By Philip Dutton, CEO & Founder
This was first published as a LinkedIn Pulse piece entitled:
I'm a Global Citizen but London will always be my home away from home
I was naturally excited to share why London was so important to me and Solidatus, a software company I co-founded and I am now the CEO of. London was my home for over 20 years and with that it has given me opportunities that I would have never otherwise had.
Around this time last year, I moved with my family to Houston, Texas to support the global growth of the business. So being asked to comment on London’s desire to be the next Silicon Valley led me to think about this personal tale of two cities, each crucial to Solidatus in their own way.
My move coincided with the opening of our North American headquarters; I knew that on-the-ground presence and commitment were key to further expand this critical market. Why Texas? Not just for the BBQ, but for many of the same reasons London has been so pivotal in our success; both are:
- Connected cities: growing tech ecosystems, access to the most complex data organizations, business-friendly time zones and direct flights to global business centres.
- Talented cities: global melting pots of cultures and diversity, and highly educated, driven, innovative and experienced workforces.
- Friendly cities: ecosystems that support and encourage those who call them home, in environments that enable truly world-class experiences.
Our incubation within the London tech ecosystem – which still thrives today and will continue for many years to come – enabled us to bring a world-class product to market and have it immediately resonate with the audience it was designed for: we deliver a data management solution that enables organizations to discover, connect and visualize their data relationships to improve data governance practices. This not only ensures compliance but enables businesses to make trusted data-driven decisions. Solidatus is increasingly in high demand because complex and data-rich organizations want to find a better way to manage their data and deliver value to the business. Just like exponential data growth, there is exponential growth of businesses looking for the data edge.
The banking and financial services sectors have been quick and early adopters of our software, with some of the largest banks becoming enterprise customers and strategic investors. The US and UK lead the way when it comes to financial services, so starting the company in the UK was by far one of our best decisions.
We have been able to leverage the diverse and very skilful developer community, while attracting experienced talent from some of the largest organizations. We then further leveraged London when we went to raise our Series A funding in 2020/21, having a smorgasbord selection of firms at our fingertips.
So, when ITV News came knocking at our door seeking comment from a tech leader on Jeremy Hunt’s announcement that day, I was quick share my experience and views. The UK Chancellor announced that he wants to grow the nation’s economy on four pillars – Enterprise, Education, Employment and Everywhere. This plan aims to make the UK the next Silicon Valley and turn it into a hub for technology innovation. To me, this wasn’t new news; it’s a cause that I will continually back based on the roots we have built in London and the support it has given us to grow Solidatus.
As a ‘Global Citizen’, I was fortunate enough to be born and raised till the age of 12 in Papua New Guinea. This allowed me to run free and explore till the end of days all the magic it had to offer. Daily, I learned from my entrepreneurial parents who worked together to support our family and an underserved community. Brisbane in Australia was my next home, where I was able to develop my studies and learn the importance of dedication, leadership and teamwork through playing elite-level rugby. To this day, I have forged some of the best friendships and leading examples of camaraderie. After completing my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in information technology, I quickly developed the travel bug, and the UK was target number one.
I spent the next 20 years in London, immersing myself in everything it had to offer and capitalizing on the ability to enrich myself in business and travel opportunities. Working and living in such a fast-paced and highly competitive environment was challenging yet rewarding. It was the birthplace of Solidatus, and I was also fortunate enough to meet my wife and start a family there. The US is now my fourth home, and it would not have been possible without the strong foundation Solidatus has built in the UK. We are now a truly global organization and will leverage the success and support to continually deliver value and ensure we have a truly global impact.
Here’s the news clip. If you stick with it to the end, you’ll also see how a CEO can win not just in business but at table football.