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“Education has a role to play in properly preparing Canadians to succeed in a global economy.”
– Mathew Georghiou
Mathew Georghiou is the founder, CEO and Chief Experience Designer ofMediaSpark; a software development and publishing company. With a passion for educational games and simulations, Mathew also createdGoVenture. Over the past decade, GoVenture has sold thousands of games and simulations to schools and organizations around the world; reaching an audience of estimated 1 million+ individuals. Despite their overwhelming success, Mathew and GoVenture want to do more, something bigger. As a leading innovator in entrepreneurship, Mathew has set out to createGoVenture World: an authentic business experience with the potential to be the single biggest innovation in the history of entrepreneurship education and business simulation.
What motivated you to start your first business, Media Spark?
I started MediaSpark back in 1994 and at the time I was working as an engineer at IBM Celestica in Toronto. I wanted more control over my own destiny and the chance for financial freedom sooner in life.
What do you feel is the greatest challenge that entrepreneurs face in Canada?
The greatest challenge is building industry relationships, because most high growth Canadian companies are focused on exports to larger markets. Included with building relationships is access to venture financing.
Do you feel there is too much emphasis placed on government in solving the problems of entrepreneurs? Whose role is it: Media, Education, Government or startups themselves?
No, I don’t because Canada is a small country and our private sector is not as wealthy or as risk-focused as needed to nurture entrepreneurship on its own. Government has a role to play in facilitating the process, through investment tax incentives, and R&D incentives, and general policy. The media has a role to play in telling the stories to the public so we can create an entrepreneurial culture. Education has a role to play in properly preparing Canadians to succeed in a global economy.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned from building Media Spark, GoVenture and GoVenture World?
The importance of business relationships and access to financing.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are starting up today?
Consider moving somewhere where you will have strong access to business relationships and access to financing. Don’t fall into the embellished story of thinking you can do it from anywhere. While you can do some things from anywhere, building key industry relationships and winning key customers is still difficult to do at a distance, and difficult to do with constant air travel.