About the author: Katarina Jones is a Mentor at Startup Institute London, an eight-week programme that equips individuals with the skills, mindset, and networks they need to get jobs and thrive in new startup careers. Their part-time classes start end of April.
London’s innovation economy is growing. Why? Because it’s filled with people who want to give back and create something better. They often work quietly in the background and don’t receive the praise they deserve. It’s time to shed some light onto a few of these heroes who work tirelessly to help make our startup ecosystem as incredible as it is.
Many of them have been instructors with us at Startup Institute. Next time you see them in a bar, buy them a drink and tell them how awesome they are.
1. Sofia Quintero – If you’re looking for someone who cares about education and giving back to the community, look no further than Sofia Quintero. Head of Growth at Geckoboard she is also an instructor at both Startup Institute and General Assembly and an ad-hoc mentor at a variety of events. Sofia is on a mission to introduce great people to the digital marketing world.
2. Dave Thomson – Dave previously worked at a few other “little” companies like Not on the High Street and Rocket Internet & moved to TransferWise to help build their fabulous products. Now Head of Product at M&S. Dave is extremely generous in sharing his time and expertise to help others people get excited about product management. As such, you can often find him speaking or mentoring.
3. Alistair Shepherd – Alistair is a co-founder of Saberr, a company which uses data science to compile fantastic teams and HR strategies. When Alistair isn’t helping major companies optimise their teams, he spends countless hours guiding future entrepreneurs as a facilitator for Startup Weekend events all around the world.
4. Jessica Williamson – Ever heard of TechStars? Most people involved in the startup world have. Jess is the Director of TechStar London’s newest FinTech accelerator. The word powerhouse is an understatement when it comes to Jess. If you have a question about the UK’s startup and tech community she’s your woman, having worked in Scotland, Cambridge and now London. Another great thing about Jess is that no matter how busy she is, she’s always happy to lend a hand or flash you one of the world’s biggest smiles.
5. William McQuillan – Will McQuillan is a connector extraordinaire. As a partner at Frontline Ventures, he’s in-the-know about what’s happening in the London Tech Ecosystem and who’s working on what. When he’s not at work, he’s still deeply ingrained in communities of entrepreneurs and change-makers through organisations such as One / Thousand (formerly The Sandbox Network). Chances are if you meet Will he’ll know at least three people you should talk to about what you’re working on.
6. Victoria Stoyanova – As Regional Manager for UpGlobal, this woman is always on the go. Not only is she constantly travelling to bring entrepreneurship to the world, she is helping to bring creatives and tech closer together by co-organising Creative Mornings in London.
7. Zoheb Iqbal – If you’ve ever been to a London Startup Weekend event, you’ve probably come across Zoheb. Zoheb is a man of many talents. Trained as an architect, Zoheb not only designs beautiful buildings, he also co-founded A Door For to help people occupy unused spaces in London. In his “free-time”, among other things, he helps organise London Startup Weekend events so that the people of London can take entrepreneurship for a test drive. Zoheb is also one of the nicest and most humble guys around.
The list above is just a small sample of the many unsung heroes in the London startup community. We’re sure you know many more awesome people like them who are making London tech better and stronger.
Cheers! This one goes out to them.
Find out more about Startup Institute here.