It’s been an honour witnessing the impressive growth of the UK tech scene over the past decade. Before joining Benevolent in 2018, I spent five years helping the Government harness the potential of technology: maximising the growth of the digital economy and serving as the UK’s first Minister for Internet Security and Safety. In the years since thousands of fast-growth startups have flourished in Britain, each founded with the hope that our world can be improved through technology. It is gratifying to see that so many fellow members of this year's Future Fifty cohort are inspired and committed to the dream of ‘what can be’, and are channelling this into innovations that fundamentally change things for the better.
Tech Nation’s Future Fifty was founded with the purpose of bringing together the country’s most successful tech businesses to build a powerful network of peers. With the help of the tech community, the programme supports companies in achieving their global ambitions, creating jobs and opportunities across the UK, and inspiring the next generation of tech entrepreneurs, founders and businesses. Community and knowledge sharing helped establish the UK as one of the leading locations to start, nurture and grow or tech-enabled disruptive businesses, with a number of high profile success stories listing on the LSE.
In these challenging times, we have seen the global scientific community mobilise to respond to the deadly disease ravaging our planet, and have once again witnessed how community serves as a powerful vehicle for transformation and hope. Finally, as UK tech journeys into a new phase in a post-Brexit world, it is more important than ever that we join forces with like-minded industry experts to drive forward towards a more purposeful future.
I am inspired by the uncompromising determination and passion of the talented team we have assembled here at Benevolent. We are united by our mission to push the boundaries of technology and to use AI and machine learning to develop more effective medicines for patients in areas of significant unmet need. Experts from diverse technology and scientific disciplines such as machine learning, drug discovery and engineering work together towards a common goal: a future in which no disease goes untreated. Having Future Fifty by our side for the journey ahead will undoubtedly help us further deliver against this vision.
The saying goes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is no doubt true of the UK tech scene: together, we make up the number-three tech startup ecosystem in the world. Together, we have secured our place at the heart of the biggest story of 21st-century growth and promise. Together, we are working on solutions to pressing global challenges that will impact quality of life and improve society for all.
Joanna Shields, CEO