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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    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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    S1E13 Vincent Dignan -- Traffic & Copy

    Today’s guest is the self styled Jesus Christ Superstar of the organic viral growth world, Vincent Dignan. He puts the M in Millennial, the G in Growth and the WTF in Fashion. A man who very much practices what he preaches, and a true obsessive for the American personal branding school of thought - he knows that to stand out, you have to really stand out. And he does this to perfection.

    In his own words - his mission is to help as many founders and companies grow in the fastest way possible using bespoke techniques, tactics and software most people don’t know about. Whilst his over sharing and very un-British attitude towards self promotion doesn’t resonate with everyone - it’s categorically impossible to ignore Vincent once you’ve made contact, and underneath all the outfits and image is simply a guy interested to see how he can help others succeed with the knowledge he’s accumulated.

    From living off benefits to touring the West Coast inspiring young entrepreneurs and makers how to build an audience, Vincent’s life has gone from rags to riches in very little time, and should be viewed as an inspiration that anyone with a strong work ethic, positive attitude and most importantly, the self belief and confidence in what makes you unique and interesting is your pathway to success.

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    S1E12 Tamara Lohan MBE -- Mr & Mrs Smith

    Tamara Lohan MBE is the co-founder and CTO of Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels. She started Mr and Mrs Smith with her husband James 14 years ago, and has been at the heart of one of the best loved internet brands in Britain, but it in fact started as a publishing business; a guidebook for people like her who wanted to explore the luxury boutiques across the country and discovering the real gems and stylish weekends away in unique hotels. They sold 10,000 copies in their first 6 weeks, but fast forward to today they have over 100 staff spread across London, LA, Singapore, New York… and have had contributions from celebrities ranging from Stella McCartney to Cate Blanchett.

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    S1E11 Sir John Hegarty -- BBH

    Our guest this week is the advertising giant Sir John Hegarty. As the co-founder of ad agency BBH and creator of acclaimed campaigns for brands such as Levi’s, Audi, BA and Johnnie Walker, Hegarty has been a leader in the advertising industry for more than 50 years. In our interview with him he reveals some of his creative tricks (lose the headphones) and “when the world zigs, zag” – words which went on to become the BBH’s mantra.

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