Los Angeles

Business Development


Bullseye Business Development Announced
March 7, 2013 - Austin, TX
          Today, on the even of South-By-Southwest, I am re-establishing my global consultancy service, Bullseye Business Development.

          It's been a challenging 3-1/2 years at the helm of Portalarium as CEO and now it's time to do some other things.  We raised capital and the team created some quality products, but product discovery and monetization are more difficult than they have ever been in my 27 years in games.  With the advent of mobile and social channels the market for game is larger than ever before in sheer size of global game players.  However the industry is in massive disruption beyond just the customary tech/platform transitions.
          I remain a substantial shareholder, investor and advisor to my longtime game industry partners at Portalarium.  I also continue to provide strategic and financial services to Wild About Music, the unique Austin-based music lifestyle retail stores and e-commerce site which I co-founded 18 years ago.
          But over this past year I have become deeply inspired by the opportunities available in working with a wider variety of startup and established companies between the USA and Europe,  especially targeting growth between the Texas and U.K. markets and, even more specifically, between the City of Austin and the London Borough of Hackney / Tech City.
          In January 2012 I was part of an Austin trade mission to Hackney with a dozen other tech CEOs led by Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell to promote economic and cultural development as part of a formal "Friendship City" agreement that we signed.  It was an eye-opening experience.  I have been traveling to London since I was 12 years old but had never set foot in East London, home to this place called Tech City.  It piqued my curiosity and I just had to go check it out.
          What I discovered in Hackney was beyond anything I had imagined!  Not only is this former neglected London community now the thriving home to some 700+ tech companies in the greater Old Street Silicon Roundabout, but it is also the soul of a re-emerged London creative center unlike anything I have experienced there since the 70s years of Picsadilly Circus, Carnaby Street, the Beatles and the Stones.  The energy is contagious and the creative output visible everywhere.
          This experience has brought a welcome renewed energy to my own personal and professional life.  I am positively thrilled to throw myself into this new Austin-Hackney relationship and to foster enduring new relationships between the tech and creative class of both cities for mutual benefit.  I will be working out ahead of highly anticipated and monumental new market opportunities with the signing of a Free Trade Agreement between the United States and the European Union within the next two years - estimated to bring as much as 2% lift in GDP with much of that directly boosting prosperity between Texas and the United Kingdom where extensive economic ties already exist.
          Over this past year there have numerous exchanges between Austin and Hackney:  A large delegation of tech companies came to Austin for SXSW 2012 and an even larger group is expected in 2013. Private visits by execs in software, energy, clean tech and other fields have been ongoing.  Several M&A transactions have occurred in both directions.  And my son, Brandon Schmidt, did a summer internship as part of his MBA studies in Digital Media Management at St. Edward's University in Austin by serving as the Digital Media Coordinator for the Shoreditch Fringe Festival, in the shadows of the 2012 London Olympics. Next we will see Hackney House Austin set up shop at 119 W. 6th Street in Austin as part of SXSW 2013 with four full days of programming.
          My new base of operations in Austin will be at the bustling Capital Factory, an incubator-accelerator facility in the heart of Downtown Austin being called the "penthouse of Austin tech", thanks to my new colleague there, Founder and Managing Director, Josh Baer.
          Over on the other side of the pond, I will spend time within the brilliant Mother London creative agency in their magnificently transformed 100-year-old "Tea & Biscuit Building" in the heart of Shoreditch, ground zero for Tech City, thanks to my new colleague there, Chief Strategy Officer, Dylan Williams.
          And, as required, I will remain engaged with my extensive network of collaborators in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Seoul and mainland Europe.
          It's an exciting time in the worlds of technology, entertainment, media and consumer products.  I am privileged to be able to apply my skills and contacts to advance opportunities across this entire spectrum of enterprises -- and, hopefully, to also help make the world a somewhat better place along the way.
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