CEO Tales: How to sell your technology business successfully

Which are the determining factors that shape success for a tech business sale?  Discussion and networking drinks 6-9pm.


Been thinking about exits? So have we, and we think it’s time for an open discussion about the market for technology businesses. While the market for tech IPOs in Europe is still lacklustre, (as we discussed in our CEO Tales in November) what other options are available at the moment? And what are the practical steps any board should be taking to get the sale they want?

We’ll be bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and acquirors to look at the market for tech businesses in 2013 and to talk about best practice, along with speakers who have all been at the sharp end of selling their business and can share their experience of what went well and what didn’t. What would they do differently next time?

We’re delighted to confirm four outstanding speakers on the topic:

Ian Gotts, Nimbus

Ian Gotts, Nimbus and TIBCO SoftwareIan was founder and CEO of Nimbus, recently bought by TIBCO Software where Ian is now a Vice President. TIBCO is a US quoted provider of infrastructure software for companies to use on-premise or as part of cloud computing environments.

He is the author of 6 books including, Common Approach, Uncommon Results, Why Killer Products Don’t Sell and two Thinking of… books on Cloud Computing. He is also prolific blogger with a rare ability to make the complex seem simple which makes him a highly entertaining speaker.

Wendy Tan White, Moonfruit

Wendy Tan White, Moonfruit, Entrepreneur of the YearWendy (the 2011 Tech Entrepreneur of the Year) is co-founder and CEO of Moonfruit, the UK’s leading DIY website and online shop builder for SMB’s to publish on web, mobile and social platforms. Moonfruit was founded in 1999 with co-founders Eirik Pettersen (current CTO) and Joe White (current COO), in 2012 Moonfruit was acquired by hibu (formerly Yell Group) in a $37m deal. The acquisition was an important step in its transformation to a leading global digital services provider and local eMarketplace.

It has been an interesting journey: Moonfruit was launched with VC funding in 1999, liquidated and bought-back by the founders during the dotcom crash and then bootstrapped, self-funding innovation until raising $2.4m from , Stephens (US) and Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups in Sept 2010. Wendy has a deep interest in entrepreneurship : she is a 500 Startups mentor, and supports the Women 2.0, ChangeTheRatio, WiTT and Astia networks.

Before Moonfruit, Wendy was Marketing Director of Gandi Group, helped launch – first European P2P lending site and – first UK internet bank. She trained at Arthur Andersen after getting a BEng Computer Science from Imperial College, London. Wendy also has a MA in Future Textiles from Central St Martins.

Shirin Dehghan, Arieso

Shirin Dehghan, Arieso, a successful exit in 2013Shirin Dehghan is the CEO and founder of Arieso, a business with solutions that harness the power of customer generated, geolocated intelligence to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing mobile operators today.  JDSU acquired Arieso in March 2013, adding the world’s leading intelligent, location aware solutions for mobile network operators to its Communications Test portfolio.

Shirin founded Arieso in 2002 with the vision of enabling self-optimizing networks, after a career which included roles as a research engineer at Vodafone Group Plc (where she was responsible for the development of WCDMA simulation and business modelling, as well as being part of Vodafone UK’s UMTS auction team, where she acted as technical expert on systems and technology issues, providing technical liaison to the UK board) and as manager of the consultancy division of Multiple Access Communications (MAC), leading projects involving major operators and manufacturers.

Shirin is the author of several technical publications and has been a speaker in numerous technical conferences. She is a member of the IET and a Chartered Engineer.

Martin Leuw, ClearSwift

Martin Leuw, Clearswift, serial entrepreneur and executiveMartin Leuw is a serial entrepreneur and executive and an acknowledged expert on business growth. He is currently the non-executive chairman of Clearswift, a global specialist in adaptive cyber protection. Lyceum Capital backed an MBO of Clearswift in November 2011.

Prior to joining the Clearswift Board, Martin served as Group CEO of IRIS from 2001-2011, leading its growth from revenues of £9m to over £120m p.a. During this period, IRIS grew from an enterprise value of £30m to over £500m to become one of the UK’s largest private software houses, with market leading positions in a number of sectors and circa 60,000 business customers.

In July 2006, Martin was named Entrepreneur of the Year in the Technology & Communication category in the Southern regional final of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year programme. In October 2009, he was awarded the new ICAEW Faculty prize at the Software Satisfaction Awards.

Martin has been a regular judge for the prestigious Real Business “Business of the Year” awards, speaks on entrepreneurship and business growth and is a columnist for Real Business and the Daily Telegraph.


  • 17th April, 6-9pm.
  • Drinks networking, panel discussion and audience Q&A, drinks networking.

We’re very grateful to our sponsors for the evening who share our interest in making networking fun and informative, Erevena Executive Search, First Capital, Rackspace and  UBS:


Erevena Executive Search for the technology industry

First Capital, supporters of digital business

Rackspace, supporters of digital industry

UBS supporters of technology business

For more information: