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Founder's letter to members

Boardwave review of 2023


A more successful, more equal, more inclusive European software industry

When we launched Boardwave in May 2022, our goal was to build the ultimate networking community of software leaders in Europe. To recreate Silicon Valley's collaborative community benefits, which have fostered some of the world's most valuable companies. Boardwave members share ideas, best practices, experience and provide mentorship, to build more successful companies, with global champions of our own.


A bold vision:

A year of success which exceeded all our expectations

The Boardwave community has grown rapidly and now has 1,200+ founders, CEOs, software leaders and partners among our members, with representation in almost every country in Europe. Having started here first, seventy percent of our members are in the UK, however, following launches in France, Germany and the Netherlands in 2023, this is where we see the strongest EU growth. And with a strong focus on gender equity, Boardwave's female members make up 20 percent of the overall network


Members Discussing the Boardwave Community

Review of 2023


Events

Our events have been of the highest quality, with world-class ‘debate hosts’ stimulating discussions on topics, focusing on our members' issues and concerns. But just as importantly they serve to enable people to connect around areas of common interest, and to build new relationships. We hosted more than 30 live events across Europe with 1100 attendees in 2023: including breakfast debates, VIP dinners and workshops. We launched Boardwave Live, our first annual conference, in September at BAFTA London, where more than 250 Boardwave members attended the all-day event and networking evening. This was an important milestone, as we launched our bold vision for European software to be a global leader by 2033, and began to describe our collective route to success, and for the businesses of each of our individual members. We will launch a more detailed blueprint in the next few weeks.



Mentoring

Almost half of our 1,200+ strong community agreed to mentor others. In total, nearly 6,000 hours have been pledged. We support our mentors through workshops and guidance on best practice. And we helped mentees with information on how to find a mentor. We increasingly hear success stories like this one between one of our Nextwavers and one of our Patrons.


Mentor-mentee video case study

Alongside this we have European CEOs participating in our, year long, peer-to-peer support programme, Boardwave Breakouts, which we developed in partnership with our Executive Coach Esther Kerstholt.


Breakout sessions bring together six to eight software leaders

To tackle members’ business and leadership challenges in a smaller trusted peer group. In year one, the programme welcomed 75 members across the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, with the next new cohorts kicking off in France in January and the UK in March.


Where Boardwave leads
  1. AI: in the rapidly changing, crowded and often confusing world of AI, we seek to offer clarity to our members. To provide a platform through which they can make practical decisions on its application for business efficiency, as well as an introduction into their products. Q1 2024 will see the launch of our online masterclass series where our expert coaches will deepen our knowledge and understanding, so our members can make critical business decisions related to the application of AI in their firms. There will also be dinner debates and business building breakfasts. 


  1. DEI: We already have over 200 female leaders in our network through outreach programmes we ran this year, with the goal of creating a more equal and diverse European software sector. In 2024 we go further, on January 23, we launch Boardwave Emerge, a pilot to connect the next generation of female NEDs with CEOs looking to bring diversity of thought, ideas and backgrounds to their boards. We are also growing our Impact Partner programme to support amazing organisations doing great work across the diversity spectrum.


  1. Single Voice to Governments: You will hear much more from us on this subject in 2024, with engagement in Brussels and London, as well as locally in each of our major European markets. We are developing a strong position to support our members' needs, which we will discuss with you, and seek your endorsement throughout the year.


What to expect in 2024


As Boardwave expands across Europe, with planned launches in Italy (H1) and the Nordics (H2), we continue connecting all of our members, sparking interesting debates, cultivating new ideas and growing the European software industry. Here are some highlights of our programme for next year: 


Boardwave Masterclasses

A curated series of online workshops led by world-leading industry experts and open to all members and partners across Europe. Launching in January, each masterclass series covers one topic area in a series of six to eight parts. The first three series that we are launching cover topics such as product strategy and scaling sales, followed by practical AI.


Scaling Sales Masterclass Series: Sneak Peak

Products Masterclass Series: Sneak Peak

Practical AI Masterclass Series: Sneak Peak

Impact Partners

We have seen a profound generational shift in how employees gain meaning from the workplace, particularly following the pandemic. As leaders, we must build businesses of consequence that deliver a culture with a clear mission and purpose. This is a change for many firms. In support of ‘doing business with a conscience’, Boardwave is launching its Impact Partner programme, which connects leaders with organisations that are designed to make an impact in the communities we serve. Impact Partners support causes such as attaining excellence in DEI, improving skills sets for the disadvantaged, empowering Black founders and funding groundbreaking medical research. There will be an opportunity to meet and engage with our first ten Impact Partners on February 20 at our next major networking event.


Boardwave research

We plan to develop cutting-edge thought leadership and research projects in collaboration with our partners, and members. As an independent social enterprise, we are uniquely positioned to deliver impartial original insight, empowering our members, and revolutionising the European software industry. We actively seek engagement with Patrons & Nextwavers, as collaborators. If you’re interested in joining us in shaping the future of European software in this way, please let me know?


The Boardwave team expands

As our community grows, so does our team. We are excited to introduce three new team members; Digital Director, Ryan Mulchrone, who joined from Sifted, to develop our member's digital experience and our online platform. We are also investing in more support for our partners through recently appointed Partnership Success Manager, Anna Simpson, and Partner Development Manager Rory Copus and there are further new hires arriving this month.


Refer more Boardwave members

Please read the testimonials booklet to see what other members are saying about Boardwave. We want to continue to grow our network, our influence and the benefits for our members. So if there are people (Software founders, CEOs, Chairs, NEDs) in your network that you think would gain benefit from being a member please invite them to join. We would urge you to consider who else in your network should be part of Boardwave and invite them to join.


Boardwave charitable giving

We have a commitment, after considering our capital and cash flow requirements, to donate any surplus funds each year, to charity. Our chosen Charity Partner is Cure Parkinson's and I am delighted to announce that we gave them a donation of £190,000 in the last 12 months to support urgent medical research into a cure for this chronic degenerative disease. 


2024 – here we come!

As Boardwave member, I wanted to personally thank you for your support,  collaboration & engagement in 2023. We have achieved so much in the last 18 months - beyond my wildest dreams actually - and your engagement and contribution is invaluable in helping us empower other software industry leaders to build, grow and scale great companies.


 We look forward to continuing the journey together. 


Carpe diem, 





Phill Robinson 

Founder & CEO 

Boardwave Ltd.

+44 7798 851032

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