Four months after Baroness Shields stepped down as chair of Tech City UK, they have finally appointed a replacement: superstar VC and emerging queen of the UK tech scene Eileen Burbidge. Eileen’s appointment is a significant coup for an organisation that is widely regarded as something of a joke in the London tech community and is still reeling from the Walter Mitty accusations now being leveled at their previous chair Joanna.
Burbidge told Techno that she was looking forward to taking the organisation to the “next level“:
“Hopefully given my operational experience at tech corporates such as Apple, Sun and Yahoo! as well as startups such as Skype and others in silicon valley combined with my experience in working with startup founders now I can raise the bar in terms of what TechCity initiatives and programmes will genuinely add value — and be of impact to the already fast growing but very crucial sector.”
Come on Eileen…
London based venture capitalists Passion Capital have secured £45 million in funding, including £17.5 million from the taxpayers, to start a second fund to invest in tech and digital companies. Passion, led by London’s tech queen Eileen Burbidge are well liked in the London tech scene, with a reputation for looking after those in their investment portfolio, yet taxpayers must be wondering why their money is being used to back high risk investments. Good luck finding a state-backed VC firm in Silicon Valley..
Passion Capital can’t be blamed for taking the £17.5 million from the Vince Cable’s brainchild, the British Business Bank, who wouldn’t? What Techno Guido wants to know is why the government fails to grasp that what we need to successfully grow the technology sector is big risk taking…
With Joanna Shields stepping down as chair of TechCity, the door is open for fresh blood at Digital Dave’s tech quango. As promised, here are Techno’s runners and riders.
King of the Shoreditch tech hipsters, Ben Southworth is still smarting about his “resignation” as deputy CEO from Tech City UK in 2013. No one is more determined to prove that they are still a force to be reckoned with in East London tech.
A long time critic of the Tech City operation, who could be better to breath some fire into the flagging quango than the flamboyant pit bull of tech media who has branded Tech City a “cheap PR exercise“.
Rumour has it that Rohan Silva, founder of groovy SecondHome and the original brains behind the Tech City project is eager to get the government quango back on track. He would certainly be welcomed back into the government fold with open arms. Pretty sure he would not want the job.
Young tech journalist superstar James Cook is highly regarded in the European tech scene, though he does have a reputation for leaving hapless young CEOs in tears. Mr Cook has confirmed to Techno that he will be putting himself forward for the job if his mum lets him.
What better way for superstar VC Eileen Burbidge to officially crown herself as queen of London tech, than by accepting the Tech City chair. Techno will be amazed if she isn’t the number one on the government’s hit list.