Tech Trailblazers founder shortlisted in Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2020 News Posted by Rose Ross | 24/09/2020 Words like hugely honoured, humbled, delighted, ecstatic all come to mind. Any kind of recognition in an awards is always incredibly flattering. To get shortlisted twice is just incredible. Firstly, congratulations and best of the luck to the other amazing ladies that I am delighted to share the spotlight in this: Entrepreneur of the Year: Kike Oniwinde, BYP NetworkCaroline Carruthers, Carruthers and JacksonDaniela Menzky, CyNationNicky Hoyland, DBLXDebbie Garside, GeoLang LimitedJane Rimmer, hiviz-marketingJoanna Montgomery, Little RiotCarol-Anne Krech, MiSANTO AGNathalie Goldstein, MyExpatTaxesSarah Ronald, Nile HQSeema Khinda Johnson, NuggetsClaire Chettiar, PearsonRachel Jones, SnapDragon Monitoring LtdKiran Roest, Vital Signs SolutionsRose Ross, Tech Trailblazers Hero of the Year: SME: Anna Bauza, ApplicasterToni Scullion, dressCodeJane Keith, IFSAmanda Nelson, LogicalisAmanda Brock, OpenUKRose Ross, Tech Trailblazers Great to see amongst us former Female Tech Trailblazing winner Daniela Menzky (CyNation) and the wonderful Jane Rimmer (hiviz-marketing) who I have known for many years and enjoyed the odd glass of wine together at vBeers. Best of luck to all those shortlisted, including great Tech Trailblazers ambassador, Tracy Monday, nominated as Transformation Leader: Tech Sector. And thanks, of course, to the awards organisers at Incisive Media and the judges who are working to shine a light on the great Women in Tech. Bravo! If you are a Female Trailblazer at an enterprise tech startup, there is still (just) time to enter for Female Trailblazer of the Year in our awards (Deadline is tomorrow!). Just visit us here: www.techtrailblazers.com to enter. As I have always been a huge advocate of sharing the stories of Tech Role Models, I think I should stand up and be counted too so here is my entry. I hope that something in what I shared inspires and enlightens and if not at least entertains. Find me on LinkedIn and let me know your thoughts. #WeAreTechTrailblazers Tech Excellence Award 2020 questionnaire Rose Ross, Chief Trailblazer and Founder, The Tech Trailblazers Nominee First NameRoseNominee SurnameRossNominee Job TitleChief TrailblazerNominee CompanyTech TrailblazersLinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/roseross/Twitter:www.twitter.com/Rose_at_O Q. What have been your most significant achievements in the IT industry in the past year? RR: Joining Bytes for Heroes – Bytes for Heroes is a tech charity initiative on a mission to feed a million NHS key workers. I was invited to join the team, at the beginning of Lockdown and that was a huge honour. I was invited to become one of the trustees soon after getting involved it. The Bytes for Heroes team (All volunteers within the tech industry) was nominated in the Rising Star Awards as Team of the Year. https://event.computing.co.uk/risingstars/en/page/2020-shortlist Launching the #FoundersonFire podcast for Tech Trailblazers – Back in February 2020, I started the #FoundersonFire podcast where I interview CEOs and founders of previous winners of the Tech Trailblazers awards. The podcasts can be found here: https://bit.ly/FoundersonFire #Launching the #WeAreTechBritannia podcast – We have reinvigorated the TechBritannia site and have started recording the #WeAreTechBritannia podcasts which will be launching in Summer 2020. www.TechBritannia.co.uk (Update the podcasts went live a few weeks ago. Here’s with Dr Ranulf Scarborough on the project he is leading to connect Polynesia with fibre (to-the-island). Stepping out from the shadows: I was used to shining the spotlight and supporting and promoting the achievements in other people’s businesses and achievements as a PR professional .. That is something I enjoy immensely, but I have pushed forward Tech Trailblazers Awards and TechBritannia from the shadows, shuffling my feet, with my head down. 2020 has been the year that I changed that. It began just before lockdown with a trip in San Francisco to attend leading cybersecurity event, RSA, when I asked John Furrier, founder of Silicon Angle, to interview me about the Awards. To my delight, he agreed. The Silicon Angle interview (http://bit.ly/TheCubeRoseRossatRSA2020) was a huge success and so it begins….Being nominated for the Women in Tech Excellence Awards is part of that journey. Q. Tell us about your current role and what motivates you. What has been the driving force behind your career strategy? RR: At present, I serve as the Chief Trailblazer of the Tech Trailblazers, which is a platform for enterprise tech startups; the MD of Omarketing, a specialist tech PR and marketing consultancy; the co-founder of TechBritannia, a British technology news site and community platform which is being relaunched at present and as a volunteer for Bytes for Heroes. The driving force in my career path (I think referring to it as a strategy indicates a level of planning which just wasn’t there) to do things that make a difference in areas of the technology industry which I am passionate about: Tech startups, especially in the enterprise tech space so cyber security, data storage, cloud, mobile amongst others; And another is British technology. I am immensely proud of our heritage as a powerful force in the technology revolution and evolution; from Ada Lovelace through Joan Clarke and Alan Turing and modern day Great Tech Britons like Sir Jony Ive (Who is twelve days younger than me), Sir Tim Berners Lee, Dr Sue Black to name but a few of the many, many amazing Britons in tech. Q. What one achievement or task in your career are you most proud of? RR: Great achievements along the way, but one really shines out…. I have a lot to be proud of running a successful PR and marketing firm for over two decades. Prior to that I had marcoms roles in a number of small British tech startups and had my first community role as the marketing chair for Digital Equipment Corporation User Society (DECUS). Founding the Tech Trailblazers, the leading independent platform for enterprise tech startups. We have recognised over 300 amazing startups in AI, Big Data, Blockchain, Containers, Developer, FinTech, IoT spotlight over one hundred enterprise tech startups from around the world including from the Bulgaria, US, Australia, Israel, India, the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Ireland – Since its inception in 2012, winning Tech Trailblazers have raised in excess of $2 billion dollars, successfully IPOed and been acquired by the likes of Amazon, Dropbox Google, HPE, Microsoft, Sandisk amongst others. TechBritannia is being relaunched and I was very proud of our first launch – The Tech Torch Tour – around the UK tech scene in 80 hours with my co-founder Eric Doyle – Homage to Phileas Fogg’s fictional adventure around the world in 80 days. #WeAreTechBritannia was a breakneck tour kicking off our successful crowdfunding campaign. We started in Jersey and visited and talked with government, startup organisations, tech entrepreneurs and academics in Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast, Newcastle, Norwich, Cambridge and finally ending up on a startup bus in Central London and beers at a startup space (of course). Balancing home and work life has been the greatest achievement of my career…. I am very proud of all that I have achieved both in tech PR and in the tech startup scene with the Tech Trailblazers and TechBritannia and more recently with volunteering for Bytes for Heroes, but the greatest achievement of all and what I am most of proud of is to a tech entrepreneur founding three amazing businesses and holding a number of volunteer positions as a mum and more recently as a single mum. My son and I are very close and being able to balance a career of some substance and the even larger task of being a Mum has been both the greatest challenge (Very, very challenging at times!) and the greatest achievement hands down. I am very, very lucky to have both of those amazing things in my life. Q. What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career? RR: Do not be afraid to ask for help if and when you need it.And you will need it from time to time. It is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength to go beyond the desire to look good individually, but to look at getting the job done as expertly and quickly as possible. I have always focused on my strengthens and given other tasks to experts in other fields. But even in areas where I am strong, I always seek advice and insight from other experts in that field. Working with end users is often one of the most insightful times in any career regardless of your own role within a company. Collaborative efforts always outshine lone ranger efforts. Q. What is your top tip for women looking to start a career in IT? RR: Do what you love, making a difference in an area you feel passionate about. And do it with people who you respect, admire and love working with – and the feeling is mutual. As a woman who has worked in tech for three decades I now (finally!) say: ”Don’t be afraid to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight and share what you have achieved and what you believe in!” That is definitely a lesson I would like to have shared with my younger self when I was starting out in my career. And don’t always follow the rules (See what I did there. That is three pieces of advice, but at least I stayed within the word count) Q. What is the one thing you would do to encourage more women into the IT sector? RR: Flexible working. Make it easier for everyone to balance with what they want and need in life. Aspiring to have a career and a life outside the office – be that a family or whatever that might look like is. This isn’t just for women this is for men too. If we followed the examples of societies which value women but also everyone’s right to have an amazing life inside and outside work, we would see more people pursuing their dreams in STEM careers. I think a view to the examples set up Scandinavian countries would be a great place to start! Just as an FYI – This Woman in Tech’s Timeline: 1967 – Born on the “almost” 100th year anniversary Menedeleev’s creation of the Periodic System. Later to become known as the Periodic Table which has been a long-standing fascination if not obsession for me with the Periodic Table. 1981 – Decided against taking Physics “O”Levels based on not wanting to be taught misogynistic Physics teacher, if the timetabling had been different a different career path may have emerged. 1983 – Despite better grades in Maths and Sciences, decided to do English and Modern Language “A” Levels, 1986 – Later realising the lack of a Physics at “O” level and Maths and sciences at “A” level studies a BSc in International Business and German at Aston University 1990 – Graduates from Aston and falls into a career at a small British startup on Aston Science Park (After a very short-lived (Three month) career in recruitment)1992 – Becomes Marketing Chair at the DECUS UK1998 – Founded Omarketing, a PR and marketing consultancy focused on technology1999 – Volunteered on the IT Relief committee – raising funds through a charity ball for the tech industry 2010 – Joined TechUK’s Marketing and Sales Committee2012 – Founded the Tech Trailblazers, a global initiative recognising and rewarding the crème de la crème of Enterprise Tech Startups2014 – Became a Tech London Advocate and joins this unrivalled collection of tech leaders, entrepreneurs and experts across the UK and in over 50 countries worldwide.2016 – Co-founded TechBritannia launching with the #TechTorchTour crowdfunding campaign. Visiting Belfast, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Jersey, London, Newcastle and Norwich in less than 80 hours.2020 – Launched Tech Trailblazers #FoundersonFire podcast series Relaunched TechBritannia and launched TechBritannia #WeAreTechBritannia podcast series www.TechBritannia.co.ukVolunteered Bytes for Heroes>What’s next? – Can I save that for next year’s application? Thanks for reading.