A South Tyneside entrepreneur who sold his technology business for a reported £65million is set to share the secrets of his success.
Neil Stephenson, former chief executive of Onyx, is one of two digital experts lined up as guest speakers at two free-to-attend Tech Talks.
To be successful you do have to take risks and I am a big risk taker.Neil Stephenson
The events, at One Trinity Green in South Shields, will take place on Tuesday, November 22, and Tuesday, December 6.
Former Harton Comprehensive School pupil Mr Stephenson will talk about how to identify game-changing business propositions in the future without having to move from the North East.
He said: “I firmly believe that we are just on the cusp of digital innovation and that this sector will show exponential growth for years to come.
“It is an exciting time to work in technology and I would say to anyone that believes they have a great idea to be bold, believe in the potential and make the concept a reality.
“It was the world of business that transformed me. My first job was in the marketing department at the former Vaux Brewery, where we had a £10million marketing budget.
“I then went to Onyx, where we had no marketing budget, but I was captivated by the business, the sector and the potential.
“To be successful you do have to take risks and I am a big risk taker.
“When the opportunity came to buy the business, it was one of the easiest decisions I had ever made.
“It came at an interesting time in that I bought the business, bought a house and met my wife-to-be, all in the space of four months.”
As CEO of Onyx group, Neil grew the business into a leading provider of IT infrastructure and support services.
After leading a management buyout of the firm in 2000, he and his management team decided to exit the business this year at a stage where it was turning over £30million and employing 180 people.
The second Tech Talk will be with South Shields-born, Dom Murphy, managing director of Geek Talent, a data science company that takes a 360-degree view of the labour market by merging data from a variety of sources such as internet forums, online people profiles and other websites.
Both events will start at 5.30pm.
To register to attend, visit www.investinsouthtyneside.co.uk/tech-talks.