Mark McConnell, a genuine serial entrepreneur, is a sought-after speaker, motivator and mentor, sharing insights on a range of topics, including doing business in China and growing successful start-ups.
A Successful Angel Investor, Mark was named the 2003 and 2006 Canberra Entrepreneur of the Year and has been a stalwart of the Business Review Weekly Young Rich list since 2004.
The early part of his career (what Mark refers to as 'phase one') was spent building a platform of skills, education and cash flow. Mark spent 10 years in the RAAF and the airlines in a range of senior operational roles, completing several degrees and running property development projects after hours. The capital accumulated in this phase bankrolled a number of investments in the years to come.
During the second phase, Mark was actively involved in the development and expansion of rapid growth businesses, and is the only entrepreneur to take three separate companies into the BRW Fast 100 List (and is currently working on a fourth and fifth). Mark runs a series of private equity funds which have managed more than $600 million of inbound investment into local resources, property and technology businesses over the past five years. He often represents the Chinese Government on the boards of the investee business and describes this work as an 'interesting cultural challenge'.
Mark is now moving into his 'third phase', concentrating on board roles, mentoring and 'long overdue' family time. He serves on a number of boards, including the GWS Giants Foundation, and as Executive Director of The Citadel Group Limited (ASX:CGL), a technology company he co-founded with fellow ex-military officer, Dr. Miles Jakeman, which was listed on the ASX in November 2014.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc), a Graduate Diploma of Logistics Management, a Graduate Diploma of Employment Relations, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD).
In addition to his work on company boards, Mark owns a cattle farm and is currently developing export channels for premium beef products into China. A convert of the 'work hard, play hard' maxim, Mark manages to schedule in two or three trips per year to pursue his love of big mountain heli-snowboarding, which has taken him to alpine regions around the world including the Himalayas, the Andes and Northern Japan.
Client Comments for Mark McConnell
Mark McConnell travels from Australian Capital Territory Australia
- Mark McConnell recently addressed the annual dinner of members of the Melbourne High School Old Boys' Association living in the Greater Sydney region. Mark's 30 minute talk on the general themes of entrepreneurship and the growth of small businesses, with specific reference to doing business in a rapidly changing China, was outstanding. Mark spoke without reference to notes in a very relaxed but engaging manner. He was precise in his use of appropriate languange to which everyone in the audience related. His wonderful knowledge of the rapidly changing economic and social fabic of modern China transfixed all in the audience. He was entertaining in his delivery, yet equally he was thought provoking and challenging. At the conclusion of his address, which was time restricted by the MC, there were many questions and discussion points that warranted engaging respones. Mark could easily have continued his address for another 30 minutes. The audience, comprising academics, international lawyers, public speakers, financiers from some of Sydney's leading financial institutions, company directors and political lobbyists, openly declared Mark was the most engaging and interesting speaker over the past 15 years at these annual Sydney dinners.
GM&B Patrons' Club
- Mark was always able to share his vision and articulate to members of the local business community the critical imperatives and key drivers of a diversified economy. This included engaging on topics such as sustainable population growth, positioning Canberra and the region as 'the smart Capital' through the incubation of clever technology start-ups, examining future employment trends and innovation in a rapidly changing environment.
It is apparent from observing and speaking with a wide variety of business people who have listened to Mark speak that they are most interested in what he has to say, that he is refreshing and honest in his approach, engaging and articulate, and above all, carries the credibility of success.
Without an ounce of hesitation I would highly recommend Mark to anyone wanting to hear an intelligent address on any number of topics that have as a focus vision, success, relationships, investment and business integrity.
Master Builders Association of the ACT
- I would happily recommend Mark McConnell as an engaging and motivational guest speaker. In the capacity of Marketing Director for the ACT Chamber of Commerce and Industry I invited Mark, a prominent local business leader, to address a large crowd of Canberra's young business elite at a forum at the National Press Club. At the conclusion of his humorous and inspiring presentation, I was approached by a number of attendees who remarked upon his personable and relaxed style. His unique story telling approach gave the audience an insight into the success that can result from drive and determination. Mark is now on my list of 'must use' speakers.
ACT Chamber of Commerce and Industry
"Communication was exceptional."
Saint Kentigern College
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