62: How companies pivot | Reuben Wilcock of Blackfinch Ventures

01 Nov 2022 / Podcast Tax Advantaged

By Dr Brian Moretta


While the business world is an ever-changing place, we seem to be in an exceptional time of flux. Reuben Wilcock has seen many small growth companies pivot and adapt and we tap into his knowledge.

Our discussion starts with what drives pivots and what sort of changes we might see. Reuben gives several examples and talks about the evidence that companies should be obtaining to make these changes. We discuss some of the different circumstances that can drive the change and how these might affect what happens.

We then move on to how companies manage these changes. We talk about the importance of boards and the role directors should play. Managing staff can also be challenging. Finally, Reuben talks about the common mistakes that he sees management making and what advice he would give to those contemplating pivots.

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Reuben Wilcock is Head of Ventures at Blackfinch Ventures. Reuben’s expertise in advising early stage companies has developed through a background spanning academia, technology start-ups and start-up acceleration. He has founded or co-founded four technology start-ups including Joulo, a smart home energy spinout, which won the 2013 British Gas Connected Homes award and was acquired by Quby in 2014, and Bar Analytics, an IoT start-up that enables global brands to monitor beer quality and sales. With a PhD in Electronics, Reuben has extensive product design experience with deep technical knowledge of hardware, software and manufacturing. He is an inventor of five patents and named author on over 45 peer-reviewed publications ranging from integrated circuit design to genetic algorithms. Before joining Blackfinch, Reuben was a leading figure in entrepreneurship at the University of Southampton where he sat on its IP Panel for five years, guiding the commercialisation of research innovations through licensing and spinouts.

Reuben is a Royal Academy of Engineering award-winning entrepreneur, and the lifetime membership has offered visibility on some of the most innovative university spinouts in the UK. In 2015 Reuben founded and ran the Future Worlds accelerator, mentoring over 250 entrepreneurs and 50 companies over a four-year period. Companies included 5G silicon IP spinout Accelercomm, AI computer vision company Aura Vision, IoT transport startup Route Reports and HGV data analytics company Dynamon. Whilst at Future Worlds, Reuben also developed the business plan and was the execution partner for the Z21 Fund, run in partnership with the Solent LEP.

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