Social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and Microsoft Stores' head named UK change-makers by London Tech Week

Lucy White
Elon Musk's High Speed Train Concept Company Hyperloop One Holds First Public Test Run
London Tech Week, and its TechXLR8 event, take place in June (Source: Getty)

Some of the most influential names on London's tech scene have named their people to watch for 2018, in sectors spanning from autonomous vehicles to healthtech.

The ambassadors of London Tech Week – who include Eileen Burbidge, a partner at Monzo backer Passion Capital and member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group, Sarah Wood, co-founder and chief executive of video advertising marketplace Unruly, founder of business group Tech London Advocates Russ Shaw and president of industry body TechUK Jacqueline de Rojas – have shortlisted 30 change-makers who are having a particular influence on the UK tech space.

The individuals, who fit the criteria of displaying a spirit of innovation, disruption and progress, range from entrepreneurs to corporate innovators to coders to policymakers.

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“London Tech Week celebrates the companies and people driving innovation in the digital economy to shape the future of businesses, lives, and society the world over," said Zoe Osmond, festival director of London Tech Week.

"The change-makers show the vast impact that has already been made, harnessing technology to build exceptional businesses, campaigning for change, and strengthening the capital’s position as a global tech hub."

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Who grabbed the change-maker titles?

Change-maker Position What the business does
Amali de Alwis CEO of Code First: Girls Social enterprise working with women to develop coding skills
Anita O’Rourke EMEA director of Microsoft Stores The physical and online shopping presence of tech giant Microsoft
Anne-Marie Imafidon CEO of The Stemettes Social enterprise which encourages girls and young women to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and maths
Arfah Farooq Co-founder of Muslamic Makers Tech meetup which brings Muslim and non-Muslim makers together to share ideas
Asesh Sarkar CEO of Salary Finance Offers affordable employee loans, savings through salaries and financial education to employees
Becky Sage Founder of Interactive Scientific Education company which aims to make learning about science more tactile through both digital and analogue methods
Charlene Laidley Founder of The Futureproof Foundation Consultancy company which helps corporations close the gender and ethnicity pay gap
Check Warner Founder of Diversity VC Not-for-profit partnership promoting diversity in venture capital
Fiona Nielsen CEO of DNAdigest and Repositive DNAdigest promotes ethical and efficient sharing of genomic data for research. Repositive is a database to access this.
Hayley Sudbury Founder and CEO of Werkin Creates technology which helps companies build mentoring schemes and measure the success of employee programmes
Jake Warren Founder of Silence and Air Music production business which creates custom tracks for ad campaigns and has made music "proven" to help listeners sleep
James Smith

CEO of Elliptic

Identifies illicit activity on the bitcoin blockchain and provides intelligence to financial institutions and law enforcement agencies

Julie Walters Founder of Raremark Online community for people affected by rare diseases which keeps them updated with the latest research
Karen McCormick Chief investment officer at Beringea Venture and growth capital firm which has previously backed businesses including Monica Vinader and My 1st Years
Leila Zegna Founder of Kindred Capital Early-stage investor which has backed a number of young tech companies
Maxine Mackintosh Co-founder of One Healthtech Network of local communities driving change in health technology
Meri Williams Chief technology officer, Moo Online print and design company which aims to make affordable but high-quality printed items for businesses
Paul van Zyl Co-founder and chief creative officer, The Conduit Organisation set to open this year which connects thinkers, leaders and innovators in social change, business and the arts
Rioch Edwards-Brown Founder of So You Wanna Be In TV? Social enterprise to help at-risk, financially disadvantaged young people in London pursue a career on TV
Josh Giegel Co-founder of Hyperloop One The business now owned by Virgin which is developing a new mode of transport powering pods through tunnels
Samantha Payne Co-founder and chief operating officer of Open Bionics Startup developing low-cost bionic hands
Sharmadean Reid Founder of Beautystack An invitation-only networking and booking management platform for beauty professionals
Sophie Adelman Co-founder of White Hat Startup matching non-graduates with apprenticeship opportunities at UK companies
Sophie Deen Founder and CEO of Bright Little Labs Children's education company which creates gender-neutral, ethically sourced products
Sue Black Founder of Techmums Runs courses to teach women IT skills and coding
Suki Fuller Founder of Miribure Consultancy which helps businesses "mitigate risk and build resilience" by collecting and analysing data
Tamara Rajah Founder and CEO of Live Better With Site which offers recommendations, tips and guides for people living with cancer
Tom Adeyoola CEO of Metail App which allows consumers to "try on" clothes online
Tom Fogden Dean and chief operating officer of Ada College College in Tottenham Hale which teaches digital skills
Yinka Makinde Founder and CEO of Vitalfootprint Helps food sellers comply with allergen tracking requirements and allows consumers to view more information about where they're eating out

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