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The 38 coolest women in UK tech

October 06,2018 15:19

This week Business Insider published the 2018 UK Tech 100— a ranking of the 100 coolest people in the UK tech scene. It celebrates the vibrant array of people working to scale companies, develop exciting new research, and shed light on the latest ...and more »

Tech 100 2018: The 38 coolest women in UK tech - Business Insider

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The Tech 100 coolest women in tech.
Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

This week Business Insider published the 2018 UK Tech 100— a ranking of the 100 coolest people in the UK tech scene.
It celebrates the vibrant array of people working to scale companies, develop exciting new research, and shed light on the latest advances (and scandals) in the industry.
As well as the main ranking, Business Insider is highlighting the women doing extraordinary work in the UK technology sector. There are 38 of them in total and they are ranked below in ascending order.
READ THE UK TECH 100 MAIN LIST: The 100 coolest people in UK tech »

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35. Maisie Williams, the "Game of Thrones" actress fighting nepotism in entertainment

Maisie Williams.
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images
"Game of Thrones" star Maisie Williams has partnered with her director friend Dom Santry to create an app with noble ambitions.
Available on iOS, Daisie aims to combat a "who-you-know" culture in the creative industries by connecting people and hosting interviews with big name actors, musicians, and designers. And evidence suggests it's popular, with a long waiting list to join the app.
Williams was in San Francisco in July talking to investors about the app and has already secured funding from undisclosed venture capital firms. Talks with other backers continue.
Headcount: 16Twitter: @Maisie_Williams

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34. Eileen Burbidge, the early Skype employee with many tech hats

Eileen Burbidge.Twitter/Eileen Burbridge
Eileen Burbidge is a household name in the UK technology industry. After stints at Yahoo!, Skype, and Apple, Burbidge got into tech investing and today she is a partner at Passion Capital, which has backed mobile banking app Monzo and cybersecurity firm Digital Shadows.
When she's not hunting for the next billion-dollar startup, Burbidge juggles a number of other roles, including chair of Tech City UK, member of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Group, and a fintech envoy for HM Treasury.
Total amount raised: $129 million (£98.9 million)Headcount: Less than 10Previous rank: 13Twitter: @eileentso

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33. Fat Llama cofounder Rose Dallas, winning investment from Y Combinator

Chaz Englander (left) Rosie Dallas (middle) and Owen Turner-Major.
Fat Lama
Rosie Dallas is a cofounder at Y-Combinator-backed startup Fat Llama.
Fat Llama is a little like Airbnb, except for spare, expensive stuff you might have lying around. The idea is that you hire out your instruments, professional camera kit, or even your drone to punters in exchange for money.
It's famously difficult for marketplace startups to succeed, but founders Chaz Englander, Owen Turner-Major, and Rosie Dallas have won the backing of big-name investors such as the prestigious Y Combinator, Atomico, and new VC Blossom.
Total amount raised: $13.1 millionHeadcount: 45

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32. Young, ambitious, and highly networked investor Ophelia Brown

Blossom Ventures founder Ophelia Brown.
Blossom Ventures
Ophelia Brown can't say much about her venture capital fund, Blossom Ventures, in public. She and her partners are in the process of raising up to $100 million for their first fund and, until it closes, her lips are sealed.
Still, we know that Brown has attracted a roster of talent from her time rotating around some of Europe's most respected investment firms. She has recruited a former colleague from Index Ventures, Imran Ghory, and also spent time at early-stage investor LocalGlobe. Her other partners are former Uber executive Candice Lo and Deliveroo CTO Mike Hudack.
Total amount raised: Aiming for $100 million (£76.8 million)Headcount: 4Twitter:@ophelia_brown

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31. Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch’s one-woman scoop machine

Journalist Ingrid Lunden.
Flickr/Tech Crunch
Ingrid Lunden is a news editor at TechCrunch, and one of the best-sourced journalists around. Her outstanding scoops over the past 12 months include Apple acquiring Shazam and tracking down the man who deactivated Donald Trump's Twitter account.
She puts the scooping down to immense hard work, resourcefulness, and the ability to team up with her fellow writers at TechCrunch. She lives by the adage that a journalist is only as good as their last story.
Twitter:@ingridlunden

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30. Tamara Rajah, set up the first online shop for people living with cancer

Tamara Rajah.
Live Better With
Tamara Rajah founded Live Better With, an online shop for people living with cancer. You can shop by need, from nausea, to hair loss, to help getting comfortable. Founded in 2015, Live Better With closed £7 million in funding this June.
Total amount raised:£11 millionHeadcount: 18Twitter: @Tamara_Rajah

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29. Nicola Mendelsohn, the Facebook executive fighting cancer

Nicola Mendelsohn.
REUTERS/Toby Melville
Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's vice president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, went public this year with her battle against cancer after being diagnosed with a slow-growing follicular lymphoma in 2016.
The most senior Facebook executive outside of the US is not letting it get in the way of the job, however, as she continues to balance her work duties with treatment. She has cut back on travel and work outside of Facebook, and has said the company is understanding of her condition.
Beyond Facebook and coping with cancer, Mendelsohn is helping inspire female entrepreneurs through her #SheMeansBusiness programme, and has teamed up with education and networking organisation AllBright to help provide new skills for women making their way in business.
Headcount: 2,300 (in the UK)Twitter: @nicolamen

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28. Romi Savova, a young entrepreneur trying to make pensions manageable for millennials

Romi Savova
PensionBee
Former Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley banker Romi Savova founded PensionBee in 2014 with the mission to make pensions "cool."
The digital platform helps people manage their retirement funds digitally and has over 12,000 active accounts and more than £150 million in fee-earning assets. Wall Street bank State Street is the company's biggest investor.
Savova has an MBA from Harvard and was named Entrepreneur of the Year at Computing.co.uk's Women in IT Excellence awards.
Total amount raised: Over £8 millionHeadcount: 40Twitter: @romisavova

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27. Uber’s policewoman, Helen Chapman

Helen Chapman.
TfL
The past 12 months have heralded the deflation of Silicon Valley bravado and bluster, and Helen Chapman is one of the people holding a pin.
Chapman is the woman responsible for checking that black cabs and private hire taxis follow the rules for operating in London, meaning she was a key player in the decision to revoke Uber's operating licence last year.
Appearing in court during Uber's appeal this summer, and after her maternity leave, Chapman was forthright about the ride-hailing firm's "appalling" behaviour. Uber was since granted a temporary licence, but the firm knows it has to tow the regulatory line.

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25. Meri Williams, the new CTO of Monzo

Meri Williams, Monzo CTO.
Monzo
Tech is more important than ever at buzzy banking startup Monzo now that it is a full bank trying to coax customers into making it their main account.
The last thing it needs is a TSB-like IT disaster. The person charged with making sure it doesn't happen is Meri Williams. Williams, who came in as CTO in August, previously held senior technical positions at Moo and Marks & Spencer.
Her appointment is a boost for women in tech — still a minority in leadership positions — and she mentors fellow startups through investors Kindred Capital.
Total amount raised:£100 millionHeadcount: 403Twitter:@Geek_Manager

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22. Carolina Brochado, investing Atomico’s millions into marketplaces

Carolina Brochado.
Atomico
Venture investors tend to be a terrifyingly urbane bunch, but Brochado perhaps stands out for her proficiency in Portuguese, Spanish, and French.
One of a number of prominent female investors featured, Brochado led deals this year into a startup on this list, marketplace firm Fat Lama, as well as Spanish transportation startup OnTruck.
Total amount raised: $1.5 billion (£1.2 billion) under management.Twitter: @ctbrochado

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20. Martha Lane Fox, the British businesswoman giving the public a louder voice in shaping tech

Martha Lane Fox.
John Phillips/Getty Images For Baileys
Martha Lane Fox was Brent Hoberman's partner in crime at travel deals website Lastminute.com, which was sold in 2005 for £577 million.
The British businesswoman is now the founder and executive chair of Doteveryone.org.uk, a charity campaigning for a fairer internet, while also building a movement for responsible technology.
Lane Fox also sits on the boards of Twitter, Donmar Warehouse, The Queens Commonwealth Trust, and Chanel.
Headcount: 11-50Previous rank: 76Twitter: @marthalanefox

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19. Laurel Powers-Freeling, the banker whipping Uber’s UK business into shape

Laurel Powers-Freeling.
Uber
Veteran banker Laurel Powers-Freeling became Uber's first UK chair last November two months after the ride hailing company lost its operating licence in London.
Powers-Freeling proved to be influential, introducing governance changes internally that helped Uber to get its licence back.
Prior to Uber, the Michigan-born businesswoman was CEO of Marks & Spencer's banking division, M&S Money, and a senior adviser at the Bank of England. She's also worked at American Express, McKinsey, Morgan Stanley, and UK fintech startup, Atom Bank.
Total amount raised: $21.7 billion (£16.7 billion)Headcount: 18,000 globally

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17. Reshma Sohoni, one half of the London duo spotting startup winners early on

Reshma Sohoni (left) and Carlos Espinal (right).
Seedcamp
One of London's best-known tech investors, Seedcamp cofounder Reshma Sohoni has been busy investing some of the £100 million she's raised with Carlos Espinal into early stage startups across Europe over the last year.
Seedcamp's mission is to back world-class founders attacking large, global markets and solving real problems using technology. Espinal and Sohoni have backed 275 startups to date and many of them have gone on to successful exits, while one or two (e.g Revolut and Transferwise) have become billion dollar businesses.
Total amount raised: Over £100 millionHeadcount: 10Twitter:@rsohoni and @cee

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16. Eléonore Butler, a VC braving crypto

Eleonore Butler.
Eleonore Butler
European investors have largely kept their powder dry when it comes to investing in cryptocurrency-related startups, mostly because there are so few legitimate businesses out there. Butler was one of the first to plant a flag, leading Draper Esprit's investment into crypto wallet startup Ledger in January.
Total amount raised: £570 million ($743.3 million) under managementTwitter:@ele_butler

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15. The woman teaching Alexa, Dr Catherine Breslin

Catherine Breslin.
Amazon
Breslin is a manager at Amazon's secretive team of Alexa developers based in Cambridge.
Amazon doesn't say much publicly about what that team gets up to, but it is pretty crucial to Alexa's development, reporting directly to the voice assistant's chief scientist, Rohit Prosad. The team brought Alexa to Amazon's FireTV and Fire tablet, and expanded Alexa outside the US.
Breslin herself is outspoken on issues of diversity, talking about why she chose to stick with engineering even as the tech industry remains hostile to women.
Twitter:@catherinebuk

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14. The new generation of venture capital investors, Evgenia Plotnikova and Joyce Liu

Evgenia Plotnikova (left) and Joyce Liu.
Dawn Capital/BI Graphics
It was disappointing last year when pro-diversity group Diversity VC published research showing that just 13% of decision-makers at venture capital firms are women.
But that has galvanised the industry into action, with Evgenia Plotnikova joining Dawn Capital in March as a principal. She joins another rising star, Joyce Liu, who took up a role the previous year.
Plotnikova previously worked at Atomico, where she focused on investments on the continent. She's fluent in Russian and French.
Liu has led Dawn's investments into Templafy and Hoxhunt and, in her own time, is backing female-founded software businesses as an angel investor.
Total amount raised: £300 million under managementHeadcount: 10Twitter:@evplot, @jliuster

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12. Claire Novorol, chief medical officer of exciting healthtech startup Ada

Claire Novorol.
Ada Health
Novorol is one of an impressive new breed of entrepreneurial doctors in the burgeoning area of health-tech.
Ada essentially wants to be a patient's first port-of-call for information instead of Google, using machine learning and asking questions about symptoms to determine what might be causing any issues. The Ada chatbot isn't meant to replace doctors, but might stop patients freaking themselves out with inaccurate information.
Ada's Chief Medical Officer Novorol, herself a doctor, says she always had the entrepreneurial inclination.
Total amount raised: $67 million (£51.4 million)Headcount: 120Twitter:@clairenovorol

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11. Nina Kristensen, the gamer who sold to Microsoft

Nina Kristensen.
Ninja Theory
Kristensen is a cofounder at Cambridge-based gaming studio Ninja Theory, where she heads up the development team.
A few years ago Ninja Theory was struggling to stay afloat, but this year it came exploding back into the industry with "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice."
"Hellblade" was affordable but looked like a top-of-the-line blockbuster game. It received praise and awards for its gameplay, its gripping visuals, and its thought-provoking examination of psychosis. As a result, Ninja Theory was bought by Microsoft back in June to boost its Xbox exclusive games division.
Headcount: 100

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10. Tania Boler founded a kegel app company and struck up a partnership with the NHS

Tania Boler.
Elvie
Who knew you could techify pelvic floor exercises? Tania Boler did. Boler cofounded and is CEO of the startup behind Elvie, an app paired with a device that helps women do kegel exercises.
Elvie raised £5 million in funding in March 2017, and this year the firm forged a partnership with the NHS to help tackle urinary incontinence.
Total amount raised:£11.6 millionHeadcount: 35

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9. Luciana Lixandru, tech investor and Deliveroo superuser

Luciana Lixandru.
Accel
Accel partner Luciana Lixandru was probably one of the first people in the UK to use food delivery startup Deliveroo, and ended up helping to lead her firm's investment into the fast-growing company.
Well-liked among her peers, Lixandru is among the new breed of female investors breaking the pattern of male-dominated venture capital in the UK.
Total amount raised: $2.5 billion (£1.9 billion) under managementTwitter: @LucianaLix

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8. Elizabeth Denham, Britain’s top data cop

Elizabeth Denham, Britain's Information Commissioner.
Information Commissioner's Office
It's been an eventful year for Britain's information commissioner, who has taken a leading role in investigating Cambridge Analytica and Facebook over a data breach that impacted 87 million users.
The 18-month probe culminated in her office slapping Facebook with a maximum fine of £500,000 for failing to ensure Cambridge Analytica deleted user data. It may be paltry in the context of Facebook's giant revenues of $40 billion, but it was a chastening day for the tech giant, and led to calls for Denham to be handed greater powers.
Denham is also the woman in charge of enforcing the EU's wide-ranging new GDPR data laws, which is also likely to bring the Canadian into contact with Silicon Valley. She told The Observer that her job basically boils down to a simple truth: "Data crimes are real crimes."
Judging by her actions, Denham is ready with handcuffs.
Headcount: 520Previous rank: 41Twitter:@ElizabethDenham

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7. Jay Hunt, Apple’s new European content queen

Jay Hunt.
Apple
Apple made a real statement about its content ambitions in hiring Jay Hunt late last year. She is a titan of the British TV industry — a former chief creative officer at Channel 4 with a nose for ideas that have seen her launch shows like "Black Mirror" and "Sherlock."
Exceptionally well-networked, her presence will put Apple one step ahead of Netflix and Amazon in the battle for ideas and talent in Britain, which is the second biggest exporter of TV shows in the world.

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6. Carole Cadwalladr, the reporter who exposed Facebook’s data secret

Carole Cadwalladr.
Carole Cadwalladr
Christopher Wylie blew the whistle on Facebook's data breach, but it was Carole Cadwalladr's tenacious reporting that got him to a position where he was comfortable telling his story.
The freelance Observer journalist has since become a vocal thorn in Facebook's side and an ally to those investigating the company and its connection to Cambridge Analytica.
Twitter:@carolecadwalla

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5. The cool face of fashion’s technology and startup scene, Dame Natalie Massenet

Natalie Massenet.
Getty Images
Natalie Massenet has stuck to her 2015 promise to keep a low-profile after stepping down from Net-a-Porter, but she's active behind the scenes with her new investment firm, Imaginary Ventures.
She has teamed up with investor Nick Brown to raise $75 million to invest in beauty and fashion startups, kicking off with beauty brand Glossier and hair-loss prevention firm Keeps.
Total amount raised: $75 million (£57.6 million)Previous rank: 33

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4. Joanna Shields, the ex-Facebook executive running an AI unicorn

BenevolentAI group chief executive Joanna Shields.
Facebook
Joanna Shields is one of the most prominent figures in British tech, having run Facebook in Europe and then joining the government as its first internet safety minister.
She returned to the industry in May 2018 as group chief executive of BenevolentAI, a futuristic startup that uses artificial intelligence to aid drug development.
Total amount raised:£157 millionHeadcount: 230Twitter: @joannashields

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3. Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, the computing prodigy championing women in STEM

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, founder of Stemettes.
Stemettes
Anne-Marie Imafidon passed A-Level computing aged 11, and at 28 she's no less of a trailblazer.
She founded the social initiative Stemettes in 2013, which aims to get girls and women into science, technology, engineering, and maths.
In March, on International Women's Day, Stemettes was visited by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Later that month, Imafidon interviewed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey at the British Library.
With the advent of the feminist #MeToo movement, and the distinctly male and monochromatic diversity problem in tech, her message is more pertinent than ever.
Headcount: 5Twitter:@aimafidon

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2. Maria Raga, the boss of London’s trendiest fashion marketplace

Maria Raga.
Depop
Depop calls itself the "creative community's mobile marketplace." In other words, it's a trendy website and app for selling clothes and other fashion items.
In charge is Maria Raga, an executive who studied at the University of Valencia before going on to work at Bain, Brazilian ecommerce site Privalia, and GroupOn. She replaced founder Simon Beckerman in 2016, who now works as creative director — "she's able to download my brain and make it a bit more structured," he said in an interview.
In January 2018, the London company landed $20 million to expand to the US, and is also opening physical stores in New York and Los Angeles.
Total amount raised: $43.6 (£33.4 million)Headcount: 125Twitter: @MRaga_Depop

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