Here at Elevator, when our team have a vision, we make it our business to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Our goal is to encourage others to do the same, invent their future, follow their dreams and make IT happen (whatever 'IT' means for them). Each year we create an inspiring and motivational conference jam-packed full of speakers from a wide range of backgrounds with stories to inspire and encourage our audience of future leaders; whether start-up business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, college, or university and senior phase school pupils at secondary school. 

We are delighted this year to bring you our biggest and best conference yet with 9 speakers in one day at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to capture and spread entrepreneurial spirit to our 600+ delegates. This year, we have a recent BBC Apprentice, the first Scottish Woman to summit Mount Everest, some Dragon’s Den pitchers and award winners - the one thing these impressive individuals all have in common is that they MADE IT HAPPEN. Learn a little about them below and CLICK HERE to book your free place at the Elevator Conference 2015 - #MakingItHappen.

OUR HOST: Gavin Oattes, Tree of Knowledge

GavinGavin Oattes is Managing Director of Tree of Knowledge, an exciting people development organisations. Working with some of the largest organisations in the world, Gavin is now regarded as one the most talented and sought after speakers in the UK, regularly delivering keynote speeches at conferences and exhibitions around the country. An award-winning comedian, a best-selling children’s author and former Young Entrepreneur of the Year, his inspiration all comes from where he began his career Primary School Teaching.

Website: Twitter: Facebook:

Motivational Quote: “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl

SPEAKER: Polly Murray

pollyPolly has spent a lifetime exploring some of the planets most remote destinations. Polly’s experiences to date include:

First Scottish woman to summit Mount Everest

The first person to Telemark ski off the summit of Mount McKinley in Alaska.  

Representing the country in Nordic skiing

Competing in a world cup Telemark ski race

A ski traverse of Bylot island in Northern Canada with best friend Tash Wright; a remote Arctic island crossed only once previously in the 60’s by famous explorer, Bill Tilman

Sailing to the remote Antarctic island of Peter Oy and the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia

Extensive Rock and Alpine climbing all over the world.

Polly has been the presenter and assistant expedition leader on five of the award-winning BBC “Serious” series. Back home in Scotland Polly works as a roped access technician specialising in re-pointing and painting, she has been worked on some of Britain's most spectacular dwellings. 

She has spent many winters teaching skiing in the French Alps.  More recently she has been running Telemark ski courses in Norway and working as a ski patroller up at Glenshee.

Polly lives in highland Perthshire with her husband Rich Haworth and their two young boys.


Motivational Quote: Plus est en vous (More is in you) 

SPEAKER: Christian Macleod, of Christian Macleod

Christian copy2014 was a landmark year for 23-year-old belt designer and professional golfer Christian MacLeod. His first collection of belts was showcased to the world of luxury fashion in April last year. Since then his CM brand has been showcased in 437 magazines, earned him a nomination at the 2014 Scottish Fashion Awards as ‘Accessory Designer of the Year’ and seen celebrity support from former Open winner Paul Lawrie, British actor James Sutton and professional footballer Derk Boerrigter amongst others. With his new partnership with Aston Martin and the official opening of his first flagship store; Christian will give us a fascinating insight into his strategy for building the CM brand, the hurdles he faced to be accepted onto the worldwide luxury fashion stage and how he set about reinventing ‘Miracle at Medinah’ Ryder Cup player Paul Lawrie as a fashion icon to feature in GQ magazine alongside the world’s most famous supermodels and brands.

Website: Twitter: @CMOFFICIAL_ Facebook:

Motivational Quote: Work incredibly hard into getting your product to speak, let your product do all the talking for you! 

SPEAKER: Andrew Dobbie, MadeBrave®

AndrewMadeBrave® is an award-winning full service digital creative agency in Glasgow, covering Graphic Design, Web Design & Development, Branding, Photography and Social Media.

Launched in 2012 by Andrew Dobbie, a Photographer and Designer by trade, MadeBrave® has gone from a one-man-band to a team of over 24 people (and growing) in the space of just three short years. Today they serve multiple industries including energy, retail, leisure and business, including brands such as Müller, Sky, Vango, Springbank Whisky and Arup, to name a few. 

Website: Twitter: Facebook:

Andrew Twitter:

Motivational Quotes:

“If you want to be a great leader, remember to treat all people with respect at all times. For one, because you never know when you'll need their help. And two, because it's a sign you respect people, which all great leaders do.” – Simon Sinek

“I left a steady job in the middle of a recession with £1000 in the bank and a two week old screaming baby at home. My friends told me I was crazy, I like to think I was brave.” – Andrew Dobbie

SPEAKER: Ryan O’Rorke, of Flavourly

RyanRyan O’Rorke is a multi-award winning internet entrepreneur born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. He dropped out of university at age 24 to start Flavourly with a few hundred pounds in his pocket he went on to build his business into a million-pound empire from starting out in his grandmother’s car garage. 

His company is now the largest gourmet food, snack and craft beer discovery service in the UK. The company employs a rockstar team of 11 and has shipped out more than 1 million products to thousands of happy customers in a little under 3 years.

He appeared on the BBC TV show ‘Dragons Den’ in February of this year where he received 4/5 offers and was branded ‘The Dragon Slayer’ as shortly after the show aired he went on to raise a further £500,000 through a live crowd-fund, which was 7 times higher than he was offered from the dragons and the first

Website: Twitter: @Flavourly  Facebook:

Motivational quote: 'Entrepreneurs live many years of their life how others wouldn't, so they can spend the rest of their lives how others can't'

SPEAKER: Rebecca Pick, Pick Protection

RebeccaRebecca is the Founder and Managing Director of Pick Protection. Pick Protection is bringing to market a revolutionary personal attack and lone worker alarm. The alarm is now in the final stages of product development and testing. Rebecca founded the company whilst studying a Marketing and Enterprise Honours Degree at the University of Strathclyde.

Website: Twitter: @PickProtection Facebook:

Motivational quote: Scotland is a fantastic place to start a business, there a so many people willing to spend their time helping young entrepreneurs. With a good idea and a good mentor anyone can start a business! 

SPEAKERS: Louise Divarquez & Laura Poppe, Bagels & Stuff Ltd

BagelsStuffBagels & Stuff Ltd is run by partnership Louise Divarquez and Laura Poppe who between them have over 30 years of hospitality experience from a service, operational and managerial background.  

Their dream was to bring something a little different to Aberdeen and be able to work in an environment that would allow their natural personalities to show through and engage with customers of all levels.  

Having spent their careers to date working within the industry, they have a very strong grasp of all issues related to running a food business from stock control, ordering systems, staff induction and training, food safety management systems and most importantly customer service and satisfaction. Bagels & Stuff won the Most Promising New Business award in the Elevator Awards 2015.

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Motivational Quote: Faith is taking the first step, even when you can’t see the whole staircase…

SPEAKER: David Kellock, Founder of the Trtl - The Travel Pillow. Reinvented. As seen on Dragons' Den.

David copyThe inspiration to found Trtl (pronounced turtle) came when Sir Tom Farmer gave a speech to Michael Corrigan & David Kellock’s class at University. This was someone who spoke with a passion for life and the adventure he had. We knew we wanted to create something and that something was born in Trtl.

Still looking for the ‘idea’, as Mechanical Engineers they knew they wanted to put their design skills to the test. Brainstorming one day in a coffee shop in the summer of 2010 topic of conversation landed on travels and how uncomfortable it can be, especially when you really want to sleep on a flight. The conversation then turned to travel pillows and they thought, “Let’s create something better."

At Trtl, we believe in living life to the full. We also love travelling and we believe these experiences are what really matters. If you sleep well, you create the foundation to experience more. Our goal in everything we do is to help you for whatever adventure life throws at you next.

Website: Twitter: @trtlpillow Facebook:

Motivational Quote: "The man who has a why, can tackle any how” .

and - "If you think you can, or think you cannot, you are correct" - Henry Ford

SPEAKER: Aisha Kasim, Madame Hair - Aberdeen's First Apprentice Candidate; Aisha Kasim Inventor - Director - Founder

AishaOn the 13th of August 2007 Madame Hair Aberdeen opened its doors and began selling it's high-quality hair products in Aberdeen, Scotland. Founder Aisha Kasim launched an exclusive range of hair extensions, wigs and hair pieces or what the team like to call "fabulous little extras". Early success meant in 2009 they could branch out online and add a second shop complete with a sales team in Dundee.  

The Passion  

Not everyone is naturally blessed with beautiful hair and our company aim is to offer women great hair options. We have seen many times how feeling happy about your hair can bring a big confidence boost. And ladies having that extra spring in your step is a must! We work every day to bring more choice, quality and value to our Madames because both hair and life, are often just too short! The Madame spirit believes strongly in creativity, passion, beauty and caring. It is because of this belief in creativity founder Aisha Kasim invented the Hot Donut Hair Bun, a heated hair bun that is the new easy way to curl hair. We also believe beauty can be used to make others beautiful through using that attention for charitable causes.

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Motivational Quote: “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King Jr


clydedale bank

Without our amazing sponsors supporting the team at Elevator to create and promote this event, it would not be the success it is. We thank our main partner and sponsor Clydesdale Bank, and  the further support received from FSB (the Federation of Small Businesses), Bridge to Business, and Business Gateway. 

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