Clare Johnston: Up Group

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Clare Johnston, 31
Company: Up Group

By focusing purely on digital/online, Clare Johnston’s executive search and networking firm has found a lucrative niche in a fast-growing area. Johnston launched the company at the age of 26 with £40,000 of her own money (having declined external funding), and has since grown it to a profitable c. £2m business.

Adopting a differentiated strategy from the outset, Up focused on creating an exclusive talent network and hosting invite-only events for those involved in the digital ecosystem: investors, entrepreneurs and senior executives from start-ups to corporates.

Up builds the leadership teams of companies, often helping US firms launch into Europe and UK businesses to scale overseas.It has worked with some of the most exciting names in digital including: eBay, Google, PaddyPower, eHarmony, Spotify, Wonga, Mind Candy, MOO, Just-Eat – the list goes on. Overseas offices are planned.

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