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Finding the future: the tech story – Eileen Burbidge MBE, Partner, Passion Capital

About This Episode

Eileen Burbidge MBE is one of the country’s most prolific technology investors. In this conversation, she talks to Michael about her career to date, how her university degree set her on the path to success, and why kindness is a trait that needs to find its way back into everyday business life.

Eileen Burbidge MBE

Eileen Burbidge is a Partner at Passion Capital, the pre-eminent early-stage technology venture fund based in London. She brings extensive operational experience to her investment activities gleaned from business and product roles at Yahoo!, Skype, Apple and elsewhere. On behalf of Passion, Eileen has served as non-executive director on a number of fast growing SMEs including Monzo Bank, Digital Shadows, Tide, Butternut Box, and Focal Point Positioning, among others. In addition to Passion Capital, Eileen was until 2020 the Chair of Tech City UK, which is the British government-backed organisation supporting the digital economy across the UK. She is also the UK Treasury’s Special Envoy for FinTech appointed by the Chancellor; Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London’s office and served on former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group.

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Lockdown List

What is a book that has changed your life?

Perhaps because I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm — and read so much growing up and ever since, I can’t think of any single book that’s “changed my life”. I’m affected by lots of books and shaped by all of them. Ones I’ve particularly enjoyed include Anna Karenina, The Power of One and more recently and relevant to recent events, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.

What are you watching in lockdown?

During lockdown I’ve enjoyed Sunderland Till I Die (particularly the transfer window), The Last Dance and now finishing Tiger Woods: Back

In one sentence, describe your new normal.

One sentence: I don’t think there is any such thing as a “new normal”. 

Ever since I had my first child I’ve had this theory (because you have a baby and you think it’ll be fine once we “get back to normal”, but in reality you just move and try to stay present as you progress from one state to the next (such as getting feeding sorted, to teething, to growth spurts, to solids and on and on). In life more generally, we’re just moving and hopefully growing from one state to the next.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

I don’t really think about any specific inspiration. I simply want to make my time “count” whether it’s with my family or at work. There are so many ways to spend my time, so if I’m going to spend it on anything, it has to matter and be worthwhile.

What is your best tip for life?

Treat others as you’d wish to be treated

Top 5 lockdown tracks

Surprisingly, this question has just led me to realise that I haven’t been listening to music that much during lockdown, but the two tracks that are frequently in my head are:

Roses (Imanbek Remix) by SAINT JHN

Kings & Queens by Ava Max.

Aside from that, I can tell you for sure that the one song I *always* switch off or change the station of is Drake’s “Tootsie Slide”!

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