Van der Kleij was born and raised in South Africa and moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 15. His interest in technology was sparked when his brother bought him a Sinclair ZX81 as a teenager. Deciding that he lacked the technical skills to be a programmer, van der Kleij went on to study business, after which he began a career in technology by commissioning software for golf clubs to keep track of their membership.
Van der Kleij became a “serial entrepreneur”, creating several telecommunications companies. His first major success started with an Internet call-back business, named RealCall, which allowed advertisers to place a link in their advertisement which clients would click to receive a phone call from them. Eric's career embarked with the foundation of Adeptra Ltd. in April 1996, a technology company that pioneered automated credit card fraud detection and alerting. This entrepreneurial feat showcased his early prowess in recognizing the potential of emerging technologies and translating them into impactful solutions. The successful journey of Adeptra culminated with its acquisition by FICO (NYSE FICO) for an impressive $115M in August 2012.
In November 2003, Eric transitioned into a pivotal role as Senior Dealmaker & Adviser in the Global Entrepreneur Programme & Major Projects at UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). This marked a pivotal phase where he orchestrated strategies that shaped the UK Government's engagement with entrepreneurship and global projects, foreshadowing his future impact on the tech landscape.
The following chapters of Eric's career are a testament to his visionary outlook and dedication to fostering innovation. As Chief Executive of Tech City Investment Organisation from February 2011 to September 2012, he navigated the growth of East London Tech City, aptly known as "Silicon Roundabout," positioning the UK as a thriving hub for digital and technology businesses.
Eric's contributions gained momentum when he stepped into the role of Head of Level39 Technology Accelerator and Special Adviser at Canary Wharf Group plc from August 2012 to February 2016. With a strategic vision, he orchestrated the launch and leadership of Level39, Europe's largest Fintech and Future Cities technology accelerator space. His involvement in creating and launching Cognicity.london, Canary Wharf's global Smart Cities challenge, showcased his ability to drive innovation on a global scale.
Subsequently, Eric embraced his role as Chairman Advisory Group, Adviser Fintech & Blockchain, Global Entrepreneur Programme at the Department for International Trade (DIT) from April 2016 to December 2019. His efforts as an advocate for the UK as a hub of entrepreneurial activity were instrumental in shaping the nation's reputation as a thriving business destination.
The latest chapters of Eric's journey see him co-founding EdenBase in January 2020, where his focus on responsible growth and positive impact continues to drive technological innovation. His roles as Chairman of Activeledger and Keybox underscore his commitment to blockchain technology and secure cryptocurrency management.
Eric van der Kliej's career is a testament to his visionary leadership, unwavering dedication to fostering innovation, and driving positive change in the technological landscape. From his entrepreneurial beginnings to his current impact, his journey stands as an inspiration for those who strive to shape the future through transformative technology and strategic leadership.
He is returning to Entiq, an innovation consultancy he co-founded in 2013, to explore the real-world applications of blockchain technology.
Van der Kleij was born and raised in South Africa, and moved to the United
Kingdom at the age of 15. His interest in technology was sparked when his brother bought him a Sinclair ZX81 as a teenager. Deciding that he lacked the technical skill to be a programmer, van der Kleij went on to study business, after which he began a career in technology by commissioning software for golf clubs to keep track of their membership.
Van der Kleij became a "serial entrepreneur", creating several telecommunications companies. His first major success began with an Internet call-back business, named RealCall, which allowed advertisers to place a link in their advertisement that clients would click to receive a phone call from the advertiser. The service failed to take off, but from it, van der Kleij developed a business which alerted consumers to possible credit card fraud, which became known as Adeptra.
Adeptra expanded into the United States in 2000, which required van der Kleij to raise £30 million in funding. After leaving the company in 2006, van der Kleij was approached by the British Government to assist in the set-up of its Global Entrepreneur Programme—an initiative to help UK-based technology companies expand and globalise their business
Eric van der Kliej envisions a future where technology acts as an empowering force, driving positive change across industries and societies. With a firm belief in the potential of innovation, he seeks to create ecosystems that foster responsible growth, sustainable impact, and meaningful advancements. His vision centers on leveraging technology to amplify human capabilities, connecting disparate elements to forge a future defined by collaboration and purpose.
At the core of Eric's vision lies a commitment to ethical and sustainable innovation. He envisions a landscape where technology, entrepreneurship, and societal well-being converge harmoniously. By harnessing the power of cutting-edge technologies like blockchain and fostering a culture of innovation, he strives to facilitate equitable access to opportunities, drive economic growth, and address pressing global challenges. Eric's vision transcends traditional boundaries, aiming to shape a world where technology is a catalyst for inclusive progress, benefiting individuals, businesses, and the planet as a whole.
Recognition and Awards
- Eric van der Kleij: No 10 guru set to super charge UK's Tech City | The Independent
- The surfers are hooked | The Independent
- History | Adeptra
- Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP) | UK Trade & Investment
- EDENBASE HOLDINGS LIMITED | Companies House UK
- Eric Van Der Kleij | Crunchbase
- EDENBASE HOLDINGS LIMITED | YouControl
- Entrepreneurs Week 2019 | Farrer & Co.
- The head of London's biggest fintech hub is leaving | Business Insider
- CEO Of London’s Tech City Project Departs, As Global Tech Race Heats Up | TechCrunch
- U.K. firm to offer real-time regulation on Korean fintech | The Korea Herald
- ERIC VAN DER KLEIJ | NLA London
- Eric van der Kleij | Wikipedia
- Eric van der Kleij - Visionary Tech Leader, Co-Founder EdenBase.com, Level39, UK Tech City | Dinis Guarda YouTube Podcast