Erica Young

Erica is our Community Director, based in London, where she leads our efforts to expand our network, deepen relationships, and build community across the Atomico ecosystem.

I’m fascinated by networks and how they drive outcomes for people, organisations, and society as a whole. My goal is to build resilient communities and harness the power of networks to drive innovation and systemic change.

When I was 12 years old, I co-hosted my first party. 

My co-host and I couldn’t agree on whether our friends liked pickles or strawberries more, so we had heaping bowls of each side-by-side throughout her basement. Of course, our guests were also kids, so all the bowls were empty by the end of the night and we never resolved our disagreement. I’ve been experimenting with gathering people ever since.

If you use the word network as a noun and not a verb, it doesn’t feel dirty.

Lots of people find ‘networking’ uncomfortable. Usually, that’s because their mental model of networking hinges on a false dichotomy. They often believe that connections should happen organically and that any attempt to intentionally connect with others is calculated. It’s important to acknowledge that you can both be intentional and generous at the same time.

Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.

There are so many embedded assumptions and limiting beliefs that we have about connecting with others. They hold us back from cultivating life-changing relationships. Whether you think that building community is only for extroverts or that strong relationships are the only ones that matter, I would love the opportunity to change your mind.  

I’ve designed shoes, robots, and companies.

Before getting the community bug, I spent 15 years in product design and development. My career was always about taking design to the next level: designing products, then designing lines of products, and eventually applying design to organisations themselves. Now I use these skills to craft meaningful interactions and scalable community tools.

My work designing companies solidified my belief that communities are incredibly important for both founders and the investors that back them. They influence access to diverse talent, follow-on funding, and commercial partnerships. They can also provide resilience, stimulate innovation, improve efficiency, or increase the likelihood of groupthink. 

Community is essential, in and outside the workplace.

If I could make a living helping adult males make meaningful friendships, that’s probably what I’d do. The statistics around adult male social isolation, depression, and suicide are staggering. Now that we have overwhelming evidence about how critical community and relationships are to our health and wellbeing, this should be a priority. I’m proud to have brought together a handful of male friends over the years who have now built lasting friendships with each other.      

I'm campaigning for Atomico's Cornwall office.

When I’m not bringing people together, I’m often out in nature. Whether on foot or by kayak, I love going to places that can’t easily be accessed any other way. This passion has gifted me so many stunning views including the Gobi Desert, Himalayas, and Patagonia. 

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