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Andy Mulvenna, Class of 1997

Andy is co-founder of the software company Brightpearl.

A love of adventurous sports coupled with a keen interest in new technologies led Andy to co-develop one of the first e-commerce software packages, taking him from skateboard designer to tech entrepreneur with a successful global business. He now works as a venture capitalist, seeking out and investing in promising young digital companies to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and to try and anticipate the next big trend in tech.

“I decided to study Artificial Intelligence at university as it was an emerging area and it satisfied my love of scientific enquiry. I didn’t really think about a career in tech - in fact, I had originally wanted to be a professional mountaineer. However, after leaving university, I found myself in a basement making long skateboards with one of my friends, which developed into Lush, the UK’s first longboard brand, which is still going strong today.

As the company became more successful, we realised we needed a system to manage the administration side of the business - handling orders, invoicing, maintaining stock, etc - to enable us to grow. We were frustrated by the existing software which didn’t suit the needs of a small business - so we built our own. This was at the beginning of the boom in e-commerce, so we decided to focus on developing the software and, eventually, launched Brightpearl, offering web-based software to help small businesses work faster and smarter.

After being on the receiving end of investment from a venture capitalist, and knowing how much that support helped my business, I’m now a full-time investor in tech companies.”

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