Meet the Judges – Alex Johnston wants to know who cares


Tell us about yourself

I am a founding-partner of Freuds – the UK’s largest independent communications agency, where I was Creative Director for many years. Alongside this role, I am Chief Marketing Officer of Touchpress, a UK independent app developer.

I also serve on the global board of Tim Berners-Lee’s Web Foundation; and have recently released my own mobile app game, Qiktionary – a joint-venture with QI.

Through luck more than judgement, I have been able to apply my marketing agency experience in a wide range of contexts including venture capital, start-ups and large global conglomerates.

What will you be looking for in a winning pitch?

The extraordinary disruption of the digital revolution across almost every industry has almost universally been to the benefit of the end user, who enjoys more choice and control than ever. This trend would seem to be unstoppable.

I am looking for businesses that have taken the trouble to understand their consumer and build a solution around them.

Alongside this empathy with a consumer, I want to see how a new business will cut-through a market and deliver something inspiring and differentiated; with a clear articulation of the benefits of their innovation. My default questions are ‘Who cares?’ and ‘Why?’ – answers on a postcard, please.

Give us three interesting links for any start-up

In the week when one study claimed that we spend more time on apps than TV, here are my favourites this month:

Search the AppStore for:

New storytelling format

Best messaging platform evs

A Pitch@Palace alumni