Eric van der Kleij is a technology entrepreneur and CEO of Frontier Network (formerly C4DR.com), an international hub focussed on Blockchain, Fintech & AI. Eric is also the Chair of distributed security business Keybox.co, and Chair of crypto-finance-conference.com in st. Moritz, Switzerland. He is Hon. Chairman of the Advisory Group for the UK Government’s (DIT) Global Entrepreneur Programme.
Prior to this, Eric created and led Level39, one of Europe’s largest hubs for Fintech, Cyber & Smart Cities technology companies based on the entire 39th, 42nd and 24th floors at Canary Wharf’s One Canada Square. Previously he was the first CEO of the UK Government’s Tech City Investment Organisation (now Technation.io), tasked by the Prime Minister with boosting investment, entrepreneurship and skills in the “Silicon Roundabout” area of East London. Eric is founder of specialist consultancy DV2C Ltd advising clients such as the FinTech Kickstart Accelerator in Zurich. He is a volunteer member of the Tech London Advocates Advisory Board and the Plexal Innovation Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Eric Van der Kleij is originally from South Africa, and at the age of 15, he moved to the United Kingdom.
Eric first started to become passionate about technology when his brother bought him a Sinclair ZX81 as a teenager. Deciding that he lacked the technical skill to be a programmer, Erick went on to study business. Upon completion of his studies 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 which 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. The company expanded into the United States in 2000, and in order to achieve that Van der Kleij raised £30 million in funding. Erik left Adeptra in 2006 and very shortly after that 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.
In February 2011 he helped create the strategy for UK’s ‘Tech City’ initiative and was appointed by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s office as Chief Executive of it, helping feed into policy and drive the growth of the U.K. tech sector which has gone on to become the highly regarded TechNation.io organisation.
In 2012 he designed, created and led the now famous Level39 hub for the Canary Wharf Group for over three years, to become one of the largest Fintech, Cyber and Smart Cities hubs in Europe. While at Level39 he also co founded one of the first Blockchain labs in the U.K., benchmarking Blockchain protocols and pioneering work with cryptocurrencies.
In 2016 he was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Group and Adviser for FinTech and Blockchain for the U.K. Governments Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP) at the Department for International Trade. He continues to feed into policy as a volunteer and recently contributed to Lord Holmes’ cross-party white paper to help unlock efficiencies in government with Blockchain.