Jon is one of the most experienced early stage investors in Europe, having launched the first bootcamp accelerator outside of the US in 2009 that subsequently was merged with Techstars. He has helped to launch 12 other accelerators earning him the title “Godfather of European Accelerators”.
Jon is also the cofounder of F6S, the world’s largest social network for entrepreneurs with over 1MM users, the cofounder of Tech.eu, Europe’s premier tech news site and was recently honored by his peers by being inducted into the Europas’ “Hall of Fame”, Europe’s premier startup awards. Finally, Jon was recently appointed as the Director of the John Bradfield Centre based in Cambridge, that is the largest startup incubator under a single roof in the UK.
Mark is the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Trov Inc, one of the worlds fastest growing Insurtech companies, based in Silicon Valley, California. A recent returnee to Belfast, he spent 17 years in both Canada and the USA, where he was involved in several successful startups, including Band of Coders, ServiceCloud and CreationStep. Alongside this, Mark also ran one of Canada's most successful incubators in Toronto for several years, helping to lay the foundations for the now booming Toronto tech scene. Also an early stage investor, Mark has invested in companies such as Uber and Twilio.
Steve is a co-founder of Central Working, a member led co-workspace, and the creator of all of its locations. It is recognised and awarded multiple times including Coronet award winner for 2016 for UK innovation in the co-working sector and Best UK co-workspace 2016. Built with the understanding of service and a hospitality ethos Central Working provides SME business a home where they can thrive within a community of like-minded individuals.
Steve’s background sits firmly within the service and hospitality sector - he was Head of Service Development for Virgin Atlantic, responsible for its Business Lounges globally and the Business Class experience ground and air. After leaving Virgin Atlantic he moved across to the US as part of the founding team of Virgin America as Director of Customer experience, which redefined domestic air travel within the US.
Aaron is an experienced entrepreneur who has built companies across the US and Europe and is currently Managing Partner at venture development company Frankly. Some of the previous ventures Aaron has founded include GoPrezzo, a venture capital backed ad tech platform based in NY and Belfast that scaled to over 3m daily users, ICONS Festival, Irelands biggest ever first year tech conference and I.M Creative, an incentive management company.
Aaron is also heavily involved in building and shaping the Belfast tech community, founding and running one of the UK's biggest and most successful tech meetups, Friday Night Mashup, hosting up to 1000 attendees and connecting local startups to enterprise and local government at Invest NI and Belfast City Council. Finally, Aaron is an advisor to several startups in London and Belfast.
The Founding Members
Tony Carson is a serial entrepreneur and investor originally from Belfast and now based in London.
A lifelong entrepreneur, Tony has founded, built and sold pub, brewery, restaurant and hotel chains, winning several business awards along the way. He has also held senior roles in listed corporate, institutional and private companies, with marketing and commercial development being his key business passions.
Tony follows his money in making investments and now sits on the boards of several investment companies focusing on property, technology and environmental sectors.
He is currently Non-Exec Commercial Director at and a significant shareholder in Greenacre Capital and Energy, a private investment company working across the property, independent living and clean energy sectors. It works in partnership with governments, investors and charities around the world to identify investment opportunities that are both profitable and socially responsible.
One of Tony’s main passions is integrated education and he is the author of 'Integrate To Accumulate' a book extolling the virtues of Integrated Education in Northern Ireland.
Nigel Eccles (FanDuel)
Cookstown native, Nigel is cofounder and CEO at Fantasy Sports site FanDuel, based in Edinburgh and New York. With FanDuel recently being valued at over $1bn dollars. A key supporter of the Northern Ireland tech scene, Nigel has previously spoken at events in Belfast, including ICONS Festival.
Sarah Friar (Square)
CFO and head of Operations at Square, a mobile payments company based in San Francisco. Sarah has played a key role in growing the company through several rounds of funding and to an IPO in 2015. Born and raised in Strabane, Sarah previously worked at McKinsey in London, following her graduation from Oxford University, before moving to Goldman Sachs as Managing Director of their Technology Business Unit. Following a spell at Salesforce in Silicon Valley, Sarah took up her current role at Square in 2012.
Peter Johnson (Lystable)
Peter is CEO and Founder at London based Lystable, a startup that helps companies manage their freelancers and vendors and who have recently raised an $11m funding round led by Paypal cofounder and Valar Ventures lead, Peter Thiel. Peter originally graduated from University of Ulster and has worked for companies such as Weber Shandwick, M&C Saatchi and Google.
David Singleton (Google)
VP of Engineering at Google, David is also known as Google’s Smartwatch King. Born in Belfast, David has spent his working life at the cutting edge of technology in London; first with telecommunications company Symbian, before moving to Google.
Paul Taylor (Thought Machine & Phonetic Arts)
An experienced entrepreneur from Northern Ireland, living in London, who has scaled and sold both companies he’s founded, including his last venture Phonetic Arts, a text-to-speech company that exited to Google. Currently CEO and Co-Founder at Thought Machine./p>