Gerard works at the forefront of emerging technologies and economic growth; currently as the Managing Director of Founders at the University of Cambridge and founder, advisor and former chief executive of Tech Nation. In 2024 Gerard was appointed CBE by the King in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the technology sector. A long-standing adviser to the UK government on tech and digital policies, he continues to have a front-row seat throughout the digital transformation.
Having worked with many of the world’s most iconic tech companies and now with venture scientists, Gerard is uniquely poised to predict the next wave of tech and digital trends and their impact on the economy. He is currently supporting and growing pioneering teams of Cambridge University scientists and entrepreneurs working on game-changing innovations, from sustainability and biotech to generative AI. Cambridge University and its ecosystem form the best performing science unicorn hub of Europe and is globally ranked third for technological innovation output.
Founder, and former chief executive of Tech Nation, Gerard continues to advise Europe’s best performing technology growth accelerator according to PitchBook. Under his leadership, Tech Nation (and previously as Tech City) went on to shape Europe’s most productive digital ecosystem, growing 17x in value in ten years. Tech Nation created dozens of nationwide programs that grew Britain’s biggest tech stars, from Monzo to Deliveroo, with over 1300 companies in between. One third of all tech unicorns created in the UK graduated from a Tech Nation program, helping to fuel a 5x increase in the number of British cities with one or more tech unicorns, and securing the UK’s digital leadership position in Europe, after the US and China. In 2022, Gerard was a co-lead on the UK Government FinTech Review, whose recommendations led to the creation of the UK’s Centre for Finance, Technology and Innovation. He was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the FinTech industry at the FinTech Awards London 2023.
He is also a member of the UK Government’s Digital Economy Council and the World Economic Forum’s Digital Board. Previously, Gerard worked at the intersection of mobile, digital, media and venture capital in New York, London and Paris, developing ground breaking products and forging strategic partnerships for various technology corporate companies. Prior to that, he was a new media journalist and started his career in the music business.
Gerard’s talks encompass new technology, digital innovation and economic development. He explores how tech, AI and digital resources can be deployed for the greater good, and how best to create strategies and environments to fuel innovation and prosperity.
AI and Robotics are just the beginning. New platforms and transformative technologies are dropping in costs and unleashing new business and consumer demands across sectors and geographies. This next decade will see exponential growth in the adoption of these technologies as they start to converge, creating multiple orders of value creation and sector transformation. Gerard explains what these technologies are and what impact they may have on our future.
What will fuel the future growth of the next Technology Unicorns ($1Bn valued businesses)?
· The secret sauce that fosters and develops tech unicorns – $1Bn valued businesses – around a geographical cluster?
· The key ingredients that help success?
· How ecosystems are created, and what they offer companies?
Gerard explains what it takes to innovate and scale.
Gerard dives into recent trends in policy towards fostering start-up culture and scale-up success. With over a decade of experience in the UK, the EU and the USA, he explains the fastest and smartest way policymakers and governments can interact with tech entrepreneurs to ensure economic and social growth.
How companies and founders can prosper in the new entrepreneurial age. Venture capital funding into European tech startups hit a record high of $115Bn in 2021. This inspirational presentation explores how the UK and Europe are primed to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurship and how companies can take advantage of this wave of tech-led innovation, post-pandemic.
The demands placed on existing and emerging leaders will continue to increase in the exponential 2020s. Being engaged with startups and scaleups every day, I get to see a lot: fundraising at speed, short runways, co-founder conflict, managing daily trade-offs, etc. Each issue has its own nuances. But how someone behaves as a leader in the face of and through all that is key. Being authentic and managing it all is a challenging and fulfilling practice. Challenging because it provokes one’s deepest fears and fulfilling because increasing one’s awareness of those fears creates freedom in how best to respond to them. How can one use the challenges inherent in startup and fast-scaling life to enhance your leadership and resiliency?
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"I was up early to catch your session, Gerard, and it went very well. Thank you so much for participating in the Summit, you did a fantastic job."
KeyNote Speech, WP Engine EMEA Summit, Nov’ 2021 Corporate brand and Communications Director, WP Engine
"Gerard spoke at a key EMEA event in 2022 and has a wealth of insight and is a highly engaging speaker. He takes the audience with him on a journey and the sign of all good speakers was attendees and senior leaders wanting to spend time with him afterwards."
Dominic Jukes, Field Markeitng Director of US-based e-learning platform, Pluralsight
"Gerard spoke at our Discover Global Network Executive Leadership event. He was able to turnaround the brief very quickly with enthusiasm, delivering a great presentation. During the presentation, Gerard was very engaging and energetic, bringing many aspects of digital innovation and trends to live through startup case examples, relevant data, stories and live QA. Overall it was a highly insightful and thought provoking session for the global leadership team."
Senior Vice President, International Markets, Discover Global Network at Discover Financial Services
"Gerard delivered an excellent speech and presentation, sharing valuable and compelling insights. The feedback we received on his session was great from many guests, and it truly added depth to our event."
Bank of Singapore
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