Bill Liao

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Bill Liao
Bill Liao.jpg
Bill Liao at the Third Sector Digital Communications and Social Media Convention 2011 in London
OccupationEuropean venture partner at sosventures

Bill Liao (born William Fu Wei Liao, 1967) is an Australian entrepreneur. He is a venture partner with SOSV and recognised as one of the Top 100 minority ethnic leaders in technology by the Financial Times.[1]


Liao is a social networking pioneer,[2] author [3] and speaker.[4][5] He is a regular attendee at the TED conferences[6] and also the World Economic Forum New Champions conference.[7] Since May 9, 2022 Bill Liao has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the SRF (SENS Research Foundation)[8]

Venture capital[edit]

Liao joined SOSV as their European Venture Partner specialising in Internet and social media in 2011. Most notably he has invested in Mark Little's Storyful venture, Silicon Republic as well as MavenHut.[9] In 2014 he founded SOSV’s biotech practice, RebelBio,[10] a VC-led investment programme for BioTech, HealthTech And Life Sciences. Liao is Managing Director [11] of RebelBio, which is a world pioneer for life sciences accelerators.[12]

Liao co-founded, a European early social network founded by Lars Hinrichs in Germany in 2003. He was the first external investor in the company, then called Later, Liao became a supervisory board member.[13]

Previously, Liao was the Director of Operations (DOO) of telecommunications company Davnet, which achieved the fastest capital value growth in the history of the Australian Stock exchange.[14] Davnet was acquired by Japanese telecommunications carrier Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) in 1996. Liao left Davnet after the acquisition.

Social entrepreneurship[edit]

Alongside James Whelton, Liao founded CoderDojo in Ireland in 2011, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches children how to code.[15] He is Chair of Nominet UK's Social Tech Trust,[16] a dedicated grant maker in socially motivated tech in the UK. He is also a CoderDojo mentor and he has participated as an investor and volunteer in The Hunger Project in Uganda, New York and Mexico.[17]

Climate activism[edit]

In 2009, Liao founded,.[18] an organisation promoting reforestation as a way to combat global warming.[19] continues, with a stated goal of planting two trillion trees by 2020 and is run from Belgium by its current CEO Marie-Noelle Keijzer.

He was an official part of the delegation of St Kitts and Nevis to the COP15 UN climate change summit in Copenhagen where he also promoted the science and concepts behind[20]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Liao was appointed as a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitts and Nevis for sustainable development and the environment. He has contributed to the St Kitts and Nevis recovery fund for the sugar cane industry there.[21]

In November 2018, Liao was named to the Financial Times' list of the 'Top 100 minority ethnic leaders in technology.'[22]

Personal life[edit]

He is married with three children and lives in Cork, Ireland.


  1. ^ "The UK's top 100 black and minority ethnic leaders in technology". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  2. ^ Kennedy, John (13 March 2010). "Social networking is losing direction, pioneer Bill Liao says". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Good Reads - Bill Liao". Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Front Row Speakers". Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Responsible Innovation Summit - Bill Liao". 30 October 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  6. ^ "TED Community " Bill Liao". TED. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2008: List of Participants". World Economic Forum. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  8. ^ Announcing the new Chairman of the SRF Board of Directors. SRF, May 9, 2022
  9. ^ "SOS Ventures invests 500.000 euros in MavenHut Ltd". MavenHut. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  10. ^ "AngelList".
  11. ^ "Front Row Speakers". Inclusive Boards.
  12. ^ Kennedy, John (28 September 2018). "RebelBio is the Cork success story that got away". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  13. ^ "XING AG reports change in Supervisory Board". 12 December 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Dare to ask the stupid question and try for a 10,000% return". 29 August 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  15. ^ Kennedy, John (15 July 2011). "Bill Liao and James Whelton to unleash Coder Dojos on schools - Portfolio | - Ireland's Technology News Service". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Nominet Trust becomes Social Tech Trust |". Social Tech Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Bill Liao Setting a Philanthropic Example via The Hunger Project". MarketingStream. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  18. ^ "WeForest - About Us". Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  19. ^ "WeForest - Why It Matters". Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  20. ^ "COP15 — What Really Happened". HuffPost. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  21. ^ Liao, Bill (3 July 2009). "Diplomatic appointment letter from the PM | Flickr – Photo Sharing!". Flickr. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  22. ^ "The UK's top 100 black and minority ethnic leaders in technology". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 November 2018.

23. Forests – Reasons to be Hopeful – Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

External links[edit]