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Nigel Toon

CEO and co-founder - Graphcore

Nigel Toon is co-founder, Chairman and CEO at Graphcore. Graphcore ( is a silicon and systems company based in Bristol- UK, that has developed a new type of processor, the Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU), to accelerate machine learning and AI applications. Since its founding in 2016, Nigel has secured over $700m in funding for the company from some of the world’s leading venture capital and financial firms including Atomico, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity, Merian, OTPP, Schroders, and Sequoia Capital, from major corporations including BMW, Bosch, Dell, Microsoft and Samsung and from eminent Artificial Intelligence innovators.

At the company’s most recent funding round in December 2020,  Graphcore was valued at $2.8Bn.

Nigel has a background as a technology business leader, entrepreneur and engineer having been CEO at two successful VC-backed processor companies XMOS and  Picochip (sold to Nasdaq: MSPD, now Intel), a founder of Icera (sold to Nasdaq: NVDA) and VP/GM at Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR, sold to Intel for $17Bn) where he spent over 13 years and was responsible for establishing and building the European business unit that he grew from zero to $500m in annual revenues. 

Nigel has an extensive network of connections in the global technology industry spanning the USA, China, Asia and Europe. He is often called upon to speak at major industry events and has been recognized with numerous industry awards including, Icon of the Year at the Barclays Entrepreneurs Awards and ranked #1 on Business Insiders, 100 most influential people shaping British technology.

Nigel has served as a Board Member and Chairman at a number of technology businesses including as a non-executive director and head of the technical advisory board at Imagination Technologies PLC, an FTSE LSE-listed business, until its acquisition in 2017.  

Nigel was a founding member of the Princes Trust Technology Leadership group which, with match funding support from the UK Government, was able to raise over £10m for the Princes Trust Charity. 

Nigel studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Heriot-Watt University and is the author of 3 granted patents. Nigel lives in Somerset, UK with his wife and two boys.

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