Good news for women in tech today: venture capitalist Eileen Burbidge is taking over from Baroness Joanna Shields as chair of the government’s flagship Silicon Roundabout quango Tech City UK.
Burbidge is a founding partner at Passion Capital, an early-stage VC firm with stakes in start-ups including DueDil and GoCardless, and previously worked at Yahoo and Skype in Europe. Shields, meanwhile, was appointed as minister for internet safety and security after the General Election in May.
Burbidge isn’t the only heavyweight addition to Tech City’s board either. Joining her are former Index Ventures partner Robin Klein; Wendy Tan-White, the co-founder and former CEO of website builder Moonfruit; Barclays’ UK technology, media & telecoms vice president Tim Luke and Google’s EMEA marketing boss Yonca Brunini.
She may have only just been announced as chair, but Burbidge has already set up an Entrepreneurs Advisory Panel featuring some of the biggest names in UK tech, including the co-founder-CEOs of Transferwise, Zoopla, Candy Crush creator King, Google acquisition DeepMind and Unruly, which has just been bought by News Corp.
So what now for the four-year-old Tech City? Its Future Fifty scheme got off to a rocky start and had mixed results in its first year, while its new spin-out Tech North was slow to get off the ground. Nonetheless, it is oft cited as one of the lynchpins of Silicon Roundabout and its Tech Nation research reports make for useful reading.
And with some serious start-up royalty on board, hopefully Burbidge and CEO Gerard Grech can get on with their job of promoting London’s tech scene and giving start-ups and ‘scale-ups’ a leg-up.