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

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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:

NameCompanyCategoryPlace of birth
Hussein KanjiHoxton VenturesBackersAmerican
Sherry CoutuAngel InvestorBackersCanadian
Robin KleinIndex VenturesBackersSouth African
Eileen BurbidgePassion CapitalBackersAmerican
Eric Van der KleijLevel39BackersBorn in Holland, grew up in South Africa
Bryce KeaneAlbion DriveConnectorsAustralian
Eze VidraGoogle for EntrepreneursConnectorsArgentinian
Bindi KariaSilicon Valley BankConnectorsBritish/Canadian
Russ ShawTech London AdvocatesConnectorsAmerican
Elizabeth VarleyTechHubConnectorsAustralian
Nicholas Russell & Mike SalterWe Are Pop UpOnes to WatchAmerican
Maxim Berglund & Alex LoizouStreetHubOnes to WatchFinnish
Iris LapinskiApps for GoodOnes to WatchGerman
Jody OrsbornThe BackscratchersOnes to WatchAmerican
Dmitry Aksenov & Bogdan MaksakFinGeniusOnes to WatchDmitry is Russian, Bogdan is from the Ukraine
Rytis Vitkauskas & Viktoras JucikasYPlanSuperstarsLithuanian
Yoni AssiaeToroSuperstarsIsraeli
Taavet Hinrikus & Kristo KäärmannTransferWiseSuperstarsEstonian
Arnaud Bertrand & Junjun ChenHouseTripSuperstarsArnaud is French and Junjun is Chinese
Bernhard Niesner & Adrian HiltiBusuuSuperstarsBernhard is Austrian and Adrian is from Liechtenstein
Damian KimmelmanDueDilInternational Entrepreneur of the YearAmerican


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.”

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