Innovation.

Venture Building. 

Project Leadership.

Biz Dev & Partnerships.

Hi, I'm Michael, an Aussie living in

Los Angeles who has seen the good, the bad & the ugly over the past 20 odd years around the world.

 

I've worked with global brands, agencies & consulting groups alongside startups since the 90's. 

Take a look around on this site if you have a moment, check some case studies & if you think we'd get along & I can add value to your business or project portfolio, lets chat!

 

GET IN TOUCH NOW

Helping companies to grow with a global focus.

 
A FEW CASE STUDIES
  • Startup: MotionCatcher

    Skills: Startups, Commercial Strategy, Operations

    Innovative Digital Signage Startup / Content Delivery platform with physical space analytics and real time ad-serving capabilities. I worked with the founding team to commercialise their offering. Focused on re-alignment of their market & sales strategy, alongside the leadership of the company & operational structure. Basically I worked as an advisor to successfully, monetise and drive growth with pilots in Scandinavia.

  • Startup: SOLVE Growth

    Skills: Startups, Partnerships, Growth Hacking

    Growth Hacking Agency in Los Angeles, California, working with, and investing in Tech Startups.Primary focus was to pitch & work with early stage startups pre-funding/accelerator phase to create growth via non-traditional digital marketing practices. I worked with the founders on their value proposition, operational strategy & leveraged my network brining in several of their first customers.

  • Startup: Colab

    Skills: Startups, Venture, Co-founding

    Venture studio based in Los Angeles focused on working with a a select few startups in mentoring, designing, marketing & connecting founders with VC's & Angels for funding purposes. I worked with the founders to explore working directly with advertising and media agencies as a "digital agency" would & worked directly in outreach for a few startups, namely Box Boulevard, a "white label" subscription based model built for brands that would like to offer a subscription based mechanism within their marketing portfolio.

  • Startup: Lomakuumetta.fi

    Skills: Startups, Global Strategy & Commercialisation

    Travel startup based out of Helsinki, Finland focused on new innovative technologies to aid users searching for their next vacation. I worked with the founding team as an advisor to help build out their offering and media partnerships internationally in Australia. 

  • Project: Startup Validation Model

    Skills: Startups, Design Strategy & Research

    An earlier project to act as part of my toolkit for helping startups & founders. A visual strategy canvas to help startups and investors validate their business idea. Designed primarily to build out an idea, validate its viability, feasibility and its key market differentiation through a series of structured exercises that stem across design thinking, service design and traditional strategic planning.

     

     

  • Startup: California Substates

     

    Skills: Startups, CEO, COO, CFO, Founder

    I established the manufacturing capabilities & supply chain in Vietnam whilst living in HCMC. I later launched the retail brand of this organic product in North America's booming legal Cannabis sector. I found the company, built and designed the brand, managed finances, built a team in North America & a nationwide distribution network putting the products in 100's of stores. Excited successfully in 2019 & the company continues to succeed.

  • Brand: Nokia

    Skills: Service Design, Organisational Design

    Service design / organisational change to create and map out a new methodology of working ways within Nokia's .com project. The initiative helped to break down their former silo'ed approach between engineering, design & the business organisations. The outcome was essentially an "internal agency on site"built up of vendors, Nokia employers, consultants & creative teams.

     

  • Brand: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

    Skills: Consulting, Service Design & Leadership.

    Research project for Commonwealth Bank of Australia with the primary goal to create a better experience between the bank, its brokers and the end customer. This was one amongst many projects initiated within CBA to build relationships across the different organisations, resulting in new projects for the consulting group across design thinking, UX/UI design, Service Design & Organisational change.

  • Agency: Isobar

    Skills: Leadership, Acquisition, Operational Design

    Led the acquisition of a digital agency and setup of the Isobar Digital Network in Finland. Focused initially on finding the right cultural & strategic fit. Upon selection, I was then responsible for the integration into the Aegis media group, digital strategy, increasing business into 7 figures with existing clients & new ones and overall digital education & digital evangelism within the Aegis Group of companies (Carat, Vizeum, iProspect etc...).

  • Brand: Nokia | Mobile World Congress, Barcelona

    Skills: Keynotes, Leadership & Presentation writing

    Directed, produced and facilitated the creation of Nokia's presence at the Mobile World Congress 2013 event  in Barcelona. The work included working with Nokia's C-suite leadership team on their keynotes, presentations & building out the event space and creative ideas itself. The work resulted in several other pieces of work with Nokia around their Developer Experience conferences in North America.

  • Brand: Nokia

    Skills: Consulting, Business Transformation

    Global digital transformation of Nokia.com brand website. Redesign of customer experience, new content publishing model and operational + organisational alignment. 3 years consulting engagement focused on building organization wide relationships utilizing a hybrid of strategic consulting, service design thinking, UX & product management.

  • Brand: Dept. of Family & Community Services

    Skills: Consulting, Service Design & Leadership.

    Public service engagement utilising Design thinking to cultivate new ways of delivering products and services across the organisations program between families, children and therapists. This arm of the project was a deep dive utilizing mood boarding and business canvasses in co-creation workshops across NSW community centres.

  • Brand: Service NSW (Government)

    Skills: Consulting, Service Design, Leadership

    Service Design project focused on taking physical transactions online and designing a fully integrated multi-channel customer experience. I led the relationship between consulting group & client with the work spanning qualitative and quantitative research, persona creation, journey mapping, UX designs & service design blueprints across the platform.

MY STORY

I began my career at the end of the 90’s working with online trading startups in the energy & agricultural sector in Europe and Australia.

Since then I have spread my wings across corporate, agency & consulting verticals in the UK, Germany, Finland, Australia, Kenya, Vietnam and North America. I have led accounts and projects across fortune 100 companies. I’ve worked intimately in advertising and media eco-systems and I have worked with management/technology consulting groups in global business transformation projects and setup new offerings and business units for scale.

During my career I have always enjoyed working with startups. I’ve worked with well funded and backed ideas within e-commerce, commodity trading and VC design, and I’ve worked alongside many boot-strapped startups in marketing, analytics, travel, retail, B2B and digital media/analytics. I also found my own company in Vietnam where I built the supply chain, later launching the product/brand in North America, in which I recently exited in 2019.

I am a hands on get the job done sort of guy who has seen the good, the bad & the ugly. I have the unique experience to have worked with startups all my career and at the same time, worked with fortune 100 brands, global advertising & media companies and consulting groups. I see the big picture, I understand all the hardships of business and consider myself a cultural advisor, mentor & well, whatever you need if we synch.

Having recently exited the company I brought to North America, my focus is now 100% on advising, mentoring & investing in startups and everything that goes with that on a global scale.

Outside of business, I love the ocean. I sail & I dive. I love hiking, rock climbing and I've jumped out of a plane several times also. I have a lifetime passion for photography having studied it in the mid 90's. You can check out some pics at hereI have the worlds coolest french bulldog Sonny who has traveled with me from Europe to Australia to North America and we live together with my beautiful wife in Marina Del Rey (Los Angeles), California. I still travel extensively but mostly for business exploration lately, with a little r&r every now and then with the family.

If any of this sounds of interest, then do get in touch, lets grab a beer or a virtual one & see what we can do together. I only make money if you make money so you have peace of mind from the get go. 

MESSAGE ME NOW

 
MY CAREER
A rough timeline 

1996 - Current

University of the World
Europe, ASIA, AUSTRALIA
Africa, NORTH & SOUTH America

Since 1996, I have traveled and lived across 5 continents. I didn't travel with an iPad or even an email address in the beginning... I worked in Bars and interesting positions all over the world for several years.I have worked professionally in Australia, England, Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Vietnam, Kenya and now the USA. 

2002 - 2003

Fintech & ENERGY
startupS
 Sydney, Australia

I moved back to Australia to "settle down" for a while after 6 years of living abroad and 2 years working in London with an agency and a Fintech startup. I continued working within the Fintech "Online Trading" arena for a company called M-co, the Marketplace Company. We built Australia's first Green Electricity Trading platform and worked mostly with Energy trading houses and government policy makers. I was an Account Manager mostly taking care of traders working on the East Coast but this position gave me heavy exposure to government policy, the finance vertical and traditional PR and marketing communications.

2003 - 2006

Advertising & AGENCY LIFE
Sydney, Australia

As I was completing my studies in design, I began to gain exposure to the Advertising industry. I worked for several agencies on big accounts such as Disney, Vodafone, Samsung, American Express, QANTAS & Tourism Australia. Agencies included Gruden Group, JWT, RMG Connect, Ogilvy and Isobar. Hands on roles included Producing, Project Management & Account Service.

2008 - 2009

Photographer & JOURNALIST
Nairobi, Kenya

Spent some time away after my E-Commerce experience with Fruugo and worked in Africa with my photography. Transitioned back and forth to Kenya working with the Nation, Kenya's leading Newspaper, WIR Media  and some assistant work for Al Jazeera.

2012

Entrepreneur
 Ho chi minh City, Vietnam

Whilst contracting in the digital space I transitioned between Helsinki, Finland and

Ho Minh City in Vietnam for one year where I setup and established California Substrates, a Hydroponic brand currently still servicing North America. Available in 100's of stores nationwide. Whilst a challenging new field, I have learn't a great deal about running a business in a very different world to technology and advertising.

2014

PROGRAM DIRECTOR (UX/CX)
Sydney, Australia

I went back to Australia to spend time with family. At this point my primary consulting experiences were centered around

customer experience, business modelling & design thinking. I helped setup a Design Thinking / Agile consulting arm within SMS Management & Technology, a mid sized Management Consulting group. Projects included leading various initiatives around service design, business modelling & customer experience programs for Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Industry, Annuities, Portfolio Trading & Retirement Funding). On the side, I was heavily involved with the growth of the business both with existing clients and pitching new business weekly with government, financial, automotive and energy sectors. 

1996

Graduated Photography
Melbourne, Australia

Completed studies in Photography.

Primary focus on Documentary photography and Journalism.

1999 - 2001

Career BEGINS:
Advertising & Fintech STARTUPS
London, UK

My first real agency position was with the Agency Joshua, later acquired by Grey Group. I worked in the mailroom and climbed to admin co-ordinator in a few months. Before this, I held various temp roles with Anderson Consulting, PriceWaterhouseCoopers & the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Whilst I enjoyed my work with Joshua, I was approached to work with Agriflow, a "Fintech" startup at the end of the 90's focused on building the worlds first agricultural commodity trading platform & portfolio management system. I saw opportunity...

2002 - 2004

SAE - MORE STUDY
Digital Design & Multimedia
Sydney, Australia

It was very clear that the future was the Internet. I figured I should learn how to build it! I studied Multimedia Design which included both design and programming. Over this period I built out several commercial projects and digital strategies for companies I had previously worked with.

2006 - 2013

Advertising
E-Commerce
Customer Experience
TECH Consulting
STARTUPS
Helsinki, Finland

Led Strategy / Agency acquisition

Moved to Finland as a love refugee. I was asked by Aegis Dentsu Media Group to lead digital strategy and build out the acquisition of a digital agency to form the Isobar Digital Network hub in Finland. I worked with the acquisition and merger. I also led both Digital & Media Strategies for clients such as Adidas, Toyota, H&M, Nordea Bank and Air Finland. I trained traditional media agency folk in digital including agencies Carat and Vizeum. During this period, I made life long and very successful friends whom I still collaborate with today.

 

E-Commerce Marketing Manager

I was scouted to work with a well funded  

E-Commerce startup, Fruugo. I focused on their digital marketing and media acquisition strategies but after a short period of 6 months, I decided to leave before their fall. My first experience with incredibly poor management. I did however learn a great deal about

E-commerce business and met many great tech friends who I am still collaborating with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Account Strategist

I worked with Luxus, an agency that grew out of Helsinki to Singapore and San Francisco. Lots of new business pitches and work focused on value propositioning and business modelling for Nokia's App (Ovi) business unit and brand.

Principle Consultant | Product Owner

Worked with several Finnish businesses in business concepting, service design and as a product owner. Namely I worked with Nokia across various large scale digital transformation and mobile branding / value proposition projects over 3 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Strategist

Worked with the Founder and CEO of ActiveArkJWT (Now MIRUM Agency), a leading agency in Finland focused on building brands with marketing communications and digital services. As lead strategist I worked on a number of digital, experiential & social projects as well as carving keynotes & entire event outlines for Nokia's leadership team at events such as Mobile World Congress. In addition to day-to-day strategy leadership, I led a number of new business pitches for major Scandinavian brands.

2014 - 2019

STARTUPS, ADVISOR, ENTREPReNEUR
Australia & North AMERICA

Over the past 5 or so years I have been transitioning between Australia, North America & Europe. I established my own retail business in Vietnam, launched the brand in North America and successfully exited recently to move on to new pastures.

 

During this time I have worked in an advisory capacity to a handful of startups in analytics, marketing, venture design, digital media & travel.

 

I helped establish the right business models, build clear and precise value propositions, build bullet-proof go-to market commercialisation strategies & connect startups to the right people for partnership & investment. Startups include MotionCatcher, a Norwegian digital media signage & analytics company; Colab, a Los Angeles based Venture studio; SOLVE Growth, a Los Angeles based Growth Hacking Agency & Lomakuumetta, a Finnish based Travel startup.

2020

CURRENT DAY
Innovation, VentuRe Building, PRoJect leadeRship, PaRtneRships & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 

Based in Los Angeles but available throughout North America & Europe.

 
 

A FEW BRANDS I HAVE WORKED WITH...

 
 CONTACT