Team

Funding & an expert team from day one

We’re in the room with you from day one to help you win. Our team is made up of operational experts each of whom has been fundamental in driving the success of some of Europe’s biggest startups over the past five years. They help you to get where you want to go, faster.

Investment

Nic Brisbourne

Managing Partner

Nic has 15 years experience in the venture capital industry and prior to founding Forward Partners in June 2013, was a Partner at leading venture capital firm DFJ 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).

Nic also authors Europe's most popular VC blog: The Equity Kicker.

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

Investment

Matt Bradley

Investor

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.

He’s focused on sourcing and executing deals. His other interests and activities include investment strategy, writing and emoji.

What Matthew loves about FP: "It's amazing to work somewhere with huge ambition & the team to realise it. Most importantly, reaching those heights means that we've got to be the best partner for entrepreneurs - 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.”

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."

Talent

Chris Wilkinson

Head of Talent

Chris has helped build the leadership teams for some of the world’s most innovative digital companies. Prior to Forward Partners he was a Senior Associate at the digital headhunting firm The Up Group and placed C'level executives at companies such as Skyscanner, JUST EAT, WorldRemit and Circle.

Chris is passionate about disruptive businesses and is now hands-on with helping Forward Partners’ portfolio scale their businesses from a people perspective. In his spare time Chris enjoys playing jazz piano, writing sitcom scripts and drinking IPA.

What Chris loves about FP: "Forward Partners has towering ambition and a razor-sharp team. Combine these qualities with a genuinely caring culture and a commitment to self-discovery and learning and you have a recipe for truly a rewarding and fulfilling career. That's why I am here."

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

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

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."

Investment

Chris Corbishley

Investor

About me: I previously founded growthsquared.io a data science consultancy on a mission to help e-commerce businesses apply advanced analytics to their data and/or operating model. Before that, I was Head of Analytics at Swoon Editions, an awesome business championing the "zero stock, zero lead time” model in online furniture retail. My PhD was in organisational economics at Imperial College London, focussing on how public and private organisations structure themselves to deliver affordable energy services to the poorest parts of India and East Africa - of course, (not) very related to my future career!

To stay sane during my postgraduate studies, I did a lot of travelling (particularly in South East Asia) and worked part-time at the London Stock Exchange on their ELITE programme, supporting UK scale-ups - great brands such as Skyscanner, graze.com, Vision Direct and MedicAnimal with the trials and tribulations of growing too fast. In my spare time, I really enjoy blogging on the potential for applied AI and data-driven operating models as well as coaching early stage tech entrepreneurs, particularly deep science spinouts of Imperial where I was previously Venture Coach in Residence. Since 2014, I have produced a few case studies on what I imagine are familiar challenges to most startups - all (second hand) war stories that I like to tell at dinner parties! 

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

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

Akriti Dokania

Investment Associate

While pursuing her MBA at London Business School, Akriti joins us to be an Investment Associate at Forward Partners. Prior to this, she has been a product manager for the user experience team at Microsoft and Alexa at Amazon. Right before business school, she was an entrepreneur, running a fintech company.

She helps with deal sourcing, screening and researching new areas of investment. Her other interests lie in working on new product designs and communicating via gifs.

 

What Akriti loves about FP: "The team put entrepreneurs at the forefront and the team is empathetic to their journey."

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."

Marketing

Malcolm Bell

Venture Partner

Malcolm is an award winning Entrepreneur, starting companies since he was 15. He’s best known for starting the consumer brand Zaggora, which he profitably bootstrapped to $40ml in sales, online. Zaggora has sold over 1 million products to customers in 153 countries, the largest being the USA. He won the National Business Award in 2012 for E-Commerce Strategy of the Year and was nominated for Entrepreneur of The Year. 

After graduating from the London School of Economics, Malcolm worked as an investment manager for several Forbes Family Offices. For 10 years between 2001-2011, he managed investment portfolios and made principal investments into Private Equity and Technology funds, real assets and acquiring companies from owners including Goldman Sachs and Blackstone. 

Malcolm has been featured in the Financial Times, The Times and Evening Standard. He’s been named one of the UK’s Young Entrepreneurs and he’s also served as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School since 2013 and an Expert in Residence at Seedcamp. He regularly speaks at events for Facebook, Google and Barclays. He did a TEDx Talk once too. He’s also a Business writer for the Huffington Post. 

Malcolm’s principal interests are consumer, SaaS, Mobile and E-commerce technologies as well as B2C & B2B Marketing for early stage companies.