eileen burbidge

Passion Capital’s Eileen Burbidge Appointed Chair Of Tech City UK

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You’d be forgiven for thinking venture capitalist and self-described recovering work and tech-aholic Eileen Burbidge didn’t have a day job. Adding to a plethora of additional roles she holds in support of the U.K.’s tech startup scene, the founding Partner at London VC firm Passion Capital has been appointed Chair of Tech City UK.

The government quango is charged with accelerating the growth of “digital clusters” across the whole of the U.K., having expanded beyond its original remit of promoting London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’.

Burbidge, who replaces outgoing Chair Baroness Joanna Shields, already has close ties to the U.K. government and is undeniably well-placed to influence policy in response to the needs of startups and the digital sector as a whole.

Most recently she was made one of nineteen members of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group, and earlier this year became the U.K.’s Special Envoy for FinTech. Burbidge is also Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London, while in June she was awarded an MBE for services to U.K. business.

In a recent interview I conducted with Burbidge (recording embedded above), she spoke candidly about her close ties to the U.K. government, in addition to a range of other topics.

In addition to Burbidge, new additions to the Tech City UK Board include:

  • Robin Klein, Founding Partner at the LocalGlobe fund, previously with Index Ventures and founding partner of The Accelerator Group
  • Tim Luke, Vice President of Technology, Media & Telecoms at Barclays UK, and UK Business Ambassador for the Technology and Finance sectors appointed by the Prime Minister David Cameron
  • Wendy Tan-White, Co-Founder and former CEO of website builder Moonfruit. Wendy currently sits on the Imperial College Industrial Liaison Board, is a 500 Startups mentor, a Venture Partner at Entrepreneur First, and in 2011 was named female UK Tech Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Yonca Brunini, VP Marketing Google for Europe, Middle East and Africa and emerging markets, previously also with Unilever and Yahoo!

They join existing board members Herb Kim (founder and CEO of Thinking Digital, and Tech North Executive Chair), and Tech City UK CEO Gerard Grech.

Meanwhile, Burbidge has already set up a new Tech City UK ‘Entrepreneur Advisory Panel’. The first members are Alex Chesterman (Zoopla), David Buttress (Just-Eat), Demis Hassabis (DeepMind), Riccardo Zacconi (King.com), Sarah Wood (Unruly Media), and Taavet Hinrikus (Transferwise).