For its latest Top 32 list, Business Leader has profiled the UK’s leading female tech influencers, entrepreneurs and business professionals.
Whether they are already established, an emerging talent or a disruptive entity, these are the individuals and their companies that are leading the sector into the future.
The women on this list have been suggested by our readers, however, if you feel there are other individuals that are deserving, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will be included below.
This list is in no particular order.
Jutla is the co-founder of MarketOrders, an online B2B platform for the gold and diamond jewellery industry that enables independent retaillers to buy directly and seamlessly from international suppliers. She has won numerous awards for her firm’s innovative use of blockchain within the industry. In April 2018, she made global headlines by becoming the world’s first bestselling blockchain author.
Dr Jackie Mulligan
Yorkshire-based ShopAppy was founded by Mulligan in 2016 after she grew concerned about how many local retailers were struggling due to the competition from the global ecommerce giants. ShopAppy.com is now a well-established, digital ‘shop local’ platform for high streets, town and city centres – offering ‘click & collect’ and home delivery plus additional digital functionality to support businesses during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.
Alexandra Depledge MBE
A renowned British technology entrepreneur, Depledge is known for being the founder and CEO of Resi – as well as the former founder and CEO of Hassle.com. Resi is an online architectural platform that is disrupting the way in which UK homeowners are able to renovate and extend their homes. She has received many awards and was given her MBE in 2016 for services to the sharing economy.
UENI is a London-based tech company that’s empowering businesses to get online and find the services and tools they need to succeed. Founded in 2014 by Harvard graduates, UENI is now made up of over 60 people working to shift the balance between independent businesses and larger franchises. UENI delivers to thousands of businesses a free, fully-built online presence that enables them to sell their products and accept bookings for their services from day one.
CapitalRise offers investors access to prime residential real estate investing opportunities. With tax-free returns available through the platform’s Innovative Finance ISA, these investments fund some of the finest prime real estate in London and the Home Counties. CEO and Co-Founder Rajah created the digital platform to disrupt the old way of investing in property, to give investors direct access to prime residential real estate investments in places such as Mayfair, Belgravia and Chelsea.
Compare Ethics is a verification technology firm that turns sustainability data into a tangible return on investment. Compare Ethics connects conscious shoppers with brands leading by example. The company calls out false claims and celebrates responsible business, supporting sustainable and ethical brands by verifying products and attributing scaleable ratings. Morris is Co-founder and CEO and is leading the firm’s fight against ‘greenwashing’ within retail.
London App Brewery
The London App Brewery makes learning to program fun and accessible. Yu’s firm design programming courses to learn to code and make native iOS and Android apps. Through its hands- on approach, students learn the structure of a mobile app and its components, key programming design patterns, as well as debugging techniques, so that they can easily expand on their knowledge and start working on own apps with confidence. She also works as a Doctor for the NHS.
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE
A respected thought-leader in the tech space and trustee at the Institute for the Future of Work, Anne-Marie was awarded an MBE in 2017 for her work as a renowned champion and inspiration for women looking to find a role in the world of STEM. For eight years, she has lead the company that runs workshops, public events and incubators for girls all over the UK, introducing them to STEM role models, concepts and careers in fun, informal and relevant ways.
Caroline Plumb OBE
Fluidly was founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur Caroline Plumb OBE, who wanted to create a solution to a problem all business owners know well – cash worries. Historically, cashflow management has been stressful, time-consuming, theoretical and expensive. Fluidly provides the only AI-powered cashflow forecast that requires no modelling whatsoever, using transaction-level detail to produce an accurate financial prediction in minutes.
Cindy Rose OBE
Microsoft Western Europe
Rose is President of Microsoft Western Europe. In this role, she is responsible for bringing to life Microsoft’s mission – to empower every person and every organisation to achieve more – for all of Microsoft’s customers and partners across the continent. The American-British businesswoman received her OBE in 2019 for services to the tech sector.
Heba Bevan OBE
The company was founded by Heba Bevan in 2013 as a spin-out from Cambridge University. The company provides artificial-intelligent wireless smart sensor systems for infrastructure monitoring and the development of Smart City applications. Its patented technology has been used in a variety of major national infrastructure projects, including London’s Crossrail and Thames Tideway. Its customers include Network Rail, London Underground, Thames Water, Laing O’Rourke, Costain, BAM and BFK. Its tech is now exported across the world.
Jenny Griffiths MBE
A software engineer turned entrepreneur, Griffiths is the Founder of Snap Vision – a digital tool that allows consumers to buy online using visual search. Snap Vision’s mission is to make product discovery easier both online and in store, by developing world-leading AI and visual search solutions. Its product family consists of visual search for mobile, web, and in-store, along with other cutting-edge experiments such as AR and chatbots. She received her MBE in 2015 for services to innovation in the digital fashion industry.
Lees is the UK Managing Director for Financial Services at the Fortune 500 company. As a leader at the global consulting and processing services firm, she is helping C-suite clients articulate, plan and implement their transformational agenda, integrate their technology to the business and drive greater value, including new digital business and revenue streams. The practice brings industry-specific and function-specific (cyber security, cloud, AI and blockchain) knowledge and skills to each client’s specific situation.
Centtrip is a fintech provider of smart treasury, foreign exchange and payment solutions. Founded in 2015 by experts in FX and technology, Centtrip now processes over £1bn per year in transactions. From a single, any-device interface, customers can enjoy real-time, anytime visibility and control over multi-currency deposits, international and domestic payments, foreign exchange and multi-currency card programs.
Polly Barnfield OBE
The Maybe* platform helps businesses use social media to sell. Its unique technology collects social media data from over 3.9 million businesses from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis and provides engagement, insight and reporting tools that enable clients to increase their sales via social media.
Carlesi is the Co-founder and CEO of the first fully digital mortgage lender in the UK. The London-based fintech firm’s platform allows customers to obtain instant mortgage loan approvals via an online, 100% compliant process, which moves away from paper forms, manual review steps and the typical convoluted layers of brokers, large banks and traditional mortgage lenders.
Proximity Insight develops leading Shop Floor Engagement (SFE) software for retailers with a focus on luxury verticals. The company’s store platform puts cutting-edge capabilities in the hands of sales associates to drive traffic through all physical and online channels. Although it is headquartered in London, the firm has expanded to over 20 countries around the world, and has offices in New York, Sydney and Melbourne.
Hertfordshire-based Actus was founded by Lucinda Carney, a Chartered Psychologist and former Head of Learning & Development at Siemens, and at Pfizer before that. After years of experiencing first-hand the challenges of making performance management meaningful, she decided to set up Actus, offering software that would overcome these challenges, supported by training and organisational development services to provide a comprehensive solution for culture change.
Brighton-based Dawson is the Founder and CEO of Futrli – an all-in-one forecasting and reporting service for small businesses and the accountants and bookkeepers who help them. With over 60,000 businesses and 1,100 advisors supported in over 130 countries, Futurli is on a mission to move the needle of the small business economy. Founded in 2014, Dawson has led the firm through its growth as an SaaS leader in the UK.
Originally from Haiti, Leveille is the principal founder and CEO of AgriLedger – an agricultural-focused blockchain systems provider. With representative offices in the UK and Asia, AgriLedger seeks to revolutionise agricultural supply and value chains around the world through the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
Launched by Varley in 2010, TechHub was the home of London’s then fledgling technology community. It supported over 5,000 start-ups as members and was central to the growth of London as the technology capital of Europe. The firm has now helped over 750 tech firms grow across the world – and its alumni have received over $1bn in investment and been acquired by Google, Facebook, Twitter, Oracle, Microsoft amongst many others.
The global intelligence platform reveals how people behave, and why, by analysing real-life moments collected from its worldwide users on an always-on basis. Over 3.5 million users across 189 countries worldwide use the chat-style Streetbees app to share moments from their daily lives via videos, photos and text, giving as much or as little information as they like. Through its tech, Streetbees uncovers not just what they do, but also why they do it, and what drives them – and predicts what they may do next. This allows its customers to receive insights into communities anywhere in the world, helping them understand new or unfamiliar markets.
Chishti is the CEO of FINTECH Circle, Europe’s first angel network focused on fintech opportunities and Founder of the FINTECH Circle Institute, an innovative learning platform offering workshops to C-level executives and online courses. FINTECH Circle is a global platform of more than 130,000 fintech entrepreneurs, investors, finance professionals, academic and government representatives, and solution providers.
Priya Lakhani OBE
CENTURY is a teaching and learning platform for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. Using learning science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and neuroscience, CENTURY creates constantly adapting pathways for students and powerful assessment data for teachers. She is now a Non-Executive Director for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Dr Jacqui Taylor
The Essex-based deep tech firm offers cloud, data and collaboration services, including Smart City, AI, Big Data and IoT on HM Government accredited G-Cloud platforms. Globally recognised as a ‘Smart City Tsar’, and a Strategic Advisor to the Government, Taylor has been the Founder and CEO of the firm since 2009, and has been the driving force behind the company’s growth.
Mursal Hedayat MBE
From artists to academics living in refugee camps and cities around the world, Chatterbox is London’s tech platform to accelerate the socio-economic reintegration of highly skilled, yet underemployed, refugees. Its platform matches their displaced talent with exciting work opportunities online, so that they can rebuild their confidence, networks, and CVs. Chatterbox has now spread its message across the globe.
Morris is CEO and Founder of Lantum – a powerful workforce scheduling platform for the healthcare sector. Lantum saves healthcare organisations in both the NHS and in the USA millions annually by efficiently automating processes, end-to-end connecting the right clinicians with the right shifts. The firm is on a mission to help save the NHS more than £1bn a year in staffing costs.
Google for Startups UK
Krupinska is the Head of Google for Startups UK. The aim of the company is to level the playing field for founders of tech firms in the UK and EMEA with the best of Google’s resources. They work with high-potential tech start-ups, with a particular focus on social impact tech and diverse founders.
Serial tech entrepreneur Brock is the CEO and Co-founder of Vistalworks, a firm that provides its clients – including governments, police, specialist agencies, consumer protection bodies, and corporations – with tools, data feeds and intelligence that lets them focus their prevention, enforcement and protection efforts. Vistalworks is tackling the $2.2bn global illicit trade problem through its simple query tool, which checks a product or seller URL before a customer buys.
Jude Ower MBE
With offices in London and San Francisco, Playmob is the world’s first ‘values driven data’ platform connecting the most purpose driven brands to 2.5 billion gamers globally in order to make the world a better place. Playmob is a market insights platform harnessing the power of gaming to understand what people think, feel and value over time. The tech firm works with some of the world’s biggest brands including Burberry, Dove, KFC – as well as the United Nations.
The ‘unicorn’ cyber security firm was recently guided by Gustaffson to launch its IPO on the London Stock Exchange at the start of May 2021. Using world-leading artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, Darktrace can detect sophisticated cyber threats – which legacy systems would not recognise. Headquartered in Cambridge, the company has more than 1,500 employees in over 40 countries.
Savova is CEO of PensionBee, the UK’s leading online pension provider she founded in 2014 to simplify pension savings in the UK, following a harrowing pension transfer experience of her own. Prior to PensionBee, she worked at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Benchmark and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.