Tech Nation, the UK’s leading growth platform for tech companies and leaders, announces Stephen Kelly as the new Chair. Stephen Kelly succeeds Eileen Burbidge MBE who has served as Chair since 2015.
Stephen has a wealth of experience scaling technology businesses as a successful serial entrepreneur. As part of a Silicon Valley start-up team, Stephen grew a company to $70m revenues in 4 years which floated on NASDAQ, where he became CEO. Stephen led the successful turnaround of the UK’s largest tech company, Sage Group and oversaw another transformation of FTSE tech company MicroFocus. He is unique as a CEO who grew NASDAQ, FTSE100 and FTSE250 companies. Stephen is an established investor and mentor with many UK digital businesses and entrepreneurs, and brings extensive chairing and non-executive experience. His accolades include Mentor of the Year (2018 Tech Awards) and No. 1 UK Tech 500 Power List 2018.
As Chair of Tech Nation, Stephen will play a key role liaising directly with community representatives and tech entrepreneurs. Kelly will support Tech Nation’s Chief Executive, Gerard Grech as Tech Nation continues to expand its network of growth programmes, events, data and knowledge resources to fuel the growth of the UK scaleup tech ecosystem. Tech Nation has already contributed up to £436M to the economy (Gross Value Add) through its activities and programmes with scale-ups and is on track to deliver £1Bn by 2025.
Stephen will join Tech Nation’s existing board members:
- Lesley Eccles, Co-Founder of FanDuel and CEO at Relish
- Gerard Grech, Chief Executive at Tech Nation
- Tim Luke, Vice-Chairman, Technology Media and Telecoms Group at Barclays
- David Richards, Founder and CEO at WANdisco
- Sarah Wood, Author of Stepping Up and Co-Founder at Unruly
Gerard Grech, Chief Executive, Tech Nation said: “With Eileen’s inspirational leadership, Tech Nation scaled across the UK, enabling scaling founders and companies to access the skills and networks they need to drive growth in the UK’s tech ecosystem. We thank her for her passion, commitment and
leadership. On a personal note, I have hugely appreciated her support and counsel. Building on that legacy, we warmly welcome Stephen Kelly as Chair, and the team and I look forward to working with him. His outstanding credentials and extensive experience both as a scaling entrepreneur and tech community champion of Scaleups, will help us deliver even more, with greater impact, especially at this crucial time during Covid-19 when companies need support and leadership more than ever”.
Stephen Kelly said: “I am thrilled to be working with Gerard Grech and the team at Tech Nation, in identifying and championing game-changing founders, leaders and scaling companies; fuelling their growth so they can positively transform society and create a stronger economy in the future. I have been so lucky to lead some amazing digital tech companies. Tech is my DNA, and I am hugely excited about applying the lessons I have learnt and my experience as a CEO, investor, director and mentor to help the next generation of UK scaleups.”
Eileen Burbidge said: “It has been an absolute privilege to have served as Chair of Tech Nation as it has become a UK-wide network — and while the UK has established itself as one of the world’s leading tech-hubs. I look forward to watching and cheering as Tech Nation continues to deliver on its ambitious strategy in coming years. Stephen’s experience both as a tech entrepreneur and scaling mentor will bring deep experience to the board, and I have no doubt that with his leadership alongside Gerard and the team, we will see tremendous impact from Tech Nation and sustained growth for the UK tech sector.”