Board

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos

Co-founder and CEO

A serial entrepreneur himself, Gonçalo is only too aware of the long path leading to a successful funding round.

In September 2011 Gonçalo graduated with an MBA from Judge Business School, University of Cambridge where he was awarded the ‘Best Dissertation’ prize and the Benavitch Scholarship for academic and professional achievements.

His past experience has shown him that often entrepreneurs have to spend too much time chasing investors instead of focusing on the most important part of their business: their customers.

He has a vision of how to help great entrepreneurs to fulfil their dreams and that vision is called “SyndicateRoom”. He is passionate about giving the crowd access to the top deals into which experienced business angels are investing their own money. This is what drives his vision for SyndicateRoom.

Gonçalo is also a lecturer at the University of Cambridge and a contributor for Forbes, writing regularly about equity crowdfunding, business angel investment and venture capital investment and speaks regularly at public events about the same themes.

In his spare time Gonçalo cycles long distances to raise money for charities (his last ride was from Cambridge to Paris), plays tennis and, when in warmer climates, sails with his wife whenever there is half a chance.

Tom Britton

Co-founder and CTO

Born in Los Angeles, Tom moved to the UK to play football and after three fairly successful years realised it was time to focus on his non-sporting career. Before joining SyndicateRoom as a co-founder Tom worked in product development on a number of software-based projects including managing the development of the mobile applications for TheTrainline.

Tom completed his MBA at Cambridge where he focused on developing start-ups and has taken a keen interest in ventures focused on helping other start-ups. Tom leads SyndicateRoom’s website development team though his skills and experience ensure that he does a lot more than just that. In his spare time Tom volunteers for Camp Footprints, rock climbs, and still plays the odd five aside game.

Tim Bellis

Chairman of the Board

Tim is Chairman of the Board at SyndicateRoom and has been involved as an advisor since the company was just an idea. Tim brings a wealth of experience to the board, having been a Partner at Herbet Smith LLP specialising in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings on international stock exchanges, and investment and joint venture work.

With more than 24 years’ experience in the field, Tim now spends much of his time in academia as a Fellow of Management Practice and a Senior Adviser for Professional Service Firms at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Tim has been featured in and contibuted to a number of publications.

Jonathan Milner

Lead investor and Non-Executive Director

Jonathan is the Founder of Abcam, the company which he founded 1998 and which went on to list on AIM in November 2005, becoming ‘Company of the Year’ in both the 2009 and 2013 AIM Awards.

As well as being an experienced entrepreneur, Jonathan is also a business angel with a passion for supporting UK life-science and high-tech startups. He has invested in and provided support to more than 30 companies, and has also helped three IPOs to join the AIM market.

Jonathan is a lead investor in SyndicateRoom and a Non-Executive Director.

David Gill

Non-Executive Director

David is Managing Director of St John’s Innovation Centre in Cambridge, the longest-established business incubator in Europe for technology ventures. He set up and ran the Innovation & Technology Unit at HSBC Bank in London (1997–2004) before serving as an Executive Director of a venture fund focused on early-stage, technology-based investments. Educated at Cambridge, he qualified as a barrister before working in corporate finance for US and UK banks.

A Sloan Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California (2005), David is currently an Official Visitor at the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing, Non-Executive Chairman of Psonar Ltd (an angel-funded internet music startup), a Non-Executive Director of UK Business Incubation Ltd and a member of the Department for Business Access to Finance Expert Group.

He was previously a Non-Executive Director of LINC (the Local Investment Networking Company Ltd), a predecessor organisation to the current British Business Angels Association, and of mo.jo (a pioneer crowdfunding website).

David is also co-author of several studies on a country basis of innovation (2000–07) and of a review for the National Endowment for Science Technology & the Arts (NESTA) of the impact of business incubation on high-potential firms (2011).

Team

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos

Co-founder and CEO

A serial entrepreneur himself, Gonçalo is only too aware of the long path leading to a successful funding round.

In September 2011 Gonçalo graduated with an MBA from Judge Business School, University of Cambridge where he was awarded the ‘Best Dissertation’ prize and the Benavitch Scholarship for academic and professional achievements.

His past experience has shown him that often entrepreneurs have to spend too much time chasing investors instead of focusing on the most important part of their business: their customers.

He has a vision of how to help great entrepreneurs to fulfil their dreams and that vision is called ‘SyndicateRoom’. He is passionate about giving investors access to the top deals into which experienced business angels are investing their own money. This is what drives his vision for SyndicateRoom.

Gonçalo is also a contributor for Forbes, writing regularly about equity crowdfunding, business angel investment and venture capital investment and speaks regularly at public events about the same themes.

In his spare time Gonçalo cycles long distances to raise money for charities (his last ride was from Cambridge to Paris), plays tennis and, when in warmer climates, sails with his wife whenever there is half a chance.

Tom Britton

Co-founder and CTO

Born in Los Angeles, Tom moved to the UK to play football and after three fairly successful years realised it was time to focus on his non-sporting career. Before joining SyndicateRoom as a co-founder Tom worked in product development on a number of software-based projects including managing the development of the mobile applications for TheTrainline.

Tom completed his MBA at Cambridge where he focused on developing start-ups and has taken a keen interest in ventures focused on helping other start-ups. Tom leads SyndicateRoom’s website development team though his skills and experience ensure that he does a lot more than just that. In his spare time Tom volunteers for Camp Footprints, rock climbs, and still plays the odd five aside game.

Francesca O'Brien

Head of Private Markets

Fran is responsible for managing the private deals listed on SyndicateRoom.

She graduated from St John’s College, Cambridge, where she read Part I History; Part II Psychology, before completing a Graduate Diploma in Law in London.

Fran previously worked with one of the legal teams responsible for preparing victim and witness statements for the Leveson Inquiry, and within the schools and education department of the London Borough of Ealing Council. She joined SyndicateRoom to immerse herself in the unique challenge that comes from working at an ambitious, rapidly growing company, within an exciting and disruptive industry.

Fran is interested in all aspects of psychology, especially those related to business and behaviours.

James Sore

Chief Investment Officer

With a degree in Mechanical and Electronics Engineering and a passion for racing, James’ career in Formula 1 was all but guaranteed. Unfortunately, he was unaware that a third aspect was needed, namely capability.

So he refocused his efforts on a more conventional career as a technology consultant for PA Consulting, designing and improving products for some of the world’s leading consumer, medical and pharmaceutical companies. Previous clients include Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Hershey’s, British American Tobacco and Pfizer.

James left PA to build a technology consultancy as co-founder, growing the company from 2 to 12 full-time employees in under 2 years. He subsequently decided to sell his shares in the consultancy and took a role as an investment analyst for a boutique IP investment company, where he rose through the ranks to investment manager in under three years.

James now heads up the investment team at SyndicateRoom as Chief Investment Officer. His key responsibilities include deal attraction, selection and management, as well as growing and managing our rapidly expanding investor network.

Graham Schwikkard

Chief Operations Officer

Graham joined SyndicateRoom as head of operations in January 2017. His drive for delivery and knowledge of best practices is expected to play an integral part in scaling the platform.

Before joining SyndicateRoom, Graham spent seven years in management consulting, where he helped companies develop market strategies and optimise their business models. During this time, he developed a strong sense of business operations, with a particular interest in using technology to shift markets but also enable functions and automate routine tasks.

Graham first came to the UK in 2013 for his MBA, where he won multiple awards and focused his studies on startups. It was during this time that he met Tom and Gonçalo, and worked on the early version of SyndicateRoom. Soon after, he was obligated to return to South Africa due to contractual commitments but stayed in touch.

After ongoing conversations across continents, Graham made the decision to return and join the adventure with SyndicateRoom at the start of 2017.

Outside of work, Graham likes to work and make redundant jokes. He is an avid reader and quite happy to spend a Saturday finishing a classic, a popular business book or a science fiction epic with a whiskey in hand. If he can squeeze in a run or cricket game, then he’s content for weeks.

Miruna Girtu

Strategic Partnerships Manager

After studying Economics at UCL, International Business in Rome and Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, Miruna joined SyndicateRoom as an Investment Associate. After demonstrating unparalleled skill in matchmaking, in 2016 she became the company’s Strategic Partnerships Manager.

Having always been inspired by the power of human collaboration, Miruna is fond of working with people and discovering ideas. She has previously worked on an ambitious FinTech consulting project with Lloyds Banking Group Innovation Labs and helped with an International Development project run by Innovations for Poverty Action.

Outside of the office, Miruna appreciates world cinema and thought-provoking books.

Marcin Zaba

Head of Marketing

Marcin joined SyndicateRoom on the basis of his experience in fundraising. He successfully raised equity capital for his own startup, so feels he knows the journey entrepreneurs have to go through to get their idea off the ground.

Previously Marcin worked at the BLN, the UK’s no.1 network for business leaders.

Marcin holds an MSc in Management from Imperial College Business School and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Marcin’s interests include clever marketing and disruptive business models.

Outside of SyndicateRoom, Marcin does a lot of karate and enjoys learning languages and travelling.

Articles by Marcin

Sonia Caetano

Senior Graphic Designer

I’m a Senior Graphic Designer based in Cambridge, UK, with extensive experience designing visual identities and creative concepts for print, web and mobile.

I have worked with a vast number of clients and markets for more than nine years. I really enjoy challenges that push my creative skills forward and ultimately find solutions to the business’s creative problems.

I get my inspiration from travelling around the world, nature, art exhibitions, street art and music – essentially by looking at the world with a curious eye.

Also, I cannot forget to mention that animals, especially dogs, are a big source of joy in my life. #doglover :)

Eleanor Richards

Data Protection Officer & Deputy Compliance Officer

Ellie joined SyndicateRoom as a Company Marketing Executive in 2017, and now enjoys specialising in privacy as the Data Protection Officer.

Ellie has a background in marketing as part of the English Language Teaching division at Cambridge University Press, and in management administration at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge.

In her spare time, Ellie enjoys cycling, music, painting, and following developments in the arts and fashion industries.

Oliver Hammond

Senior Analyst

Oli is a member of the sales and due diligence team. He reaches out to potential clients and analyses investment opportunities before they are accepted onto the SyndicateRoom platform.

Oli left the University of Kent in 2014 with a BA (hons) in War Studies. Prior to SyndicateRoom, Oli worked in banking in the West End and co-founded a company that specialised in shipping containers. He also worked at an ambitious startup that aimed to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs through an app. Oli joined SyndicateRoom because of his passion for early-stage companies.

In his spare time, Oli enjoys playing football and rugby. He’s also a keen cook and a man of the world, always eager to jet off to far frontiers and explore new cities.

Annabel Jenney

Investment Associate

Annie is a member of the Associate Team, which is responsible for managing companies’ private fundraises on the platform.

After achieving a BA in Law at the University of Cambridge, she worked in the competition team at City law firm Stephenson Harwood before joining SyndicateRoom in January 2018. Her aspiration to one day start up her own business was a motivational factor in joining the company and she hopes to learn from the ambitious entrepreneurs that she works with, while helping them realise their own goals.

In her spare time, Annie enjoys playing the piano, sketching landscapes and running along the River Cam.

Edward Hume-Kendall

Portfolio Manager

Ed works as SyndicateRoom’s Portfolio Manager. He is responsible for nominee communications and manages our investors and companies following the closure of a round.

Ed graduated from the University of Exeter in June 2017 with a BaCH in History and Politics and began work with SyndicateRoom in September of that year.

Outside of work, Ed is a keen water-skier and spends as much of his time as possible doing so in Cornwall.

Katerina Sanchez-Schilling

Investment Analyst

Katerina is a member of the analyst team, reaching out to potential clients and analysing investment opportunities before they are accepted onto the SyndicateRoom platform.

Originally from New York City, Katerina moved to the UK at the age of 15. She went on to study International Relations & Social Anthropology (Joint Honours, MA) at the University of St Andrews, and studied abroad at the National University of Singapore. She then completed an MPhil in Management at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School before joining the SyndicateRoom team in September 2017. Katerina has work experience as a diplomat at the United Nations for Chile, as well as consulting for Jaguar Land Rover.

During her time at Cambridge, Katerina played on the Blues rugby team and rowed for her college. She is a keen traveler and foodie, and is always eager to learn new things.

Rob Wagstaff

Videographer

I’m a videographer based near Ely, UK, with extensive knowledge in all aspects of film. I’m responsible for making SyndicateRoom’s video content and live events look and sound as brilliant as they deserve.

I’ve worked in video with a vast number of clients, such as PwC, Barclays, Tesco and M&S. Specialising as a video editor, I was taught by the amazing John Richards, Editor of Band of Brothers, Doctor Who and Da Vinci’s Demons.

I have a love for animation, having made my own stop-motions and cartoons. At home, you’d find me either scribbling ideas for an animation, playing the piano, playing with the cat, or watching some sort of weird TV show about mysteries.

Ekaterina Bystrova

Content Marketing Manager

Hi, I’m SyndicateRoom’s editorial department, responsible for all written (and some verbal) content we produce. That includes reports, guides and my personal favourite, The Syndicate – our online magazine for the investor community. (Check it out!)

Before SyndicateRoom, I worked at a publishing house releasing international publications on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretariat. It was there that I first got the opportunity to enter into editorial (following a truly misguided stab at sales), and in the two years that followed desk edited several books on health, education and good governance.

I also earned the title of Features Editor, working on the company’s international current affairs magazine, Global: the international briefing, for which I got to interview high-profile characters the world over (admittedly via the phone) and write a lot.

In my ‘spare’ time, I like to read, write, draw, watch a daunting amount of Netflix and, occasionally, sleep. I also maintain an online presence as a Book Reviewer and Cat Instagrammer.

Alex Quaye

Growth Marketing Manager

I joined SyndicateRoom in April 2018 as Growth Marketing Manager. I’m responsible for a variety of digital marketing activity - including SEO, data analytics, paid media, and email.

Before SyndicateRoom I worked as Digital Marketing Manager for several high-growth ecommerce brands including Gousto, Hotel Chocolat, and John Lewis. I started my career 7 years ago at a boutique SEO agency on the sunny Kentish coast.

In my spare time I go to the cinema, drink cocktails, and pester my wife.

Tim Sharman

Compliance Officer

Tim is the Compliance Officer and Money Laundering Reporting Officer for SyndicateRoom.

He graduated from the University of Kent, Canterbury with an MA in the History and Philosophy of Science in 1986.

He has over 27 years experience in the financial services industry, in compliance, operational and investment management roles. In the last 15 years, Tim has specialised in the alternative investments sector.

He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment.

Dan Jones

Head of Product

Dan left the University of Cambridge in 2016 with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Physics (focusing on biological physics) from Churchill College. Having spent most of his life studying deep scientific ideas, he is now looking to combine his analytical skills and passion for entrepreneurial spirit and early-stage companies at SyndicateRoom.

In his spare time Dan enjoys rowing and coaching – indeed, he was captain of his college boat club. He also enjoys spending time cycling through the countryside and reading the latest research on quantum physics.

Adam Dorling

Developer

Bio to come

Jake Gordon

Senior Developer

Before SyndicateRoom Jake ran his own company, AllYearbooks, the UK’s leading school yearbook provider. He has a passion for keeping things simple and making the website super super fast.

We are recruiting

Interested in joining our team? We are recruiting.