GBx is a curated private network for successful British entrepreneurs and senior British tech executives living in the Bay Area. This is a place to share the experience and knowledge you have gained with like-minded peers and to mentor new entrepreneurs entering the market.
GBx has three main aims:
GBx was incorporated as a not for profit for the benefit of its members, a 501(c)6, in 2017.
Ruzwana Bashir is Co-founder & CEO of Peek.com. She is a travel junkie, having navigated her way through 40 countries.
She previously worked at Gilt Groupe, Art.sy, the Blackstone Group and Goldman Sachs. Ruzwana has an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and a BA in Economics from Oxford University, where she was President of the Oxford Union.
Michael was born in Cambridge, raised in Hertfordshire and completed a degree in Physics at Imperial College, London. He founded his first internet startup in 1999 whilst living in Richmond, moving in 2002 to San Francisco with his wife Xochi where they co-founded a number of companies culminating in Bebo, which they sold in 2008 to AOL. Since then Michael has been an active angel investor and founded The Battery, a private members club in San Francisco inspired by the clubs from London.
Pete Flint, Managing Partner NFX, Co-Founder and Former CEO, Trulia, Inc., San Francisco, CA.
Pete Flint is a Managing Partner of NFX, an early stage Venture Capital fund with offices in Silicon Valley and Israel focused on network effects businesses. The Partners at NFX are a team of entrepreneurs and investors that have collectively founded 10 companies that have had exits of $10 billion and have made more than 300 investments. Prior to NFX, in 2005 Pete founded the online real estate company Trulia, now one of the most popular real estate websites and mobile apps in the U.S. He was its CEO and Chairman from inception to acquisition. In July 2014, rival property service Zillow purchased Trulia for $3.5 billion, with both brands continuing to operate side-by-side. Before founding Trulia, Pete was part of the founding team at lastminute.com, a leading European online travel company that was acquired by Sabre/Travelocity in 2005 for over $1 billion.
Pete is a founding Board member of New Story Charity, a technology enabled platform focused on eliminating homelessness by building sustainable communities around the world.
He is also a founder and co-chair of GBx, the leading British technology community based in Silicon Valley helping to connect and scale technology ecosystems in the UK and Silicon Valley.
He is a frequent speaker at Internet, entrepreneurship and technology conferences, and additionally is a guest lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and at Oxford’s Said Business School. He has been named E&Y Northern Californian Entrepreneur of the Year, “Most Admired CEO” by the San Francisco Business Times, and one of the “Most Powerful CEOs Under 40” by Forbes.
Co-Founder & CEO at Xendo
Co-founder and CEO of Xendo, an intelligent enterprise search company, acquired by AppDirect. Based in San Francisco since the first dotcom boom, I’ve ridden the startup roller-coaster multiple times, founding and exiting a couple of enterprise-focused companies. I’m a TechCrunch Battlefield alum, Alchemist Accelerator alum and mentor with background in financial services and telco. Looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned with the GBx community.
Julian received a Masters in Engineering from Cambridge University.
Google X – Director – New Moonshots
Julian is a serial technology entrepreneur. He is currently Director – New Moonshots at Google X, building technologies that could benefit billions of people into products.
Previously he led Computer Vision products at Google. He cofounded Jetpac (acquired by Google) with its Webby Award-winning iPhone app Jetpac City Guides, based on image processing of Instagram photos. He cofounded Houzz – #1 home design iPad app, and IronPlanet – #1 construction equipment marketplace (acquired for $750m), and auctioned the first bulldozer ever sold on the internet. He was an eBay executive for 6 years, GM of ProStores, and StubHub – #1 tickets marketplace. Julian joined his first startup Fatbrain.com in 1998, which went public and was bought by Barnes&noble.com.
Julian received Masters in Engineering and Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from INSEAD Business School in France. He is one of 1000 people to have ever swum across the English Channel, and has swum around Manhattan.
Having moved to San Francisco 20 years ago, Mike co-founded the collaboration company LoopUp (LON:LOOP), which has offices in London, San Francisco, Boston, and Hong Kong.
In 2012, Mike created the Silicon Valley Internship Programme to let UK graduates learn from the best and bring the Silicon Valley attitude back to the UK. Prior to LoopUp, he was a founding member and CEO of Pagoo, a pioneering VoIP company, and a strategy consultant with Monitor.
He has an MEng from Imperial College with First Class Honours, an MBA from Stanford as an Arjay Miller Scholar, and was awarded a Sainsbury Management Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineers.
Co-founder & CEO at Accredible
Danny is the co-founder and CEO of Accredible, the new digital credential standard for the online learning age. Accredible has issued over a quarter of a million credentials on behalf of companies like Rosetta Stone, Google, Udacity, Kaplan University, Hootsuite, Telefonica, The International Association of Privacy Professionals and many others.
Danny has a Computer Science background, graduated top of his class from Durham University and is a Y-Combinator/Imagine K12 Alumnus.
Founder and CEO at RocketSpace
Duncan is the founder and CEO of RocketSpace, a technology campus headquarted in the heart of San Francisco. Since 2011, the company has been helping tech entrepreneurs, startups and corporate professionals bring the future to market. The company offers accelerator-like services to its members including programming, consulting, events, and office-as-a-service, which together create the perfect ecosystem and community for innovation to thrive. RocketSpace has fueled the success of more than 1,000 startups, including 17 unicorns who have raised more than $20B, such as Uber, Spotify and Leap Motion. RocketSpace’s Corporate Innovation Services team has helped more than 100 brands worldwide transform into modern corporations. RocketSpace clients create new opportunities from inside, and outside, their organizations to ensure they are leading the disruption in their industry, not being disrupted. Following its $336M in funding from the HNA Group, RocketSpace recently announced plans to open tech campuses in London and China.
Duncan was born and raised near St. Andrews, Scotland and began his professional career working in derivatives at Swiss Bank Corporation in London. At 24, he started his first company, CITYPRO International. He built it to $8 million in revenue over a three year period, before selling to ASAP Plc in 2000, where he went on to become group managing director. In 2002, Duncan joined MessageLabs, an early SAAS security company, which he helped to build until it was sold to Symantec in 2008 for $700 million.
Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, focused on early stage consumer technology companies, invested in companies such as Zola, the largest online wedding registry, Rothy’s, the most comfortable stylish shoes made of plastic recycled bottles, Girlboss and Goop.
Nicole spent 8 years at Morgan Stanley covering the European and US e-commerce, retail and consumer companies. She also worked at RAMCO VC specializing in healthcare and consumer investments, before moving to Nutmeg, a London based Technology company, in 2014 and completed a fund raising process, raising $32m in their Series B.
Nicole is passionate about the trends in human behavior, especially consumer technology, and also helping entrepreneurs who have the ability to improve our every day lives.
She holds a degree in Math and Economics from the University of York, England and an MBA from Stanford Business School.
Consul and Head of Trade & Investment at Department for International Trade
Prior to joining the British Consulate General in February 2007, Jaclyn served in a variety of senior sales & marketing roles from 1998 to 2007 with Scottish Development International, the international sales and marketing arm of Scottish Enterprise. This included a six-year posting in San Jose, California from 2000-2006.
Jaclyn began her career in the private sector in Scotland with premier HR recruitment agency, Melville Craig Group, where for four years she received a firm grounding in solution sales, advertising, and client management.
She holds a BA Honors in Commerce with Information Management and a Post Graduate Diploma from the Institute of Management.
Andy is a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage venture capital firms on the west coast. Andy primarily invests in B2B, SaaS, developer tools and mobile applications but also supports the wider portfolio on product strategy, go-to-market, and growth.
Prior to joining SoftTech, Andy was co-founder of London and San Francisco-based Huddle, a leading enterprise SaaS collaboration platform. Andy’s angel investment portfolio includes innovative B2B products like Intercom, Apiary, tray.io, Bugsnag, Marvel, Import.io, Pipedrive, and Buffer, and marketplaces such as Postmates, Secret Escapes, and Zesty.
Andy co-founded and is the US Trustee for the Founders Pledge, a charity that promotes altruism in early stage entrepreneurs by enabling them to donate a small percentage of personal proceeds following an exit. He was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen’s birthday honors list for services to UK business and technology leadership.
Janice Roberts is both an experienced venture capitalist and global technology executive based in Silicon Valley. She combines many years of board, executive and operating positions in the technology industry; together with venture investing in sectors such as mobile, consumer technology, enterprise infrastructure, and applications. At BGV Janice is looking to leverage that experience into building exciting new, cross-border, companies that are “re-inventing the enterprise” through digital transformation, mobility, smart productivity, analytics and the “Internet of Things”. Prior to BGV Janice served as a Managing Director at Mayfield, an early stage global venture fund, based in Silicon Valley, for over13 years. Immediately preceding her career in venture capital Janice held a number of executive positions with 3Com Corporation (Hewlett Packard), including Senior Vice President Global Marketing and Business Development, President Palm Computing Business Unit and President 3Com Ventures. Janice started her career in the UK and moved to the US as Managing Director of BICC Data Networks, which was acquired by 3Com Corporation in 1992.
Janice is engaged with both private and publicly traded companies where she holds positions on the boards of Zebra Technologies, Inc and RealNetworks, Inc. Most recently she was a Board Director of UK based ARM Holdings plc (SoftBank). Current investments and advisory positions include Profitect, Zentri, Totango, Fastacash, BeeBell. She is also a Board Director of the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, a non-profit organization providing support and accommodation for families of children with life threatening illnesses.
Janice holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from the University of Birmingham, UK.
Andrew Whittaker is the British Consul General in San Francisco, where he is responsible for delivering the UK government’s objectives across the North-western United States (Northern CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY & AK).
Drawing on his previous cyber experience, Andrew works closely with colleagues in the UK Government to frame technology policy. As the senior most representative in this region, Andrew speaks regularly on issues of importance to the UK Government on a diverse range of subjects from economic policy to cultural connections between the US and UK. He is a resource to the business community as well as British Nationals who are visiting or have made their home in the Bay Area.
Since arriving in the Bay Area in 2016, Andrew also works to promote closer political, economic, trade and cultural ties between the UK and his consular region, in particular strengthening the business relationship across sectors from technology and venture capital to cyber security and aerospace. Andrew actively supports the innovation ties between the two regions, helping create the climate for UK and US researchers to cement important collaborations in key areas of future technological development.
Prior to his role as Consul General, Andrew spent three years as Deputy Director at CERT-UK – the UK’s national cyber security team – focusing on supporting and developing engagement on cyber security issues between government and industry, and with international partners.
Before this Andrew was Deputy Head of the Crisis Management Department in the Foreign Office, handling the UK response to incidents ranging from conflict in the Middle East, the sinking of the Costa Concordia, and hostage taking in Algeria. Andrew’s Foreign Office career, which began in 1998, also includes postings in Madrid, Jerusalem and Basra.
Andrew holds a MA (Hons) degree in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge (Magdalene College). Though his playing days are now over, Andrew is a rugby enthusiast and plans to spend lots of time outdoors on family adventures across the US.
Andrew is married to his wife Alex, and they have two boys.
Kate leads the GBx c-suite community of British entrepreneurs, investors and senior technology executives. GBx has grown to 300 members within 2 years, providing access to funding and strategic & operational advice. Kate supports members and partners to accelerate growth in the Bay Area and beyond.
Whilst at Accenture (UK), Kate led global teams in strategic change initiatives for Financial Services clients. Having delivered innovation within enterprise, she founded Ayala Advisors to support start-ups to scale faster. She now works as a trusted advisor with leaders (enterprise and entrepreneurs) to invest in the right ideas and execute on them. Kate is a certified Executive Coach with a passion for building engaged teams and communities.
Kate moved to the Bay Area with her husband and 2 children in 2012. Since moving she is a convert to green smoothies, SUP and yoga.
Vice-Consul Telecoms and Hardware at Department for International Trade
Glen Delaney currently serves as Vice-Consul (Trade) at the San Francisco Consulate. Previous civil service experience includes time as a policy advisor at the Office of the Public Guardian and programme management at the Ministry of Justice. Prior to joining DIT in 2015, he worked as a systems analyst at Apple HQ.
Glen covers both trade and inward investment for the hardware and telecoms sector, including IoT, robotics, and AI.
GBx Reception with The Lord Mayor
GBx Winter Party
GBx Early Stage Funding Panel
GBx Happy Hour – Episode1
GBx – SVC2UK Meet Up
Talking to the US Media
GBx Curry Club
Breakfast with Darren Jones MP
Virtual Coffee: Enterprise Sales
Sharing the SV Playbook
GBx Texas Hold’em