Revealing the first FP Founders Programme cohort

We kicked off this year by announcing our first Founders Programme, designed to select a small group of pre-seed entrepreneurs with a strong startup idea and help them achieve their potential. At the end of the process, we’ll be looking to make a pre-seed investment of £300-500k.

We were overwhelmed by the response, with more than 250 applications from individuals of all backgrounds, and some exceptional ideas. After much deliberation, we whittled this down to just six, creating our first cohort.

In the weeks ahead, they will each receive 1-to-1 mentoring and small group sessions on customer development, ideation, growth, product/solution, and investor readiness.

We will be publishing notes from these sessions on the Path Forward, and you can sign up here for weekly updates.

But for now, let’s introduce you to the cohort, and learn a little more about their ideas.

Meet the Cohort

Ayah Omar

Ayah’s career has seen her deliver wide-reaching, complex, impactful programmes in her full-time role as a project manager at Race On The Agenda, a social policy organisation, all whilst setting up a new charity and starting her own business, Pilgrim.

“I want my business, Pilgrim, to be the leading global direct-to-consumer brand for high quality sustainable Islamic lifestyle products, with an MVP focussed on all-in-one 'kits' for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, which have an attendance of 15m annually. There is a huge and growing educated Muslim population who engage in quality sustainable lifestyle brands.”

“Other people might talk about success metrics, professional titles and impressive internships, but to truly know what multi-tasking, drive, resilience and ambition is - I think that's the thing I'm proud of.”

Emmanuel Hadoux

Following his PhD in artificial intelligence Emmanuel has been working as a post-doc researcher at UCL. He plans to use his deep domain expertise in automatic persuasion to improve peoples’ lives and financial wellbeing.

“If at the end of the day, some people are persuaded to live a healthier life, to save more money, to take public transportation, everyone wins.”

Matthew Callery

A Cambridge graduate who worked as a headhunter for 3 years, Matthew holds an MSc in Computer Science, has worked for the HR Tech startup Personably, and built an Android résumé app which now has 17,700 MAU.

“Despite its bad reputation, my experience in recruitment convinced me that the current wave of RecTech startups won’t kill the industry. External recruiters are specialists in their fields.”

“That said, the employer-headhunter dynamic does lack trust and has led to inefficient practices which inflate fees. I believe that the experience of employers, recruiters, and candidates could be improved by restructuring the recruitment industry around a marketplace business.”

Tatiana Botskina

Tatiana is focused on the application of AI and advanced technologies in legal practice. This includes the use of AI for translation of law internationally, legal expert systems and litigation on the blockchain.   

“LegalTech is a promising industry with high value for customers and enormous scaling opportunities. I truly believe that in future legal services will be automated entirely. I would like to lead the process of the disruption of the traditional legal industry by democratizing access to legal assistance with new technologies.”

Jonathan Baker

Another Cambridge graduate, Jonathan is now a contract data scientist working primarily in the data wrangling and modelling arenas.He previously co-founded Simudyne, a venture-backed risk simulation business.

He is currently building an easily upgradable security infrastructure to function as a modern smart system to replace existing security devices that cannot be easily controlled or monitored.

Rich Serunjogi

An ex-McKinsey consultant and Googler, Rich also founded the London 2030 Summit bringing together leading influencers from the capital’s finance, political and civil society sectors to debate London and its future prosperity.

He is currently working on a FinTech solution for SMEs, improving their access to finance.

"Finance for small business is broken. It's a scandal. Small business owners are heroes, providing millions of jobs and providing services to us all. They deserve the best and l look forward to helping to ensure their businesses thrive."


Max Tatton-Brown is founder of Augur, a communications agency that helps "unsexy" tech scale-ups earn the attention they were made for. He is interim Head of Comms & Content at Forward Partners.

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