The former boss of Sage Group Stephen Kelly has been appointed the chair of technology industry body Tech Nation.
Kelly succeeds Eileen Burbidge, partner at technology venture capital firm Passion Capital, who stepped down in January after four and a half years at the helm.
Kelly led the turnaround of enterprise software company Sage Group and previously headed up Micro Focus. Kelly was also chief operating officer for the UK government for three years.
He joins existing board members, which include chief executive of the body Gerard Grech, and Tim Luke, vice chairman of TMT at Barclays.
The industry body is backed by government funding and was set up by David Cameron in 2011 to foster the UK’s growing startup scene. Then called Tech City, it was relaunched in 2017 as Tech Nation with £21m in government cash to focus on tech firms around the country.
Tech Nation says it has already contributed up to £436m to the economy – gross value add – through its programmes with scale-ups and is reportedly on track to deliver £1bn by 2025.
Kelly has also been an early-stage investor in over a dozen startups, including Kimble, one of Tech Nation’s Future Fifty companies.
He said: “I am thrilled to be working with Gerard Grech and the team at Tech Nation, in identifying and championing game-changing founders, leaders and scaling companies; fuelling their growth so they can positively transform society and create a stronger economy in the future.”
Burbidge added: “Stephen’s experience both as a tech entrepreneur and scaling mentor will bring deep experience to the board, and I have no doubt that with his leadership alongside Gerard and the team, we will see tremendous impact from Tech Nation and sustained growth for the UK tech sector.”