What does it take to be a leader in 2017? Vision, persuasion, perseverance and the ability to hustle until you have people standing with you. For entrepreneurs it is more important than ever to have the kind of leadership skills that create belief, buy in, and in time - traction. We have rounded up five top entrepreneurs and investors who offer insights on how to forge your own path.
1. Madison Maxey. Not many people can say that Peter Thiel, PayPal's founder, paid them to give university a miss, and pursue their dream. At the age of 19, Maxey won the prestigious Thiel Fellowship to work on her wearable technology start-up, Loomia.
She demonstrated leadership when breaking away from her peers to build her vision, aware that it was undertaking a considerable risk without a degree, or university network to fall back on.
Her brazen choice has led to innovations such as Google investing in a dress co-designed with Zac Posen, which Maxey infused with programmable LED lights. Other technologies include a wearable EKG monitor, and a climate control jacket using electronic circuits embedded into light weight material, so you can change the temperature while wearing it.
2. Theo Osborne, Co-founder and CMO at Force Over Mass Capital, is giving Silicon Valley a run for its money by supporting the most promising new ideas and technologies to come out of the UK.
His firm is a bridge between venture capital and crowdfunding and so far has over 50 portfolio investments. Their platform is data driven and provides transparency, changing the way many view angel and venture investing for early stage tech. This London based venture capitalist has gone out of his way to raise funding and support for the next wave of British start-ups.
3. Emily Forbes is the Founder and CEO of Seenit - a video collaboration platform. She founded Seenit in London in 2014 after spending three years in the film industry. It was when she was producing one of her own films that she discovered the power of collaborative storytelling. The platform she built led to over 100,000 video submissions, attracted £1 million of investment, and has equalled that in early revenue.
Seenit enables brands to create authentic content at scale by activating their own fans, employees and experts to become the creators. By recruiting talent from Facebook, Spotify and Google, Forbes pulled together an all star team, and now leads one of the top British start-ups to watch.
4. Delphine Braas is the Co-founder of Sailo, a marketplace, connecting boats, captains and renters. After graduating from Columbia Business School, Braas led the star-tup's marketing and growth efforts, with Sailo being invited to join TechStars and gaining investor backing. The team saw a compelling opportunity given that such a large industry had yet to take advantage of consumer technology.
At a time when her peers took finance and consulting jobs, she believed that with enough hustle her team could find market fit, and backers who believed in the platform. Sailo now maintains a fleet of 4,000 boats across the American East and West Coasts, the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
5. Alicia Syrett is the former CAO of a multi-billion dollar private equity firm, who left her career to find and finance early stage entrepreneurs. Syrett's New York based fund Pantegrion Capital looks for game changing technologies, with billion dollar plus market opportunities, that can be taken to the next level.
She's a regular on CNBC and Fox as an authority on angel and venture investing and early stage start-ups. In 2017, Syrett founded the Point 25 Initiative, a platform to connect female Founders with Advisory Board members, and effectively grow their ventures.