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I work with founders, entrepreneurs and senior leaders as an independent sounding board, adviser and mentor to support them in business life with the aim to improve all-round results. With a background as a business builder in tech, I have worked with leaders of many early stage to SME B2B software companies helping them to lay the foundations for the next stage of growth. This has involved working on the essential elements of success: strategic decision-making, board relationships, product positioning, pipeline development, client retention; culture and people. Exit planning has been a common theme and my experience can help shape critical decisions.

The real value of my role is not to tell but to listen and ask questions.  It is also to fulfil the need for a confidential environment in which to discuss aims and ambitions with a trusted adviser who has their interests at heart.  


Simplicity, clarity and discretion are central to my approach. I work in the style that best suits the client, generally a combination of face-to-face meeting and video calls. It should be challenging and ultimately rewarding, as well as being an enjoyable experience for us both.

Meet Rory

My Background
Founder,  Investor, Chair, NED 


Having worked in financial services, I saw the need for technology to deliver better client service in an increasingly regulated world. in 1995, I co-founded 1st Software  which we grew from a bedroom (honestly!) to a successful trade sale in 2008. I began angel investing and was involved in the start-up and growth of a wide range of private and public tech businesses where I have had roles as NED, Chair and informal adviser. I have seen success and failure and believe that the outcome, no matter how good the proposition, is all down to great people, clear purpose and simple communication.

Throughout my life, I have experienced first-hand the great value of mentoring and seen the immense benefit and reward of confidential, non-judgmental advice to resolve problems or plan for the future. 
Understanding, empathy and humour are central to my personal style. I love listening to people's stories and I ask a lot of questions to develop the mutual understanding and trust which are essential ingredients to a successful mentor/mentee partnership.

About Me

Experienced Chair and Mentor

Next Steps

Next Steps

The length of the programme is flexible depending on the project.

Here are the five steps:


1. Exploratory discussion to understand your situation 


2. Agree the objectives and indicative costs of the project


3. Develop and agree a specific personal plan


4. Progress reviews at agreed points


5. Project conclusions and next steps



“Rory has been an invaluable advisor, mentor and co-adventurer over the last 8 years - without whom I would not have been able to turn the kernel of a business idea into one of the UK's leading crowdfunding platforms.


He combines been-there-done-that expertise as a successful entrepreneur and deep empathy for the rollercoaster of business building with an ability to listen, question and challenge. His perspective has helped me find the right path through everything from sales strategy and shareholder relations, to the personal challenge of developing as a CEO. 


He has sound judgement, sharp business acumen, emotional intelligence, and a great sense of humour. An asset for any ambitious new leader.”

Chris Gourlay, Founder and CEO of Spacehive

"Working with Rory has been one of the smartest investments I’ve made in my professional development.  His broad perspective and insight has helped me approach various challenges much more confidently than I would have otherwise, and he offers wise counsel that I’ve applied with great success in my Board career.  I value the time I spend with Rory and know that I’ve got someone in my corner who always helps me to see things from all angles."

‘I’ve known Rory for almost 30 years. We’ve worked together in Fintech, initially as competitors, then as strategic partners and more recently as co-investors. Rory has always been very professional, measured, approachable and consultative.  I’ve used him as a sounding board and always respected his opinions and advice.  I have no hesitation in recommending him as a mentor or advisor.’

"I served as Senior Independent Director on a quoted plc which Rory chaired for several years.  He was an excellent chair, improving the dynamic of the board by eliciting contributions from all board members, listening carefully and asking insightful questions.  With Rory in the chair, the board worked very effectively as a team, identifying issues and agreeing on clear plans of action.  And it was good fun too! "

Jane E Tozer OBE MBE,

Senior Independent NED

“I have worked with Rory over many years and he has been instrumental in helping steer me in the right direction on numerous occasions especially when I have been about to take a wrong turn. His personable style defuses conflict and he has great insight that allows him to see the wood from the trees.”

Paul Creamer - CEO CareerRadar & CTO

Let's Connect

Lets Connect

To arrange an informal initial conversation, please email me at:


© 2022 by Rory Curran.

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