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Matt Clifford steps down as Entrepreneur First CEO to focus on AI

Matt Clifford CEO Entrepreneur First Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Matt Clifford at the AI Safety Summit. Image credit: Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street

Matt Clifford, the prime minister’s representative at the AI Safety Summit, has stepped down as CEO of Entrepreneur First to focus on artificial intelligence full-time at the startup support and investment group.

Entrepreneur First co-founder Alice Bentinck will take the reins as chief executive, Clifford announced on Monday.

“I’ve believed for many years that AI is the great opportunity and the great challenge of our time and co-leading the UK’s AI Safety Summit only deepened that conviction,” Clifford said in a LinkedIn post.

He added: “The greatest talents of the next generation are going to be drawn to the challenge of ensuring that we safely capture the benefits of powerful AI. I look forward to helping find and support the founders who will make that happen.”

In August, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) appointed Clifford to co-lead preparations for the UK’s first summit on AI safety.

Clifford was Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s sherpa during the summit, which took place last month.

The Bletchley Park event resulted in 28 countries – including the US and China – signing a joint commitment to understanding the risks of AI.

Clifford co-founded Entrepreneur First, an investment firm in 2011 and has been CEO since launch.

It raised £130m last year to invest in the “next generation of tech founders”. Aside from Entrepreneur First, Clifford is the chair of the Advanced Research and Invention Agency.

Read more: Four takeaways from the AI Safety Summit