Michael Acton Smith
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Michael Acton Smith OBE (born 1974) is the current co-CEO and co-Founder of Calm, a leading company in the meditation space. He is also the founder of Firebox.com, and founder and chairman of children's entertainment company Mind Candy – the creators of global children's phenomenon Moshi Monsters. He has been described by The Daily Telegraph as "a rock star version of Willy Wonka" and by The Independent as "a polite version of Bob Geldof."
In 1998, while in his early twenties, Acton Smith co-founded online gadget and gift retailer Firebox.com with university friend, Tom Boardman. The pair started out with a rent-free attic and £800 from undergoing a medical experiment. Within five years they were listed by The Sunday Times 'Fast Track 100' as the 13th fastest growing, privately owned business in the UK.
In 2004 Acton Smith secured $10M backing and launched Mind Candy. The company launched alternate reality game Perplex City, a global treasure hunt with £100,000 buried somewhere in the world that played out across various media including websites, text messages, magazines, live events, skywriting and multiple helicopters. The game received positive press coverage. The game was nominated for a BAFTA award in 2006. After three years (and $9M spent) Perplex City was placed on indefinite hold.
In 2007 Acton Smith launched online world Moshi Monsters. Today, Moshi Monsters has over 90 million users around the world. It has expanded offline into best selling toys, the number one selling kids magazine in the UK, a best selling DS video game, a top 5 music album which has gone gold in the UK, books, membership cards, trading cards and other products. In December 2013, Moshi Monsters teamed with Universal to release a full-length feature movie.
In late 2012 Acton Smith co-founded Calm.com, along with longtime friend and fellow entrepreneur Alex Tew. Throughout the following year, the two raised over 1.5 million from a broad group of angel investors to get the company up and running, but have not raised any money since. By 2015, Calm had reached 2 million downloads worldwide and, after winning a British competition, launched the world's first "slow TV Ad". That same year, Acton Smith released a book with Penguin called Calm: Calm the Mind, Change the World. It was published in 12 countries.
Acton Smith is also the founder of Ping Pong Fight Club, Silicon Drinkabout, and the Berwickstock Festival. He was awarded a BAFTA in 2013 for Moshi Monsters and was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to the creative industries.
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