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A high-flying London tech entrepreneur rocked up to No. 10 in shorts and Ed Vaizey loved it


Matt Miller

A high-flying London tech entrepreneur turned up to Prime Minister David Cameron's house on Thursday evening wearing shorts and trainers after being invited to help choose the next "Founders of the Future."

The Founders of the Future initiative — being led by Lastminute.com cofounder Brent Hoberman through Founders Forum, a network of entrepreneurs and business leaders — is designed to uncover and nurture future technology founders across Europe that are aged 16-35.

Matt Miller, or "Mills" as he likes to be known, told Business Insider at Downing Street that he didn't want to pretend to be something he wasn't by wearing a suit.

"It’s about being real," said Mills. "I’m not going to turn up in something I don’t usually wear. If I was going to meet 100 of the future founders, I want them to know who I am."

He added: "These are my smart shorts so I have made an effort, I bought new trainers."

Mills is the cofounder of a digital product studio called ustwo, which was launched in 2004. The company employs approximately 300 people and has created games like Monument Valley and apps like Dice, which has been backed by the cofounders of Google DeepMind.

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey applauded Mills for his "extremely impressive tech dress down" while giving a speech about tech entrepreneurship at the Founders of the Future reception.

Founders Forum claims the 100 Founders of the Future were selected using an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm and peer recommendations from Mills and the likes of Niklas Zennstrom of Skype, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, and Dame Natalie Massenet.

Mills selected 24-year-old Rikke Koblauch as one of the Founders of the Future. She is part of the UX/UI team at Ustwo and was also selected by the AI algorithm.

Hoberman said that he hoped the event would encourage the 100 Founders of the Future to start their own businesses. "We're trying to build a community of incredible entrepreneurs that aren't yet entrepreneurs," he said.

The cofounder of one successful startup whose employee attended the event told Business Insider: "It was more like look at the most promising hyped companies, invite the management."

Other Founders of the Future include George Burgess, who has created an education app called Gojimo, Dylan Baker, who used to work as a journalist for Tech City News and is about to join ecommerce startup Yieldify, and Josephine Goube, who is co-directing manager at Girls in Tech UK, which is an organisation aiming to get more young female entrepreneurs into technology. One other notable inclusion was Mustafa Al-Bassam, who at 16 was jailed for 20 months for hacking the computer systems of Sony and the CIA.

After the event, Baker said: "Founders of the Future is great because it is taking a very proactive approach to creating the next generation of high growth businesses in the UK.

"I think there were lots of people in the room last night who previously wouldn't necessarily have considered entrepreneurship as part of their career trajectory but after having felt the buzz that there was at the launch event and having engaged with their peers and established entrepreneurs in the room, will definitely consider it going forward, and that's incredibly important."

However, one of the Founders of the Future, who wished to remain anonymous, told Business Insider that the event itself wasn't all that useful but said it was worth attending because there were a lot of people in the room "worth meeting."Ed Vaizey and Brent Hoberman with Founders Forum people


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