Mike Southon (writer) bigraphy, stories - Entrepreneur and author

Mike Southon (writer) : biography


Mike Southon is a British entrepreneur and author..

Mike Southon was educated at Papplewick School, Ascot (where he was a contemporary of Richard Curtis) and Wellington College, Crowthorne (where in 1967 he met Chris West, who was to become his co-author).

He subsequently attended Imperial College London to read mechanical engineering, but left after a year. He worked at Tate & Lyle Research in Reading for a while and then went on to the University of Bradford to read chemical engineering and management economics.

Southon has started a number of companies, the most successful of which was The Instruction Set, a Unix training company that he co-founded with Peter Griffiths and Mike Banahan in 1984. The company was bought out in 1989 by Hoskyns Group (now part of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young).

He was involved with 17 startup companies during the 1990s, including Riversoft and Micromuse, both of which ultimately had public floatations.

More recently, he has written books aimed at entrepreneurs with Chris West, the first of which was The Beermat Entrepreneur..

He gives presentations on entrepreneurship and sales, speaking at over 100 events every year, often referencing The Beatles and Sir Richard Branson

Southon has written columns for the Daily Telegraph, and Financial Times. He now writes a monthly column in the Mail on Sunday

Southon is a Visiting Fellow at Liverpool University Business Ambassador and Entrepreneur Mentor for the City of Liverpool and an Ambassador for the Federation of Small Businesses

He is now one of the most experienced entrepreneur mentors in the UK, having done face-to-face sessions with over 1,000 people in the last ten years

Mike's alter ego is Mike Fab-Gere, a 60s and 70s rock star.. The band was started in 1991 and for many years was the top draw on the college circuit, then toured No. 1 theatres and still undertakes corporate events Band members have included musicians from Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and The Zombies

He was also previously the front man and singer for The Oxcentrics, a Dixieland jazz band based in Oxford, in which Chris West also played on drums.


  • The Beermat Entrepreneur: Turn a Good Idea into a Great Business, Mike Southon and Chris West. Prentice Hall, 2002. ISBN 0-273-65929-4. Also 2005, ISBN 0-273-70454-0.
  • The Beermat Entrepreneur — Live, Mike Southon and Chris West. Financial Times / Prentice Hall, 2002. ISBN 0-273-66379-8. (Audio CD.)
  • The Boardroom Entrepreneur, Mike Southon and Chris West. Random House Business Books, 2005. ISBN 1-84413-818-6.
  • Sales on a Beermat, Mike Southon and Chris West. Random House Business Books, 2005. ISBN 1-84413-819-4.
  • Finance on a Beermat, Mike Southon and Chris West. Random House Business Books, 2006. ISBN 1-905211-03-1.
  • This is How Yoodoo it: Great Advice from Some of the UK's Top Thinkers on Entrepreneurship,. Mike Southon. Ecademy Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-905823-98-7.
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Living octopus

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