40 Minute Mentor

January 24, 2024

Eileen Burbidge MBE – From early Skype employee to becoming the Queen of British VC

Described as the ‘Queen of British VC’ by Fortune magazine, we are kicking off our new VC feature series with the brilliant Eileen Burbidge MBE.

Eileen is a Founding Partner at Passion Capital, the pre-eminent early-stage technology venture fund based in London, where she backed some of the most successful Tech businesses, including Monzo Bank, Marshmallow, and many more.

She is currently also Director at Fertifa, the UK and Europe’s leading reproductive benefits provider.

Outside of Passion and Fertifa, Eileen has also served as the UK Treasurer’s Special Envoy for FinTech for 8 years, was Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London’s office and served on the former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group.

Eileen has extensive operational and investment experience, from roles at Tech giants including Yahoo!, Skype and Apple, so there is plenty to dive into in today’s episode.

Eileen Burbidge MBE
“I think 2024 is a great opportunity to back fantastic people and get more attention on things that are undervalued or don’t get enough attention to invest in.”

Eileen Burbidge MBE

Tune in to discover

Her proudest moment of backing Monzo bank [2:11]
Busting the biggest myths in VC [4:33]
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago & her perception of ‘diversity’ [7:59]
Falling in love with Tech and working at Apple [11:33]
Shazam V Skype: A Tech standoff [15:24]
Being one of the first employees at Skype & reflections on being fired [17:04]
Leadership lessons from Niklas Zennström [20:31]
Journey from Operator to VC [24:00]
Her early stage investment thesis & focusing on people [27:56]
Indexing on integrity & trust when assessing Founders [30:59]
Stepping into interim CEO roles [34:46]
Why she feels like the board let Tom Blomfield down & succession plans [38:04]
Stepping back into an executive role at Fertifa [42:26]
Hiring advice for Founders [47:15]
Taking a hard look at ourselves to improve DE&I [49:21]

Listen on

Helpful links

➡️ Connect with Eileen: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eileenburbidge/ 
➡️ Find out more about Passion Capital: https://www.linkedin.com/company/passion-capital/
➡️ Explore the work of Fertifa: https://www.fertifa.com/

Enjoyed this episode?

Keep up to date with all our latest episodes, by hitting the subscribe button on your favourite podcast platform. And for any feedback on what you enjoy the most and ideas on what we can do to make 40 Minute Mentor even better, please leave us a review.

Explore more episodes

40 Minute Mentor: PR Advice
17 Jul, 2024

The Do’s & Don’ts of Public Relations for Startups

40 Minute Mentor: James & Nick
10 Jul, 2024

The power of networking & changing lives through careers – James Mitra in conversation with Alembic Strategy

03 Jul, 2024

Scarlett McCabe & Lewis Iwu: The power of debating & disagreeing