I help entrepreneurs and innovation teams manage and rebound from failure. I provide them with the tools, methods, and mindset to find new innovation opportunities.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
I'm a researcher, coach, and advisor who works with the most feared subject of any entrepreneur or innovation professional: FAILURE. My primary research interest lies in transforming failed startups and innovation projects into successful initiatives, which has been the topic of my ongoing Ph.D. since 2017 at the Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology at the Stockholm School of Economics. I focus on how serial entrepreneurs and innovation teams identify lessons learned and other intangible resources (e.g., professional network, customer data, distribution channels, IP assets, new innovation ideas, etc.) and transfer them from failed to subsequent ventures and innovation projects.
Apart from my research and advisory activities on innovation failure, I support the strategy implementation of several startups and non-profit organizations in both mentor and board advisor capacities. I advise tech startups and mature firms on expansion and growth strategies in Asian markets, especially Japan, where I studied and worked for 10 years. I also support Japanese tech startups entering the European market.
I'm an accredited innovation consultant at Innovation360 and a member of the Association for Innovation Management Professionals in Sweden.
Prior to my PhD studies, I spent 10 years in the technology sector, where I gained extensive experience with process, service, and product innovation. I was Global Business Field Manager and Business Stream Director at a multinational technical service provider and Sales & Marketing Director at an R&D 100 award-winning biotech company. I hold a B.A. in Economics and an M.E. in Environmental Engineering, both from Osaka University, Japan.
I believe that failures are so much more than learning experiences. If managed correctly, innovation failures can be turned into real and tangible assets that can be exploited in subsequent ventures or innovation projects.
Inspired by the Swedish “Museum of Failure,” a collection of over 100 failed innovations from some of the world’s best-known companies, and my own experiences with innovation failures from the tech sector, I'm dedicating my Ph.D. studies at the Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology at the Stockholm School of Economics to studying the positive side-effects and benefits of innovation failures that could pave the way to successful subsequent startups and innovation projects in mature firms. Through interviewing dozens of serial entrepreneurs, innovation executives, and R&D directors, I've been given access to intimate failure stories, project fiascos and sensitive corporate documents that have provided the basis for identifying best practices about managing failures and transforming them into valuable assets.
Innovation has been my playing field for more than a decade and I am a firm believer that new technologies and disruptive innovation will play a vital role in solving global challenges around the world. However, the alarming failure rate among startups and innovation projects has emphasized the need for more efficient and systematic approaches on innovation and failure management, which is the field where I see my share of contribution.
"How to fail forward and maximize learning from innovation failures"
Seminar at the American Chamber of Commerce in Sweden / Australian Business Council of Sweden (Stockholm, 2019)
Selected lectures and speaking engagements
Japan has a very special place in my heart. I spent an entire decade in the country, from age 19 to 29, which period would be very decisive in anyone’s life: going from being a university student to a working adult. Countless unforgettable memories and experiences enriched this time of my life, including lasting friendships with Japanese people; adventurous travels within Japan and throughout Asia; mastering the Japanese language and falling in love with the Japanese culture; working for a UN organization; and promoting Olympic sports with the World Olympians Association. But most important of all, Japan was the place where I started family life with my wife and where our first child was born.
Unfortunately, our idyllic life in Japan was disrupted in March 2011, when the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan’s history hit the Tohoku area (northeast part) of the country. The earthquake, a 9.0 on the Richter scale, unleashed a powerful tsunami that destroyed hundreds of kilometers of coastline, killing thousands of people and crippling the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The latter accident meant the beginning of the end of our Japanese life. A few days after the first hydrogen explosions in the nuclear power plant, my wife and I decided to leave the country amid the increasing risks of radioactive fallout.
These events changed our lives forever and I felt obliged to put our story on paper, primarily for my daughter, Lily, who will be seeking answers about her Japanese roots in the near future. My bilingual (Hungarian–Japanese) memoir was published for the 6th anniversary of the disaster, in March 2017, and the English–Japanese edition is scheduled to be published in March 2021, for the 10th anniversary.
Even though I left Japan in 2011, I've remained close not only with our Japanese friends but also with Japanese businesses. Through my affiliation with the European Institute of Japanese Studies at the Stockholm School of Economics, I've been working with and collecting data from Japanese startups and mature firms for my PhD research. Apart from that, I've been supporting Japanese tech companies expanding into Europe and European companies seeking business in Japan, and have conducted company evaluations and target-market expert services for EU-funded trade missions to Japan.