We've got exciting news for you! Piers Corfield, a serial tech and communications entrepreneur and CEO of Dashboard, is going to be in Lisbon from the 27th to the 29th of April and you can meet him in person!
"Who is this gentleman?" you may kindly ask. Well, to find out, just read the lines below!
Piers studied Business&Finance but his love affair with technology began fairly early on, always with the perspective that it is a tool.
This makes Piers to most people "highly technical, but I'm not a real tech because I don't programme." Despite that, Piers has been CTO (Chief Technology Officer) twice.
"I have accumulated a fair amount of technical knowledge, so I know how to run tech projects and how to assemble all the bits. So my belief in technology is that every piece of it, whether it be software or a mobile phone, is like a piece of Lego. I'm only interested in understanding what the characteristics of that piece of Lego are and how it connects with the other bits of Lego."
"Once I've understood that, I then understand its capabilities and I can therefore add it to the stock of Lego parts. Then the secret is about assembling the pieces of Lego in the right format to solve a particular commercial problem."
That being said, Piers has no interest in technology just for the sake of it. For him it is all about how to use technology to make things more efficient, reduce costs, increase health, safety, reduce environmental damage, and so on.
Piers 'aha moment' happened in the late 90's when he heard a quote that internet was the biggest revolution in human communication since the printing press. He used to repeat that quote back then and people thought he was nuts.
So Piers has had a nose for technology trends and if you have a look at the articles he has written, he has made correct predictions in terms of trends and impact.
"In terms of understanding technology trends I had an appreciation at a very early stage of what would be the impact of this stuff. In the same way that I understood the mobile phone, I was one of the first people to have a PDA [Personal Digital Assistant] which obviously was a precursor to the smartphone. So I've been early on technology in order to figure out how to use it."
Piers is planning on creating a startup in Portugal and here's why:
"First of all, in Lisbon you have a very, very high graduate unemployment rate, so there are a lot of skillful people who are very keen to be involved in technology but don't have a sufficient number of opportunities to engage in multinational technology projects. As a company we are interested in the idea of transferability of ideas, between markets but also the strength you achieve through cultural integration in a business."
"The second reason has to do with bilateral trade agreements. Portugal has not only a very strong cultural and historical relationship with England and as two countries who are seafaring nations, we have quite a lot of shared history, so all of that plays into the relationship between the two countries."
"There's also a bilateral agreement between Brazil and Portugal, so it means we can leverage that to our advantage by creating something which has to some extent 'made in Portugal' on it, that then creates an export opportunity for Portugal as a country and allows the Portuguese to add value to the proposition and leverage the opportunity with Brazil."
To meet Piers, come by Fabrica de Startups on Wednesday, the 27th of April, to Demo Night!