PUBLIC Hall: Meet The Founding Members

BY Natalie SimpsonJuly 30, 2019

PUBLIC Hall, home to public sector innovators

With just one week to go until we open the doors to our first GovTech hub in the heart of Westminster, we couldn’t think of a better time to introduce some of our innovative founding members. Join us as we delve deep into how they’ll be transforming the Public Sector with us at PUBLIC Hall.

From EduTech organisations to AI innovators, every member and each team will be bringing something new to the Public Services:

Oliver Lewis, Co-Founder of DefenceTech startup, Rebellion Defence:

man sitting in chair

What public sector issues are you hoping to solve by being in a space like PUBLIC Hall that you weren’t able to tackle previously with Rebellion Defence?

“Rebellion is a defence technology company. Our ecosystem are the other startups, entrepreneurs and engineers with a mission of public service and a belief that government will be fundamentally improved by the application of modern technology, built and procured in an agile and innovative fashion. Transforming government services will never be effective in isolation, tackling one issue department, ministry or policy at a time.

By being part of the PUBLIC Hall community we can share our experience in defence and national security to help tackle other public sector issues, and learn what has worked in other areas of government that can be applied to transforming military technology”.

Sai Lakshmi, Founder of Automotive Technology startup Caura:

What are the key challenges you are focused on solving and what are the key themes you want to be associated within the media?

“Caura is a platform to manage all payments associated with your car and we’re on a mission to save drivers time and money. At launch, we’re going to be focusing on bringing out an iOS app to manage insurance, MOT and road tax in a seamless way.

We want to change the status quo around car insurance by making our product transparent, easy-to-use and above all, competitive on price.

We also want to bring tools to manage road tax and MOT so our users keep their vehicles compliant at all times. What we’re bringing to market at launch is just the start and at Caura Labs, we’re working on the next generation of automotive products and services and are super excited about deploying our 3 year roadmap!”

Joanna Hill, Public Policy Consultant and former CEO of Startup Loans.

What inspired you to get into this line of work and do you have any advice for startups looking to break into GovTech?

“I was a civil servant for many years before becoming CEO of the government-funded Start Up Loans Company. I left the organisation in September 2018, following a merger with the British Business Bank. I decided to finally walk the walk – I have spent years encouraging others to work for themselves, so now it’s my turn. Two of the companies I work with were founded with a Start Up Loan and are working on plans for growth. I am currently involved in FinTech & Digital Recruitment businesses and I also work with Journolink to provide SMEs with access to affordable PR via their digital platform. 

In terms of breaking into GovTech, startups need to be clear on what challenges they are seeking to address, who their main competitors are and how success is measured in their sector. I also think it’s important to have people alongside them who understand their market and can interpret/translate Government speak. As non-Exec Chair of 2 companies, I see the value those who have the ability to bridge public policy and entrepreneurial endeavours can bring to society and to the businesses they support”.

With a packed onboarding schedule, a range of welcoming events, and some special guest appearances, the launch of PUBLIC Hall will be just as momentous as we’ve anticipated. 

Watch this space to meet more of the people transforming London’s new Town Hall and stay up to date on all-things-PUBLIC-Hall by signing up to our newsletter here.


Natalie Simpson

Marketing Assistant