Hackernoon logoImpressive Women in UK Tech Without a Tech Degree by@ellenkdonnelly

Impressive Women in UK Tech Without a Tech Degree

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@ellenkdonnellyEllen Kate Donnelly

Role models for women in technology can come in many forms.

Plenty of impressive women with big ticket tech companies (and many exits) to their name have come from a non-technical background. Here’s just a few of them, many of whom have been granted British Honours for their extensive contributions to the world of technology & innovation —so, no small feat!

As a History graduate I find this list extremely inspiring. Don’t let your past define your future — here’s to breaking down those invisible barriers :)

Sarah Wood OBE — CEO & Co-Founder, Unruly
Degree: BA English Literature, Uni of Cambridge and PhD Early American Literature, UCL

Sarah founded Unruly in 2006 which has gone on to be the worlds largest video marketplace, selling to NewsCorp in 2015 for £114m. Sarah remains the Chair and has been awarded an OBE for her contribution to innovation and technology.

Jess Butcher MBE — CoFounder, Blippar
Degree: MA Ancient & Modern History, Uni of Oxford

Jess founded Blippar in 2011 which went on to raise $45 Million in funding with >60M users. She is NED at Azoomee and has been named as one of the ‘Inspiring 50’- most inspiring women in European tech in 2016, BBC’s international list of ‘100 Women’ in 2014, Fortune Magazine’s global ‘Top 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs’ in 2012 and winner of the Natwest EveryWoman Iris (tech) award in 2013 amongst other accolades.

Alex Depledge MBE — CEO of Resi, previously Hassle.com
Degree: BA History, Uni of Nottingham and MA International Relations, Uni of Chichago

Alex cofounded Hassle.com in 2013 with her business partner Jules after working with Accenture. Hassle sold to Helping for £24m in 2015. TechCity Insider named Alex ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ 2014. Alex is also on the Board of London Leap & EDITD. She is now running Resi set out to bring transparency to the architecture & homeowner relationship for the better.

Priya Lakhani OBE — Founder & CEO of Century Tech
Degree: BA Law & Economics, Queen Mary and MA Media Broadcasting Law, UCL

Priya founded Century Tech in 2013 — the platform for artificial intelligence, machine learning & data science in education. Priya has been a member of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Entrepreneurs’ Forum and also sits on the Board of several educational/skills organisations. Priya was awarded Business Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009, The Mayor of London Fund’s Special Recognition Award 2016 and Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2014.

Debbie Wosskow OBE — Co-Founder, AllBright, ex-CEO LoveHomeSwap
Degree: MA Philosophy & Theology, Uni of Oxford

Debbie started her first business aged 25 and has two exits behind her including LoveHomeSwap which sold to Wyndham for $53m and she’s now investing in female founded companies through the AllBright fund. Debbie was the chairman of Sharing Economy UK (SEUK), she sits on the Mayor of London’s Business Advisory Board, and is also a Trustee of the Hampstead Theatre.

Alice Bentinck MBE — Co-Founder of Entrepreneur First
Degree: BSc Management Studies, Uni of Nottingham

Alice first started Code First: Girls in 2012 and has since built Entrepreneur First as Co-founder, an institution which over the last 6 years has created over 100 new tech companies across is global cohorts, including Magic Pony and AdBrain.

Martha Lane Fox — Chair of Doteveryone.co.uk
Degree: BA History, Uni of Oxford

Early tech success pioneer cofounding Lastminute.com in 1997, Martha has since gone onto be Founder & Chair of doteveryone.org.uk — making the Internet work for everyone. She is also a Director at Twitter, Chancellor of the Open University and Co-founder of Lucky Voice. She is the UK Gvt Digital Champion and sits on Boards of M&S and mydeco.com.

Tamara Lohan MBE — Co-Founder & CTO of Mr & Mrs Smith
Degree: BA Spanish & Italian, Uni of Oxford

Tamara co-founded the online travel destination for boutique hotels Mrs & Mrs Smith with her husband in 2002 which has over 1.5m customers worldwide. Tamara is also NED at notonthehighst.com and Board Member at TravelTechLab.

Louise Broni-Mensah, Founder of Shoobs
Degree: BSc Mathematical Economics, Uni of Birmingham

Louise founded Shoobs, the marketplace for events and nightlife, in 2013 through the Y Combinator accelerator. She is now based in Silicon Valley but started life in Investment Banking in the UK. Louise was recognised as one of Britain’s most influential Black people under 40 by Powerful Media.

Kathryn Parsons MBE— CEO & Founder of Decoded
Degree: BA Classics & Classical Languages, Uni of Oxford

Founded Decoded in 2011, the tech education company which provides technical literacy to corporates and individuals worldwide. Kathryn has also been appointed Chairwoman of the UK Institute of Coding, London Mayor’s Business Advisory Board, UK Government Cyber Security Skills Advisory Board, Tech London Advocates Advisory Board, MBE as part of the New Year Honours List 2016.

Are you interested in getting into tech but don’t have the background? The Bakery is building a pipeline of entrepreneurs to build new tech companies from scratch. We provide a lot of the support that makes the first part a little easer. Get in touch for more info.


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