Ben is an Investment Director based in Stockholm, working on finding new companies, portfolio management and ecosystem building. He’s focussed on the UK and Nordic markets, active across cleantech.
I’m really motived when there’s a purpose at the core of what I’m doing, especially when it’s an interesting one.
This is kind of how I’ve guided myself through my career to be honest, if it had a purpose and if it interested me I was keen to invest my time in it. It’s why I picked physics as the subject to study at undergraduate and why I picked environmental technology for my masters. Everything I’ve done since then has been focussed on climate change, and I’ve loved that, being at the frontier of a changing set of industries and doing something worthwhile. It’s led me to some good places too: screening for novel renewable energy technologies at Google, guiding on multi-£bn government funding schemes for innovation and energy efficiency, and now to my current role in venture.
Hard problems are particularly worth solving
For me this isn’t an arbitrary macho ‘go big or go home’ point, it stems from my view of a life worth living, how if you’re going to take climate change head on then you have to face some big challenges. I also think it’s true that exceptionally valuable companies will be built by solving our biggest problems.
What do you look for in founders?
For me, venture is a relationships business. I set out to work with kind, inspiring people at the frontier of their fields. I find that good relationships aren’t just a way to live a rewarding life though, they’re a valuable ingredient to being able to work productively with people over the years, or decades, it can take to build impactful companies. I think time working in Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden has helped me to work with different cultures and personalities.
I love the buzz of a challenging problem
This is true in my personal life too, outside of work I love to spend time with my partner and pals planning our next adventure. Highlights so far have included a cycle tour of Cuba, hiking across the Corsican mountains for two weeks, exploring the Amazon and hiking in the Arctic Circle.