Northstar Ventures has appointed a new chair in Edward Twiddy, co-founder of Durham-based FinTech Atom Bank.

Twiddy is also a former director of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership. 

Northstar Ventures is a leading source of early stage risk capital for new tech firms and also targets deep local impact through its management of the North East Social Investment Fund.  

Alongside his board position at Northstar, Twiddy will retain a role as director of environment, society and government at Atom, where he has been leading Atom’s engagement with schools and universities across the region. 

He also brings his expertise from ongoing roles at Durham University and Tyne Rivers Trust, and his time with HM Treasury and on the advisory panel for the Northern Accelerator programme. 

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“I first came across Northstar when I was at the Treasury and then saw the impact that the team had first hand during my time at the NE Local Enterprise Partnership,” said Twiddy. 

“I’m absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to work with such an expert and well-regarded team as they continue to fuel growth by finding and funding the next generation of great companies in the region. 

“For the next phase of Northstar’s evolution the firm needs to be fit to support the devolution agenda, ready to commercialise the innovation coming from our university partners and able to find entrepreneurs from all parts of society who have the creative spark and drive to build more great firms in our region. 

“That’s a wonderful vision and goal to be involved in.”

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Twiddy replaces David Hickey as chair, who stepped down from Northstar’s board at the end of December after nearly a decade in the post. 

Hickey provided hands-on support and guidance to the Northstar team following its MBO in 2015. 

He has also served as chair of one of Northstar’s most successful portfolio companies, Fairstone Group, which the firm exited successfully in 2021, selling its stake to global private equity house TA Associates.  

Alasdair Greig, director of Northstar Ventures said: “David has been a valuable guide and mentor to all of us on the executive team and we thank him for all his help and support. 

“Edward is joining the board at an exciting time for Northstar. We are expanding our range of venture funds, including a move into EIS, and his experience in both government and as an entrepreneur will be hugely valuable.”

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