Initiative launched to uncover Europe’s future technology founders

Brent Hoberman's 'Founders of the Future' was unveiled at No. 10 Downing Steet last night with backing from MP Ed Vaizey

An initiative to find and support Europe’s future technology founders – even before they’ve started their own companies – has been launched by Brent Hoberman CBE.

The Lastminute.com and Made.com founder unveiled the ‘Founders of the Future’ programme at No. 10 Downing Street last night. It intends to uncover “gifted people” aged 16 to 35 with the potential to become successful tech entrepreneurs.

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Backed by digital minister Ed Vaizey, the programme will use “unique” methodologyusing an algorithm system alongside peer recommendations from leaders in the tech space.

The algorithm, which has already been used to select an initial 100 future founders, was created following interviews with venture investors and recruiters who shared key characteristics that they consider in top founders – social profiles such as LinkedIn were then mined using this algorithm.

Key characteristics of ‘future founders’ included levels of education, awards and breadth of those awards, having previously started a business at school, extra-curricular activities (for instance taking place in hackathons), career advancement and pace of career advancement, companies worked for, cross-disciplinary roles (e.g. someone who has a computer science degree and now is in a growth marketing role).

The future founders identified using the algorithm and peer review models included 24 year-old Ustwo user experience developer Rikke Koblauch. Koblauch said of the initiative:

“I’m not a typical cut-out of many entrepreneurs, but my ambition is to set up a company and build something that will make lives better – so it’s fascinating the AI found me. I’m very flattered to be also nominated by Mills, the founder of Ustwo and I’m sure the Founders of the Future community will give me an extra push towards achieving my dream.”

Vaizey added:

“The UK has a thriving digital economy, and this bold new initiative by the Founders Forum is a great step towards discovering entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow. I look forward to seeing the positive impact their work will have on the tech industry, including helping to identify a diverse range of talent.”

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