Finding What Works: Pathways to Improve Diversity in Venture Capital Investment Event

BBB What Works in Venture Capital ReportEvent Details

Date: Wednesday 5 July 2023

Venue: Kings Place, London

This event launches the Bank’s new research report “Finding What Works: Pathways to Improve Diversity in venture capital Investment”.

The report is designed to provide a blueprint to the VC industry on actions that investors can take to ensure more VC funding reaches a more diverse group of entrepreneurs, including women, people from Ethnic Minorities, and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

To download a copy if the report please click here.


14:00 - 14:10Welcome and introductory remarks
Louis Taylor, CEO, British Business Bank
14:10 - 14:30Presentation of research findings
Caroline English, Director of Policy and Strategy, British Business Bank
14:30 - 15:25Panel discussion
Moderated by Shanika Amarasekara , Chief Impact Office, British Business Bank.
Erika Brodnock, Co-founder and CEO, Kinhub, Co-founder and Research Director, Extend Ventures
Reece Chowdhry, Partner, Concept Ventures
Jan Rutherford, Partner, Scottish Equity Partners
Ilana Wisby, CEO, Oxford Quantum Circuits
15:25 - 15:30Closing remarks
Louis Taylor , CEO, British Business Bank
15:30 - 17:00Refreshments and networking

Our speakers

Louis Taylor, CEO, British Business Bank

Louis Taylor is CEO of the British Business Bank. Prior to that, he was Chief Executive of UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, for seven years. He also held roles as a Director General in the Department for International Trade, and a member of its Executive Committee and Management Board.

Before joining UKEF, Louis held a range of senior roles at Standard Chartered Bank, including from 2013 to 2015 as Chief Operating Officer of Group Treasury, based in London. Before that, he spent three years as the bank’s CEO for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, based in Ho Chi Minh City. During this time, he was also Vice Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Eurocham). He joined Standard Chartered in London in 2004, working in Group Corporate Development, which undertakes the bank’s acquisitions, divestments and other inorganic growth initiatives.

Caroline English, Director of Policy and Strategy, British Business Bank

Caroline English is the Director of Policy and Strategy at the British Business Bank, where she focuses on corporate strategy, business planning, and spearheading two strategic pillars. The first pillar aims to unlock growth by ensuring entrepreneurs have access to finance, regardless of their background or location. The second pillar centres around financing innovative climate change solutions and supporting smaller businesses in transitioning to a net-zero emissions future, fostering a thriving green economy.

With a decade of strategy experience spanning public, private, and non-profit sectors, Caroline honed her skills as a strategy consultant at EY Port Jackson Partners in Sydney, Australia. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the London School of Economics.

Shanika Amarasekara MBE, Chief Impact Officer, British Business Bank

Shanika is the Chief Impact Officer at British Business Bank with responsibility for the Insight & Impact team which incorporates Economics, ESG, Policy, Public Affairs and Strategy teams.  Shanika joined the Bank in June 2014 as General Counsel and Company Secretary.  Shanika has also recently led on the creation and launch of the Future Fund as part of the Chancellor’s response to the Covid crisis.

Prior to joining the Bank she worked as General Counsel at an institution established by a number of central banks to promote financial stability and economic development.  Shanika is also a Board member at London Legacy Development Corporation and E20 Stadium. Shanika previously worked at RBS as a Director and prior to that was a Senior Associate in the Capital Markets team at Allen & Overy.

Shanika was also awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours for services to business and the economy.

Erika Brodnock, Co-founder and CEO, Kinhub

Erika Brodnock CEO is an award-winning entrepreneur, philanthropist, and angel investor. She is also an MBA, a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London, and a PhD candidate in the Inclusion Initiative at the LSE. She authored Diversity Beyond Gender and co-authored the TRANSPARENT Framework and Better Venture – Improving Diversity, Innovation, and Profitability in Venture Capital and Startups.

Erika is Sky News’ resident parenting expert, co-founder at Extend Ventures, The Black Funding Network, and Kinhub, providing data-driven coaching and personalised employee support. She is one of 16 Black women in the UK that has raised more than £1m in startup funding. Erika is also a Non-Executive Director of The Good Play Guide; and serves on the APPG for Entrepreneurship advisory board.

Reece Chowdhry, Partner, Concept Ventures

Reece Chowdhry is the Founding Partner of the multi award-winning Concept Ventures, which is now the largest dedicated pre-seed technology fund in the UK (£50m).

Reece has invested in 80+ start-ups from idea to unicorns (6 in total) and been ranked as one of the Top Asian Tech Investors on numerous occasions by Diversity UK.

Prior to founding Concept, Reece built and sold several start-ups in the software space, 1 of which was successfully exited, 1 a complete disaster and 1 is still going today.

Passionate about giving back, Reece has created the Concept Venture Pledge where a percentage of Concept’s exit profits are donated to a social cause of the founder’s choice. He has also been selected by the FT as one of the top 100 BAME leaders in tech for his consistent work in helping promote diversity in the UK tech sector.

Jan Rutherford, Partner, Scottish Equity Partners

Jan leads Scottish Equity Partners’ investor relations activities and works closely with the limited partners across their funds.

With an operational and commercial background in the pharmaceutical industry, Jan also leads SEP’s healthcare investment activities, with a particular interest in digital health. She jointly led SEP’s investment in Dotmatics, a global scientific informatics software provider.

Jan was heavily involved in SEP’s investment in BioVex, a cancer therapeutics company, and supported management through its sale to Amgen in a $1bn deal. She also led SEP’s investment in Exco InTouch, a leading provider of mobile patient communication and management solutions for clinical research and healthcare providers, which was sold to Nordic Capital-backed ERT.

Ilana Wisby, CEO, Oxford Quantum Circuits

Dr Ilana Wisby is CEO of Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC), Europe’s leading quantum computing company. Ilana is a deep tech entrepreneur; a champion for women in technology and leadership, and advisor to the WEF’s Global Future Council on Quantum Computing and a Schmidt Futures 2023 International Strategy Forum (ISF) Fellow.

Ilana’s vision is a brighter future that includes everyone. She and her team believe that the key to solving our most pressing challenges is to put their quantum computers in the hands of humanity and at the fingertips of our most brilliant minds.

OQC delivered Europe’s first Quantum Computing-as-a-Service (QCaaS), built entirely using its proprietary technology – the Coaxmon; innovative superconducting quantum hardware spun out of the University of Oxford.