Helen used to manage digital transformation programmes for corporates like Barclays, Fidelity, and Deutsche Bank. This experience helped shape Helen’s firm belief that one of the very best and quickest ways to transform is by working with young, innovative startups and the UK is one of the best places in the world in which to engage with talented entrepreneurs. In 2012 Helen also recognised the UK’s tech ecosystems were on the verge of explosive growth and that many of the challenges faced by corporates could never be solved by applying the same strategies of the past. It represented an opportunity Helen could not ignore.

Passionate about harnessing the creative problem solving engendered by young tech firms to help large corporates transform and having witnessed first-hand how corporates often struggle to identify the right startups to work with amidst the UK’s needle-rich haystack of tech companies, Helen realised she had the power to convene and connect to help both sides – this is Helen’s raison d’être. Helen also recognised the huge differences in culture, procurement and communication styles that caused so many collaborations to stall or fail. She co-founded Blukudu, the specialist FinTech-Corporate matchmaker and collaboration builder in 2012 to address this market challenge.

With a foot in both the corporate and startup worlds, Helen works seamlessly between these two vastly different cultures, acting as ‘translation agent’, helping startups become corporate-ready, then shortening the sourcing process and creating interactions with traditional businesses far bigger in size and market dominance while, in parallel, helping corporates develop the openness to risk, failure and learning required when working with startups so that they may meet successfully in the middle ground in a way that serves both growth strategies appropriately.

Helen has an honours degree from Oxford University and a postgraduate qualification from University College London. When she is not creating growth opportunities for the tech sector, Helen is a volunteer teacher, teching business skills to 16-18 year olds, a volunteer for Parkinson’s UK, or can be found under a tent in remote corners of sub-Saharan Africa.