Growth Platform Tech Nation Appoints Technology Entrpreneur Stephen Kelly as New Chair

Tech Nation, one of the UK’s largest growth platform for tech companies and leaders, has revealed that Stephen Kelly will be announced as the new Chair.  Stephen Kelly succeeds Eileen Burbidge MBE who has served as Chair since 2015.

Stephen has a massive level of knowledge and experience in scaling technology businesses as hewas a successful serial entrepreneur. In his previous company SAGE were he was CEO it was reported , Stephen grew roughly $894 million in market value before his departure. Stephen has also established himself as a massive investor and mentor with many UK digital businesses and entrepreneurs, and brings extensive chairing and non-executive experience. His honour was so massive it even  included Mentor of the Year (2018 Tech Awards) and No. 1 UK Tech 500 Power List 2018.

As Chair of Tech Nation, Stephen has said he 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 WAN disco and 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.”

Tech Nation is a growth platform for tech companies and leaders. As they have stated, their mission is to unlock the growth potential of 1000 scaling tech leadership teams across the UK by 2022. They want to contribute to a future in which anyone with vision and drive can access the skills and support needed to succeed as a game-changing leader. “We bring together a network of founders and philanthropists, progressive enterprises and policymakers, influential funds and institutions, in order to collaborate in building the technological innovation that will improve the future for the UK and beyond. Through our programmes, we identify talent, develop high-performance leadership teams, accelerate growth and empower businesses to compete on the global stage,” they said.

Stephen Kelly Bio

Stephen has extensive experience with industry leading entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, spending almost 10 turbo-growth years at Oracle starting when the UK revenues were £12m then joining Chordiant, a technology start-up based in Palo Alto, California, where he became CEO and listed on the NASDAQ. Returning to the UK in 2005 he applied his learnings and contributed to building a vibrant UK technology sector, first at Microfocus and then at Sage, where he transformed the brand as a ‘Champion of Entrepreneurs’. Since 2004, he has been an early stage investor in over a dozen start-ups – including Kimble, one of the Tech Nation Future Fifty companies – and has held multiple non-exec directorships including Curam Software which was acquired by IBM in 2011. In 2011 Stephen joined the UK Government, and was made Chief Operating Officer. He held the position of Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador (Technology) and sat on the UK Government Ministerial Scale-Up Board, between 2015 – 2019.