The Board

Graham Schwikkard

CEO

CEO Graham Schwikkard has over a decade of experience with data science and working with large datasets. He has a fascination with the dynamics of the startup investment network and after coming across the Companies House dataset in 2017, he spent many hours designing much of the analysis behind the Access Fund. Graham would like to see Access become a vehicle for delivering efficient capital throughout the network, and increase the odds of the system producing more Unicorns and economic growth. Prior to working at SyndicateRoom, Graham spent seven years as a management consultant, and has significant experience of helping companies develop market strategies and optimise business models. He also has in-depth technical expertise, focused on maximising efficiency.

Tom Britton

Co-founder

After completing his MBA in Cambridge, Tom co-founded SyndicateRoom to give a wider audience access to venture capital investment. As co-founder, Tom works across all aspects of the business, with an emphasis on product development and marketing strategy, and as much direct contact with our super angels and investors as possible. He enjoys being plugged into the wider industry and sits on the board of the UK Business Angel Association. He also hosts SyndicateRoom’s Angel Insights podcast, interviewing key industry figures. Prior to founding SyndicateRoom, Tom was Product Manager at TheTrainline, where he headed up the launch of its mobile applications.

Tim Bellis

Chairman of the Board

Tim is Chairman of the Board at SR 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 Herbert 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 contributed to a number of publications.

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos

Co-founder & Non-Exec Director

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.

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.

Jonathan Milner

Lead investor & Non-Exec Director

Jonathan is the Founder of Abcam, which he founded in 1998 and listed 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 SR and a Non-Executive Director.

David Gill

Non-Exec 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).

The team

Graham Schwikkard

CEO

CEO Graham Schwikkard has over a decade of experience with data science and working with large datasets. He has a fascination with the dynamics of the startup investment network and after coming across the Companies House dataset in 2017, he spent many hours designing much of the analysis behind the Access Fund. Graham would like to see Access become a vehicle for delivering efficient capital throughout the network, and increase the odds of the system producing more Unicorns and economic growth. Prior to working at SyndicateRoom, Graham spent seven years as a management consultant, and has significant experience of helping companies develop market strategies and optimise business models. He also has in-depth technical expertise, focused on maximising efficiency.

Tom Britton

Co-founder

After completing his MBA in Cambridge, Tom co-founded SyndicateRoom to give a wider audience access to venture capital investment. As co-founder, Tom works across all aspects of the business, with an emphasis on product development and marketing strategy, and as much direct contact with our super angels and investors as possible. He enjoys being plugged into the wider industry and sits on the board of the UK Business Angel Association. He also hosts SyndicateRoom’s Angel Insights podcast, interviewing key industry figures. Prior to founding SyndicateRoom, Tom was Product Manager at TheTrainline, where he headed up the launch of its mobile applications.

Francesca O'Brien

Head of Clients & Investments

Fran has six years’ investment experience and in-depth knowledge of a wide range of sectors, including life sciences, e-commerce and film. She has significant experience negotiating fair investment terms, managing due-diligence processes and EIS documentation, as well as client relations. Since she joined SyndicateRoom as its first employee in 2013, Fran has overseen more than 200 early-stage funding-round transactions, leading sales, legal and deal-analysis teams. She has also been instrumental in building the business and co-creating a strong, supportive culture. She is a regular panel speaker and presenter, and her investment commentary has attracted media coverage in The Telegraph, The Times and CityAM. Fran read Psychology at the University of Cambridge and has a post-graduate diploma in Law.

Miruna Girtu

Venture Partner

Miruna works alongside top angel investors to find, co-invest into, and further support the next generation of bold entrepreneurs. At SR, she aims to invest in 50+ startups a year through data-driven superangel fund, Access EIS. She has previously worked with hundreds of startups, grown and managed an extensive community of partners, and launched a product to increase access to capital and connect entrepreneurs with the most relevant strategic investors for them – from angels and family offices to VCs and corporates.

Chris Ward

Head of Tech

As Head of Technology Chris is roadmap architect, head of product, project manager, development manager, web developer and web/UX/graphic designer. He has over 15 years of experience working with the web, primarily in retail and associated marketing and he is passionate about delivering technology that improves the lives of customers through building, developing, and supporting the engineering/development teams that do this. He spent the majority of his career as a web developer, designer and consultant.

Sonia Caetano

Senior Graphic Designer

Sonia is responsible for designing visual indentities and creative concepts for print, web, and mobile. She works closely with SR's development team to produce user-friendly experiences for our website.

With over 10 years experience in the design industry, Sonia's talent has been recognised with a Hermes Creative Award for her work on SR's Syndicate Magazine and 'The Art of Fundraising' guide. Sonia's contribution to SR's annual 'Top 100: Britain's Fastest-Growing Businesses' report has resulted in press coverage from The Sunday Times, Evening Standard, and Forbes.

Quincy Washington

Head of Investor Relations

Quincy is responsible for overseeing SR’s portfolio of companies, as well as managing all pre-emption rounds, resolutions and general EIS-related work. He manages correspondence with investors and companies to ensure the smooth running of operations at SR. He graduated with a Law Degree from the London School of Economics, and brings a wealth of experience to SR. He has been involved in politics, having engaged with notable politicians at 10 Downing Street, including two Prime Ministers.

Tom Shepherd

Analyst

Tom is responsible for all liaison with potential investee companies, reviewing suitable businesses before arranging SR's investment into them.

Fatema Okabhai

Full Stack Developer

Fatema studied Psychology at the University of Aston and spent 5 years working in the crisis rehabilitation sector. Her interests in the impact of tech on society drove her to pursue a career change, she's been working as a dev for the past two years, and is currently a student at the University of Keele, studying an MSc in Computer Science and Data Analytics.

Her responsibilities include implementing new functionality to support the business needs, code review and generally supporting the wider team on technical issues.

Martin Dean

Copywriter

Martin studied English at the University of Cambridge and has been as a copywriter for more than 14 years. In that time he's created content for print and digital publications, websites and social media spanning arts, culture, travel, legal and financial, including work for Sotheby's and VisitBritain.

Sonny Kinchlea

Full Stack Developer

Sonny studied Game Development at the University of Greenwich before working as a Web Developer, creating websites and applications for a range of different industries.

Since joining the team, he has been responsible for creating new functionality on the website, reviewing code and supporting the wider team on various technical issues.

Jon Shepherd

Associate

Jon is responsible for liaising with portfolio companies, managing all EIS activities and assisting with investor queries.

Omar Rauf

Junior Associate

Bio coming soon…