Who We Are
We’ve created a transparent digital supply chain, by registering each product as a unique digital asset on a blockchain platform and telling the story of this asset from its creation, transformation, movement and contractual transactions to its consumption through a chain of digital data blocks. But the truth is often stranger than fiction. Meet the founders of ubloquity and the wider team.
Rob previously ran NSF’s business in the UK for five years. Providing compliance solutions to most of the biggest food businesses in the UK.
Prior to NSF, Rob worked for Walmart for twelve years. He started out in the UK, where he ran several compliance and risk functions. He then moved to China, where he lived and worked for three years as Walmart’s Chief Compliance Officer. His final role at Walmart was in the United States where he ran compliance for its 5,000 US stores.
Before joining Walmart, Rob worked at Tesco for 12 years. He began life as an hourly paid associate and worked his way up to being a store manager. He then moved into the Head office Compliance function where he created and then implemented compliance and governance for Tesco’s international operations.
He holds a Law degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Central Lancashire.
He lives in the UK with his wife Caroline.
Kieran Kelly – our CTO and cofounder – started out in life as a butcher. He followed his father into the family business, learned the practice, then studied to become a master butcher.
In the early 1990s the BSE crisis hit the sector hard, so he decided to retrain in IT, but focusing heavily on application forensics and application performance.
In the years that followed he had a varied career, always in and around IT security, national infrastructure and cyber. Then in 2010 the cryptographic space for data began to emerge.
After spending almost two decades designing and delivering enterprise security solutions for government, defence and aerospace clients, Kieran started to focus on the benefits of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and blockchain to support and enhance supply chain security and digital asset management.
For the past six or seven years, he has developed and deployed commercial blockchain solutions for global brands across the food and beverage sector.
During this time, Kieran had a burning desire to go back to his roots as a butcher, with a vision to utilise blockchain technology across the agriculture supply chain sector helping farmers and primary producers prove the provenance of their quality products.
The genesis of the blockchain is that it can’t be corrupted, and because it’s distributed it remains a single source of truth. Kieran realised that increasingly consumers wanted to know not only where their food comes from, but that it is safe. For a shopper, whenever they’re picking up a product or a brand in a supermarket, they want to have 100% assurance that the product is authentic, it’s genuine, it hasn’t been tampered with or altered.
Hence the idea for ubloquity was born.
Kieran is an award-winning pioneer in identifying how emerging technologies can be utilised to reduce operational complexities and challenges across the entire food value chain to support frictionless trade.
Dom is a strategic communications expert and qualified business coach and mentor. He spent 14 years at Asda where is was head of PR, and more latterly senior director for marketing innovation and new revenue. In his last role at Asda he led a team of 50 people and had responsibility for capturing £80m revenue from its grocery suppliers and generating £42m profit for the company.
Since leaving Asda in 2016, Dom has built a successful marketing communications consultancy with a roster of high profile clients including Superdry, N Brown, L.L.Bean, NSF International and Accolade Wines.
Having spent more than 20 years in the world of communications, 18 of those in-house for Green Flag, Direct Line and Asda, Dom has built up an extensive network of trusted individuals and agencies who he can call on to help in almost any situation.
In addition to his background in public relations and strategic communications, he has a personal passion for social media, and has a track record of helping companies define their strategy, up-skill their in-house teams and recruit new talent. He also provides ecommerce consultancy, general retail consultancy, business management, coaching and mentoring.
In 2018 he teamed up with fellow ubloquity director John Buxton to launch Salts Huby. Together they helped companies and brands reach new audiences, grow their existing businesses through a disruptive approach to sales and marketing, be that pop-up retail, experiential marketing or harnessing social media and podcasting.
As a volunteer, Dom chairs the management committee of an award-winning community radio station in his adopted home city of Bradford called BCB 106.6fm.
He is also an early investor and advisor for a med-tech start-up called Tiny Medical Apps, which has attracted over £1 million in funding from the NHS and Innovate UK, including a £500k deal to roll out their product across all 42 ICS regions in England in 2022.
Ellen Marks – our Agri Tech manager at ubloquity. Ellen is a Queen’s University Belfast graduate in Agricultural Technology with a 1st class honours in 2021. Ellen currently studies part time, a Post graduate Master’s in Business for Agri-food and Rural Enterprise with Queens University Belfast & CAFRE (College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise) while working with ubloquity.
Ellen is an active, driven and chatty individual with developed understanding of the Agri-food industry both locally and globally however, believes consistent development of skills and knowledge is vital in the society today.
Within her studies Ellen took a placement year working with McDonald’s on their progressive young farmer’s programme. She spent one year working within their beef supply chain in the UK and Ireland along with ABP foods and OSI food solutions. This is when Ellen developed her understanding of supply chains and found an interest specifically in traceability of supply chains and products moving within them. Ellen completed a 6-week project tracing product to the origin of the supply chain at farm level and to the final product in a McDonald’s restaurant.
This led into a short part time job role with NSF international over the summer period before beginning her final year studies. Ellen worked on a pilot project in NI again focusing on the beef supply chain but from a farm level enabling proof of provenance and full end to end traceability in supply chains. In this role Ellen worked with the three co-founders of ubloquity Kieran, Ineke and Alin. What was initially a 3-month job role, Ellen stayed on part time throughout her studies for 7 months.
After graduating Ellen joined ubloquity as their first employee in July 2021. Ellen is passionate about food traceability and soon would like to see that when you go into a shop to purchase a food product you can scan a QR code or the like, and you can understand its entire farm to fork journey – full verified traceability.
In her spare time, Ellen is a farmer, and this is where her love for food and agriculture flourished. She farms along with her dad and sister, a small holding consisting of a beef suckler herd and sheep on the foot of the Mourne mountains in Co. Down, NI.
More recently Ellen has been developing her technical skills with the help of ubloquity and has trained as an agile scrum master to take on extra roles within the company but to also fully understand the tech. Ellen was also awarded the ‘One to watch’ award at the Women in Tech awards NI 2022.