Dan Hesketh was recently appointed CEO of UpWave, and his story is so extraordinary, we wanted to share it with you. He is a true inspiration, and is not at all afraid to take the lead and bring others with him.
This is Dan, and this is how you go from writing tweets to CEO in a year.
Name: Dan Hesketh
Country: England / Norway
Experience: Casa Murilo and UpWave
Mission: Change the way people feel about the work they do.
From tweets to CEO in a year
Dan’s first interaction with the startup world started just over a year ago when he attended the “Join a startup-day”event at Oslo incubator StartupLab. Former CEO and now close friend Lasse was pitching on stage in need of someone to do english copywriting. They were in need of a marketing guy, and Dan approached Lasse after the pitches. The next day he was hired, and little did he know that this would be the most random awesome choice he ever made as a “startuprockstar”.
We are very fond of our musical founders, they have a certain x-factor, some shared personality traits, that seem to be contagious for the people surrounding them, creating an open space for new creative ways of doing things. Dan Hesketh was recently appointed CEO of UpWave, and his story is so extraordinary, we wanted to share it with you. He is a true inspiration, and is not at all afraid to take the lead and bring others with him.
45 min product pitch on the second day
On his second day at UpWave, back then called Someone.io, he was asked to do a 45 minute product pitch for the company board. As the marketing natural confidence and experienced stage performer he is, he grabbed the challenge by the balls.
He nailed it in 20 minutes, and proved to be a true rockstar both with and without the guitar.
The Law of Jante
From Rockstar to CEO is not a journey you would usually call normal. As lead guitarist in world famous Casa Murilo, Dan has seen everything coming with the rockstar way of living. Our musical friends in the 500 Nordics founder pool has their own way of surfing the spotlight, and a certain strength of character is trending. Dan is a charismatic, and sometimes a little dramatic, kind of guy, and this shows in everything he does.
“One of the most terrifying things for any smart person in Norway is to be labelled a “besserwisser”. A know it all. A smart arse. In Norwegian society, there is guilt that comes with admitting you have achieved excellence.”
During the Pre Accelerator in Oslo in January, Dan had a small epiphany, and the sense of urgency that gave him an the team a kick in the rump made him realize how things should be done differently to accelerate their business.
“We got challenged really hard, and the mentors asked the hardest and smartest question. Micha taught us the value of opening up for the less smooth part of being a founder, and I think Mathews (Johnson) questions made us change our whole course. We rebranded the company during the program, and as it turns out – it was a pretty fu**ing good idea taking that chance, and the program made us take some bold decisions.”
Daniel Gregory Philip Hesketh, privileged middle class British boy turned rockstar was never allowed ketchup or anything from a squeezy-bottle as a child.
Want to apply for the pre accelerator in Stavanger? Apply here