Team

Meet your startup hit squad.

Our team is made up of startup operational experts with deep experience across every aspect of an early stage company’s needs. They help you to get where you want to go, faster.

Investment

Nic Brisbourne

Managing Partner

Nic has 18 years experience in the venture capital industry and prior to founding Forward Partners in June 2013, was a Partner at leading venture capital firm Draper Esprit.

He has worked and invested in London and Silicon Valley, leading over 25 investments and enjoying a number of successful exits including buy.at (acquired by AOL for $125m) and Zeus Technology (acquired by Riverbed for $140m).

What Nic loves about FP: "I don't know whether to be prouder of our team or of the partners we've helped"

Product

Dharmesh Raithatha

Product Partner

Dharmesh helps all our startups build great products. He has a passion for User Research, Lean UX and using data to inform decision making. Dharmesh has a background in artificial intelligence and most recently worked as an early employee at high-growth startup Mind candy. He has founded 2 startups and successfully exited one. 

What Dharmesh loves about FP: "Helping founders take their dreams and turn them into a reality with their own team ready to take on the world!"

Investment

Matt Bradley

Partner, Investment

Matthew used to work on trading floors at Lloyds and BarCap before seeing the light. Following an MBA at SDA Bocconi and before joining us he became an entrepreneur and investor in his own right. 

Matt splits his time between investments and working across the portfolio. 

What Matthew loves about FP: "There is huge ambition here and the team to realise it. We have to be the best partner for entrepreneurs and that's something which is at the heart of everything that we do."

Product

Seth Matisak

Design Lead

Seth brings 7 years of design experience from around the world including Washington DC, Cleveland, Ohio and Malta having won awards for his print and packaging designs.

He has a strong passion for all things branding and helped maintain brand standards for world-wide corporations (Nestle, Nokia, John Deere, Kimberly Clark and Sherwin Williams) while also creating new and engaging brands for start-ups, city organisations and charities while his ability to transition his layout and branding skills to the digital world has resulted in clean, intuitive and modern web designs.

What Seth loves about FP: "I really love the challenge of working on different projects at the same time while educating our founders on how design and branding can positively impact their business."

Tech

Leonidas Tsementzis

Head of Engineering

Leonidas has over ten years experience in software and product development, specialising in full stack development, scalable infrastructures and lean development practices. He has founded two startups and is an advisor to others.

Leo has a strong engineering background, he works closely with our early stage startups on all their technology oriented needs. He’s an open source advocate and frequent speaker at tech events on infrastructure, scalability, performance and lean development.

What Leo loves most about FP: "I enjoy working in a fast paced, data driven environment across many different companies, ideas and people.”

Talent

Ginni Lisk

Head of Talent

Ginni has worked in people functions for nearly ten years and is passionate about building, retaining and developing high-impact, high-performing teams.

From identifying core values, to designing performance-enhancing strategies, to running the best interview processes in the business, Ginni brings her expertise to Forward Partners following hands-on experience of fast-paced team growth at VC backed FinTech startup, DueDil.

Ginni has a MSc in Human Resources and Organisational Analysis, and Level 7 Associate CIPD qualification.

What Ginni loves about FP: "I am so excited to be part of this amazing team; Forward Partners really set the bar for what excellence looks like! Also helping our founders to bring into their businesses truly entrepreneurial and game-changing talent, at such an early stage of their journey, is just the most fulfilling and rewarding experience."

Tech

Martin Sanders

Full Stack Developer

Martin is a full stack developer who helps build the right product. He has a passion for development best practices, lean solutions and user-focused products. His background is working with digital media and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands.

When Martin is not at work he likes long walks on the beach and other cliches.

What Martin loves about FP: "Working day in, day out with passionate founders with huge ambition to take their vision and turn it into reality."

Tech

Alex Williams

Front End Developer

Alex is a front-end developer with experience building large-scale, maintainable websites. He is an advocate for progressive enhancement, accessibility and good CSS architecture.

Alex has a background in foreign direct investment law, having spent two years advising British SMEs on how to establish a company in the manufacturing centre of south China. He is also passionate about contributing to open source software projects and encouraging diversity in the tech community.

What Alex loves about FP: "I get to help entrepreneurs take the grandest of ideas and turn them into living, breathing products used by passionate customers. That's amazing."

Public Relations

Nic Forster

Head of PR & Comms

Nic has spent over 10 years working within national consumer communications agencies on behalf of global retail and e-commerce clients including Amazon.co.uk, Hamleys, ASDA and Pretty Green.

Prior to joining Forward Partners, Nic headed up the PR team at one of the UK's fastest growing e-commerce businesses, notonthehighstreet.com. During his time with the marketplace, Nic was responsible for leading PR strategy for the brand and also worked alongside the SMEs it supports, consulting on communications strategy.

Nic leads communication strategy on behalf of Forward Partners whilst also working with our start ups, helping them to conceptualise and tell their brand and business stories to both press and the target consumer.

What Nic loves about FP: "It's a privilege to get to work with such a talented team and so many inspirational founders. It feels like we're all in it together which is really special, working towards big things."

Operations

Will Herrmann

CFO

Will spent nearly 10 years working as a business consultant with Accenture before pivoting his training in project management towards finance and operations leadership roles within the world of startup. He made the move with Hassle.com  as their Finance Director & Head of Business Operations, where he went on their journey of significant growth and exit.

His background means that he is passionate about making sure that finance and business operations are in a state of utter control whilst within a culture of continuous improvement.

What Will loves about FP: “I’m massively excited to be part of a high performing team made up of outstanding individuals with a mission to empower the next generation of game-changing businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Operations

Jane Warwick

Head of Finance

Jane worked as an accountant and auditor in various firms before making the move to join Forward Internet Group Limited as their Group Financial Controller in 2000.

In 2014, Jane moved to Forward Partners as their Financial Controller. Jane runs the accounts at Forward Partners and is on-hand to provide support and guidance to our entrepreneurs.

What Jane loves about FP: I love seeing a company go from being an idea, to a team with a great product. It reminds me of my accounting trainees that go from starting out to qualifying. I am a closet teacher (who would not teach in schools) so always love to see the progress and that "click" moment where it all makes sense.

Operations

Tara Howard

Operations Manager

Before joining Forward Partners, Tara worked in Operations across various Start Ups and SME’s. Most recently coming from events based start up Hire Space. She’s also spent the last 5 years as a professional actor, but decided to leave behind the glitz and glamour to focus on her career in Ops.

What Tara loves about FP: "I love that I get to collaborate with people who are not only pioneers in their field, but who feel passionately about making our portfolio companies succeed."

Investment

Chris Corbishley

Investor

About me: Chris previously founded data science platform growthsquared.io, enabling e-commerce businesses to apply advanced analytics to their data. Before that, as Head of Analytics at Swoon Editions, he championed the "zero stock, zero lead time” model in online furniture retail. He has a PhD in organisational economics from Imperial College London, where he worked with the Grantham Institute to incentivise institutional investment into renewable energy infrastructure.   

He also worked part-time on the London Stock Exchange ELITE programme, supporting UK scale-ups - including brands such as Skyscanner, graze.com, Vision Direct and MedicAnimal - with the exciting nightmare of rapid growth. He has coached early stage tech entrepreneurs and deep science spinouts from Imperial College, and produced a series of case studies on common startup challenges. 

What Chris loves about FP: "Working with super bright people who are passionate about creating value for entrepreneurs, consumers and society."

Investment

Luke Smith

Investor

Luke joined Forward Partners from REV Venture Partners, a corporate VC, where he was responsible for deal origination, investment due diligence and portfolio reporting. He was previously a consultant with the strategy consultancy Oliver Wyman, where he worked across the retail, aviation, healthcare and FMCG sectors.

Luke originally planned a career in science and he holds a PhD in biochemistry. His focus at Forward Partners is on sourcing and executing new investments.

What Luke loves about FP: "Working as part of a passionate and fun team with the vision to build the best early stage VC in the UK."

Marketing

Jake Higgins

Head of Growth

Jake was the first employee at Property Partner, which he helped grow from 0 - 10,000+ customers. That was following growth roles at startup and large technology companies, taking time in-between those to teach Digital Marketing & Business Fundamentals at General Assembly. Jake is a fellow at the New Entrepreneur Foundation.

What Jake loves about FP: "I enjoy the fact that we do things differently, by combining investment with a hands-on and experienced team."

Investment

Louise Rix

Investor

Louise started out as a medical doctor and has experience in a number of medical and surgical specialties. She has undertaken research in a world class laboratory, is published in an international medical journal and has presented work at multiple national and international conferences.

Following this she joined Entrepreneur First where she developed Zinc, a vertical professional network for the medical profession.

What Louise loves about FP: Super excited to be part of such an experienced and accomplished team and to work with some exceptional founders solving interesting problems.

Matt Dean