I’m a business and social entrepreneur with around 600 employees in medium sized mainly technology companies in Europe, the USA and Asia.
My non-profit activities are primarily to do with entrepreneurship, leading TEDx events , founding and running a global alumni society for Cambridge University, event hosting, public speaking, leadership and doing Standup Comedy at Open Mic Nights. I teach entrepreneurship and run business courses in universities, schools and lead community events.
If you want to know what I am up to now, go here.
The main themes I speak, write and podcast about are entrepreneurship, management, leadership, the promotion of entrepreneurship, TED.com and TEDx.
The most high profile projects I am involved in are TEDxKazimierz, the Project Kazimierz podcast CAMentrepreneurs, Open Coffee Krakow, Krakow Enterprise Mondays and the Wojtek the Soldier Bear project, which I have written about here (and got a medal for), and Krakow Standup Comedy. I’m particularly interested in changing the way that schools and universities interact with their alumni with respect to the support of entrepreneurship. Although I don’t have direct involvement – I am a big supporter of Krakow Magicians community. I have been a Couchsurfer and still occasionally host and stay with people. Rather few people understand how big a commitment I have to TED.com and TEDx. Reading my TED.com profile help give a sense but doesn’t capture the scale of my engagement completely.
My businesses are listed on my Linkedin profile – They are real businesses in the sense of having clients, staff, management, revenue and sometimes profits. I’ve done nothing as successful as Google or Facebook. but some – like Argos Multilingual – are among the best companies in the world in their sector, others like Zalamo , Everuptive and ISL are market leaders in Poland, others like Unicard and SKK Global are very strong in some of the markets they are active in. PMR has a powerful brand in Poland as a source of unbiased forecasts and analysis, sectoral events and business services especially in the Construction, Life Sciences, IT and FMCG/retail sectors.
I have been in the management board of some of these businesses, CEO of two of them, and am on the Supervisory Board of three. If you want to do business with them and the idea makes sense I can help make introductions but I am not the ultimate decision maker, so don’t think that persuading me will be enough.
Others of my more recent investments are high profile are regarded as successful like Cambridge Mask, Estimote, Love Krakow, Syndicate Room, Untitled Kingdom They have never paid me a dividend, salary or consulting fee. This does not mean that they are failures as businesses. However, no matter what the “paper” value of a business, and how much positive PR it has, as an investor, until you have more money afterwards than before you have not succeeded.
One CEO who I trusted and invested in, let slip in a board meeting that he regarded paying dividends as a “complete waste of money”. Through an oversight, I and the founder have lost control of this business and it seems likely we will never get a dividend, even though the business is profitable. The money I invested in him came from dividends earned elsewhere. If you want good long term relationships with investors, you should aim to reward them financially for their faith in you.
If you want me to invest in your business idea, please read this first.
Public speaking, hosting and event improvement consulting. If you want me to help with, host or speak at your event, take a look at this. I wrote it in a bad mood when the event I was speaking at started late. The ten thousand hours I have spent preparing speakers for the TEDxKazimierz stage, hosting, and organising events has had a noticeable impact on me. I don’t accept badly organised events. I offer to help make them better if the organisers are interested. My own speaking and hosting skills have improved in recent years. I am still learning.