Believers in a better future with the tools to help make it happen. Our knowledge of how to build impact-driven companies is deep and our networks in tech for good are wide.
Head of Fundraising
Cansu started her career in international politics and human rights law before moving to work in early-stage startups and investment in 2012. At BGV she leads on fundraising, runs Seed to Series A deals, and manages any commercial partnerships. As a board member, she specialises in coaching founders on developing good investor and board relationships, sales and business development, and growth fundraising strategy. Before joining BGV, Cansu built and ran global accelerator Startupbootcamp’s London branch having already managed their MENA programme in Istanbul. Prior to starting her investment career, Cansu led on business development for a VC-backed SaaS startup and co-founded Turkey’s number one cosmetic product reviews platform. In 2018, Cansu was awarded HM Government’s Exceptional Talent in Digital Technology visa.
Head of Finance
Catherine was one of the first finance hires at Deliveroo, helping them to set up and scale their systems through a period of rapid growth. She brings this experience to help BGV portfolio ventures prepare for the same journey, in addition to advising on business and operational modelling. On a day to day basis, Catherine looks after the finances and valuations of BGV’s funds. Before working at Deliveroo and joining BGV, Catherine started her career as a chartered accountant at EY.
Community and Networks Senior Manager
Dama is a leading figure in the tech for good movement advocating for more investment into talented and diverse founders in the space. At BGV, Dama specialises in supporting ventures with communications and fundraising, product positioning, ESG, impact measurement and management, and hiring for diversity and inclusion. Prior to BGV, Dama worked for international NGOs in digital communications, and was formerly a Director of a social enterprise, supporting them to raise over £1M. She has a degree in international relations from Leiden University, holds a certificate in ESG Investing awarded by the CFA Institute, and sits on the steering committee of VentureESG. Outside of BGV Dama is a Trustee at Chayn - a non-profit supporting the survivors of gender-based violence.
Melanie has 15 years of experience in early-stage investment spanning corporate venturing, M&A, specialist finance and impact investment. She’s led over 100 transactions totalling more than £75m. She specialises in supporting founders with business model strategy, commercial growth, fundraising, organisational development and impact strategy. An experienced board member, Melanie currently sits on three growth stage portfolio company boards. Prior to BGV she worked at Octopus Investments, Channel 4 and Deloitte. Melanie is also a member of the Advisory Council for ReGenerate - a charity whose mission is to make it easier to start, grow and lead a purpose-driven business.
Brand and Communications Manager
Milly is an expert in brand and communications strategy, specifically for impact-driven companies. She works on growing BGV’s recognition, reputation and respect as a leading early-stage VC across the UK and beyond. Milly oversees all BGV’s communication channels, reaching up to 2 million people a year. She specialises in supporting founders with communications, marketing and brand strategy; customer and investor relationship management; impact communications; media and public relations; messaging and storytelling. Before BGV, Milly worked in the creative industry in styling and production. She worked on campaigns for a range of organisations from global brands such as M&S, Youtube, and Lloyds Bank, to VC-backed tech startup The Stack World.
Nelly has directly supported hundreds of early-stage startups through tens of programmes. In addition to BGV’s flagship Tech for Good programme she has led on partnership programmes with the Mayor of London, Facebook, the Wellcome Trust, and Nesta. She has gained deep insight into how to build an investment-ready proposition. In her current role at BGV Nelly ensures the delivery of world-class support across BGV’s portfolio, specifically advising them on fundraising strategy, marketing and sales, user research and product testing, impact measurement and management, and hiring. Before joining BGV, Nelly worked in marketing and sales roles at startups based in France and Silicon Valley.
Managing Partner and CEO
Paul has pioneered tech for good since 2008 as one of the co-founders of Bethnal Green Ventures. Over those years he’s supported many of BGV’s most successful portfolio companies from programme through to exit. With over 15 years of experience as a CEO he’s an expert in strategy, fundraising, leadership, hiring, communications and external relations. Previously, Paul founded and led ed-tech startup School of Everything. He’s also spent time advising on strategy for multinational companies and governments, and has written for the likes of the Financial Times and the Guardian. In 2020, he was awarded an OBE for services to startup investing. Outside of BGV he has been the Chair of Trustees at GoodGym since 2015.
Rob studied Banking, Finance and Management where, through work placements, he discovered his passion for venture investing and purpose-driven companies. At BGV he works on our finance functions, compliance, data collection and analysis, investor reporting, and HR. He supports programme stage ventures to receive their initial investment from BGV. Rob has previously worked at IBM as an Operations Analyst and completed an internship at Octopus Ventures covering investment, sales and venture support.
Operations and Insights Manager
Yumi is an expert in impact measurement and management for early-stage startups. In addition to running operations at BGV, she supports founders with guidance on building effective, diverse and inclusive teams, project management, data analysis, planning and running pilots, and B Corp accreditation. Before joining BGV, Yumi worked at corporate innovation consultancy The Bakery where she researched emerging technologies and facilitated strategic partnerships between founders and large corporate clients, such as AXA and P&G. She’s also worked at edtech startup Futurelearn and completed a postgraduate degree in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management at Imperial College London.
Bethany supports our pre-seed and seed teams focusing particularly on fundraising, product development, and hiring. She was previously Investment Manager at BGV so has a deep knowledge of BGV’s portfolio, mentor and investor networks. Bethany previously worked at Centre for Fashion Enterprise, supporting retail tech startups to secure investment and scale their businesses. Prior to moving to London, Bethany worked in fashion design at Jonathan Simkhai and ELLERY in New York and Sydney, and for fashion media startup, The Coveteur, backed by Drake and BrandProject.
Darren Cockburn’s experience over the last 30 years spans working in finance, strategy and operations in large media companies and technology start-ups, as well as consulting and banking. He was previously Chief Operating Officer of a BBC division and has led new ventures and corporate development at Disney and Channel 4. At C4 he helped set up the 4iP fund, a UK pioneer in “tech for good”. Darren is also an experienced Non-Executive having served on the boards of several technology companies from initial stages through to successful exits. At BGV he supports a number of our later-stage portfolio companies.
George is a digital designer with over 10 years experience in the technology industry. He has been both a Product Design Lead and a Product Manager in numerous roles across the banking, education, humanitarian and healthcare industries. He has experience across the entire product lifecycle from initial research right through to worldwide delivery of products and services that actually enable their users to get jobs done! George supports our programme stage teams with prototyping, building, and launching their products.
Umesh supports founders on our programme and in our portfolio as a design, strategy and digital product delivery coach. Since 2017 Umesh has been working with social entrepreneurs and impact investors to design the Social Venture Canvas - a tool for entrepreneurs who want to build thriving, purpose-driven businesses that respect the wellbeing of people and the health of the planet. He co-founded Wayfindr in 2015, a social tech start-up that empowered vision-impaired people to navigate the world independently. In 2017 Wayfindr became a UN adopted standard and now is the world's first international standard for audio-based indoor navigation. Umesh holds an MA in communication design from Central Saint Martins, is a Royal Society Art Fellow and is a Design Associate at the Design Council.