At Tech Nation we’re creating a national network connecting ambitious digital tech entrepreneurs across the UK.
Whether you’re a founder looking for connections or support, a stakeholder embedded in a local community or are simply interested in what’s going on in a region, our Entrepreneur Engagement Managers (or ‘EEMs’ for short) are on the ground in towns and cities and ready to help.
In this series of articles, we’re telling you more about our EEMs’ roles and views about tech in the country. Here we speak to Eoin Marsh, our London Entrepreneur Engagement Manager based in the capital.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m originally from Dublin in Ireland and have spent five years in San Francisco working with three separate startups. In 2014 I co-founded Outdoorsie, a marketplace for activities in California so I’ve had a little exposure to what it takes to create something at an early stage. Being in Silicon Valley definitely forces you to understand what good looks like from a tech perspective.
I’ve been in London the past year and immersed myself into the startup and scaleup ecosystem here. The international experience I have puts me in a position to compare and contrast the respective landscapes and this is a super exciting time to be in London, notwithstanding some challenges that are there.
I love the diversity of this city which compares very favourably to any other tech ecosystem in my view. This rich potential pool of talent, which will absolutely emerge further in time, based on what we’re seeing in the numbers at schools (of girls and minorities) is very exciting. So I’m both delighted and grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of that journey for London.
What wins have you had since starting? What impact have they made?
My main priority has been helping scaleups join up the dots with the supports that are available and particularly helping navigate the investor landscape. For example, I’ve signposted to complementary resources that are out there, including to the Mayor of London’s Tech Invest pitching event, to help companies understand the programmes that will add the most value. In several cases, I’ve made investor introductions to sector-specific investors where there’s mutual interest and I’m excited to see the tangible impact of those conversations take effect. I’ve enjoyed the process of being involved for the Cyber programme call-out where I think we’ll have a very strong cohort in place.
Have you met any exciting companies?
It’s been inspiring meeting the scaleups in London who are tackling some of our most critical challenges in society. Companies such as MyCognition in the space of mental & cognitive fitness are creating groundbreaking technologies that we’ll be hearing about on a widespread basis in the next five to ten years. Because of the wealth of scaleups and mid-stage companies we have in London it’s difficult to name all of the exciting companies but the development of the wider Tech for Good sector is something I see as particularly promising.
What challenges are founders facing in your region?
I’d like to see more collaboration between types of companies where startups, scaleups and multinationals can mix and collaborate together. We see initiatives such as PlusX, a new innovation hub in Brighton or the Curious Lounge, a talent and events hub in the Thames Valley which offers local ecosystems this type of opportunity but we need to step up support for such initiatives. I’d like to see more peer-to-peer support for our founders but led by successful entrepreneurs and individuals who are keen to give back to their local region so we can breed a community of success.