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Vince Cable announces Tech City News International Hall of Fame winners

DueDil founder wins Entrepreneur of the Year as YPlan and Transferwise founders make list

Vince Cable, the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, last night announced the winners of the inaugural Tech City News International Hall of Fame Awards, an index created to recognise the leading entrepreneurs in UK tech.

Held at the Canary Wharf Group’s Level39 tech accelerator at One Canada Square, London, the Hall of Fame awards focused on the contribution made by international entrepreneurs to the British tech industry, in light of recent figures that showed one in seven British companies were founded by migrant entrepreneurs.

The scheme’s organisers said that Britain needed to “radically rethink” the way it viewed immigration and learn from the thriving tech industry in Silicon Valley, USA, where a third of engineers and scientists are migrants.

The Hall of Fame awards were split into four categories – ‘backers’, comprising VCs and angel investors; ‘superstars’, early pioneers who have grown their start-ups into million-dollar companies; ‘connectors’, key members of the tech community; and ‘ones to watch’, comprising company founders with clear potential.

American entrepreneur Damian Kimmelman took the Entrepreneur of the Year accolade at last night’s ceremony, in recognition of his achievements as founder of Startups 100-listed company financials index DueDil.

Other award winners included Rytis Vitkauskas and Viktoras Jucikas, founders of Startups 100 runner-up YPlan, and Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, founders of money transfer platform Transferwise – also a previous Startups 100 company.

The full list of winners is below:

Name Company Category Place of birth
Hussein Kanji Hoxton Ventures Backers American
Sherry Coutu Angel Investor Backers Canadian
Robin Klein Index Ventures Backers South African
Eileen Burbidge Passion Capital Backers American
Eric Van der Kleij Level39 Backers Born in Holland, grew up in South Africa
Bryce Keane Albion Drive Connectors Australian
Eze Vidra Google for Entrepreneurs Connectors Argentinian
Bindi Karia Silicon Valley Bank Connectors British/Canadian
Russ Shaw Tech London Advocates Connectors American
Elizabeth Varley TechHub Connectors Australian
Nicholas Russell & Mike Salter We Are Pop Up Ones to Watch American
Maxim Berglund & Alex Loizou StreetHub Ones to Watch Finnish
Iris Lapinski Apps for Good Ones to Watch German
Jody Orsborn The Backscratchers Ones to Watch American
Dmitry Aksenov & Bogdan Maksak FinGenius Ones to Watch Dmitry is Russian, Bogdan is from the Ukraine
Rytis Vitkauskas & Viktoras Jucikas YPlan Superstars Lithuanian
Yoni Assia eToro Superstars Israeli
Taavet Hinrikus & Kristo Käärmann TransferWise Superstars Estonian
Arnaud Bertrand & Junjun Chen HouseTrip Superstars Arnaud is French and Junjun is Chinese
Bernhard Niesner & Adrian Hilti Busuu Superstars Bernhard is Austrian and Adrian is from Liechtenstein
Damian Kimmelman DueDil International Entrepreneur of the Year American


Eric Van Der Kleij, head of the Level39 accelerator programme, said: “The UK is a global player in the technology industry, and should be proud of the high calibre global talent that is attracted to the tech scene, and should encourage further talent to relocate to our shores.

“Tech City News’ campaign is a great way to celebrate the UK’s international talent and shine a light on an issue that will impact us all in the tech industry.”

Business secretary Vince Cable added: “Migrant entrepreneurs make a hugely significant contribution to the UK economy and the Tech City News International Hall of Fame puts the spotlight on the achievements of some of these individuals.

“The Government is committed to fostering this talent and making the UK the place for their businesses to succeed. Through the Sirius programme, we are identifying business talent from overseas and encouraging them to consider the benefits of setting up their business in the UK.”


(will not be published)