Meet our newest Board members

Tech Nation, September 27, 2020 4 min read

Four leading figures in the UK tech community have joined Tech Nation’s Board as we ramp up our work to bolster the UK’s tech sector to aid economic recovery in the wake of Covid-19.

Hussein Kanji, Annette Wilson, Eric Collins and Trecilla Lobo were selected out of 300 applications for their expertise across business, academia, and government built up over their careers as founders, investors and tech leaders.

Their appointments also bring extensive links and ties to tech hubs within the UK and globally, including Silicon Valley and Asia.

Tech Nation’s Chief Executive Gerard Grech welcomed the new Directors onto Tech Nation’s Board. He comments:

“Now, more than ever, a thriving tech sector is vital to the health of the UK economy. Being key to the economic recovery, the tech sector generates well-paid, highly skilled jobs, and attracts investment from all around the world. The skills and expertise brought to the board by our new members will continue to ensure we deliver on our ambitious mission and more, to unlock the growth potential of 1,000 scaling tech leadership teams and generate $1bn for the UK economy by March 2022.”

The Board is responsible for the long-term strategy and success of Tech Nation, also leading the organisation’s culture and values. The announcement comes as Tech Nation works to deliver ambitious plans to unlock the growth potential of 1,000 scaling tech leadership teams across the UK, generating an additional $1Bn to the UK economy by March 2022, and ensuring that the UK remains the best place in the world to start, and scale a tech business. In the economic fall-out of Covid-19, the UK tech sector is more critical than ever to economic recovery.

Stephen Kelly, Tech Nation Chair, adds:

“The UK tech sector has demonstrated resilience throughout this crisis, and is key to unlocking future growth, job creation and prosperity in the Digital Age. I’m looking forward to working with Annette, Eric, Hussein and Trecilla, who bring their invaluable experience to the Tech Nation board. The stakes are high for the UK given the Covid-19 economic fall-out and it was imperative to build an exceptional, world-class board to lead Tech Nation’s delivery of a key aspect of Britain’s vision for the future in taking the UK’s tech companies to global market leadership.”

The appointees join existing Board members:

  • Stephen Kelly, Chair, former CEO of Sage, Micro Focus, Chordiant and COO of UK Government
  • Tim Luke, Vice Chairman Barclays Investment Bank
  • Sarah Wood, Co-Founder of Unruly
  • David Richards, Co-Founder and CEO of Wandisco
  • Lesley Eccles, Founder & CEO HelloRelish
  • Gerard Grech, Executive Director, Chief Executive of Tech Nation

Find out more about the new board members below and hear their own insights in our series of video interviews.

Annette Wilson

Annette has extensive operational and strategic management experience having spent the last twenty years in leadership roles in growth and venture capital firms, which were focused on scaling founder-led businesses. She was founding CFO of Palamon Capital, a European growth investor, and most recently she was Partner and COO of Finch Capital, a fintech firm investing in Europe and South East Asia. She served on the investment and valuations committees and was also actively involved in portfolio management, fundraising and investor relations.

Prior to joining the VC industry, Annette held management roles with LSE listed companies in the insurance industry, having started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Today she is also Chair of Europe and Adviser to Antler, an early stage global VC and is an Adviser to Finch Capital. She is a former member of the VC Council of Invest Europe and is a former Board member of the British Venture Capital Association.

Eric Collins

Eric is a technology executive who has spent a career building digital companies through innovative strategies. He has done this at public and private companies including AOL, TimeWarner, Tegic/Nuance Communications, MobilePosse, SwiftKey/Microsoft and most recently, Touch Surgery, where he was COO.

In 2018, Eric was part of a prominent group of black European and US serial entrepreneurs, institutional investors, investment bankers, corporate leaders and entertainers to found Impact X Capital Partners. The company is a double bottom-line venture capital firm that invests in under-represented innovators in Europe, focusing on growth stage companies in three distinct sectors: digital and technology, health, education and lifestyle; and media and entertainment.

Eric sits on the board of companies in San Francisco and London and acts as an advisor to companies in the US, India and the UK. He supports civic activities. In London, he serves on the board of Autograph ABP and Southwark Cathedral’s Council and, in the US, he has been a board member of Washington Performing Arts.

Hussein Kanji

Hussein is a partner at Hoxton Ventures. He currently represents Hoxton on the boards of Biotx, Giraffe360, Kbox Global, Skin Analytics, SOC.OS, TourRadar, XYZ Reality and Yieldify, and serves as a board observer on Behavox, Darktrace, Fy!, Karakuri, Loveshark and Panakeia. He previously served on the boards of Babylon Health, bd4travel (acquired by Dnata), Campanja (acquired by 24/7 Media) and Deliveroo. Prior to forming Hoxton, Hussein was an associate with Accel Partners in London. He joined Accel from Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, WA. Earlier in his career, Hussein worked with startups, Safe-View (acquired by L-3), Radiance Technologies (acquired by Comcast) and Studio Verso (acquired by KPMG), all in the Bay Area.

Hussein has also helped the UK government with policy initiatives to develop the local tech industry.

Trecilla Lobo

Trecilla is the SVP, People at BenevolentAI. She is responsible for all things people, including Talent acquisition, people experience and culture, people analytics, as well as office and facilities. Trecilla has over 20 years experience in senior HR roles in digital media, pharmaceutical and technology companies, including Trader Media Group (which was part of the Guardian Media Group), Johnson & Johnson and Receipt Bank, with experience of scaling fast growth companies to create an engaging culture. Trecilla was also the Chief People Officer at Swiftkey, which was acquired by Microsoft (in 2016) and took on the role of HR Lead for Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft (UK) post acquisition.

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