Secret Leaders
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Secret Leaders features interviews with key figures from the UK tech and creative ecosystem. From entrepreneurs (both early and latter stage), to journalists, VCs - and even royalty - the series profiles those who have helped shape the nation's culture of innovation and growth.

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    S2E08 How Alex Depledge Co-Founded a Company that Sold for €32 Million

    Our guest this week is a feisty, joyous force of nature. Alex Depledge shares some serious wisdom on how, together with her co-founders, she ambitiously built and grew (+ we cover many more topics). Join us for a refreshing, feminist episode.

    Her journey from I-don’t-know-anything-about-startup-entrepreneurship to building the right product at the right time What was raising money like in a period when there wasn’t a startup ecosystem Finding an executive coach and surviving Brexit

    Full show notes at

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    S2E07 Charles Tyrwhitt: How Founder Nicholas Wheeler Went From an Aston Martin to Global Domination

    Our guest this week is a man who enjoys taking high-achieving to new levels every morning while eating breakfast. Meet Nick Wheeler, the founder of Charles Tyrwhitt, the shirt company on a mission to make it easy for men to dress well.

    Nick’s previous ventures and how he started and grew Charles Tyrwhitt Nick’s infatuation for learning from mistakes, over and over and over again The do’s and don’ts of hiring when you’re a small company His advice to entrepreneurs worldwide

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    S2E06 Not On The Highstreet Co-Founder Holly Tucker

    Our guest this week is the lovely co-founder of, Holly Tucker (previously known as “Hurricane Holly”). Join us for an hour of inspiration, as Holly shares her secrets for balancing family, happiness, and business, as well as her journey towards finding her ikigai.

    Creating together with Sophie Cornish at their respective kitchen tables Why Holly advises entrepreneurs to trust their internal compasses

    Full show notes:

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    S2E05 ustwo Co-Founder Mills on Building a Fampany (aka Family Company)

    Our leader du jour is Mills, aka Matt Miller, co-founder of ustwo, an international digital product and service studio. Mills tells us all about how they created ustwo and developed an App Store App of the Year, and why they will never ever sell their fampany (for those of you late to the table, that’s a family company).

    The story of how ustwo was formed How they created a global smash hit mobile game What’s next for ustwo and for Mills

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    S2E03 Co-Founder of Songkick: Pete Finlay on Burnout and Growing Too Fast

    What are the ingredients needed for a successful startup adventure? Pete Finlay, formerly Pete Smith, co-founder of Songkick and Silicon Milkroundabout, has a few pieces of advice for first-time founders that could make all the difference in the world.

    • Songkick’s birth, infancy and later years
    • What made Songkick different from other online concert discovery tools
    • Pete’s experience with burnout and his advice to first-time founders

    Full show notes:

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    S2E02 Gail Gallie, Co-Founder of Project Everyone: Reaching 7 billion people in 7 days

    How do you go about creating a better tomorrow? Project Everyone co-founder Gail Gallie thinks that we should all get involved. It starts with something small, and then expands into something great.

    Working as a producer for Radio 1 The challenges of being the CEO of an ad agency Driving awareness towards a sustainable future

    Links: Project Everyone The Sustainable Development Goals

    Full show notes:

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    S2E01 Just Eat: How David Buttress Co-Founded and Built a £5.5bn Company

    What does a successful startup need? Two friends with a vision, a huge amount of hard work, and a basement. Just Eat former CEO David Buttress shares his journey.

    • The Just Eat journey: how two colleagues working in a basement created an empire with a valuation of £5.5 billion
    • Their story with getting funded
    • What made Just Eat stand out from other food delivery services

    Full show notes:

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    S1E15 Simon Cook -- Draper Esprit

    Today’s special guest is one of the key Venture Capital investors in the UK, the CEO and Founder of Draper Esprit, Mr Simon Cook. Most recently, Simon has focused on disrupting the traditional VC structure by taking his company public on an IPO that raised over £100m of ‘permanent capital’ as he calls it which he intends to use to grow the UK’s influence globally.

    He has been involved in some of the best known deals in the UK including LoveFilm, Graze and Trust Pilot.

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    S1E14 Sarah Wood -- Unruly

    Today we are joined by one of the best known, and certainly most liked entrepreneurs in the UK - Sarah Wood from Unruly Media. The tl;dr on Sarah is that she went to University of Cambridge, then became a lecturer at the University of Sussex, then she Co Founded Unruly, sold it for £114m to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp a few years later, and now teaches a course back at Cambridge whilst maintaining a role as CEO at the company she helped build. In this episode you'll find out what Unruly does, and how Cambridge University responded to her suggested classroom title she teaches entitled “ Mashups, memes and LOLitics, online video culture and the screen media revolution”

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