As entrepreneurs go, Glenn Elliott has an approach to innovation that is relentless and unconventional. An ‘Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year’, he maintains that his success in business is built upon taking risks, a passion for experimentation and not being afraid to make mistakes.
Glenn Elliott, a serial, disruptive innovator
Glenn founded disruptive innovator Reward Gateway in the UK in 2006. With nothing more than a credit card for an investor and the learnings from a 6 year career as MD of a design and marketing agency, Glenn has built the world leader in integrated employee engagement technology, counting American Express, IBM, Diageo and Heineken amongst the company’s 1,100 strong global client base. By 2010 the company had expanded to Sydney, Australia and in the same year it was rated the UK’s 2nd fastest growing technology company in the Sunday Times Tech Track index.
But the road to success was by no means an inevitability. Arising out of a project Glenn’s former agency did for the BBC, the business model for Reward Gateway was penned ‘on the back of a envelope’. His initial vision was simple and focused around exceptional service; to select discount partners on merit and pass the full benefit back to the employee.
His employee perks business changed the face of employee benefits in the UK turning it from a tiny market of low value free programmes sponsored by advertising, into a premium business of high value, high margin clients.The business has since expanded internationally, with offices in the U.S., Australia, Bulgaria and Macedonia – as well as partners in Hong Kong, India and Latin America.
Glenn’s belief in culture underpins Reward Gateway’s success.
Glenn’s total belief in the benefits of workplace culture to create a motivated and happy workforce has been the backbone to Reward Gateway’s success. The tech-enabled service company received a £25.5million investment in 2010 from Inflexion Private Equity and a further $220 million investment in 2015 from Boston firm Great Hill Partners. Glenn remains firmly at the helm thanks to investors backing the CEO as the organisation’s driving force.
Glenn’s personal experience of engaging a fast-growing workforce of Gen Y’s fuels an ever-expanding toolkit of inspirational employee engagement techniques. Not only does this motivate and drive over 300 people to work hard, it shines a light for other companies to follow suit. As a result, Reward Gateway was rated as a top employer three years running, and its clients trust it to engage their own employees the same way.
8 years on and Reward Gateway’s engagement platform has evolved into a fully comprehensive and customizable employee engagement platform for HR. New modules include financial wellness initiatives and an integrated benefits hub, and the product continues to innovate every day. Its mission is to make the world a happier place to work. Glenn is a regular speaker on the conference circuit on issues of entrepreneurship and employee engagement. he is also a coach and mentor to young entrepreneurs and is an Advisor at Truly Experiences.
Currently based between the Boston and London offices, Glenn continues to lead Reward Gateway with the motto: “Work hard and be nice to people”. He lives with his partner and supports the visual arts, is a trustee of the charity Trees for Cities and a Friend of the Terrence Higgins Trust. He provides film finance to young directors which he says is “an even faster way of losing money than investing in young entrepreneurs!“
In 2013, Glenn helped longtime supplier Fasthosts by appearing in their Inspiring Better Business advertising campaign.