products or working with the DSA Services teams, his goal is to make sure it is not the same old IT experience.

Sarah Pratt Barratt Developments PLC
Sarah Pratt

Head of Corporate Sustainability

Barratt Developments PLC

Sarah has worked in environmental management and sustainability for 20 years, providing consultancy, training and auditing services to a wide range of sectors. Sarah’s first role was in the minerals and mining sector implementing environmental management systems. Sarah then moved into consultancy, spending 10 years with Entec UK before setting up her own consultancy, Sastun Limited. Here, she delivered sustainability strategy, reporting and assurance services for the drinks, finance and food-processing sector. Sarah now leads the development of Barratt’s sustainability framework, reporting, engagement and public disclosures, supporting Barratt in its ambition to be the leading national sustainable housebuilder.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates about the COINS Grand Challenge.

You have Successfully Subscribed!