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.


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 (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.


Martyn Holman

Investment Partner

Martyn’s early career was spent as a consultant with the leading strategy consulting house, Boston Consulting Group. He has since developed a wealth of experience with technology based growth businesses and joined Betfair in its infancy as Director of New Ventures.

Whilst at Betfair, Martyn founded and spun out LMAX Exchange, a leading multilateral trading facility for FX trading. During his time at LMAX, Martyn held the role of COO, driving market structure, product strategy, market development, commercial and international strategy and sales and corporate development.

In 2012 Martyn joined Google as NPS Sales Operations North & Central Europe before joining Oxford Capital in 2013 where he led investment strategy. During his tenure, Martyn led investments and was Board Director for businesses including Linkdex, Outplay Entertainment, Kobojo, and


Matt Bradley


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.


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. 


Carly Dryhurst-Smith

UX Lead

Carly’s focus has been in digital, interface and print design at start-ups and agencies. She endeavours to craft beautiful, simple and intuitive experiences which prioritise the consumer’s needs. Most recently, Carly worked as the UX Designer at Topshop, alongside a team at Arcadia and on the reviews and ratings platform Reevoo.

She has a strong passion for building fair, stable and delightful solutions, which create measurable value for users. She believes genuine brand advocacy and repeat custom grow from developing human-centric products.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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, 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, 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.


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.


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.

How I help

Dealing with all things Operations, Tara supports our start ups in getting where they want to go, faster.


Luke Smith


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.