Passion Capital’s Eileen Burbidge appointed President of Tech City UK – TechCrunch

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Eileen Burbidge, a self-proclaimed venture capital and recovery firm, didn’t have a day job. In addition to a plethora of additional roles she occupies in support of the UK tech startup scene, the founding partner of London-based venture capital firm Passion Capital has been appointed Chair of Tech City UK.

The Quango government is charged with accelerating the growth of ‘digital clusters’ across the UK, having expanded beyond its original mandate of promoting London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’.

Burbidge, who replaces outgoing President Baroness Joanna Shields, already has strong ties to the UK government and is undeniably well positioned to influence policy in response to the needs of startups and the digital sector as a whole.

Most recently, she was appointed one of nineteen members of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group on Business and earlier this year became the UK’s Special Envoy for FinTech. Burbidge is also the London Mayor’s Technical Ambassador, while in June she received an MBE for her service to UK business.

In a recent interview I conducted with Burbidge (recording embedded above), she spoke candidly about her close ties to the UK government, in addition to a range of other topics.

In addition to Burbidge, new additions to the Tech City UK board include:

  • Robin Klein, Founding Partner of LocalGlobe Fund, formerly at Index Ventures and Founding Partner of The Accelerator Group
  • Tim Luke, Vice President of Technology, Media and Telecommunications at Barclays UK and UK Business Ambassador for the Technology and Financial Sectors appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron
  • Wendy Tan-White, co-founder and former CEO of website builder Moonfruit. Wendy currently sits on the Imperial College Industry Liaison Board, is a mentor to 500 startups, a business partner at Entrepreneur First and, in 2011, was named UK Tech Entrepreneur of the Year.
  • Yonca Brunini, VP Marketing Google for Europe, Middle East & Africa and Emerging Markets, previously also at Unilever and Yahoo!

They join current board members Herb Kim (Founder and CEO of Thinking Digital and Executive Chairman of Tech North) and Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK.

Meanwhile, Burbidge has already set up a new Tech City UK “Entrepreneur Advisory Group”. The first members are Alex Chesterman (Zoopla), David Buttress (Just-Eat), Demis Hassabis (DeepMind), Riccardo Zacconi (, Sarah Wood (Unruly Media) and Taavet Hinrikus (Transferwise).