Behind the UK’s burgeoning tech scene are many talented and inspirational women. At ForrestBrown we want to shine a light and give recognition to the pioneering women who are driving UK innovation.

Jenny Griffiths

CEO Snap Fashion, Software Engineer

LinkedIn

Jenny Griffiths is the founder of Snap Fashion, an award winning fashion app.

Jenny founded the visual search engine in 2009 when studying for a Masters in Computer Science at Bristol University. The app allows users to upload photographs of fashion items and then uses computer vision technology to locate similar clothes from online retailers in just a few milli-seconds.

The visual search element of the app involves writing unique algorithms that effectively teach computers to see by recognising colours, shapes and textures. Jenny has been applying the technology across other retail and editorial sites while continuing to explore the potential of machine learning and software engineering.

Jenny is dedicated to promoting women in business and engineering as well as encouraging young people to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers. She received an MBE for her Services to Innovation in the Fashion Industry in 2015.

Clare Flynn Levy

Founder & CEO of Essentia Analytics; Investor

LinkedIn

With a background in fund management and financial technology, Clare Flynn Levy founded Essentia Analytics in 2013. The cloud-based platform uses behavioural data analytics to help investors make more educated decisions. It collects data on investment behaviour, providing insight into what your strengths are in order to improve performance.

Prior to founding Essentia, Clare spent 10 years as a fund manager gaining a deep understanding of exactly what was needed to empower fund managers. Capitalising on her unique experience, she has been able to ensure that the tech meets genuine needs.

In a candid interview with Global Invest Her, Clare talked about the difficulty of being a female entrepreneur:

As someone who counts amongst her friends some extraordinarily successful female leaders, I know for certain that gender-based obstacles are real, and ugly, and often especially evident at the very highest echelons of business. In my view, there’s no shame in acknowledging them; the question is how you orient around them

Elizabeth Lumley

Managing Director of Startupbootcamp; Journalist

LinkedIn

Elizabeth Lumley is passionate about promoting and further developing FinTech and InsurTech ecosystems. She takes a hands-on approach when it comes to supporting start-ups through her role as the MD of a London bootcamp dedicated to FinTech.

Prior to her work in FinTech, Elizabeth spent over 20 years heavily involved in global financial technology. As a longstanding reporter and broadcast journalist (she first wrote about banks and IT back in 1994), Elizabeth has amassed a body of influential work. She regularly guest hosts the Breaking Banks podcast.

Elizabeth believes that the financial services is crying out for more women and more diversity in general, stating in FemTechLeaders:

The financial services industry needs – desperately needs – new ways of thinking, and the easiest way to do that is to create diversity in experience, thoughts, opinions, research and visibility.

Michelle Beckett

Co-Founder and CEO of Investors in Community; Writer

LinkedIn

Michelle Beckett is the co-founder and CEO of Investors in Community. It is a web platform that aims to make it easier and more accessible for people to help others. This spans donating, volunteering and fundraising.

Michelle is also a keen advocate of women in tech. She insists that you don’t have to be a “full on” coder to have a successful career in technology: something that Michelle can prove beyond doubt.

In one of many articles Michelle has had published on Huffington Post, she writes:

The more women that are visible role models in this industry (as leaders, creatives OR programmers), the more it will feel less like a boy’s club, and more girls will WANT to code, feeling that tech is ‘for them’ after all.

Sarah Wood

Co-founder Unruly;

LinkedIn

Sarah Wood is a hugely influential figure in UK Tech, having co-founded AdTech giant Unruly. The platform uses audience data and user-friendly video formats to increase viewer engagement, brand performance and publisher revenues.

Powered by a full tech stack including UnrulyX, the platform algorithmically evaluates the shareability of video in order to effectively target custom audiences. In short, it uses science to help create viral videos.

Sarah is also a dedicated tech ambassador. She co-founded Unrulyversity, a free pop-up university in London that aims to inspire future generations of tech entrepreneurs. Sarah received an OBE in June 2016 as well as being named Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year.

Reshma Sohoni

Partner & Co-Founder at Seedcamp;

LinkedIn

Through her work at first rounder funder Seedcamp, Reshma has invested in consumer internet, mobile, SaaS, and financial services. It is her unwavering dedication to disruptive technology that makes Reshma such a key figure in the UK tech scene. She has helped scale ambitious start-ups by investing in over 120 companies including the likes of Zemanta, Patients Know Best, and TransferWise.

Reshma has always been actively engaged in the convergence of technology and business throughout her study and work. She left the United States to work in Commercial and Marketing Strategy at Vodafone in the UK before co-founding Seedcamp in 2007. Since then Reshma has used her knowledge and drive to help turn Seedcamp into a hugely successful early stage accelerator.

Anne-Marie Imafidon

CEO & co-founder at STEMettes,

Twitter

Anne-Marie Imafidon is an incredibly gifted mathematician and computer scientist. From a young age, she pursued an interest in maths and technology with remarkable results: she was the youngest girl ever to pass an A-level in Computing at age 11. Since then she has amassed countless accolades, awards and achievements as well as a wealth of industry experience having worked at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers. –

Much of Anne-Marie’s time is now spent as a dedicated campaigner to inspire more young women to pursue STEM careers. To achieve this goal, she co-founded STEMettes, an award-winning social enterprise designed to inspire the next generation of females, and Outbox Incubator: the world’s first tech incubator for teenage girls.

Emma Sinclair

Co-founder EnterpriseJungle; tech entrepreneur

LinkedIn

Emma Sinclair is co-founder of global software company EnterpriseJungle and a passionate entrepreneur. She remains the youngest woman to have floated a company on the London Stock Exchange, having done so with Mission Capital at only 29 years old.

Her work at EnterpriseJungle has seen it voted the most innovative enterprise new software company in 2014 and was also a finalist for the Pinnacle Award in 2015.

Emma is driven to give back to the community and help others by sharing her insight, skills and business acumen – she is currently UNICEF UK’s first business mentor, inspiring people to change their lives through basic business skills.

Siobhan Reddy

Studio Director, Media Molecule

LinkedIn

Siobhan Reddy co-founded Media Molecule in 2006, the games developers behind the multi award-winning LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway Unfolded. She is currently Studio Director, overseeing the business and ensuring it stays at the forefront of the gaming industry. She is also a member of BAFTA’s Games Committee.

Since winning a Production Award at the first ever Microsoft Women in Gaming Awards in 2009 for her work on LittleBigPlanet, Siobhan has continued to find ways to stretch the boundaries and broaden the appeal of gaming. Media Molecule’s latest project Dreams is an innovative adventure game that allows you to travel through peoples’ dreams as well as create your own. It is set for release on PS4 in 2016 and promises big things.

Eileen Burbidge

Early-stage tech VC

LinkedIn

Eileen Burbidge is a founding partner at Passion Capital, a leading early-stage technology venture capital investment firm based in London. Through Passion Capital and as an Angel, she invests and supports companies in mobile, internet and analytics.

With business and product roles at big hitters like Yahoo!, Apple and Skype, Eileen has strong operational knowledge. She also serves as the Chair for Tech City UK and as HM Treasury’s Special Envoy for FinTech making her a hugely respected and influential figure. She was made an MBE for services to UK Business in June 2015.

Jennifer Arcuri

Founder Hacker House

LinkedIn

Jennifer Arcuri is behind the thought leadership network InnoTech and cyber security venture Hacker House. A self-styled ‘Google Campus for Cyber security’, Hacker House brings together ethical hackers to provide solutions to shared problems.

Jennifer is in a position that allows her to get government and key players in the tech sector to knock heads around the challenges affecting the industry. As well as this important role, she works tirelessly to encourage women to pursue STEM careers. She co-founded the Pinksheet Database meet-up to create an informal environment for women in the digital sector to share industry knowledge and celebrate achievements.

In an interview with Entrepreneurs Foundation Jennifer explains:

The "no women in technology" mantra that pervades media is old and outdated and only serves to undermine the women who are there and achieving in technology!

Sarah Drinkwater

Head of Google’s Campus London

LinkedIn

Sarah Drinkwater heads up Google’s London Campus. By providing open access to education, mentorship and work spaces, the campus has helped develop an innovative entrepreneurial community of over 55000 people. As a network, it has also raised some serious capital.

Sarah is a dedicated community builder and is active in supporting women in tech. She became a mentor to Girls in Tech London in 2015 as well as being on the board of Code First: Girls.

In an interview with Acorn Aspirations, she offered the following motivational words:

The time is now: the tech that is being build, sold and grown right now is shifting how we live, think and are. You don’t want to miss out on such an exciting time.

Emily Forbes

Chief executive and co-founder, Seenit

LinkedIn

Emily Forbes is the founder of the video crowdsourcing app, Seenit. The platform allows advertisers and businesses to crowdsource video from lots of individuals at once. Emily has the vision to develop a whole new way of making video that allowed brands to edit footage from the public into engaging content.

Soon after its launch in January 2014, SeenIt won backing from technology accelerator fund, Collider, and has since won various other awards.

From a traditional filmmaking background, Emily was new to much of the tech involved. However her drive and vision means that Seenit continues to scale on a global level and new and exciting ideas are in development.

Elizabeth Eastaugh

Director of technology at Expedia Inc.

LinkedIn

Elizabeth joined Expedia in September 2007 as a software engineer. Soon she was appointed as technology lead, before becoming development manager for Expedia.co.uk. Based in London, Elizabeth is currently responsible for end to end E-Commerce projects across the Expedia Inc. portfolio of brands.

Her work at Expedia is all about maintaining their ability to innovate rapidly, which involves a focus on cloud microservices.  She is currently working on stream-lining the online payment function. In an interview with Computer World UK she said:

We have not solved all the technology problems in the world - that is what makes IT fun, that is why I like it.

Nathalie Christmann-Cooper

Web designer; founder of SheCodes web design, co-founder of TreatOut.com

LinkedIn

As an award winning freelance web designer working under the moniker She Codes Web Design, Nathalie Christmann-Cooper is an influential figure in the tech start-up scene. She is also co-founder of TreatOut, a platform that helps people eat out with a restricted food list.

Nathalie is a strong advocate of women in tech, seeing the need for more young girls and older women to have role models and promoted in the tech sector.

 

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