The secret art of early-stage investment

David Gill's meandering investment journey has taken him from law, to corporate finance, to running fund operations at HSBC, to managing a huge tech incubator in Cambridge. Along the way he learnt some important lessons about early-stage startups. In this podcast David shares these lessons: the hard decisions early-stage entrepreneurs have to make; about his three rules for smart investment; judging an entrepreneurship ecosystem; and when investors should trust their instincts. 

David Gill is Managing Director of the St John’s Innovation Centre in Cambridge. He previously ran the Innovation & Technology Unit at HSBC Bank in London (1997-2004), then served as an executive director of a technology venture fund (2005-08). Educated at Cambridge, he was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple before working in corporate finance for US and UK banks. A Sloan Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California (2004-05), he is an Academic Visitor at the Institute of Manufacturing (University of Cambridge Department of Engineering), co-author of numerous publications on innovation, incubation and finance, and a non-executive director of Syndicate Room Ltd and Ask Inclusive Finance Ltd.

Produced by Mark Cotton, Twitter.

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Podcast links:

St John's Innovation Centre - incubator accelerating the growth of ambitious innovative firms in the Cambridge region

ET Capital - early-stage venture capital firm based in Cambridge

Plastic Logic - developer and manufacturer of flexible electronic displays

Spirogen - pharmaceutical company in the AstraZeneca group

SyndicateRoom - connecting ambitious investors with trailblazing companies