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Questions & Answers with Tom McGillycuddy from CIRCA5000

Tom McGillycuddy is the co – founder of CIRCA5000, an influential investment platform.

McGillycuddy launched CIRCA5000 with co – founder Matt Lathamin 2018, known as ticr at the time.

CIRCA5000 it allows retail investors to invest in “responsible businesses that see value in our ongoing lives”.

Portfolio companies include plant-based meat alternative products Beyond Meat, Oatly’s alternative dairy products company and cybersecurity firm Darktrace.

The London-based company has raised over £ 10m from investors including Ada Ventures and Love Ventures.

At the latest Founder in Five Q&AMcGillycuddy explains why he had to make his way through early money laundering, reveals who he loves most fintech matters and explains why he believes nuclear energy is a misunderstood technology.

1. What funding advice would you give to a first-time founder?

TM: Do not accept the rejection personally. Especially in the early days, during the first round of funding, you have to get used to 99 “numbers” out of 100. It is a game of numbers, stamina and resilience.

When my co – founder Matt Latham and I started out, we had no connections in the VC industry and had to make our way through our early fundraisers. If we had stopped at the first “no”, or had a heart attack, we would not have even reached the blocks.

2. What are the best and worst parts of your job?

TM: The best can be the hardest too. I love that I deal with many different disciplines every day – from marketing and product, to engineering, people management, customer operations and fundraising.

Every day stays fresh because of that. However, it can also be mentally exhausting, and sometimes you feel that you are not stuck with certain things that you need to make the best decision.

3. Who is the leader you respect in your industry?

TM: It’s not exactly within my industry, but I have always admired Elon Musk for consistently taking bold bets throughout his entrepreneurial career, even after having a few successes with Zip2 & X.com/PayPal.

His ambition grew and grew with each success. Within fintech, I admire Nikolay Storonsky for the speed with which Revolut has built, and how fast they have grown internationally.

4. What is a fact about you that would surprise people?

TM: I have a golf handicap of 1, and hope to compete someday in a professional event. I grew up right next to a golf course, and I used to sneak into the night when I was a kid, before I could join.

Any spare moment I get I want to practice or play in some way – which upsets my girlfriend and family!

5. What is the most misunderstood technology?

TM: I think there is a misunderstanding of nuclear energy. Public sentiment has not recovered from today’s infamous accidents, but I am convinced that if we have the chance to tackle climate change in any meaningful period of time, we should invest heavily in it.

Its safety has come a long way, and I think that it should be the foundation of our future UK energy policy, allowing us greater energy independence and unrivaled reliability.

Founder in Five – UKTN’s Q&A series with the entrepreneurs behind UK start – ups, scales, unicorns and public technology companies – published every Friday.



Questions & Answers with Tom McGillycuddy from CIRCA5000

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