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EIE18 Keynote speakers


Dame Stephanie “Steve” Shirley
Entrepreneur and philanthropist

Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In 1962, she founded Freelance Programmer, a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team members.

Pushing the boundaries for gender equality, working practice, the IT industry, the role of the internet in society and research on autism disorders, Dame Shirley dedicates herself to the causes she believes in.


Elaine Burbidge
Eileen Burbidge MBE
Partner, Passion Capital

Eileen Burbidge is a Partner at Passion Capital, the pre-eminent early-stage technology venture fund based in London. She brings extensive operational experience to her investment activities gleaned from business and product roles at Yahoo!, Skype, Apple and elsewhere. On behalf of Passion, Eileen serves as non-executive director on a number of fast growing SMEs including Monzo Bank, Digital Shadows, Tide, Prowler.io and Focal Point Positioning, among others.

In addition to Passion Capital, Eileen is also the Chair of Tech City UK, which is the British government-backed organisation supporting the digital economy across the UK. She is also the UK Treasury’s Special Envoy for FinTech appointed by the Chancellor; Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London’s office and served on former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group. Eileen was made an MBE for services to Business in June 2015 and holds a BSc Engineering degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Nigel Eccles - FanduelLesley Eccles - FanduelRob Jones - FanDuel
FanDuel Founders and EIE Alumni
Nigel Eccles, Lesley Eccles & Rob Jones

On July 21, 2009, after taking in $1.2 million in venture funding from Pentech Ventures and Scottish Enterprise, five entrepreneurs in Edinburgh launched FanDuel, a fantasy sports game which aimed to revolutionise the multi-billion dollar sports market in America.

Over the following years the company grew exponentially, pioneering the daily fantasy sports concept and creating an entirely new industry. Having achieved ‘Unicorn’ status as well as becoming a household name across the US, FanDuel became one of the celebrated champions of the Scottish tech scene, with 6 million users, employing in excess of 400 people, with offices in New York, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Orlando, and Los Angeles.

We first welcomed the founding team to EIE in 2009 when Nigel pitched a previous game concept, and Lesley returned the following year with the ‘FanDuel’ concept. Lesley has subsequently appeared as a keynote speaker at EIE and EIE London. Having all exited the FanDuel business, this is the first time that we’ve had three of the founders together on the EIE stage to tell us about the new businesses they’re launching and what they have learned from the FanDuel experience.



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