It was with immense sadness that we learned this week about the passing of Catherine Wines, the co-founder of World Remit. Catherine Wines was a prominent voice within the tech community, speaking about her belief that immigrants are natural entrepreneurs, and talking openly about her cancer diagnosis in order to demystify the condition.
Catherine was hugely respected within Tech Nation, not only for her incredible expertise, intelligence, her wealth of experience and knowledge, but for her kindness and generosity, especially with her time. She gave so many valuable insights and offered her support to the scaling companies on our programmes, often speaking at our programme events, and regularly sitting as a judge on our Fintech and Future Fifty programmes.
As with so many of our mentors, judges and scale coaches, Catherine gave her time because she was so passionate about supporting scaling companies. She continued to give her support and time even as she underwent treatment for cancer. We are eternally grateful for the insights and expertise she gave us, and we are incredibly saddened by this loss.
To acknowledge the great impact Catherine Wines had on Tech Nation, we wanted to share a few words from some of the people that knew her.
“This is a big loss to the community. At Tech Nation, we hugely valued Catherine’s wisdom, generosity and endless expertise as a mentor to so many tech startups and scaleups. She is a shining example to so many, and will be missed hugely”
Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech Nation
“Catherine was such an inspirational woman that we can all learn from. Resilient, kind and pragmatic. She was my ‘go-to’ person if I needed advice on how we should run things on our programmes. And she was a trailblazer – one of the few women to co-found a fintech company that has scaled to such great heights”.
“Despite having cancer I believe she doubled down in supporting our tech ecosystem, giving back in abundance. I am sure those who had the pleasure to hear and learn from Catherine will be forever grateful”.
Parveen Dhanda, Head of Programmes, Tech Nation
“I remember she told me about her diagnosis when we were both queuing outside Downing Street on a cold evening in February 2019 so we could be security checked for an event run by Liz Truss honouring female business leaders. Despite the seriousness of her situation, Catherine was so calm and positive. She told me about her upcoming chemo and her determination to lead an active life”.
“I saw her again a few months later at the Tech Nation event, and she still carried that beaming unmistakable smile. Once we sat down, the first thing that she said to me in that beautiful French accent was about the course she was running at the Judge Business School Cambridge and that she wanted to invite me to speak at one of her lessons. As if that was not enough, she also told me she was thinking of doing the 5K Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research. At that moment, I was simply in awe of her”
Shirin Dehghan, Operating Partner, Frog Capital & Chairwoman at Open Signal
“Catherine was an incredible person who did everything she could to help growing tech companies. A situation that really captures this, is when we asked her to judge Fintech 3.0 programme applications this year. Catherine dialled into the virtual judging roundtable from a hospital waiting room telling myself and fellow judges ‘apologies if there’s some background noise’. Any other person would have (understandably) declined the invite, but Catherine was intent on giving her support and help”
Liam Gray, Fintech Lead, Tech Nation
“Catherine gave her time generously to help champion, support and grow the UK tech industry. She was an inspiration, to entrepreneurs everywhere as one of the founders of World Remit and in particular to women, as a successful female role model. Even after she was diagnosed, she remained positive and determined to contribute to the fullest extent. She will be much missed”
Hazel Moore OBE, Co-Founder and Chairman of First Capital
“Much will be written about Catherine’s leadership, her generosity, her determination. Many will share an insight into her lightness, kindness and wicked sense of humour. All of which I agree with, because Catherine’s character was, quite simply, remarkable. Catherine knew what she believed, she knew what she valued and most of all she knew her own self-worth. It was this, her strong sense of self, that I admired and was inspired by most”
Sophie Hossack, Head of Growth, Careology Health
“I always looked forward to spending time with Catherine. She was always full of energy and put so much back into the community. I will remember her fondly”
Imran Gulamhuseinwala, Implementation Trustee for Open Banking