As part of Scaleup Week 2021, Seven Hills co-founder and host of our Change Makers podcast Michael Hayman interviewed three of the UK’s most exciting scaleup entrepreneurs, who shared their stories and offered advice to those aspiring to grow their own business.
Poppy Gustafsson, CEO & Co-founder, Darktrace
Launched in Cambridge in 2013, by “an unlikely alliance of mathematicians, former spies from GCHQ and the US, and artificial intelligence experts,” Darktrace was the first company to apply AI to cybersecurity, using machine learning to help businesses detect and stay one step ahead of cyber threats. Today, the company trades on the London Stock Exchange and employs more than 1500 staff globally, with women making up more than 40% of its staff including at management level – almost three times the industry average.
Poppy says: “The UK has such a fantastic heritage in AI, and today we’re really building on that heritage… We’re at the start of a new era of creating a new generation of world leading technology companies.”
Timo Boldt, Founder & CEO, Gousto
With a mission to make its customers lives easier, better and healthier with its recipe boxes and meal delivery kits, Timo shares Gousto’s humble origins, and recalls how he started packing up fresh ingredients and recipe cards in his own kitchen to send to its first ever customers, as well as personally taking customer service calls on his mobile. Now with over 1,000 recipes set to double its employee base to 2,000, Timo talks about the importance of remembering your mission.
Timo says: “It’s important that every meal we make is positive to both people and the planet. We’re incredibly proud of the sustainability mission we’re on.”
Tania Boler, CEO & Founder, Elvie
Tania Boler founded femtech company Elvie in 2013 with a clear mission in mind: to “bring women’s tech out of the dark ages”, with a mission to improve women’s lives with smarter technology. Its flagship products the Elvie Pump and the Elvie Trainer, as well as new products the Elvie Catch and Elvie Curve have transformed the femtech sector. And they have the backing to prove it, with its $42 million Series B funding round in 2019 the largest ever for a femtech at the time.
Tania says: “My key piece of advice is stay focused on smashing your targets and proving everybody wrong. Secondly, you do have to raise significant funding.”