Serial entrepreneur Mike Payne remembers computers the size of rooms when he was an Electrical Engineering undergraduate at the University of Southampton. Technology has catapulted forward since his student days and Mike has been at the leading edge of semiconductors, circuits and software across an international career. He co-founded several technology companies which have pioneered better methods for the design and manufacture of everyday items.
Now based near Boston, Massachusetts, Mike established engineering data management firm Kenesto in 2011, where he hopes to revolutionise project collaboration and execution. He jumped at the chance to re-engage with his Southampton roots as a Future Worlds mentor and says he is looking forward to keeping his mind sharp as he counsels the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Mike is looking to give professional advice through Future Worlds and is viewing the platform as a networking opportunity to speak about the technical, financial and business elements of entrepreneurial ideas. “I’m motivated to help students who have significant questions to ask,” he says. You can get in touch with Mike using the contact form on this page.
His Southampton degree was supplemented with a master’s in the physics of semiconductor and vacuum devices at King’s College, London, and an MBA at Pace University, New York. He moved to America in 1969 and has since covered a range of work which includes designing semiconductor chips for radar systems, developing circuitry for television receivers and leading a team building logic circuits for the Trident missile programme.
Mike has also spent many years developing computer aided design (CAD) software and co-founded the Parametric Technology, SpaceClaim and SolidWorks firms. SolidWorks has grown over the past two decades to now be used by more than 2.7 million product designers and engineers worldwide.
In his spare time, Mike enjoys honing his musical talents and boating in the vast Nantucket Sound off the east coast of the USA. He has taught as an adjunct professor and speaks highly of the influence mentors can instil in business. Passionate and concise communication is a vital asset to entrepreneurs according to Mike, with potential customers, bosses, venture capitalists and staff all needing to hear strategies in an effective way.
He would advise students to learn as broadly and deeply as they can, since fundamental principles consolidated in these early years will not change during their careers. “Understanding the need in the market place is very important for any entrepreneur,” he adds, “whether you’re 22 or 52.”