Joe White MBE — a Normal Accomplice of Entrepreneur First, a Greylock backed early-stage deep tech fund — is leaving after being appointed as Her Majesty’s Consul-Normal, San Francisco, and Expertise Envoy to america in a brand new, mixed and highly effective, function for the UK authorities.
One of many key figures from the final 20 years of the tech business within the UK, most not too long ago White has been co-chair of GBx, a curated community of British entrepreneurs; a non-executive director for the UK’s Behavioural Insights Staff the place he suggested on social impression expertise merchandise; and a former co-founder of Moonfruit, a web site and ecommerce platform internet hosting 7 million websites, which was acquired by Yell.com in 2012. He acquired an MBE from HM Queen in 2017 for Companies to Expertise Companies.
White brings to the Overseas, Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace (FCDO) large expertise as an entrepreneur and VC. The appointment can be a primary for the UK. White’s function as HM Consul-Normal has been mixed with that of the brand new function of Expertise Envoy to america. TechCrunch understands that this may contain high-level exercise not simply in San Francisco but additionally in Washington DC, as tech goes up the political agenda underneath the brand new Biden Presidency.
White’s mixed function will lead the Consulate, handle relationships within the northwest of the US, help the UK Ambassador to the US on areas of shared UK-US curiosity together with expertise and entrepreneurship, and help Her Majesty’s Commerce Commissioner in “selling and enhancing the UK as accomplice of alternative in commerce, funding and analysis and improvement.”
In a press release, White mentioned: “It’s an honour to characterize the UK at this important time, and a pleasure to help our world-renowned tech sector which continues to go from power to power. I’m trying ahead to working carefully with UK authorities tech groups within the US and within the UK, to additional our rising and essential relationship with the US tech neighborhood.”
Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab added: “The UK and the US are the biggest traders in one another’s economies and this essential appointment additional underlines our dedication to the tech sector. I’m delighted Joe will tackle this enhanced function as we glance to construct again higher and help an revolutionary post-pandemic international economic system.”
White will take up his appointment later this 12 months. He’ll report back to Dame Karen Pierce DCMG, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to america of America.
Joe White simply hit a quadruple. He’s the suitable man, in the suitable place, with the suitable expertise, on the proper time.
He’s a former entrepreneur, investor and has labored on each side of ‘the pond’, so is aware of the UK and European tech scene in addition to Silicon Valley. He has deep connections in all these ecosystems. And it might’t harm that his spouse, Wendy Tan White MBE, is Vice-President at X, (previously Google X), Alphabet’s moonshot firm, and co-founded Moonfruit with him. Moreover, White is not any stranger to the worlds of politics and diplomacy. His father, Michael White, was The Guardian newspaper’s political editor for a few years.
Underneath Prime Minister David Cameron, the UK authorities was a eager exponent of the tech business. Brexit cooled its ire in recent times, however the present chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has proved his curiosity by creating the UK’s Future Fund, hailed as a giant success in the course of the COVID interval.
The UK and US not solely have a shared historical past, however additionally they have shared industries. The UK has been the standard launching pad for US startups into Europe. Likewise, Silicon Valley is now awash with British-born entrepreneurs and traders. However with tensions across the actions of US Massive Tech within the UK (the ‘On-line Harms’ laws is geared toward social platforms), controversies over tax and international safety points all on the agenda, it’s proper that the Consul Normal function in SF is bolstered by this new Tech Envoy moniker.
Silicon Valley can be about to get a fellow tech entrepreneur into one of many highest roles the UK authorities can bestow abroad. There may hardly be a greater particular person for the job.