Do entrepreneurs really need a University degree or an MBA? (Part 1)


Technically, no, although, it’s fair to argue that the chances of success will increase with one or both under your belt.

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As Apple’s China warning sends tremors through stock markets (FT 04.01.19), we ask what will be the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs in 2019?


“There’s a lot of uncertainty for businesses around what will happen with Brexit. The challenge for many will be to make sure they’re set up in an agile way, so they can respond to what we’re seeing happen economically. 

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Q & A | Ben Tompkins, Managing Partner at Draper Esprit


What have you learned in 2018 and what are your predictions for tech in 2019, be it in the fields of Medicine, Energy, Data, Business or Government?

2018 has been all about backing ‘belief’ in every area of tech. Ambition in Europe is running high driven by some exciting ‘unicorn’ exits and that ambition means VC is becoming increasingly capital intensive. One the one hand that’s good – we are finally backing our entrepreneurs with enough capital to be successful on the international stage. On the other hand, there are some negatives – it’s as if all the lessons about being capital efficient from just a few years ago have been forgotten.

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We asked eight entrepreneurs about the risks they had taken and the outcomes, good and not so good!


My co founder Tim Boughton and I took the very risky decision not to raise any money until we’d proven the product market fit. This meant living off savings for two years to avoid selling a significant percentage of the business before we’d built it.

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Politics | Why are Pittsburgh, Melbourne and Helsinki the future for tech? The Mayors of each tell us!


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Q&A | Maria Wagner, Investment Director at Beringea


How does influencing a business from the inside (Birchbox) differ from the outside (Beringea)?

The experience of building a successful ecommerce business has been critical to my success as an investor – not only did it bring a lot of functional understanding of what it takes to be an entrepreneur, it also brought a lot of emotional understanding of the trials and tribulations of leading a company.

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Briefing | Value Creation: Challenges for a Scale-Up CEO. We catch up with Steven Dunne, Senior Partner at Frog Capital.


For a tech growth company CEO, it is easy to be consumed by the daily challenge of exploiting a market opportunity and to focus wholly on creating an exciting operation. It is tempting to believe that fundraising at ever higher values and an eventual exit will naturally emerge. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the case.

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Q&A | Tania Boler, Co Founder and CEO of Elvie


Elvie, a health and lifestyle brand developing smarter technology for women, launched in 2013. It’s CEO Tania Boler has worked in the UN and for charities across Africa and Asia. We caught up with her following the launch of Elvie’s latest product.

How is Elvie contributing to Femtech for women?
Elvie is leading better innovation for women. Femtech has been such a hugely overlooked area. We have a multitude of fitness trackers built and ready to use in our phones but nothing specifically for women. Women’s bodies are so complex and go through so many changes it’s astounding innovation seems to have been left behind in this field. We’re creating products that are allowing women to get to know their bodies more and most importantly, learn how to care for them.

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We asked a group of leading entrepreneurs to name the book that has most inspired them! (Part 2 today)


When I was working for a law firm, I represented a lot of venture capital firms, start-ups, and big multinationals. This made me realize two things: first, that I wanted to become an entrepreneur, and second, that I was really frustrated that lawyers didn’t have good technology at their disposal to do their jobs better. My idea was that if you could train a computer to understand the language of lawyers—to understand legalese—you could have a very big impact on the industry.

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We asked a group of leading entrepreneurs to name the book that has most inspired them! (Part 1 today)


Seven Hills was founded on the belief that business should act as a force for positive change in society. My business partner, Nick Giles, and I founded our campaigns business because we wanted to back disruptive companies and leaders who are dedicated to improving people’s lives. We call them the Changemakers.

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