Our experienced team and Board are passionate about realising the potential of tech to drive social transformation and understand what’s needed to enable social tech ventures to excel.

Team

Ed Evans

CEO

Ed joined Social Tech Trust in 2016 and leads the charity to deliver our vision of a world where social transformation drives tech. Passionate about the potential of socially motivated tech, Ed has a background in social investment and venturing. He joined the Trust from the Cabinet Office, where he led the government’s work on innovative finance – blending philanthropic and commercial investment to scale ventures by developing initiatives including the Dementia Discovery Fund.

Kirsty Coates

Operations Director

Kirsty is committed to bringing teams together to work impactfully and purposefully. She joins the Trust having worked across a range of not for profits including a health services provider, international development charity and social policy think tank. Kirsty has been on the board of Brighton Housing Trust and before joining she led the GP covid vaccination service for Brighton and Hove supporting vaccine uptake across the city. Her focus is ensuring the Trust runs effectively and efficiently.

Chris Blues

Programmes Director

Chris believes in the power of people, enterprise and tech as a force for good. He has worked across business, social enterprise and academic sectors in the UK, South Pacific, South East Asia, New Zealand, Australia and East Africa. In addition to working at the Trust, he is Entrepreneur in Residence at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and on the investment board of Bristol City Funds. Chris focuses on social innovation and entrepreneurship, impact investment and driving systemic shifts through mobilising ventures.

Robert Cashmore

Finance Officer

With 20 years of experience in accounting, Rob plays a key role in the financial operations of the Trust. Rob leads on the development and implementation of our financial processes, including our grants and investments. Rob was initially drawn to our work after seeing first-hand the positive impact that social tech has on his son, who has a diagnosis of autism.

Kathy Marcham

Portfolio Manager

Kathy has been with the Trust since 2012, and as a Portfolio Manager has plenty of experience in helping early-stage organisations to grow. She works closely with the organisations the Trust invests in, as well as with collaborative partners, helping us maximise the social impact achieved with our investments.

Paulina Kowalke

Programme Manager

Passionate about enabling people and organisations to realise their potential, Paulina is well placed to project manage our team and programmes. Her recent work focused on designing human centric programmes to achieve social impact through youth mobility, and online & offline event management on social and environmental topics. Paulina is experienced in project delivery in the social impact sector and has also worked as a recruitment partner across EMEA, supporting the digital transformation of blue-chip companies.

George Brown

Investment Associate

George is passionate about attracting capital to impact investing and supporting innovative ventures to tackle tough societal challenges. George joined the Trust from Big Issue Invest, where he worked on their in-development and existing impact investment funds. Prior to that, George was an Associate in the Equity Capital Markets team at Bank of America. At Bank of America, George executed over 25 equity and equity-linked capital raises, including for a number of high growth tech and healthcare companies across Europe.

Gulnaar Zafar

Associate

Gulnaar joined Social Tech Trust because she believes its model of patient capital and proportionate profit is the change we need to see in the finance and capital markets. She sees tech’s potential to rapidly deliver a more fair and equitable society and is especially interested in supporting purpose-led companies. Gulnaar joins Social Tech Trust from On Purpose London, a year-long leadership programme for professionals transitioning to roles in the impact sector. Previously, Gulnaar worked at top-tier global law firms for +15 years as a dispute resolution lawyer. She led multiple high-value, complex cases for blue-chip clients (including tech companies, various VC and private equity funds, and family offices). She brings significant commercial strategy and management experience to her role.

Luca Jakab

Marketing and Communications Manager

Luca is a strategic branding and marketing expert with more than 15 years of experience. She specialises in purpose branding and ethical, inclusive and sustainable marketing practices and has worked internationally with creatives, NGOs and purpose-driven businesses. A former startup founder and person with a keen interest in social and environmental impact, she joined the Trust because she strongly believes that businesses play a key role in social transformation and that startups need investors who understand their needs, value their diversity and offer tailored investment.

Board

Bill Liao

Chair of Trustees

Social entrepreneur, special diplomatic envoy, investor, entrepreneur, business mentor, speaker and author, Bill co-founded the business social network service XING and is a general partner at SOSV, a global venture capital and investment management firm. Founder of WeForest.org, an international not-for-profit organisation combating global warming in the most natural way possible, Bill is also Co-Founder of the CoderDojo movement that helps young people learn how to program, which is now part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Dr. Maria A. Nelson

Trustee

Maria is Director of Innovation Practice at Digital Catapult, where she runs a portfolio of technology innovation and acceleration programmes, helping small companies grow, large companies innovate and innovation ecosystems flourish. Maria is passionate about driving purpose led innovation by fostering collaboration between bright minds from industry, startups and academia, and believes that innovation thrives where three intentions combine: a vision to solve real-world problems, an ambition to turn ideas into reality, and the belief that together we can get there, one step at a time. Maria was Innovation Programme Manager at Cisco and has an extensive background strategic communications and programme management. She has published a book about creativity and innovation as core assets of contemporary economies.

Nick Wise

Trustee

Nick is founder and CEO of OceanMind, a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting the world’s fisheries. Using satellites and artificial intelligence, OceanMind empowers effective fisheries enforcement and enables more responsible seafood sourcing, increasing compliance and sustainability. Nick has been designing large scale, highly secure software solutions for over 20 years, using innovative techniques focused on market needs. Before joining the ranks of social entrepreneurship, Nick’s journey saw him starting an Internet security business, as CTO of a mature SME, and managing product development in a billion-dollar multinational. Nick now empowers people to solve global issues with technology.

Rob Tashima

Trustee

Rob is Chief Growth Officer at Village Capital, an early-stage impact investor and accelerator. Rob leads initiatives across thier innovations and partnerships teams, experimenting with new ways of supporting entrepreneurs and investors. Previously, at an emerging markets consultancy, he led field studies on investment issues across Africa. Rob also lived in the Middle East, analysing investment competitiveness across regional markets, and worked on business and regulatory policy for the State of California and at a think tank in San Francisco. Rob is on the board of directors of US non-profit, Capitol Area Asset Builders; is an advisor to IssueVoter, a civic engagement venture; and Asoko Insight, an Africa-based corporate data venture.

Russell Johnstone

Trustee

Russell leads the legal team for BT’s three Consumer brands (BT, EE and Plusnet) supporting their voice, broadband, mobile, TV and sport businesses. He started his career at a leading London law firm advising clients across the media, communications and technology sectors in the UK and internationally, and has held various in-house legal roles within TV and broadcasting. Russell is also a trustee of the Social Mobility Business Partnership, an organisation dedicated to improving social mobility in the legal and finance professions.

Sunil Suri

Trustee

Sunil is Head of Ventures and Innovation at Catch22, a national charity building resilience and aspiration in communities across the UK. Sunil brings a strong understanding of the early-stage social venture landscape in the UK - since 2018, he has led Catch22’s work with social ventures, supporting entrepreneurs to develop solutions that have the potential to transform the delivery of public services. Sunil previously set up his own social enterprise focused on supporting frontline workers in the homelessness sector after completing a Social Innovation Fellowship at Year Here.

Nick Temple

Trustee

Nick is Chief Executive Officer of Social Investment Business and a leading figure in the social investment and enterprise sectors. As well as serving as Chair of Social Investment Forum, Nick was previously Deputy CEO at Social Enterprise UK, where he helped the biggest network of social enterprises in the UK more than treble its membership numbers, develop its Buy Social Corporate Challenge and led the organisation on healthcare and research. Previously, Nick worked with organisations including the British Council and UnLtd.

Mehjabeen Patrick

Trustee

Mehjabeen has over 25 years of experience working in finance and investment at a leadership level. She is currently the founding CFO and Investment lead at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s newly created Culture & Creativity initiative, which is working to transform Europe’s cultural and creative sectors by increasing innovation and competitiveness. Prior to her current role, Mehjabeen served as both Chief Finance Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Creative UK, where she raised multimillion pound funds from the public and private sectors to invest in creative companies. Mehjabeen has also served as the UK representative on the European Commission’s Access to Finance group. Her passion lies in supporting businesses, helping them to grow, scale and prosper and enabling public and private partnerships to build and flourish. In addition to her day job, Mehjabeen serves on the Board of several organisations and sits on the British Design Fund’s Investment Committee.