The HCF Team
The HAT Community Foundation is run by specialists in engineering, enterprise, and early stage technologies.
Paul Tasker, CEO
Paul Tasker is the Chief Executive of the HAT Community Foundation, and boasts a long career leading or supporting innovative programmes focused on transfering technology from research to practice. He is a specialist in complex engineering services and established the National Council for Through-life Engineering Services (TES Council) at Cranfield University.
Paul holds appointments as a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in Integrated System Design at both Cranfield University and the University of Kent and has worked to develop the EPSRC Strategic Research Programme in Service and Support Engineering at the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing. He has undertaken a number of engineering leadership roles in government and industry at both the whole system and equipment levels, and held engineering responsibility for the design and support of capital systems, most notably as Chief Engineer for the support service for the UK’s Vanguard Class submarines before leading the design of the UK Astute Class of vessel.
Now working independently, Paul was BAE Systems’ programme director for research into service and support engineering with the University of Cambridge, and engaged in the EPSRC supported ‘S4T’ programme, subsequently becoming chair of the industrial advisory board for the EPSRC ‘KT-Box’ programme, aimed at developing a research perspective on ‘complex services’ and the challenges faced by manufacturers wishing to transform into product-based service providers.
Xiao Ma, CTO
Dr. Xiao Ma is the COO of the HAT Community Foundation, bringing expertise in the creation of innovation in live data science, tech development, and management. He is a serial entrepreneur who has built and grown successful ventures in the UK and China ranging from collaborative consumption platforms, software, e-commerce, retail, and tourism ventures. Xiao has been awarded the prestigious status of an overseas expert by the Chinese Government under China’s 1000 Plan programme for Inner Mongolia. He is a consultant and advisor to the public and private sector, a PRINCE2 certified project manager, and he has created and led digital innovation for the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI), a £12m ERDF funded project to commercialise research output for more than 50 businesses that led to the creation of 12 new patents. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies in Finance/Equity Investment, Utilities, Manufacturing, Media, Pharmaceuticals, Real Estate, ICT/Software & Computer Services, and Travel & Leisure.
Xiao is considered thought leader in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He studied Computer Science at Beijing Institute of Technology, and holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Warwick. He is a guest Principal Lecturer at the University of Warwick and holds a visiting professorship with Inner Mongolia University (China).
Jonathan Holtby, Community Manager
Jonathan is an early-stage technology specialist, founder, and growth specialist. He advises multiple startups in sectors as diverse as e-commerce, marketing, artificial intelligence and advertising, and is a three-time founder himself. His experience growing early-stage technologies in the Middle East, North America, and Europe has helped to shape the HCF’s international presence in North America, East Asia, and Europe, and its network of supporters in New York, Toronto, Silicon Valley, Montreal, Singapore, London, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, and Shanghai.
Jonathan began his career in corporate communications, crisis management, and public relations at some of the most well-regarded technology companies in the world, leading the Hitachi Data Systems Hitachi Information Forum for the MEA region in 2014 and the Avaya SmartConnect and Avaya Engagement international campaign regional rollouts. He worked with European leadership in 2015 on the BT CxO Conversation Summit with the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi and UK Trade & Investment, and was a 2014 Leader of Tomorrow at the St. Gallen University Symposium in Switzerland.
Jonathan currently advises or consults with numerous startups and has worked on pre-seed stage traction for the majority of his startup career. Clients and portfolio companies have included Good Loop social advertising, Feral Horses contemporary art stock exchange, AutoWallet mobile payments, Shape Influence social influencers’ platform, MavenVC human resources, Tack recruiting technology, and Firebird artificial intelligence, just to name a few.