Vertical Aerospace founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick.

Photo by Adam Gasson / Vertical Aerospace

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace

Stephen Fitzpatrick is a British entrepreneur who believes that technology, ingenuity and focus can solve the climate crisis. For over a decade, Stephen’s businesses have been accelerating the decarbonisation of the world’s most polluting sectors – energy and transport.


After founding OVO Energy in 2009 – now one of the UK’s largest energy retailers with 4.5 million customers, Stephen set up Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace in 2016 to decarbonise air travel using the best technologies from across the aviation, energy and automotive industries.


Vertical is working with world-leading suppliers and partners such as Rolls -Royce, Honeywell, Solvay, Leonardo, Molicel and GKN to build one of the world’s most advanced electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft – the VX4 – a piloted vehicle capable of carrying four passengers at up to 200mph.


While Vertical has already flown two earlier prototypes, the company celebrated “wheels up” with the VX4 for the first time in September 2022 when it successfully completed its first airborne test. Expanding the flight test envelope and further certification milestones are to be reached through 2023, with the VX4 reaching higher altitudes and speeds.


Vertical is listed on the New York Stock Exchange [NYSE: EVTL] and has a market-leading pre-order book by value for more than 1,400 aircraft from global customers including AirAsia, American Airlines, Avolon, Japan Airlines, Marubeni and Virgin Atlantic.


In addition to his successful entrepreneurship, Stephen is an active campaigner on climate change, he recently led Zero C, a successful policy campaign for the introduction of a carbon tax that would accelerate the country’s transition to net zero and use the revenues to support people, households and businesses through the low-carbon transition.