Interview With Eric Van der Kleij – Profile, Background – London Tech City, Level 39 Part 2 in partnership with Groupe INSEEC London presents: A Beyond Solutions Boardroom Interview with Eric Van der Kleij, founder of Fintech Hub Level 39, tech entrepreneur and CEO of

In part one of this video series, Eric Van der Kleij and Daniel Steeves discussed the FinTech sector with emphasis on London and the UK, governmental involvement and we heard learnt about his views on technology and why experience is the real value-add resulting from the Start Up sector. A study released by Ernst & Young concluded that Britain was the best place to be an entrepreneur at the moment. With a new-found culture, an improving tax system, thanks to schemes such as the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme,(SEIS) and an advanced regulatory system, Start Ups are beginning to thrive and develop into strong entrepeneurial ecosystems. Additionally, UK Trade and Information (UKTI) has also done a remarkable job of transforming London to make it more friendly for entrepreneurs to set up headquarters.

Culture is going to be critical to the entrepreneurial environment but even more important is removing the stigma of failure within that enviroment. Governments have a big part to play in this: establishing a business is inherently risky and countries should not penalise entrepreneurs excessively if they fail, if only because repeat entrepreneurs who have failed in early endeavours are proven to have higher rates of success than first-time entrepreneurs. This is because the knowledge that they gain through pain, is a precious and scarce commodity.

A lot of countries have really poor public policy when it comes to bankruptcy. If we want people to take a risk, then we have to think through what are the consequences of what would happen if they would fail for their families and for their future.”

—  Eric Ries, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author recognized
for pioneering the Lean Startup movement

Additionally, London faces other challenges  including a considerable funding gap: due to a lack of so called ‘super angels’ we trail with 81 percent less capital raised in the second stage of a startup’s lifecycle compared with Silicon Valley. In the Start Up Economy report, which examined the current state of Australia’s technology sector, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Google predicted that Australian tech businesses will be worth $109 billion by 2023. This report is worth studying because there were five points that the UK tech ecosystem is and should continue to emulate:

1. Recruit More entrepreneurs with the right skills
2. Enhance culture and community engagement
3. Open up markets to tech startups
4. More early stage funding
5. Continue Improving the regulatory environment

Eric Van der Kleij Biography

is a technology entrepreneur ( and an entrepreneurship and technology cluster adviser, most recently appointed Special Adviser to the Canary Wharf Group in London to help further develop the group’s TMT and Financial Technologies strategy. At Canary Wharf he has created the strategy and plans for “Level39” Europe’s largest Financial Technologies (Fintech) accelerator space, occupying the entire 39th floor of 1 Canada Square, the main Canary Wharf tower.

Prior to that he was Chief Executive of the UK’s Tech City Investment Organisation (, where he was appointed in February 2011 to boost investment, entrepreneurship and skills in the “Silicon Roundabout” area of East London. He continues to take a strong interest in Tech City and serves on the Advisory Board.  Previously in 2009, Eric was appointed Chief Adviser to UK Trade & Investment’s Directorate for Investment, the UK’s principal Inward Investment and Trade organisation with over 150 offices and embassies in over 90 countries.

Prior to taking up this role in 2009, he spent the previous six years creating the strategy and establishing the UK Government’s Global Entrepreneur Programme.

Before his work for the UK government, Eric was a pioneering technology entrepreneur having founded his own Fintech company Adeptra, and developed the automation of credit card fraud alerting and collections. He created the business and raised seed, angel and venture capital of $40M and expanded the business to the US.  Adeptra was sold in August 2012 to NYSE listed FICO.

About the Beyond Solutions series

Produced by IntelligentHQ, hosted by Groupe INSEEC London and presented by Daniel Steeves, Beyond Solutions is a “mostly pitch-free” environment: discussions will necessarily include product and company references but, hopefully, used to illustrate rather than to sell.

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