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The most influential person in UK tech is …

I got an email the other day saying that I am now the most influential person in the UK, not just for FinTech … but for technology in general. I was and am shocked.

I don’t really subscribe to influencer lists, as most do not take into account the readership of the blog (they just use social media rankings), but this was pretty flattering, especially as I beat Richard Branson and Simon Taylor, so … here’s the press release.

Size doesn’t matter when it comes to influence

This year’s Tyto Tech 500 Power List shows individuals and founders exert more influence in the UK tech sector than leaders from big corporates

  • 80% of the top 500 influencers are individuals, founders or represent smaller organisations
  • No FTSE 100 companies are represented in the top 100

Today, European tech PR agency, Tyto publishes its second annual Tech 500 Power List, revealing the most influential individuals in the UK tech sector.

The ‘Tech 500’, which is the only impartial data-driven influence study in the UK tech sector, shows that small company leaders and independent tech evangelists are outranking representatives of large tech firms when it comes to being heard. In fact, only 13 FTSE 100 companies had any representatives at all among the top 500.

80% of the individuals on the Tech 500 are independent or from smaller organisations, suggesting that working for a major firm doesn’t necessarily equate to increasing your personal influence. In fact, among the Tech 100, there were no individuals from FTSE 100 companies, as even last year’s overall top influencer Stephen Kelly has since departed his role at Sage.

The top 10 influencers for 2018 are:

    2017 Change
1 Chris Skinner – Blogger 199  
2 Graham Cluley – Self Employed 38  
3 Stephen Kelly – Entrepreneur Investor 1  
4 Simon Taylor – 11:FS 46  
5 Bill Buchanan – Napier University 54  
6 Emma Jones – Enterprise Nations 215  
7 Mike Butcher – TechCrunch 2  
8 Anne Boden – Starling Bank 6  
9 Reshma Sohoni – Seedcamp 47  
10 Jamie Burke – Outlier Ventures NEW

Brendon Craigie, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Tyto, commented:

“The lack of major tech firms on year’s Tyto Tech 500 Power List, shows that the size of your marketing and public relations budget does not guarantee you a position of influence. Individuals and smaller organisations who are passionate, committed and purposeful, have an equal if not better chance of making a major contribution to the direction of the UK tech sector. This is evidence that the UK tech sector is a dynamic environment, where innovation thrives.”

The Tyto Tech 500 Power List was created in partnership with delineate, using a five-stage data-driven analysis process, assessing an individual’s traditional and social media influence as well as prominence at public events.

To see the Tech 50 or download the Tech 100 visit: www.tytopr.com/powerlist 

The Tyto Tech 500 Power List 2018 found FinTech to be by far the most prolific sector.

Aside from those falling into the ‘general tech’ subsector (28%), no other sector comes near to FinTech in terms of the number of people who made this year’s list. Key opinion formers in FinTech make up 19% of this year’s list, while no other sector comprises more than 6% of the overall 500. Not only does the sector continue to dominate others such as AI, SecureTech and RetailTech, but numbers are growing. Last year FinTech was the largest sector in the rankings, with 74 entrants. This year, that number has grown to 95.

The make-up of the ranking, which is based on earned media coverage, social media activity and conference circuit profile also makes for interesting reading:

  • 79 of the FinTech entrants are business leaders, eight are journalists, seven are venture capitalists and one is an academic;
  • The gender gap remains stubbornly similar to last year with only 25% of the 95 FinTech influencers being women. Sadly, the number of women in the top Tech 50 FinTech entrants has declined, with only nine women in the top 50 compared to last year’s 15.
  • 49 of this year’s 95 are new entrants to the list. These include Megan Caywood, Chief Platform Officer at Starling Bank, Jaidev Janardana, CEO of Zopa, and Anil Stocker, Co-founder and CEO of MarketInvoice.

Further key trends revealed by this year’s study include:

Influencers are becoming more influential

The raw scores used to determine the ranking of the Tech 500 have increased by an average of 45% compared with 2017, suggesting that the UK’s tech influencers are in fact becoming more influential. Several names have achieved the same scores as 2017, but have slipped down in the rankings as the environment becomes more competitive.

FinTech dominates

95 of the Tech 500 influencers come from the FinTech sector, equal to a 19% share. No other sub-sector made up more than 6% of the overall list and fintech influencers made up 30% of the top 10.

The gender gap narrows (a little)

31% of this year’s list is made up by women, and increase from 24% in 2017, showing hopeful signs that there is an increasing platform for women to rise to the top in tech.

Business leaders grow their authority

68% of this year’s Tech 500 is made up of business leaders, an increase on 60% in 2017. Conversely, while journalists still retain the number two spot by sub-group with 18%, they have slipped down from 24% last year, reflecting a challenging year for the media industry more broadly.


About Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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