International business wonderkid to speak at Accelerate 2016

Josh Valman, the 21-year-old business wondered  has been announced as a keynote speaker at ACCELERATE 2016.

ACCELERATE 2016 features 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.

 Josh Valman founded RPD International in 2014 aged 19 and within six months it was valued at £1m and today 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.

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

Earlier this year Josh’s company secured investment in his company estimated to be worth as much as £5m, which will help it continue growing at 450 per cent a year.

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. Ms 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, takes place at Exhibition Centre Liverpool on Friday 1st 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.

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision said:

“ACCELERATE has proved itself to be a great event year on year and will provide a compelling end to the International Festival for Business.  The roster of speakers we have already announced is outstanding and there are more to be announced shortly.

“What unites them all is their business acumen, their inspirational stories and the fact that they are willing to pass on the best tips they have to help others succeed in their ventures.

“This event is a must for anyone serious in moving their business higher and faster because it provides concentrated, practical advice for entrepreneurs which will have immediate benefits on the way they run their businesses and how they develop – regardless of what field they specialise in.”

Tickets for Accelerate 2016 are priced at £50 + fees. You can buy from and TicketQuarter.

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