Jude Cook is the CEO of Edinburgh-based ShareIn, the market leading experts in crowdfunding software and regulatory compliance. ShareIn operate some of the largest impact investing and property crowdfunding platforms in the UK.
Jude Cook
Jude Cook

Jude has been a passionate advocate for inclusiveness and diversity in FinTech world, joining the board of FinTech Scotland, and further afield regularly participating in finance and tech industry panel events. She is a role model for women in Scotland aspiring to develop careers in technology and startups/scaleups by being the change she wants to see.

Jude has been nominated for the Tech Star Award,

How does it feel to be nominated for our Tech Star Award?

It’s exciting and I’m honoured to be on the shortlist with such a great list of women.

What inspired you to found ShareIn and can you tell us a bit about your career background?

I studied General Engineering at Durham University, specialising in Fluid Mechanics. After graduation, I trained as an accountant with Deloitte in London and qualified in 1998. I then made the move to Group Finance at BT plc before taking a career break to raise my family. As the children got older I eased back into work on a very part-time basis, by helping SMEs write their business plans.

I got addicted to hearing the stories from founders on how these ideas had grown into businesses and I wanted to help them. This is what sowed the seed for ShareIn. At ShareIn I get to hear these stories every day as people come to us with their White Label platform ideas – and it’s a real thrill to build out their platforms and see them succeed.

Over 50% of the development team at ShareIn are women, very unusual in this sector, was this a conscious decision?

Yes and no. We’ve always hired the best people for the roles and often the best people have been women. I think if you start with a good gender balance then other women are attracted to apply for the roles thus maintaining the momentum.

How do you think men can best support women with regards to equality?

I like how tennis player Andy Murray calls out the media when they make assumptions based on gender. I would like to see more of that!

Why do you think gendered awards are still so important?

Although there has been much improvement in the last ten years – the business world is still very male dominated (Just 28 women are CEOs in the Fortune 500 list ). Recent news that the Gender Pay Gap is only increasing after the reporting started shows that there is still a long way to go for real equality. I think awards like these help remind everyone that women are here, they are brilliant and they can run a company just as well, if not better than anyone!

What job did you want to do as a child?

Astronaut – but I’m too short and rubbish at languages! I think ShareIn is probably much more fun so I’m pretty confident I made the right decision!