Zoe Cunningham

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Zoe Cunningham
Nationality British
Alma mater Cambridge University
Occupation Business executive, Actress
Years active 2000 to present
Employer Softwire
Known for Champion backgammon player
Title Managing Director
Awards 2010 Ladies World Backgammon Championship
Website Official website

Zoe Cunningham is a British business executive and competitive backgammon player. Cunningham serves as the Managing Director of Softwire. She is an advocate for women in technology related businesses, and a contributor to business columns in UK periodicals. In 2010 she became the Ladies World Backgammon Champion.

Business career[edit]

Cunningham is a graduate of the Mathematics Faculty at Cambridge University.[1] She is the Managing Director of Softwire, starting with the company as a coder in 2000.[2] In 2013 she was nominated for her work at Softwire as Inspiration of the Year at the FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards.[3][4] She was also named to the annual 35 Women Under 35 list published by Management Today. In 2013 she founded the Small Software Association and served as CEO of London's Tech Talkfest networking conference.[2][5] By 2016 Softwire was named "one of the UK’s leading software development companies".[6]

She was also awarded the Ten Outstanding Young People Award by the Junior Chamber International London.[7] Computer Weekly named her a rising star within the British IT industry on their annual 25 most influential women in UK IT list published in 2013.[8] At the end of 2013 Cunningham was named by The Independent newspaper as one of its "Businesswoman of the Future".[9] In December 2013 she was a member of British Prime Minister David Cameron's engineering and manufacturing delegation to China.[10]

Cunningham is an advocate for women in technology and especially those who start their own businesses or become involved with start-ups.[11] She is also an advocate for SME spending by the UK government, and has been critical of the government's dearth of spending on helping these types of enterprises evolve.[12] On a smaller scale, she is also an advocate for local networking among small business in the UK.[13][14]


Cunningham was the winner of the 35th World Backgammon Championship's ladies tournament in Monte Carlo - in addition to being named as a member of the 2010 World Championship's dream-team.[15] She was also the 2005 Mind Sports Olympiad Cambridge backgammon tournament champion, and a finalist at two World Series of Backgammon tournaments in 2008. These tournaments did not divide men and women into separate groups, and Cunningham has been an advocate for not allowing the separation of the genders in international backgammon tournaments.[16] She is also an advocate for the popularization of tournament backgammon and increased television coverage of the game.[17]


In 2014 Cunningham released the book Galvanizing The Geeks: Tips for managing technical people.[18] Cunningham has also been a contributor to the magazine Computer Weekly,[19] as well as to The Guardian newspaper[20] and The Huffington Post.[21]

Radio, stage & television[edit]

Cunningham is a radio presenter and DJ. In 2013 she was nominated for a Radio Academy Awards' Sony Golden Headphones award during the award's inaugural year. She has a show on ZoneOneRadio where she discusses technology, and a new music show on Shoreditch Radio, both broadcast from the UK.[22][23] On 9 February 2013 Cunningham placed second in the first season of the BBC television series Britain's Brightest.[24] In 2014-15, Cunningham appeared as a member of the Coders team in several episodes of series 10 of Only Connect.[25] She has also performed on stage at festivals such as the Brighton Fringe.[26] She also appeared in the short film Symptoms,[27] and the stage play Bystanders.[28]


  1. ^ "Other Sports: Backgammon". BBC. 19 November 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Emma De Vita (7 July 2013). "35 Women Under 35: Meet your next boss". Management Today. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Meredith Berman (11 February 2013). "Female IT champions in the running as FDM everywoman in Technology Awards finalists announced". Everywoman. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Kayleigh Bateman (12 February 2013). "2013 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards: Finalists Announced". ComputerWeekly. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Emma de Vita (7 July 2013). "35 Women Under 35: Coming soon to a hot seat near you". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  6. ^ https://www.thememo.com/2016/06/16/softwire-boss-it-like-zoe-cunningham-managing-director-softwire-software-developer/
  7. ^ "Meet the winners of 2013 JCI London Ten Outstanding Young People Awards". Junior Chamber International London. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Kayleigh Bateman (4 July 2013). "The 25 most influential women in UK IT 2013". Computer Weekly. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Sarah Morrison (22 September 2013). "Women of the Future Awards: Full shortlist". The Independent. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "David Cameron's China delegation in full". The Guardian. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Kayleigh Bateman (18 July 2013). "Why UK women are choosing startups over the corporate world". Computer Weekly. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Charlotte Lee (1 May 2014). "'Government is not listening,' say IT SMEs". Computer World UK. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  13. ^ Tom Kihl (24 April 2014). "Innovating in NW5? Join us for the first Kentish Cluster social drinks". Kentish Tower. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Paul Wright (2 June 2014). "Kentish Town becoming new hub for London’s tech startups". Ham & High. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "International Tournament Results". Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  16. ^ Mike Main (30 July 2010). "Interview of Zoe Cunningham: Ladies World Champion 2010". Backgammon in London. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  17. ^ Phil Simborg (25 March 2011). "Interview: Sean and Zoe". Backgammon in London. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  18. ^ Zoe Cunningham (2014). Galvanizing The Geeks: Tips for managing technical people. Autharium. ISBN 9781780251820. 
  19. ^ Zoe Cunningham (4 March 2013). "Tech Talkfest runs Women in Technology Gaming event". ComputerWeekly. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  20. ^ Zoe Cunningham (19 April 2013). "Efficiency: Softwire". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  21. ^ Zoe Cunningham (5 October 2013). "Why There Ought to Be More Women in Technology". Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  22. ^ "Zoe Cunningham - Shoreditch Radio profile". Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  23. ^ Michelle Wood (May 2013). "Interview with Zoe Cunningham". MPME. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "The future’s bright for Andy after TV victory". The News (Portsmouth). 19 February 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  25. ^ "BBC Two - Only Connect, Series 10, Coders v Gamesmasters". Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  26. ^ https://www.thestage.co.uk/features/2015/brighton-festivals-stay-true-form-eclectic-line
  27. ^ http://theindependentcritic.com/symptoms
  28. ^ http://www.ayoungertheatre.com/review-bystanders-tristan-bates-theatre/

External links[edit]