Hi! I'm an entrepreneur and author based in London where I've watched with sadness the growing problem of homelessness. Before Beam, I ran parking app, JustPark, which I grew from 2 to over 40 people and still support as a Board Advisor.
At JustPark, I had my first experience of crowdfunding when I led a record-breaking equity crowdfunding round - what was the largest crowdfunding round for a startup in history. I'm also on the board of crowdfunding platform for civic improvements called Spacehive.
I have thought quite a lot about collaborative platforms and how we can solve social problems with them. I'm the author of a book on the sharing economy called The Business of Sharing, published by Macmillan. I've also advised the city of Seoul as part of the Mayor's Sharing Economy Advisory Panel.
I'm the tech guy who built the Beam technology platform. Coding is a hobby as well as my vocation and I've got two degrees in Computer Science and Machine Learning, back before it was a big thing.
Mostly, I build software using Ruby on Rails but I've got experience with lots of different frameworks and have also taught myself Swift - the language that most new iPhone apps are built with.
I've founded various companies over the years, including Tastebuds, a dating app that allows people to meet partners with similar taste in music. Today, Tastebuds is a profitable business with hundreds of thousands of customers.
I met Alex when we were both Entrepreneurs in Residence at a startup studio, working on innovation projects for public companies. I'm also Irish.
Nice to meet you! At Beam, I look after our partnerships with charities and am "Member Manager" for our first members.
I've spent 6 years working in homelessness services: first Thames Reach - where I was lucky enough to get to work on the world's first ever homelessness social impact bond. Then, I worked at Turning Point where I build up particular experience working with clients facing drug and alcohol challenges.
I then joined the NHS where I helped design personalisation services that are now being rolled out across England.
At Beam, I'm uniting my experience in homelessness with the unique person-centric approach that I developed at Thames Reach and the NHS. I've seen the problems Beam solves at first hand and am thrilled to be part of the Beam team!
Andy Phillipps is the co-founder of Active Hotels (merged with bookings.org to form what is now Booking.com), former chairman of Toptable (now part of Priceline) and former CEO of Priceline's non US operations.
Andy now works with a number of startups and VCs, teaches at LBS and is a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Cambridge University Judge Business School.
Catherine Wines is the co-founder and a director of WorldRemit, a global online money transfer company employing innovative technology to let people send money to friends and family in a fast, secure, low-cost way. These remittances are vital to the livelihood of millions of consumers in emerging economies.
Catherine represents the company at major conferences and in the media, talking on issues such as remittances, fintech, financial inclusion and women in business.
William de Laszlo is the founder and CEO of Agathos Management LLP, a boutique London-based investment fund supporting and serving UK SMEs. Agathos also believes in supporting social causes to bring about lasting positive change.
William holds a First Class MBA from Oxford University and is a former Captain with the Grenadier Guards, where he was awarded two Operational Service Medals.
Matt Harrison is the Director of Social Enterprise at Homeless Link, the national membership organisation for homelessness organisations in England. Matt has 30 years of experience of working with homeless people and has developed a number of ground-breaking social enterprises to help end homelessness.
Matt has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Warwick and has spent his career looking at how information technology can be brought to bear to help address social issues.
James Bowen is the author of multi-million selling Street Cat Named Bob: the moving tale of how an encounter with a ginger cat saved James' life while he was homeless and living on the streets. The book has since been translated into 30 languages and was made into a feature film in 2016.
Alex met James and Bob back in 2007 in Camden. More than a decade later, they were serendipitously reunited after the actor who plays James in the film rented out Alex's flat on Airbnb when he was getting some plumbing done.
Left to right: Alex Stephany, Beam member Tony, James Bowen and Bob, Beam member Joe