John St John
Chief executive, EO
John St John does not yet look a typical internet entrepreneur. The day we met he was in a sober grey suit and looked more like the successful investment banker he recently was. His excuse was that he has just been on UK digital TV network The Money Channel, plugging EO, a portal that will enable retail investors to buy new issues and private placements in early-stage companies online (the initials stand for "electronic offering").
When we visit EO's soon-to-be-kitted-out office just north of Piccadilly Circus, my sense of dot com propriety is soon restored. The other 15 or so start-up employees, including chairman Michael Whittaker, are all wearing jeans, and during our conversation they spend much of their time trying out a mini scooter (a device designed among other things for speeding busy executives to airport terminals). The scooter, St John explains as we go downstairs, is made by a client of EO's parent company New Media Spark, an incubator for technology start-ups.
It was a former banking friend, Jacob Kinder, (one of the partners of New Media Spark some months earlier) who first told St John about the job at EO.