Sarah Wood
Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Unruly, United Kingdom

Q: How do you relax?

A: Watching funny videos and dancing to Spotify playlists in the kitchen with my kids.

No matter the challenge ahead. Courage!

Do you know those moments in life when you think, “What do I really want to do in the short time I’m going to be here?” For me, the 2005 London bombings sparked that moment. Although I was lucky enough to escape the terrorist attack unscathed, it prompted me to re-evaluate my priorities as I rode the Tube to work that day. I realized I wanted to be closer to my kids and to have more of an impact on the world.

When my co-founders and I set up Unruly, the idea of viral videos was just taking off. Today, we distribute video content to 1.35 billion users and are privileged to work with many amazing campaigns. I am most proud of our international expansion, and not least of our acquisition by News Corp last year. The best advice I ever received came the night before my final exams at college, and I still bring it to mind frequently. I was absolutely terrified and my university professor gave me a handwritten note that just said “Courage!” I always try to remember that note, no matter the challenge in front of me.

Sarah Wood was a lecturer in American Studies before she decided to swap her academic job for a tech startup. Together with two friends, she founded Unruly, the ad tech company that gets video campaigns seen, shared and loved across the web. Unruly now has offices in 15 cities around the globe and employs 200 people. Sarah continues to be an associate lecturer at the University of Cambridge.

This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.