Julie Meyer is one of our internationally-renowned speakers at FTE, Chairman and Chief Executive – Ariadne Capital; Managing Partner – Ariadne Fund; Founder – EntrepreneurCountry Global; MBE for Services to Entrepreneurship
The daughter of an entrepreneur, Julie Meyer never had a chance to escape the same fate. Going to Paris, France at age 21 to ‘faire fortune’ and to escape being the baby of the family, she soon realised that she found herself in a moment of transformational change in Europe in the late 1980’s. With German grandparents, a failure to learn French at school (un echec total), and fascinated by the coming together of the European market and the spread of freedom and free enterprise, she stayed, getting an MBA in 1997 at INSEAD, the leading European business school where she now sits on the Board of Directors and was named one of their top 50 alumni, and building the first social network for Internet entrepreneurs in 1998-2000, First Tuesday, which she sold for $50 million in July 2000, and many credited with igniting the Internet generation in Europe.
She was instrumental in the early stages of leading European Internet businesses: lastminute.com, WGSN, Espotting, Skype, Zopa, SpinVox and Monitise. She and her team have sold businesses to Google (BeatThatQuote – March 2011), EMI, and private equity.
Julie believes that society works best when it’s organised around the entrepreneur. She works tirelessly to bring that vision of an ‘expanding pie’ of wealth creation for all of society to the world. She has been fortunate to carry the bags for a number of the world’s best entrepreneurs as they built their companies, sometimes becoming their confidants, sometimes slaying the dragons with and for them, and sometimes just being an early believer with and in them, before it became obvious that they would be successful. She shares her vision with other entrepreneurs each year at the Follow The Entrepreneur Investor Summit.
With some amazing women and men, she has built Ariadne Capital since 2000 on the back of a couple of core principles: back men and women of steel who are pursuing the inevitable and re-imagining their industries as ecosystems, and aggregate the right talent and capital to enable their success. She is someone who wants to build new systems for the inclusion of all, and to help smart people win. She is a huge believer in the human spirit, and believes we are all on the planet to deliver a unique contribution to the world. She is resolutely ‘glass full’ not even ‘half full’.
She manages the Ariadne Capital Entrepreneurs Fund with her partners, and has developed the Ecosystem Economics™ Investment Methodology of the firm.
She created EntrepreneurCountry Global because she felt that the world should go where entrepreneurs go everyday, and issued a global invitation to become a citizen in September 2013. Her book, Welcome to EntrepreneurCountry, has been published in 2012 in many countries, and she writes regularly for Forbes, BA High Life, LinkedIn and the Financial Times.
She’s on the Board of Vestergaard Frandsen (another family business), the for-profit humanitarian development firm, several of her portfolio companies (Taggstar, Quill, Bitx), on the Advisory Boards of Economia publication, Group Silverline (another family business), and loves being a permanent resident of the UK in the world’s best city: London. She was honoured in 2011 with an MBE for Services to Entrepreneurship, which she thought was a hoax at first as she didn’t believe Americans could be given such an honour. She is incredibly grateful to her friends in the UK for the warm welcome and support they have always given her. The UK has been very good to her.
Julie is a Christian in the Lutheran tradition, and believes that Martin Luther was roughly 500 years ahead of his time in his belief that we are individually accountable for what we believe. She was given an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Warwick in 2014. She tries hard to live down all of the stereotypes of American women (take themselves too seriously, famously ambitious and driven, competitive, workaholic etc), but alas, they are probably true.
She’s very involved in carrying on the family traditions of her family, is setting up a foundation for Dads and Daughters, and is a fitness fanatic once again. She may have made her fortune in Europe, but she’s still the baby of her family.