Alliott Cole

Managing Director, Octopus Ventures

Alliott leads Octopus Ventures as Managing Director and chairs their investment committees.

He joined Octopus Ventures in 2008 and has helped grow the team into one of Europe’s largest and most active venture investors.

As a B-Corp, Octopus Ventures believes it has the power to transform the world we live in for all its stakeholders. Alliott drives forwards this vision for Octopus Ventures, supporting the team as they invest in the people, ideas and industries that will change the world.

During his time at Octopus Ventures, Alliott has worked with a number of founders, including many of the LoveFilm alumnae (Graze (acquired by Unilever)); (acquired by Nestlé); property portal Zoopla (listed on London Stock Exchange and later bought by private equity firm Silver Lake) and car-buying website Cazoo (now listed on the New York Stock Exchange), as well as establishing Octopus Ventures’ office in New York and helping foster an active angel community in the UK as a NED on the British Business Angel Association. Alliott currently sits on the Board of Secret Escapes (a European travel company) and Big Health (a digital medicine company).

In recent years, Alliott has grown the Octopus Ventures investment team into seven specialist teams in B2B Software, Climate, Consumer, Deep Tech, Fintech, Bio and Health, investing from the earliest stages of company formation through to later stages of growth (both primary and secondary).

Alliott is also a Board Member of the Rose Review, the body set up by HM Treasury and led by NatWest CEO Alison Rose, to tackle the barriers facing female entrepreneurs in the UK. Octopus Ventures shares the Rose Review’s ambitions to strengthen the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world for women to start and grow a business.

Prior to Octopus Ventures, Alliott worked as a lawyer at Ashurst, with stints at NM Rothschild and IBM in London.

He holds a master’s in classics from the University of Oxford and a postgraduate diploma in law from BPP University.

1. What values are most important to you as a leader? 

The Octopus values of being bold, straightforward & helpful are always a helpful starting point.  

2. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

The few years I spent working in NYC has made a lasting impact on me – the energy & ambition of this city is infectious and inspiring!

3. Best piece of advice you have been given?

‘Pride before a fall.’

4. What would you tell your younger self?

Take more risk! While I’ve always been inspired by innovation and ingenuity, my early choices post University didn’t align particularly well with these!

5. What has been your most important or profound lesson as a leader?

Ultimately a team’s culture is their [only] sustainable competitive advantage.