I am an entrepreneur, advisor and angel investor who has founded and co-founded a total of 7 companies to date. I am a co-founder of Blue Beck, a 55-strong (mobile) software development house, a Venture Partner at Emerge Education, Europe’s leading EdTech accelerator, and the Chairman of Bibblio, which is building next-gen recommender systems for knowledge content. I am investing in education technology, AI, IoT and big data with a portfolio of a good dozen investments to date with companies based in London, Manchester, Seattle, Atlanta and Hamburg. I also act as a board member of and/or advisor to another five companies in EdTech, IoT and gaming. Further, I am a co-founder of Tech North Advocates, a non-profit focused on promoting the role of tech in the North of England and am a mentor at the Microsoft Accelerator in London.
Previously, I was the Chief Strategy Officer at Scoreloop, mobile social gaming platform, which I helped grow to 450m users. When the company got acquired by BlackBerry (a deal I led), I served as its Global Head of Business Development – Games.
I have been lucky to be at the forefront of industries that were once described “niche” since 2000 (mobile phones). I helped launch the world’s first mobile music services (with Britney Spears, Duran Duran and Snoop Dogg amongst others) and published games on tiny mobile (feature) phones (including Call of Duty 3 [max file size was 254kb!], X-Men 3 and the first titles for a small studio called Rovio – later of Angry Birds fame). I am an M&A lawyer by original profession and still a member of the German bar in good standing. Today, my focus is on education, IoT, AI, big data and – still – games.
I have delivered more than 100 keynotes and panel sessions around the world, including at SXSW (Austin), TEDx (Barcelona & Manchester), the Mobile World Congress (Barcelona), CTIA (Las Vegas), Mindshare Media Summit (Dubai), Digital K (Sofia), SmartCon (Istanbul), GDC (San Francisco), Casual Connect (Seattle), Picnic (Amsterdam), Web Summit (Dublin), Israel Mobile Summit (Tel Aviv), Alcatel Lucent’s 4G Summit (Las Vegas) and Ericsson Mobility World (Zurich). I have spoken to audiences totalling more than 100,000 people to date. For more on my speaking stuff, go to my, err, Speaking page or look me up at the Futures Agency.
As a technology entrepreneur and investor, I am a futurist because I believe everyone must be: we are shaping tomorrow’s world and we need to think ahead. I continue to advise organisations on future-proofing their business and guide them through change.
I have been inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and is a Governor at the Fallibroome Academy, as well as a board member of the Weave, the steering committee for digital & creative affairs of Cheshire East Council. I am a past board member of the German-Maltese Chamber of Commerce and of MEF, the Mobile Ecosystem Forum.
I am German by birth but have lived in 5 countries (the UK for the past dozen years), worked in 20+, travelled to over 40 and did deals in more than 100. I am European and consider myself a citizen of the world.
Check my LinkedIn profile for a full run-down of my bio.
Despite law school, I had my first e-mail address as early as 1991 (though there weren’t many to communicate with which made it less thrilling), and the passion for new technological frontiers never left me since… It was not only e-mail (and of course studies – focus on corporate, commercial, European and international law as well as arbitration) though: I was also a member of the International Board of ELSA – the European Law Students Organisation – where we obtained consultative status with the UNESCO and the UN as well as a special relationship with UNHCR. We also lobbied hard for the establishment of the International Criminal Court and ran more than 40 conferences per year.
Boring but necessary disclaimer: The opinions posted on this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the ones of any company I am affiliated with. (oh, and I sold that pretty red race car of a Citroën 2CV 6; the electric chariot from Fremont took its place)