Fully booked until May/June 2024

Ascension Ventures & Fair By Design Fund

Role: Platform and Marketing Manager | Industry: Venture Capital | Year(s): 2018 – 2020


Ascension Ventures is an active early-stage UK investor, backing tech and impact startups through its (S)EIS & institutional funds. Ascension’s Fair By Design fund invests in tech businesses tackling the Poverty Premium (unfair costs to lower-income households across essential services). Notable investments include Wagestream, Lick, Secret Spa, WeGift, zeroheight, Organise, and Moteefe.

As the Platform and Marketing Manager, I helped establish the fund’s brand and scaled post-investment support for 100+ portfolio companies.

Ascension Ventures_Alicia Burke Portfolio
Fair By Design_Alicia Burke Portfolio
Alicia and I worked together at a time of high growth and change at Ascension, during which she laid out the foundations and infrastructure to support that growth in a sustainable way. This spanned from operational delivery all the way to branding and ecosystem/portfolio support. Her work was key to defining Ascension's portfolio and investor value add as a pre-seed fund.
Emma Steele
Investment Director, Ascension Ventures
Alicia has been a massive support and an invaluable resource to Wayra. She is extremely knowledgeable, personable and helpful. It's been a pleasure to work with her!
Margaret Sheyindemi
Investment Relations Manager, Wayra UK

& Results

Investor Pitch Events

We ran frequent large scale events that brought together angel investors, VCs, corporates, media and the tech community to network with and invest in our portfolio companies. I organised eight large pitch events a year, seeing an average of 80 attendees per event. I also organised more intimate events and follow-up communications for the syndicate fund and with ecosystem partners such as Wayra UK, Silicon Valley Bank and Rathbones. I launched a quarterly Female Founder Office Hours initiative to further promote investment in women founders from our various funds. 

These events secured significant investment and BD opportunities for the portfolio, brought new investors into the tax-efficient funds, and expanded our network.

Portfolio Support

In addition to investor relations and topical workshops, I led a number of platform initiatives:

  • Improved portfolio onboarding and launched active founder Slack community
  • Negotiated and secured deals worth over $250K for a Portfolio Dealbook (AWS, Segment, Stripe, Zendesk, Notion, HubSpot etc.)
  • Managed mentor and supplier referral network and facilitated introductions to portfolio companies
  • Implemented portfolio job board and promoted open roles and candidate introductions
  • Consolidated portfolio Covid resources and responses (e.g. assistance to government and public health projects and discounts for small businesses and the public)

Communications & Operations

In addition to investor relations and topical workshops, I led a number of platform initiatives:

  • PR
  • Content Marketing and Social Media
  • Monthly Newsletter and Email Campaigns
  • Award applications (wins include…)
  • Marketing collateral production and editing (presentations, information memorandum)
  • CRM Implementation and Training
  • Hiring: applicant tracking operations, first phone call screening, interview and offer management, intern management.
  • Team Investor events
  • Investor reporting

The Fair By Design Roadshow

The FBD Roadshow was a series of events I organised across the UK with our campaign partners at Barrow Cadbury. We also worked with regional partners such as Wayra UK, KPMG, Oldham Council, and Birmingham City Council. Our aim was to bring together various stakeholders to tackle the Poverty Premium. We were pleased to have a large number of attendees from credit unions, housing associations, local government, corporates, and local press.

The agenda consisted of networking sessions, live partnership case studies and panels discussing topics including:

  • Improving Access to Credit
  • The Role of Corporates in Enabling Financial Wellness
  • Reducing Fuel Poverty & Improving Efficiency

The Roadshow was an integral part of Fair By Design’s mission and connecting our portfolio companies to relevant routes-to-market.

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