Claire Cockerton: CEO & Founder, Plexal
Claire is Founder & CEO of Plexal with expertise in tech clusters, innovation services and startup ecosystems. She founded ENTIQ, an innovation advisory and delivery firm, responsible for running world-leading innovation programmes for companies such as EY, Euroclear, Dassault Systemes and many more. ENTIQ also designed and delivered Cognicity, a smart city technology pilot programme in Canary Wharf which resulted in job creation, investment, awards, international exposure and client contracts for the participating SMEs.
Having designed and developed the Level39 Technology Accelerator in its first two years, Claire was responsible for building the brand of Fintech not only for Canary Wharf but more broadly for the UK, working closely with fintech businesses and large banks alike to understand the challenges and opportunities for innovation and growth in new finance.
Claire was founding Director and CEO of Innovate Finance (IF), a City of London and Canary Wharf Group-backed movement for a more diverse, resilient, accessible and consumer-centric financial services sector. Launched by ENTIQ, 54 fintech Founders and the Chancellor, Innovate Finance's vision was to radically transform every aspect of banking to deliver more choice, better products and services, and benefit to society. Claire's work since the very inception resulted in favourable policy change for fintech businesses, a regional outreach strategy, trade missions to New York and Singapore, historic events (such as the inaugural IF global summit), 100-plus members, and a strong, recognised brand with a powerful mission at its heart.
An Imperial College MBA alumna, specialising in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Design, her distinguished thesis explored incubators, tech transfer and accelerator models from around the world. She helped establish the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg, South Africa and she advised the Guardian Media Group on their 'Digital First' transformation strategy. During her time at The Guardian, she helped implement a company-wide change programme resulting in the launch of their world-class apps, dynamic web content and social media penetration.
Prior to coming to the UK in 2009, Claire founded, grew and sold Aesthetic Earthworks, a multi-million dollar sustainable architecture firm which pioneered environmentally friendly property development and care, based in Toronto, Canada.
Claire is an active member of the Guild of Entrepreneurs, The Mayor of London’s Tech Ambassador Group, Tech London Advocates, Women in Tech and is a fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce.