Moshi Monsters creator Acton Smith wants more UK entrepreneurs, offers advice

Mind Candy founder Michael Acton Smith wants more entrepreneurs to emerge from the UK.

The Moshi Monsters creator believes we should do more to educate and inspire school children about the career path, so more businesses like Mind Candy form in the future.

Speaking at the London Evening Standard Business Connections event last night, he said: "I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be an entrepreneur at this moment in history.

"I think we need more entrepreneurs in the UK and Europe.

"We should go into schools to encourage and inspire the next generation about entrepreneurship.

"We should celebrate entrepreneurs to encourage the next wave. For example. Richard Branson has inspired me. But we don’t have too many in the UK."

Smith also offered advice to attendees about turning an idea into a successful business.

"For those of you who haven’t made the leap yet, hopefully you’ll be able to dive in and show the world your ideas," he added.

"Gather info in your market – as much as possible. There are no shortcuts. People can sometimes become too webbed to one idea but can become a sinking ship.

"Look at the area you want to go into and splash around. Make mistakes, act fast and things will come together. Read trade magazines, talk to people and you’ll soon see patterns that show where the opportunities are.

"It’s also the execution that matters. Waking up and doing something about [your idea]. And figuring out the business model. It’s hard to learn that, but the best way is just by doing it. Take each step as it goes and you’ll figure it out."

Smith also spoke about asking ‘Friends, Family and Fools’ to get an initial small amount of funding.

When he founded Firebox, his mum put £1,000 towards the business and that went a long way. 

"I’ve raised millions, from blue chip venture capital firms to £1,000 from my mother," Smith said.

"Go to friends, family and fools. You have to sell and get them excited about your vision. Once you get a few investors involved, more will follow."

When asked about his core character traits that have helped him find success, Smith added: "Perseverance. It’s a really tough career to decide to be an entrepreneur. It’s glamorous from the outside but it can feel like you’re a swan kicking your feet underwater.

"I don’t take things too seriously and I’m quite playful, or immature, as my ex girlfriends would put it."

Check back on the ToyNews and soon for more news about the future of Mind Candy and Moshi Monsters.

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