My next adventure in technology
A little over two years ago, I made London my new home. When I first arrived, I didn’t have a place to live, many friends or a job for that matter, but I did know what I wanted to do — be a part of the thriving technology and startup ecosystem in the UK.
I started my career at strategy consulting firm, Bain and Company, where I had the opportunity to work in industries that were alive and kicking and also others that were less so — you can guess to which ones I was drawn. It was this experience combined with a stint at a fledgling start-up that helped me realise where my passion really lay — entrepreneurship and technology.
I should mention now that I am from Australia where beaches and sunshine are abundant. What is less common is visionary entrepreneurs building truly ground-breaking technology companies, however capable we may be (let’s not forget Australia birthed Atlassian, which listed on the NASDAQ last year at $4.4b). So I took Marc Andreessen’s advice for ambitious youth and decided to “figure out where the action is and head there”.
In London, I was fortunate enough to join the investment team at Octopus Ventures, which has backed the likes of Lovefilm, Zoopla and Swiftkey. I am grateful to have had colleagues who have taught me almost everything I know about investing, technology and importantly, how to treat entrepreneurs. In fact, my favourite moments will always be working closely with the incredible founders leading some of this country’s most promising start-ups — Dan Gandesha of Property Partner, or Rob Bishop of Magic Pony are a couple that come to mind.
While some speak of the slower market, the fact that the UK is peppered with thousands of these talented entrepreneurs has not changed. So I am excited to join BGF Ventures on its journey to unearth the best local talent with global ambition. We have a broad investment focus and I am particularly interested in innovation in financial technology and applications of machine learning — areas where the UK is already well endowed with talent from industry and academia. On a personal level, I am also a strong believer that gender diversity is beneficial to all organisations, big or small, and welcome opportunities to help start-ups build this into their DNA.
London was meant to be temporary but it looks like I’ll be here a lot longer than anticipated.