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A dame and a professor walked into a boardroom: New appointments at new Sheffield AI VC

Yorkshire AI Labs, the new venture capital firm headquartered in Sheffield, has appointed Dame Julie Kenny DBE DL and Professor Keith Ridgway CBE FREng as advisors.

Dame Julie is a successful South Yorkshire-based entrepreneur and founding chair of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK. She founded Pyronix in Rotherham in 1986, sold the award-winning manufacturer in 2016 and holds a number of roles in the public and private sector.

Professor Ridgway was co-founder of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield and established the Nuclear AMRC and AMRC Training Centre. In 2019, he joined the University of Strathclyde as executive chair of the Advanced Forging Research Centre and established the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.

David Richards MBE, managing partner of Yorkshire AI Labs, said: “We are delighted that Julie and Keith have joined us as advisors. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in industry, academia and regeneration and are exceptionally well connected in business and the community.”

Yorkshire AI Labs supplies a mix of venture capital funding and tech knowhow to companies with deep domain knowledge, existing customers and ambitions to develop new software products.

Dame Julie and Prof Ridgway have both joined the board of IntelliAM, the fund’s first investment, as non-executive directors. IntelliAM is a new AI platform that helps global food and beverage companies cut downtime and boost productivity and completed an initial fundraising earlier this year.

Dame Julie was awarded a damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019 for her work with heritage and received a CBE in 2002 for her contribution to business. Prof Ridgway was awarded an OBE for services to UK manufacturing industry in 2005 and a CBE for services to UK manufacturing research in 2012.

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