Have you ever tried googling “Tech Entrepreneurs?”
Melinda Roylett, Senior Director & Head of Small and Medium Business at PayPal had, and she shared her striking findings with the audience during the Computer Weekly’s ‘The 50 Most Influential Women in UK IT” event. When you do it, Google search comes back with hundreds of images of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Bill Gates but hardly any female entrepreneurs.
Melinda Roylett, Senior Director & Head of Small and Medium Business at PayPal
But here we were, surrounded by female professionals in the audience who have dedicated their careers to engineering, automation, machine learning and digital education, celebrating the list of the 50 most influential women in UK IT and discussing how diversity could make a huge difference to the future of IT sector.
Among the nominees was also Sherry Coutu, an Angel Investor closely associated with Cambridge and Co-Founder of ‘Silicon Valley comes to the UK (SVC2UK)’, a not-for profit series of events created with the aim to debate, discuss and fund today’s most disruptive technologies with the potential to change the world.
Panel Session, Computer Weekly’s ‘The 50 Most Influential Women in UK IT”
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for female founders and women in technology that coincided with the National Women in Engineering Day and London Technology Week, a festival of events, that brings the entire technology ecosystem together and encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing between domestic and international tech specialists and enthusiasts.
Cambridge also saw some exciting events and announcements including the launch of ‘The Cambridge Phenomenon: Global Impact’ by Charles Cotton and Kate Kirk; Claire Johnsen, the Innovation Adviser, joining the Consultancy Team at St John’s Innovation Centre; the nomination for Dr Soraya Jones, former Entrepreneur in Residence at St John’s Innovation Centre to become the Innovate UK’s infocus Women in Innovation Ambassador. Dr Jones, former CEO of CW (Cambridge Wireless) has also been asked to return to CW in an advisory capacity to support the further expansion of membership and overall business.
We had the pleasure to attend the launch party of The Rising Network, a start-up founded by Lily Cheng that serves as a community to inspire and empower women by providing a space for personal exploration and growth. A company that took part in the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) programme, the world’s largest business support network helping ambitious business innovate and grow internationally, delivered by Kirsten Masson, Penny Lord and Claire Johnsen, Enterprise Europe Network experts based at St John’s Innovation Centre.
Angela Hood, Founder and CEO of This Way Global
We were also delighted to take part in the Lean Start-Up Lab Workshop for investors and start-ups delivered by This Way Global, an innovative hiring platform, that was led by the Founder and CEO, Angela Hood. This hands-on session was designed to help start-up founders to get their business off the ground, and covered investment, recruiting and hiring to build the team, intellectual property and digital media. The speaker line-up was really impressive and included Max Bautin of IQ Capital LLP, Christian Bunke of Aalbun and Jimmy Cassells of Spiralytics. The workshop culminated in an interactive session with live pitches from start-ups spanning sectors such as med-tech, Open Source electronics & property. And as Angela summed it up based on her own entrepreneurial experience, the golden advice for start-ups is: ‘Start raising before you’re ready; non-equity money is good and mutual due diligence even better’.
So going back to that Google search…Ditch it! We are witnessing the rise of female founders who are impacting the tech scene across the globe and as they say in the start-up jargon ‘They’re killing it!’ And there’s more to come.
*The Winner of the Computer Weekly’s ‘The 50 Most Influential Women in UK IT” is Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech, who has tirelessly campaigned to give all young people an equal opportunity to express their talents and creativity through technology.
Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech
The full list of Computer Weekly’s nominees is available HERE.
BY ANNA NADOLNA