Headspace Stories are about getting to know the residents of our Farringdon, Marylebone and Manchester Spaces. Being part of the Headspace Network, means working alongside some amazing entrepreneurial business minds. Ale (Co-Founder of Wilbe Ventures) has been with us since the beginning of our own adventure, so it was a pleasure to sit with him and find out about his journey whilst at Headspace Farringdon.
What do you do at Wilbe?
At Wilbe we support technical talent who are looking to solve systemic problems through the use of deep tech stacks, including AI, blockchain and robotics. We are based in London and earlier this year we welcomed new partners based in Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai to extend our support across other key innovation hubs.
How did you get into this?
My teachers used to say that I had a disruptive predisposition, after all Rage Against The Machine was pretty much the soundtrack to my teen-hood! I developed an interest for all forward-looking things and, while training to qualify as a solicitor in the City in 2011 I co-founded Wilbe, after William Wilberforce, the abolitionist of slavery of whom I first studied during high school.
Come 2014 I left the legal profession, fell in love with Headspace, decided to move all our operations here and evolved Wilbe into a full circle advisory firm for innovative businesses.
Having advised some 40 companies, in early 2016 I started accepting minority equity consideration for the support rendered, realised that this was more fun than straight-out fees and have since been focusing on growing our portfolio of Wilbe Ventures focusing on key sectors like health, privacy, mobility and education.
Describe a typical day in your work life?
A typical day, regardless of where I am, would start with a quick glance at my inbox to see overnight emails coming from Asia or the West Coast, including a 10 minute stretch and a coffee. Typically I have the day riddled with meetings with old and new friends and would use the second part of the afternoon / evening to execute on all the action points discussed. I enjoy cooking dinner, the only chunk of time that I really manage to spend away from a screen. There are a couple of local pubs around my place that offer a solid wifi connection - I sometimes head there after dinner to send some final e-mails. The regulars don’t seem to mind this tech invasion anymore.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
It comes difficult for me to call this a ‘job': I am basically doing full-time what I used to do in my spare-time and I am just VERY lucky to have managed to meet investors / partners to support the Wilbe mission and to have me to guide it. The most rewarding part of what I do is the purpose that I feel after every meeting, signature, flight.
Are there any challenges in your job and how do you handle them?
Of course, the number one challenge for us is managing risk: how do you decide to invest time and resources in a company that has barely been incorporated and which is looking to challenge or serve organisations like the NHS, the Ministry of Education or a major retail bank? The mortality rate is huge in the innovation space and to reduce that we try to gather as much insight as possible around the target market and the status quo of the technology but ultimately the questions that we will have to reply positively are 2: 1) do we like these guys? 2) are we confident in their technical skills?
What are the top 3 things you do outside of work?
Meet new People
Find out what they like
Explore a way to help them
Wilbe's Next Event
Monday 25th September 2017, 6pm - 9pm
'Showcasing OpenMaps, AI and ICO-based portfolio ventures'
Wilbe welcomes you to their Autumn pitch session, where you will get to witness live demonstration pitches from four of Wilbe's Venture companies. After each 7 minute presentation, you will get the chance to ask the founders some hardball questions to really heat things up.
The evening will commence and conclude with BEERS AND NACHOS at Wilbe's open bar - a great accompaniment to new conversations.
There is no bad conversation that one could have, so do reach out if you are ever in Headspace Farringdon!
Sign up to this event via Eventbrite
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