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Gavin Appel


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Back in 1995 (years before Larry and Sergey founded Google) I was building internet marketing and SEO strategies as a GM of Asia Pacific's first and fastest growing SEO company. I went on to become CTO of Hitwise at a time when 'startup' wasn't a thing - there were no playbooks, blogs or comparative metrics to guide us.


We had a team of incredibly smart people who pushed the boundaries by putting our customers at the heart of every decision. 

In turn, we built one of the most recognised global internet measurement companies.


Hitwise was acquired by Experian in 2007 for US$240M. I was promoted to SVP on Experian's technology executive team, collectively managing 900 people across 26 cities, to lead global product innovation and offshore engineering. A stark contrast from the startup world, I quickly adapted to influence change within a corporate environment. It’s here that I gained a real appreciation for the power of building a great people culture.


After clocking up millions of points traveling, I joined Square Peg as a founding Partner in 2013. As a VC I unearthed new skills in investment and due diligence, and found a love for thinking about the most important drivers of business success. I loved putting my global network to use to uncover the next exciting startup and big trends. Moving on from the VC world, I wanted to be more hands on and actively help businesses go on to greatness.


Throughout my career, the most valuable advice I received was from people who had direct operational experience. But they're few and far between in tech and startup. So I founded Ignition Lane to share decades of experience with ambitious leaders who realise what got them here won't get them there. 

Bex Eastwood


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