Top Influencers: 38 UK Co-Founder & Managing Director’s To Follow in 2022

3 years ago

Co-founder & Managing Director play a crucial role in any startup. It takes an extraordinary person to fulfil the Co-founder & Managing Director role. We have selected these Co-founder & Managing Director’s for this list as they are inspiring for a variety of reasons – whether that’s pushing boundaries, creating groundbreaking products, or doing their bit to save the world.

Our analysts did their best to select be best, and most innovative Co-founder & Managing Director’s. The list is in no particular order!

Ilya Kondrashov

Co-founder & Managing Director @ MarketFinance

FollowIlya Kondrashov on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

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Having spent three years working within one of the world’s largest legacy financial institutions, Ilya was exposed to the outdated service banks were providing to private businesses. He realised that business owners felt let down by their bank, and set out to build a better alternative. He also represents MarketInvoice in its efforts to promote transparency and fairness within the alternative finance industry, sitting on multiple compliance and regulatory bodies including the P2PFA. Learn more about Ilya Kondrashov on Crunchbase…

MarketFinance is a FinTech company providing business finance solutions that help companies grow. Read more aboutMarketFinance on Crunchbase…

Quentin Griffiths

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ ACHICA

FollowQuentin Griffiths on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

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Quentin set up online fashion phenomenon with Nick Robertson in 2000 and sat on the board with specific responsibility for marketing. The business listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2001 and he left in 2005 once the business achieved profitability. Prior to his involvement with online retail he ran a product placement agency working for blue chip clients like Ford, Mars, Coca-Cola and Carlsberg Tetley. Learn more about Quentin Griffiths on Crunchbase…

ACHICA is an online members-only lifestyle store offering luxury brands at discounted prices. Read more aboutACHICA on Crunchbase…

Stuart Hennell

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Watchfinder

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Stuart Hennell is a Co-Founder & Managing Director at Watchfinder • Stuart spent 6 years working on various Major UK and European Projects in the Civil Engineering Industry • He has lots of experience negotiating and developing supplier/client relationships both inside and outside of the UK as well as strong leadership skills and have used them to build a strong and successful team at Watchfinder • Stuart goal is to build Watchfinder into a worldwide brand and a byword for quality products delivered with the highest standards of customer service • Stuart studied Engineering Geology & Geotechnics at University of Portsmouth Learn more about Stuart Hennell on Crunchbase…

Watchfinder is the world’s leading retailer of pre-owned watches Read more aboutWatchfinder on Crunchbase…

Lorenzo Franzi

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Zipjet

FollowLorenzo Franzi on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

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Lorenzo is Co-Founder & Managing Director of ZipJet. ZipJet is an urban pick-up & delivery service for laundry & dry cleaning in London and Berlin. Previously, Lorenzo worked with McKinsey & Company as a consultant. Prior to McKinsey, he worked with a micro polling start up. Lorenzo started-off his professional career at JP Morgan in London. Lorenzo holds an MBA from INSEAD and Msc in Finance from the University of Maastricht. Learn more about Lorenzo Franzi on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutZipjet on Crunchbase…

Martin Arumemi

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ EE

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Arumemi-Ikhide is the MD and Founder of EE. He also serves as the MD of Hansworth Ltd and General Manager of Engineering for Rockson Engineering. In both Hansworth and Rockson Engineering he is responsible for the leadership, execution and construction of the 4 NIPP power plants in FGN. He has lead the firm to the successful commissioning of the first phase of the 1074MW Alaoji CCGT plant. He is also progressing the completion of the 225MW Omoku, 225MW Gbarain and 338MW Egbema OCGT also based in FGN. Prior to joining Hansworth, Dr Arumemi-Ikhide worked for GE Power and Water for more than seven years as a Senior Project Manager, overseeing the execution of several landmark projects. At GE he was the Project Manager for two combined cycle plants that were using GE 9FB based in Spain and Turkey notably. Whilst at GE, he was on the fast track of the firm’s world renowned leadership programme. Dr Arumemi-Ikhide holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering from Warwick University. He also holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University of Birmingham. He possesses and is attending a number of business management executive courses including leadership programme from Boston University and is currently completing a leadership programme at Oxford University Business School. Learn more about Martin Arumemi on Crunchbase…

EE is a telecommunications company that provides 4G mobile and fixed fiber broadband services to personal and business customers. Read more aboutEE on Crunchbase…

Sat Sindhar

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ PeopleHR

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Read more aboutPeopleHR on Crunchbase…

Gareth Maker

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ M Squared Lasers

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Gareth Maker attained a first class honours degree in Physics from Southampton University in 1986. The laser research group at Southampton is one of the largest and most prestigious in the UK, and as part of this group Gareth completed PhD research into laser development in 1989, producing many firsts in the field of diode-pumped solid-state lasers. He then spent a year working on laser research within the new Optical Research Centre (ORC), also based in Southampton. This was part of a government initiative to create centres of excellence for research within UK universities, and as such the ORC represented a £10M investment by the UK government. In 1991 he co-founded Microlase Optical Systems Ltd. Gareth then took the company from a startup to one having a turnover of around £3M and a worldwide reputation for excellence. The technical and financial success of this business eventually led to a trade sale to Coherent Inc (one of the world’s largest laser companies and NASDAQ listed) in 2000. Gareth continued as joint Managing Director until 2002, at which point the business had grown to 50 employees, had achieved a turnover of £7M, and occupied purpose-built prestigious premises within Glasgow, Scotland. He then acted as a technical consultant to several photonics companies, helping them to remain forward looking both in their R&D activities and in key areas of product design and manufacturing. Learn more about Gareth Maker on Crunchbase…

M Squared Lasers develops and manufactures next-generation lasers and photonic instruments. Read more aboutM Squared Lasers on Crunchbase…

James Grant

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ MyTutor

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James is a driven, passionate and ambitious entrepreneur, with experience in sales, leadership, strategy, product, digital marketing and fundraising. He started a fledgling events business at 15, which grew to a team of 30, catering for over 1,200 weekly guests. After completing a Philosophy degree at University of Birmingham, James worked for Barclays Wealth, in the Chief of Staff Team, within the Office of the Chief Executive, helping to set the Division’s strategic agenda and taking responsibility for the implementation of sponsored projects. James is a co-founder of MyTutor, creating a new world of one-to-one tuition. The team are unwaveringly focused on their mission to give every student access to 1-1 support. The platform provides live, online one-to-one lessons, delivered by bright, inspiring undergraduates studying at the UK’s leading universities – their secondary aim is to become the leading provider of work to these students. MyTutor uses AI-driven matching algorithms to ensure perfect student-tutor matches and every lesson is taught in an interactive online learning space, which facilitates live video and audio chat, document editing, file sharing and lesson recording. The company’s proudest achievement has been helping 92% of their pupils in 2016 hit or exceed their grade targets. James enjoys public speaking and has presented at a number of education and business events. His other interests include sport (football, rugby, athletics), music (blues & hip hop), travelling, reading and all things startup. He has won a number of awards over the past few years, including Unltd’s ‘Do it’, Mercia’s ‘The Pitch’, O2 ‘Think Bigger’ and Santander’s ‘Spark’. Learn more about James Grant on Crunchbase…

MyTutor offers affordable 1-to-1 tutorials online by connecting tutors from the UK’s best unis with pupils at home and in schools Read more aboutMyTutor on Crunchbase…

Ben Hopkinson

Co-founder & Managing Director @ Hop King

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Hop King is a dual Beer and Skateboard brand. Read more aboutHop King on Crunchbase…

Andrew Shepherd

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Omega Diagnostics

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Andrew Shepherd is the Founder and Managing Director of Omega Diagnostics Limited. He is responsible for corporate strategy, general management, sales and marketing and technical direction. He has been involved in the medical diagnostics industry for the last 35 years. He started his career in 1974 by holding technical positions at G.D. Searle Limited and then attended university, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He then moved into a sales and marketing position at Cambridge Life Sciences plc in 1981, before establishing his first diagnostics company, Cambridge Biomedical Limited in 1982. In 1986 he moved to Scotland to join Bioscot Limited and shortly afterwards, established Omega. Shepherd used his technical experience and knowledge of exporting to oversee the growth of the export of Omega products to exceed £2 million per annum. Omega now exports to over 100 countries around the world, and he travels regularly to many of the countries in which Omega customers are based. Shepherd is an active member of a number of relevant trade associations and was a member of the Scottish Exports Forum, a body which reported to the Scottish Parliament to oversee and guide the export activity of Scottish Development International. Mr Shepherd was also a member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF) Global Health Diagnostics Forum, which provides direct guidance to BMGF in advising on future investments in worldwide diagnostics programmes for developing countries. Learn more about Andrew Shepherd on Crunchbase…

Omega Diagnostics provides IVD products for use in hospitals, blood banks, clinics, and laboratories. Read more aboutOmega Diagnostics on Crunchbase…

B. Nick Popovici

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Vita Mojo

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Vita Mojo’s menu allows anyone to eat for anyones’ individualized needs. Read more aboutVita Mojo on Crunchbase…

David Holden-White

Co-Founder & Managing Director @

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David Holden-White is the Co-Founder at Learn more about David Holden-White on Crunchbase… is an AI-driven technology for identifying and sourcing specialist expertise, globally. Read more on Crunchbase…

Allan Meek

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ SCS Group

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MD and co-founder of the company, Allan Meek’s background is in building services engineering where he is a qualified and experienced project manager. He completed an MBA at University of Wales Institute Cardiff in 2003 and is a keen student of business and leadership. Learn more about Allan Meek on Crunchbase…

SCS Group provides ventilation, building management, and smoke control systems and solutions in the United Kingdom. Read more aboutSCS Group on Crunchbase…

Graham Mills

Co-Founder & Managing Director @

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Graham Mills is the Co-Founder at Learn more about Graham Mills on Crunchbase… is an AI-driven technology for identifying and sourcing specialist expertise, globally. Read more on Crunchbase…

Paul Ward

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ BoilerJuice

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Paul Ward is Co-Founder & Managing Director at Learn more about Paul Ward on Crunchbase…

BoilerJuice was created by a group of friends who wanted to make ordering heating oil easier Read more aboutBoilerJuice on Crunchbase…

Daniel Axsäter

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ bySTORED

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Daniel Axsäter works as a Co-Founder and Managing Director at bySTORED. Learn more about Daniel Axsäter on Crunchbase…

Taking the stress out of storage since 2013 Read more aboutbySTORED on Crunchbase…

Gary Turner

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Xero

FollowGary Turner on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

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Gary is co-founder and managing director at Xero UK and he also oversees Xero’s business interests across Europe, Middle East & Africa. Xero is the multi award winning global leader in online accounting software with more than 1.4 million paying subscribers around the world, with more than 312,000 of those in the UK. Under Gary’s leadership, Xero UK has scaled from a three-person startup with annual revenues of £50,000 in 2009 to over 250 staff and £60M in revenues in 2018. A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Gary previously held executive positions at Microsoft, Systems Union and Pegasus Software. He’s an engaging speaker, writer and thought-leader on start-ups, digital transformation, and leadership inside hyper-growth organisations. Gary has also served as a mentor to early stage Fintech startups at Techstars London. Media appearances: Sky News, CNBC Europe, CNBC Africa and various BBC Radio. Print contributor: The Guardian, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Evening Standard, The Metro, Real Business, Accountancy Age Individual Accolades: Top 10 Most Influential Person in UK Finance, Economia 2017 Financial Power List, Accountancy Age 2016 Top 10 London Fintech Most Influential, City AM 2015 Company Awards: Accountancy Software of the Year, British Small Business Awards 2017 Technology Provider of the Year, British Small Business Awards 2016 Financial Software Vendor of the Year, UK Cloud Awards 2016 Software Vendor of the Year, Real Business FD’s Excellence Awards 2016 Bookkeeping Software of the Year, ICB Luca Awards 2016 Payroll Software of the Year, ICB Luca Awards 2016, 2017 Client Software of the Year, British Accountancy Awards 2016, 2015, 2013 Practice Software of the Year, British Accountancy Awards 2017 In 2014 & 2015 Forbes Magazine named Xero “World’s Most Innovative Growth Company” and IDC Research named Xero “Fastest Growing Financial Software Applications Vendor” globally. Learn more about Gary Turner on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutXero on Crunchbase…

Andrew Lavelle

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ TalentPool

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TalentPool is a Talent Matching Platform connecting talented recent graduates. Read more aboutTalentPool on Crunchbase…

Chris Farrell

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Impact Reporting

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Read more aboutImpact Reporting on Crunchbase…

Ian Cowley

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Cartridge Save

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Ian Cowley is the managing director of Cartridge Save. Learn more about Ian Cowley on Crunchbase…

Cartridge Save is an online printer cartridge retail shop. Read more aboutCartridge Save on Crunchbase…

Rodney Bain

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ APEXX Global

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APEXX consolidates global payment providers into a single integration point, optimising the cost of complex payment ecosystems. Read more aboutAPEXX Global on Crunchbase…

Kerry Hogarth

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ 3D Printshow

FollowKerry Hogarth on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

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Kerry Hogarth is Co-Founder & Managing Director at 3D Printshow. Learn more about Kerry Hogarth on Crunchbase…

3D Printshow brings together key players from the entire 3D printing ecosystem. Read more about3D Printshow on Crunchbase…

Oliver Waters

Co-founder & Managing Director @ d3i

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d3i is a software development studio specialising in iPhone/iPad app design and development. Read more aboutd3i on Crunchbase…

Francesca Hodgson

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ GoodBox

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GoodBox is a fundraising-focused hardware and software tech start-up, primarily serving charities and the non-profit sectors. Read more aboutGoodBox on Crunchbase…

Tom Buttress

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Propio

FollowTom Buttress on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

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Tom is Propio’s day-to-day lead and is involved in all strategic and operational aspects of the business. An expert in building, improving and re-orientating regulated financial services firms, Tom previously worked as a management consultant advising household names such as Barclays, Bank of England, Aviva, FCA and T. Rowe Price. He holds a BA from Oxford University. Learn more about Tom Buttress on Crunchbase…

Propio is a crowdfunding platform that brings together investors property firms seeking funding for development. Read more aboutPropio on Crunchbase…

Ruth Dronfield

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Atlantic Kitchen

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The most common question I am asked as the Managing Director of Atlantic Kitchen is ‘How did you get involved with seaweed?’This is a fair question as for ten years I was an Event Manager running large-scale outdoor events in London and around the UK. I was on the senior management teams that run Field Day, Bestival, Winter Wonderland, BST Hyde Park and I also ran my own little production company for more exclusive private parties and mini-festivals. But the roots of Atlantic Kitchen run far deeper. I was born to hippy alternative parents in London, who took me on marches and dressed me in corduroy dungarees and certainly didn’t cook ready meals. I was brought up on home-cooked food and deprived (to my profound annoyance at the time) of pop-tarts, stringy cheese and shop-bought cakes. I was definitely the only kid in my class who had crumbly wholemeal bread sandwiches instead of nice, neat white ones. My mum is vegetarian so I was exposed to vegetable-based meals of rice, stews, salads, curries, quiches, lasagna and bakes. I grew up with the assumption that a mainly vegetable, pulse and grain diet was healthy, sustainable and normal. So, when my friend Dawn told me about her idea to set up a seaweed business to promote good eating and living, something resonated. That was in December 2012.Since then we launched a range of three dried seaweed products (here), crowd-funded, done deals with brilliant suppliers in France, Spain and Ireland, launched a range of three soups with seaweed (here) and are now stocked in over 150 stores in the UK including Wholefoods, Planet Organic and Ocado. See here for more stockists.It’s a huge challenge and a great honour to run Atlantic Kitchen and share the wonderful word of seaweed and its’ myriad of taste and health benefits with the world. Learn more about Ruth Dronfield on Crunchbase…

Atlantic Kitchen was set up in 2012. Read more aboutAtlantic Kitchen on Crunchbase…

Daniel Britton

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Financial Fairy Tales

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Daniel spent his early career in banking and financial services before 12 years as a teacher and school leader. Recently he has specialised as an education consultant, writer and speaker on money matters. In 2013 he was awarded National Enterprise Tutor of the Year by The Peter Jones Foundation. At the Financial Fairy Tales we have a passion for empowering young people to develop their self esteem, raise their aspirations and gain awareness of their unlimited potential. Key lesson which are all too often missing from many schools. Learn more about Daniel Britton on Crunchbase…

Financial Fairy Tales empowers children through financial literacy, enterprise awareness, and personal development solutions. Read more aboutFinancial Fairy Tales on Crunchbase…

Benedikt Reinke

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Sympatient

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Benedikt Reinke is the Co-Founder & Managing Director at Sympatient GmbH Learn more about Benedikt Reinke on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutSympatient on Crunchbase…

Simon Thompson

Co-Founder & Managing Director @

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Simon Thompson is Director and Co-Founder of Conferences:UK, and ConferencesGroup. Simon is an active member of the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) and strongly supports Accreditation in Meetings (AIM). Simon is passionate about transforming our successful UK business into the World No.1 Hotel and Conference Booking Agency. Learn more about Simon Thompson on Crunchbase… (part of ConferencesGroup) is a flagship UK Expert Venue Finding Agency. Read more on Crunchbase…

Andy Simpson

CEO, Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Channel Mechanics

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Andy Simpson is a Co-Founder & Managing Director at Channel Mechanics. Learn more about Andy Simpson on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutChannel Mechanics on Crunchbase…

Ben Treleaven

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ ISO Spaces

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ISO Spaces are modular space specialists with a full in house design and engineering team. Read more aboutISO Spaces on Crunchbase…

Ajay Sood

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Orchid Software

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Ajay Sood is a Co-Founder & Managing Director at Orchid Software. Learn more about Ajay Sood on Crunchbase…

Intranet software development house Read more aboutOrchid Software on Crunchbase…

Ian McDermott

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Loksys Solutions

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Ian McDermott is Co-Founder & Managing Directors at Loksys Solutions. Learn more about Ian McDermott on Crunchbase…

Loksys Solutions develops solutions for security and tracking issues that exist in the intermodal, freight, and haulage industries. Read more aboutLoksys Solutions on Crunchbase…

Craig Bartlett

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ MDF Recovery

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Craig Bartlett has a Masters degree in Environmental Management and has been involved with technology development in the wood supply chain for nearly 20 years. He worked as Head of Research & Consultancy at the UK Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) until 2008, developing a wide-range of technological solutions in partnership with industry and academia. He has significant experience of writing, performing and managing complex national and European research and development projects including those from FP5 – FP7. He has secured over £5 million of public sector funding and delivered over 20 projects including those for Innovate UK, WRAP and DEFRA. Learn more about Craig Bartlett on Crunchbase…

MDF Recovery is a technology developer aiming to establish its proprietary recycling process in the UK and other international markets. Read more aboutMDF Recovery on Crunchbase…

Philip Bingham

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Velo Vixen

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The UK’s Leading Specialist in Women’s Cycling Kit Read more aboutVelo Vixen on Crunchbase…

Mike Everest

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ Meniscus

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Mike Everest is Co-Founder & Managing Director at Meniscus. Learn more about Mike Everest on Crunchbase…

Meniscus – Delivering data analytics to the connected world. Read more aboutMeniscus on Crunchbase…

Susan Zhang

Co-founder & Managing Director @ China Ambition Pty Ltd

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Read more aboutChina Ambition Pty Ltd on Crunchbase…

Will Swan

Co-Founder & Managing Director @ After Dark Technical Limited

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After Dark is a production management company based just outside of Brighton that deals with all events no matter the size. Read more aboutAfter Dark Technical Limited on Crunchbase…

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