North judging panel - Chair

Dr. Imran Hakim

CEO, Hakim Group

Imran Hakim

Imran Hakim is the CEO of Hakim Group. Having qualified as an optometrist, Imran has gone on to build a portfolio of businesses. He came into the public eye as a Dragons’ Den winner with the innovative iTeddy concept. He went on to sign a worldwide distribution deal seeing the business reach 45 countries globally.

Passionate about fostering an entrepreneurial eco-system to enable others to flourish, Imran is an active mentor and government advisor, and is committed to several social impact projects.

Imran received an Honorary Doctorate in Enterprise and Innovation as well as making Growing Business’s list of top 40 entrepreneurs under the age of 35. In 2018 Hakim Group was crowned the UK’s Best Small Company to Work For, he also picked up the award for Best Business Leader in the Sunday Times Top 100 awards. In 2019, Imran won the Overall award in the North for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award, Scale-up Business and National Scale-Up Business.

Imran encourages entrepreneurship through mentoring and various ambassadorial roles. In his role as a judge, Imran will be looking for finalists who are clear in their outcomes, while also demonstrating a flair for imagination in the face of adversity.