CEO and co-founder of OLIO
Tessa Clarke is the British CEO and co-founder of food-sharing app OLIO that was inspired by her experience of having to throw away perfectly good unused food when she was packing up to move from Switzerland back to the UK in 2014.
After graduating with a first-class degree in social and political sciences at the University of Cambridge in UK in 1997, she worked for three years at the Boston Consulting Group as a junior associate. She joined an MBA program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2002 and met Saasha Celestial-One, who was also studying for an MBA at Stanford. In 2015, Clarke and Celestial-One decided to use their savings to create a food-sharing app OLIO after successfully testing the idea as a private WhatsApp group in North London.
Before becoming an entrepreneur in 2015, Clarke has held various senior management roles since completing her MBA in 2004. She worked for global business publisher EMAP from 2005 until 2009, when she joined Dyson Inc as e-commerce managing director (MD). In 2013, she left Dyson to become MD of fintech PayLater based in Switzerland run by the Wonga payday loan company. Known then as Tessa Cook, she later became Wonga’s MD for eight months when she was tasked with “cleaning up” the tarnished reputation of the high interest loan company. From 2013 to 2021, she was also chair of the management board of St George’s Palace, a boutique apart-hotel and spa complex in Bansko, Bulgaria.
In 2018, she became a fellow at Unreasonable, an organization that supports social and environmental entrepreneurship. For two years until 2021, Clarke was ambassador for the Meaningful Business 100 global event that advocates the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She was also a board member for six years at Contentive, a global B2B media and information company. In 2021, her busy schedule now includes becoming a business mentor for not-for-profit Virgin Startup.