Entrepreneur first, investor second

Professor Chris Mairs CBE, angel investor, entrepreneur, Venture Partner at Entrepreneur First, patron of Fight For Sight and a fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering, tells his story this week. Chris co-founded telecommunications software company Metaswitch Networks where he was CTO for many years having completed a computer science degree at Cambridge and spending some time at IBM, where his seven-strong co-founding team met. Chris tells us the engaging story of how Metaswitch began, why they hired raw graduates over experienced applicants, and why the importance of a high-quality management team is crucial. 

Chris goes on to discuss his transition from entrepreneur to investor in UK based early-stage technology companies and accelerators. Alongside this, he entertains with his many celebrated international sporting achievements, most recent being his incredible cycle across the USA, fundraising for research into the prevention of sight loss.

To read the podcast transcription please CLICK HERE 

Chris graduated from Cambridge with a first-class honours degree in Computer Science and was co-founder and CTO of Metaswitch Networks. He was chairman of Magic Pony Technology, acquired by Twitter in 2016. He also sits on the boards of several other AI and biotech start-ups and is a trustee of The Raspberry Pi Foundation. He was awarded a CBE in 2014, is a fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering and is an honorary fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. Being blind himself, he rode a tandem across America in 2017, raising $190,000 to restore sight to 4,700 cataract sufferers in the developing world.

Produced by Mark Cotton, Twitter.

Podcast links:

Metaswitch Networks

Article by TechCrunch.com - “Twitter today is taking another step to build up its machine learning muscle, and also potentially to improve how it delivers photos and videos across its apps: the company is acquiring Magic Pony Technology (that is really the name)”

Chris is a Venture Partner at Entrepreneur First, the talent investor.  

Chris is a trustee of The Raspberry Pi Foundation, a fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering and an honorary fellow of Churchill College Cambridge.

A Line of Sight - This ride is Chris’ pledge to cure 60 people of sight loss a day for 60 consecutive days at the age of 60. Chris suffers from a rare form of degenerative sight loss and was registered blind at the age of 18. In earlier years Chris competed in various sports including captaining the British Disabled Waterski team to victory in 3 world championships. Chris undertook his first long-distance cycle ride in 2012 from Lands End to John o’Groats (end to end across the UK) covering 100 miles a day for 10 consecutive days.