Michael Stothard

Michael is a sci-fi geek who wants to one day live on Mars (don’t laugh). Michael joined the investment team at firstminute after 15 years in startups and the media, most recently as founding editor of the venture-backed, and before that as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times. 

At Sifted, he helped scale the company from an idea to an award-winning reporting and events platform with a team of 60 journalists and engineers producing world-class, in-depth coverage of the European technology landscape. At the Financial Times, he was senior correspondent and bureau chief in Paris, Madrid, Stockholm and New York. As a leading foreign correspondent, he interviewed hundreds of breakthrough tech founders as well as anonymous hackers, rogue traders, presidents, military dictators, global CEOs, and quirky billionaires.

At firstminute, he sits on the boards of Typology (France’s leading skincare start-up), Plum (a pan-European home design platform), Lyanne (a French InsureTech) and Mediflash (a Healthcare marketplace) as well as working closely with companies such as HipHops (DevOps), Pensight (tooling for the creator economy) and Sequence (in the FinOps space). He has a particular interest in France, consumer, media and marketplace businesses. He has a first-class degree from Cambridge University.

What does Michael get excited about? He believes that blockchain/web3 will reshape money, art and finance; that digital identities will become more important than physical ones; that the best version of any consumer product is intrinsically social; that we have only just started digitising the real economy; that tech has the power to make everything more accessible, democratic & abundant; that AI will reshape the world (for better or worse); that ageing is a disease; that the next generation needs a radically different education; that the decline in fertility is the great un-discussed issue of the day; that we need a more diverse tech ecosystem; and that tech must solve the climate crisis.

Harking back to his journalism days, Michael also still likes to write, produce podcasts and videos to be part of the global conversation on the new economy. He believes that storytelling is a superpower and advises firstminute’s portfolio companies on shaping their central message for customers, staff, investors and themselves. If any of that above sounds interesting, and you are an entrepreneur trying to build a world-class company and looking for seed stage venture funding (or think you might be looking in the next year or so), please do send him an email or a LinkedIn or a carrier pigeon or whatever you prefer to set up a chat.

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