15 June 2016

There’s nothing quite like the pomp and ceremony of the Royal Family, is there?

It was in full flow last weekend for the Queen’s 90th birthday and, aside from the parade and soggy street parties, this of course means it’s also time for the traditional birthday honours.

Lawrence Jones MBE family

Collecting my MBE in 2015

It’s hard to believe that it’s a year ago since I was at the Palace collecting my MBE. It’s one of the proudest moments of my life; receiving the honour was a huge deal to me and it was quite an emotional moment. As a CEO, it can be easy to carry on regardless, but it can also be a lonely position to be in. Getting recognition from an unexpected corner was a great feeling.

This year it is incredible to see so many internet entrepreneurs featured in the Honours List; with the founders of Ocado, Zoopla and the Raspberry Pi all receiving this recognition.

Whilst each of these business leaders no doubt deserves the honour, one in particular stood out for me. Eben Upton, pioneer of the bare-bones Raspberry Pi computer, is now a CBE.

In April this year, the Pi became the most popular British computer ever made. More than eight million have been sold since the small device was launched four years ago and it’s been used by many businesses, including ours, to allow school children to get a taste of computer coding. It has made, and continues to make, a huge difference and contribution to the tech education of young people.

I know that receiving an MBE made me even more ambitious – and that’s perhaps the whole point behind them – so I can’t wait to see what’s next from Upton. Latest news today revealed that the business behind the computer has been sold.

Being recognised for contributing to innovation in the industry is much needed.

As a tech nation, we need to go up against the big boys; competing with American tech giants. Us Brits are passionate, hard-working and innovative, but we know that in order to make the most of the tech industry we need to focus on collaboration. It is great to acknowledge those who have made, and continue to make, a difference and we should also take the opportunity to spread the momentum by working together and helping a new generation of tech entrepreneurs fulfil their potential.

Congrats to everyone receiving their Honours!

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