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This candidate clearly and concisely summarised why they’re the perfect fit for the role by providing evidence of their extensive experience. The covering letter allows the candidate’s character to shine through as well as demonstrating their obvious passion for the work of the organisation.

Tech Nation, Non-Executive Director

Tech City was born 6 years ago with a mission to make London a tech destination. They created a flourishing ecosystem, helping to make London the global tech leader it is today. Tech nation were looking for non-executives who brought a strong track record of leadership, a deep understanding of the UK's digital entrepreneur landscape as well as a sensitivity for social impact and public interest.

Digital entrepreneurship balanced with public interest:
Candidates should have an ability to understand how to balance the needs of UK’s ambitious digital entrepreneurs with wider public interest issues. Please explain how this is relevant to you including specific details of relevant roles or projects you have worked on.
I have been a digital entrepreneur as CEO of Fairsail, a Future Fifty business. Fairsail grew from 14 people to 200 under my leadership giving me a strong understanding of scale up issues. I have been very involved with the Scale up project and Institution since their foundation and work closely with Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. I help founders and entrepreneurs by membership of Henley Business Angels and lecturing at Henley and Oxford Said Business Schools.
Commercial sustainability:
Applicants will be able to drive commercial sustainability without compromising the “Pay It Forward” social mission. You'll have an ability to appreciate the double bottom line drivers of the organisation – build a strong, generous, pay it forward, national tech community while also building a sustainable commercial revenue model for the company. Please explain how your background would enable you to bring this to Tech City UK.
Since 2003 I have been a leading supporter of the Prince's Trust Technology Leadership Group (TLG), bringing together the Technology Industry to help young people of the UK. The TLG has raised £25m, as well as giving many thousands of people in the Tech companies an insight into and reward from helping young people change their lives. The TLG has become the dominant charity initiative of the industry and an extremely robust and sustainable mechanism of helping the Trust.
Strong leadership:
Board experience is not essential for this role but candidates must have a track record of strong leadership. Please give details of leadership roles (ie as CEO / General Manager / Chair / Founder) you have held.
Board member of Fairsail from Feb 2013 (when the business had 8 people) through to acquisition in March 2017 (with 130 people). Under my leadership Fairsail became the fastest growing UK B2B scale up (per Megabuyte), leading to acquisition by FTSE 100 firm Sage plc for £115m cash. In 30 years since University I have worked for only 3 companies with a long term track record of success in all of them, and have been leading significant teams and business units successfully for 25 years.
Reason for application/covering letter:
I have been involved with Technology since the late '70s, teaching myself to program before taking a Computer Science Degree. Since then all my roles have been within the Tech industry: learning how to deliver projects right with Accenture; building great teams for tech firms globally with Russell Reynolds and culminating in leading a UK scale-up as CEO of Fairsail. I was very proud to become CEO of a Future Fifty business, announced just before the acquisition. I believe strongly in diversity and success of the whole team: women were 44% of the Fairsail team, which ranked the company at 4.7 on Glassdoor. The values that we developed as a team at Fairsail I believe sum me up well: PATHFINDER; IMPACT; WITH HEART. I focus on doing things right and on making what I am involved with the absolute best at what it does. I have been a passionate supporter of the UK Technology industry and scale-ups for a long time. I am delighted about the change from Tech City to Tech Nation and strongly believe that Technology and Digital businesses can play a huge part in the UK’s future success. I have long been frustrated that the Technology industry in the UK is not as successful as it could be, this would give me more ability to change that for the better. I am already working as part of the scale-up group to help growing businesses and have been a Tech London advocate for 5 years. There is lots to do, from massively improving Technology education to helping to create and grow thousands more businesses. This role would give me the opportunity to influence much more and enable Tech Nation activities to better help businesses. My network of connections and relationships is uniquely broad and deep, not just in the UK and across Europe but across the world. I am very action-oriented as an individual, and would use those connections to the benefit of Tech Nation. I have had 3 months off since leaving Sage and am now starting to build my portfolio of board/advisory roles. This will include working with many UK businesses, investors and advisers. I know and care about all of the UK, having grown up in Birmingham and Stockport, studied in Bristol and worked all over. I have lived in the Thames Valley for a long time. I worked for companies based in the US for 26 years giving me a mindset of ambition, purpose and results. My connections in Silicon Valley and across the Americas are very strong. I have many years of board experience, EVP of Sage and have advised technology businesses for 20 years. I take everything I do seriously and am prepared to speak out and take action.

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