Elevator Interview: Patricia Wyllie
Patricia studied History at Cambridge and later International Political Economy at LSE. She has experience across consulting, venture capital, and business intelligence. At Founders Intelligence she has worked on projects across CPG, proptech, fintech, sustainability and supply chain technology.
- — What is a start-up you really like?
Handerek. It is an early stage start-up converting plastics that can no longer be mechanically recycled into new plastic or fuel. They can operate at atmospheric pressure, which is a real game-changer in this space. They also have a fascinating vision for a future where plastic can be collected from oceans and waterways, potentially benefiting low-income communities.
2. — From working at FI what are some of the challenges you’ve seen in being able to innovate as a corporate?
Some of the biggest pain points are incredibly hard to solve unilaterally and it is easy for stakeholders to get discouraged. But there are two ways to tackle these issues. Firstly, corporates can unlock real value from bringing together players from various parts of the value chain, leveraging their scale and relationships. For complex internal issues, while working with a single start-up won’t be a silver bullet, breaking the problem into smaller pieces can help unlock solutions.
3. — What is a great book or podcast you’ve read?
Zero to One is a brilliant one because it provokes you think about what you believe that others would disagree with. It’s relevant for potential founders as well as people in corporates — getting into the habit of critiquing your own assumptions is valuable. But ultimately, it is easy to read all the books on innovation. Inspiration is less important than being structured in making real change happen. Doing what makes sense for your organisation is more valuable than enacting exactly.
4. — What is something you’ve engaged in at FI that you loved?
I’ve been leading a lot of the training at FI to identify the areas we can upskill as a team, and organising sessions with external trainers as well as people from across the FF Group. We are in a privileged position to be able to draw on a VC, incubator, accelerator, digital recruitment consultancy, and more — a huge pool of insight to tap. We also have a brilliantly diverse team across skillsets so there are many ways to learn from each other.
5. — What motivates you?
Learning, and impact. I love being surrounded by curious people at FI with diverse interests (both in tech and outside) who can inspire as well as critique. The process of a project to go from a basic understanding to a new perspective on a topic always fascinates me.