James Governor's Monkchips

Some Women I Admire In The Local Startup Scene. Go Big!

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I got a question from a client at HP today:

“Would appreciate your insight into bleeding edge of web-based businesses out there just now, and how many of them have women in key roles. Do you have a view on the half dozen or so most impressive women out there doing smart things with technology? Its for a speech at the EU.”

Ah the perennial question… I see Tim is taking some heat about representation of women in tech this week, and handling it with class.

So – what did I sent to HP?

Zuzanna Pasierbinska-Wilson

Huddle is emerging as one of the most interesting collaboration platforms around. It’s a UK startup. It just won a Europas award. @huddlesuz runs marketing. She is doing an awesome job, again making particularly good use of twitter. Huddle is a good example of the new confidence coursing through the London tech scene.

Great bio: “Zuzanna Pasierbinska-Wilson is responsible for marketing. Her life goal is that every man, woman and child falls asleep with Huddle on their lips.”

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

Just don’t call her Alexandra. A major force building the Internet of Things, recently profiled in Wired UK, Alex is the CEO of a company called tinker.it, the commercial arm of the arduino open-source electronics prototyping platform. Its the kind of thing that allows plants to tweet when they are thirsty. Alex is very talented, and arduino is quite literally popping up all over the place.

The next one is courtesy of my office mate James Stewart

Rachel Andrew

Rachel is a great example of someone just doing “the agency thing” well. See Edge of My Seat. They just launched a nice little micro-content management platform called Perch designed for when a site like Drupal or WordPress is too heavywieght. A drop in, ultralight weight CMS – its selling very well. Yes that’s right – selling… licenses for £35! Old school.

Emily Bell

Emily is The Guardian’s online editor. You’re probably thinking.. but the Guardian isn’t a startup. True True – but its beginning to act like one, and any newspaper that wants to survive the ongoing shakeout better do just that. I am a huge Bell fan. She is doing some very important things and writes about digital policy masterfully. See my post here.

Amanda Rose

One person that really shone this year is Amanda Rose, a Canadian living in London, the driving force behind Twestival. She is a great example of the use of new social technology – in this case twitter – for charity fund-raising. Twestival which went from one London party to a worldwide network in under six months, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity:water. Respect! The next Twestival in this September – groups in more than 200 cities are taking part. I am proud to know @amanda. She Works On Stuff That Matters.

Here is a video of Amanda cutting the tape on a new well in Ethopia

wondering about the title of the piece? If you ever see or hear me use Go Big its Sam’s fault. Always.


  1. Great insights James.

    One for the future – and for sustainability http://www.solaround.de/index.php?id=e_index

    A young (still in school) german outfit, who used the web to bring together people who want solar energy, and people with spare rooftops!

    SO brilliantly simple – only a young person would think of it.

    They just won the HP/JA-YE Responsible Business Ideas Contest

  2. Hi James, I’m honored and embarrassed to be included in your (otherwise excellent) list. Also a belated thankyou on your great Activate summary and post – we’ll take note of the suggestions for next time


  3. Cheers. You are employee of the month. 🙂

  4. Can I just drop some big respect for @amanda (did I get that right?) – mainly for the original London Twestival.

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