Russell Buckley Joins UK Government To Bring About Silicon Valley In The UK

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Today in interesting moves comes the news that serial entrepreneur-turned-investor Russell Buckley – who was first employee at AdMob (which sold to Google) is joining the UK government to accelerate its policies around startups, mainly funding. Specifically, he’s joining the UK Government’s Venture Capital Unit. The Unit, launched last year, is designed to help UK companies attract funding from abroad and thus help resolve the funding gap which often exists at early and mid-stages. The Unit is headed by veteran entrepreneur Chris Wade and embraces Clean Tech, Life Sciences and Hardware. Here’s Russell’s blog post on the matter:

My New Job

It’s been about two years since I left Google following the AdMob acquisition and as I forecast here at the time (http://mobhappy.com/blog1/2011/03/30/on-a-personal-note/) I’ve been practicing a portfolio career of being a very active angel investor (Ballpark Ventures has about 25 investments), mentoring at Springboard (soon to be TechStars), doing various Speaking gigs and being a Non-Exec Director of a handful of more mature UK businesses.

To sum up this little role, I wrote:

So, trying to draw this together in one cogent theme, I’m planning to spend the next 10 years helping the UK to become a world class part of the tech scene and one which regularly produces mega-successes like the next Twitter, the next Facebook or the next Amazon. There’s plenty of reasons why The Valley has the advantage over us – early stage funding and a huge natural early adopter market, are my personal bugbears. But if we think big and harness the creativity and talent available, I believe it’s a realisable dream.

I’m delighted to say that I’ve been offered the opportunity to help realise this vision on a more macro-scale, by joining the UK Government’s Venture Capital Unit. The remit of the Unit is to help UK companies attract funding from abroad and thus help resolve the funding gap I was writing about above. My focus will be on tech companies, though the Unit as a whole (headed by veteran entrepreneur Chris Wade) embraces Clean Tech, Life Sciences and Hardware.

To be quite frank, it is the only job that anyone could have offered me that I would have accepted at this stage in my career. It fits perfectly with my personal mission, so when I was approached about the role it didn’t need a lot of thinking about and I find the opportunity to make a real difference to the UK tech scene very exciting.

In the first instance, my focus will be on developing a portfolio of the very best UK tech companies to showcase what a fantastic place the UK already is. And in time, my new colleagues and I will use our best efforts to help find overseas investors, to complement the UK investment community, to help these companies flourish. If you run such a company, or know of anyone who should be on this prestigious list, drop me a line here Russell AT mobhappy DOT com and we’ll get the ball rolling.

Exciting times!

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