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Introduction

Matthew studied at the University of Hertfordshire with a sandwich year in Rosenheim University in Germany and graduated with a First Class BA Hons in International Business. During his time at the university he was very active in pursuing his tech ambitions building a platform to help students from abroad make the most of their time at the institution.

Following graduation Matthew worked for Paradise Wildlife Park implementing their online strategy and managing innovative projects within the park to enhance the visitor experience.

He made the decision to continue his development by working in the UK tech startup scene on several exciting projects. He worked in business strategy, development and marketing positions at My Rewards Company, Ginicam and PowerFX Systems AB, before pursuing his own entrepreneurial ambitions.

In 2014 he founded Looks Good On Me Limited with Tatjana Apukhtina.

Looks Good On Me Limited are exploring ways to enhance the consumer experience when shopping in-store or online by providing solutions that can be integrated into retailers existing systems. The company has been accepted into the London Accelerator Academy.

Work History

Chief Executive Officer

Looks Good On Me Limited is a fashion technology company focused on delivering a seamless social shopping experience for the fashion consumer in store and at home. In 2014 the business won the University of Hertfordshire Business Flare Award. The business has launched an app that is available on Apple and Android to help consumers get fast fashion feedback in store. In 2015 the business won the prestigious Prince Abdul Aziz Award for Entrepreneurship. In 2016 the company has been accepted into the London Accelerator Academy (http://www.AcceleratorAcademy.com). 

Responsibilities include:

  • Business setup - Formulating a business plan and financial projections; Registering the company at Companies House and HMRC; Securing domain names and trademarks; hiring KPMG to work as our accountants; Bringing a legal advisor on board to establish a share agreement, analyse contracts, and to ensure the company operates legally.
  • Innovation Management - Turning an app / website concept into a feasible, workable product. Creating wireframes and working with UI (user interface) designers to perfect the user journey.
  • Market Research - Primary (questionnaires, focus groups, testers) and Secondary (Mintel, Keynote, Gartner, Retail Week etc)
  • Brand Management and Strategy - Establishing and building the position of Looks Good On Me, raising brand awareness through press, blogs, social media, videos (vlogs), partnerships and a presence at fashion events. Managing the budget ensuring best results for capital spend.
  • Raising Investment - Identifying the top investors in the Fashtech field, creating an investor pack, pitching to investors and closing deals
  • Preparing Proposals - Create proposals for working with specific companies (retailers etc), pitch to them and close deals.

  • Hiring staff - Networking at tech events to find top developer talent; Utilising network to find those who have the skills we require.

  • Partnerships - Forming partnerships to boost brand awareness and improve business (Google, Apple, and Cybersmile Foundation).

  • Press Releases and Copywriting - Taking a lead on all communication with the press, bloggers and potential partners.

  • Competitor Analysis - Constantly identify and monitor the activity of competitors to stay ahead.

  • Commercial / Advert / Video (Vlog) planning and execution - Plan, direct and edit (using Final Cut Pro) videos for promotion.

  • Presentations and Public Speaking - Prepare and deliver presentations at business headquarters, tech events, and universities.

Recommendation

Warwick Wyatt - Director Reinvent Lifestyle

"Matt is an inspirational entrepreneur. We got in touch with him because of his expertise in app design and project management and to consult us on what we needed to do to build a native system for our web app. His ability to understand the key areas of startups is very good and quickly directed us to relevant resources. We look forward to working with Matt and also wish him the best of luck with his already successful business 'Looks Good On Me Ltd"

 

Paul Kemp - Founder of TheAppGuy.co

"Matthew and Tatjana are incredibly inspiring entrepreneurs, full of energy and willing to give back to the startup community. I highly recommend doing any business, deals, Joint Ventures or projects with Matthew and Tatjana."

 

Nadeem Ahmad - MD Templeton and Partners Ltd

"I met both Tatjana and Matthew several years ago at a Fashion event. Tatjana spoke to me about their idea days after they came up with it. It immediately struck me as something that would really take off. What has really impressed me since is the dedication that they have had to this every single day of their lives since. With their combined intelligence, creativity and people skills, I have absolutely no doubt that they are creating an excellent business that is going to bring practical fun into the lives of many people and at the same time be a viable business that will quite deservedly flow lots of money into their hands as a reward for their great work. Having run my own business for over 10 years, it is quite inspiring to see this new company blossoming, that could achieve great things over hopefully a very long duration too. Exciting times."

PowerFX Systems AB

May 2013May 2014

Business Strategy & Development

PowerFX Systems AB are a world leader in creating loops and sound effects for famous bands (The Streets, Atomic Kitten etc) and Apple. Recently they have created Soundation the worlds most advanced online DAW (Digital Audio Work Station) to enable anyone to create music online. They are actively working with Google and have made a Chrome App of Soundation that works with Google Hangouts to enable multi-user collaboration.

Responsibilities included:

  • Business Overview - To prepare an exceptional Business Overview that does justice to the incredible, innovative music tech product the company have.
  • Strategy - Formulate with the CEO the strategy for the business moving forward
  • Market Research - Conducted extensive Market Research to compliment the companies success and demonstrate, for those unaware, the huge potential for massive success in the future. 
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Financial Analysis & Projections - Analysed the company Annual Financial Reports and built accurate Projections
  • Video Creation - Created Investment Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcqgaPyp2c4);
  • Website Development - Put together Investment Website (http://www.pfxinvestment.com)
  • Investment Management - Utilising my network in the tech sector to line-up meetings with top investment firms (Ariadne, MMC Ventures, DN Capital etc)
  • Pitches / Presentations - Preparing the pitch / presentations for meetings with investors
  • Securing Partnerships / Clients - Introductions to potential new clients / partners. Played a leading role in the project to add iTunes / Amazon / Spotify distribution to Soundation Studio.

Recommendation

 

Bil Bryant - CEO Soundation Studio, PowerFX Systems AB and CEO, PowerFX.

"In working with Matthew two qualities I admire come to mind: passion and persistence. Matthew is very personable and has great enthusiasm. I certainly recommend his work."

Ginicam Limited

Aug 2012Apr 2013

Innovation Consultant & Business Development Manager

Ginicam Limited is an internet company sharing a vision to revolutionise live video communications online. Over £1million investment secured to date.

Responsibilities included:

  • Investment Management - Find, contact, negotiate with, and secure prospective investors, including preparing and delivering pitches; Ensure with management that Ginicam hit investment targets

  • Product Management - Contribute innovative solutions and design ideas to the project. Relay updates from developers to Management.

  • Securing Partnerships / Clients - Identify and pitch to potential corporate clients (e.g. John Lewis Partnership, Disney Corp., Creative Artists Agency, Linkedin etc.), and celebrities who are interested in using the technology.

  • Spokesperson - Prepare and deliver presentations / product demonstrations; Represent company at industry fairs, conferences, etc.

  • PR - Media briefings;

  • Marketing Strategy - Lead development of marketing and e-marketing strategy.

  • B2B Relationship Management - Liaison with University of Hertfordshire and business clients;

  • Analyst - Competitor Analysis

  • Legal - Produce Terms and Conditions / Privacy Policy in HTML;

  • Copywriting - Press Releases and Business Documentation

 

Recommendation

 

Glen Richardson - CMO at Fruugo (managed Matthew at Ginicam Limited)

"Matthew is fearless, he'll jump into any project at any stage at any level and hit the ground running. Despite his self-confidence (which is a good thing) he's always watching and learning from others who have more experience. I'm a little jealous of Matthew actually, I wish at his age I was hanging with people at the top of their game! I mean, I've been in the game for 14 years and Matthew's just arrived yet he's accumulating a killer network! Matthew sat (and contributed) at the same board table with MP Grant Shapps, Fazer from N-Dubz (cool guy) and even the Deputy Chairman at Carphone Warehouse. I have VERY high expectations of him. Remember this name folks: Matthew Blakemore."

 

Roberto Torres - Software Engineer Analyst at Accenture (previously developer at Ginicam Limited)

"I work with Matthew at Ginicam Limited and he has very good insights about trend topics online related to young people. Very proactive, he is always finding new tools online and new webpages with useful contacts, information and services. He is creative, enthusiastic, helpful, and understands and cares a lot about the student and academic world."

 

James Eder - Founder & Chief Collision Creator @ Causr.co (invited to be a speaker at an event organised by Matthew on behalf of Ginicam Limited)

"Earlier this year I was invited to take part in 'An audience with the new internet pioneers' being held in the Auditorium at the University of Hertfordshire. I was very impressed with how well Matthew managed the event. It had some very interesting speakers, was very well organised, ran smoothly, and was well promoted online and around Hertfordshire. I found the networking after the event very useful. I can certainly endorse Matthew for his event management skills."

Innovation Consultant & Business Development Manager

When I joined the business it was a failing online rewards company, with management we reformed the business strategy and turned the company around. My Rewards Company Ltd is now a UK leading online corporate rewards company with clients such as AXA.

Responsibilities included:

  • Presentations / Pitches - Presenting MRC to potential reward providers/clients;
  • Securing Partners - Bringing new reward providers into the business (Praktica);
  • Sales - Research, negotiation and securing B2B (AXA) and B2C deals;
  • Networking - Networking with potential partners and clients - introducing them to the MRC system;
  • Product Management - Helping to fulfil customer requirements;
  • Marketing - Managing online marketing and social media strategy.
  • Copywriting - Preparing press releases

 

Recommendation

 

Tina Thomas - Managing Director of My Rewards Company Limited

"I have worked closely with Matthew on several projects over the last 18 months. Matthew has a very enthusiastic, helpful nature. He is continually searching for new innovative ways to develop business and is extremely ambitious. He has single handedly set up websites and developed a network for their delivery to consumers and businesses. Matthew articulates very well and this lends itself perfectly to his strong presentation and communication skills. A valuable member of the team."

Paradise Wildlife Park

Jan 2009Jul 2011

Marketing & Business Development Executive

Paradise Wildlife Park (PWP) is a family-run animal park that is No.1 tourist attraction in Hertfordshire.

Responsibilities included:

  • Managing projects - The implementation of a GPS handheld video device for customers; Animal Encounters project; music video marketing;

  • Marketing and PR - Contributing to PWP’s marketing, copywriting and e-marketing strategy, including analysing the existing website and suggesting improvements;

  • Strategy - Taking a lead on PWP’s marketing and social media strategy, e.g. (i) planning, storyboarding, filming and editing music videos around the park with the keepers as a form of viral marketing; (ii) filming, branding, editing, releasing and marketing the Animal Encounters Podcasts on iTunes; Coming up with innovative ideas and implementing them to get the park in the press.

  • Presentations - Making presentations about PWP and WHF (Wildlife Heritage Foundation) to clients;

  • Brand Representative - Representing PWP at Hertfordshire Tourism Meetings and networking events.

Voluntary

Teens Unite Fighting Cancer is dedicated to improving the lives of young people aged between 13-25 with life limiting illnesses.

Responsibilities included:

  • Songwriting and Distribution - Wrote and recorded two charity singles 'Take Your Chance' and ‘Love Light The Way’, got them mastered for release and distributed them globally on iTunes / Amazon / Spotify.
  • Manage recording and airplay of music single - Secured ‘Beyond the Barricade’ (a group of West End singers) to sing ‘Love Light the Way’, and got radio play on the BBC
  • Press and Celebrity Engagement - Used Gorkana and contact database to ensure national and local press. Used Redpages and Linkedin to contact celebrity agents and get there support for the projects (Dwain Chambers, Cliff Richard, The Wanted etc.)
  • Filming and Editing of Music Video's - Planned, storyboarded, organised and edited the 'Take Your Chance' and ‘Love Light The Way’ music videos featuring the teens from the charity;
  • Press Release

Recommendation

Debbie Pezzani - Charity Co-Founder at Teens Unite Fighting Cancer

"I would recommend Matthew without hesitation. He is a very talented and hard working individual. He has spent the summer volunteering with the charity and in this time has used his creativity to write and record a song and make a video with the teenagers we support. Matthew then went on such an effective publicity drive that not only was the song heard by over 130,000 people but it has resulted in some very exciting long term links and networks being created for the charity. We at Teens Unite are all incredibly grateful to Matthew for his enormous contribution."

Education

International Business BA Hons - First Class

Internationalisation of markets impacts most companies and organisations. As a result, managers increasingly need a global overview of industry and commerce. This course is designed to provide the managers of tomorrow with the business and management skills, language competence and cultural awareness needed for success in such a global business environment.

Recommendation

Andrew Francis - Head of Dept - Marketing & Enterprise - Business School at University of Hertfordshire

"Matthew is a graduate of Hertfordshire Business School and a really nice guy. Since graduating he has been involved in an innovative business start up project and has aspirations of his own too. Recently he managed "an audience with the new internet pioneers" - an event run collaboratively between Ginicam and the University - exciting stuff.

Switched-on, smart and dependable, I'm happy to recommend Matthew - we need more graduates like him!"

Harry Picken - Digital Marketing Specialist

"I worked with Matthew on a number of projects at University. He is a hard working, committed individual who never failed to give each project a vital boost with his string of industry connections."

Achievements

  • 2016 Looks Good On Me Limited accepted into the London Accelerator Academy
  • 2015 Prince Abdul Aziz Award for Entrepreneurship - Best Startup (Looks Good On Me Limited)
  • 2014 University of Hertfordshire Business Flare Award - Best Business (Looks Good On Me Limited)
  • 2011 First Class International Business Degree - University of Hertfordshire
  • 2008 - Team of the year - University of Hertfordshire Rowing Club
  • 2007 3 A-Levels (Geography, History and Chemistry), 2 AS-Levels (Business Studies and Physics)
  • 2007 Hertfordshire Youth Service Award - The award recognises young people who have participated in music, art and/or media based activities pushing the boundaries of their creativity, level of skill and commitment to learning. I received the award for my work as Chair of Stevenage Youth Council, my contribution to the Hertfordshire Youth Charter, and the leading role I took in the creation of HertsWired (a website to help young people get support in Hertfordshire) and The Body Stop (a sexual health education van for young people)
  • 2006 Deputy Head Boy - John Henry Newman School
  • 2005 11 GCSE - 4A*, 5A, 2B - Top 5% of the country
  • 2005 Elected Chair of the Stevenage Youth Council & Member of the Hertfordshire Youth Council

Skills

The number of recommendations on Linkedin for each key attribute:

  1. Social Media - 77
  2. Marketing - 66
  3. Management - 41
  4. Entrepreneurship - 33
  5. Strategy - 26
  6. Business Development - 20

Portfolio