About Media Modo – Non-Exec Founder to startups & scaleups

I work alongside experienced tech experts or business experts to build and grow their startup. I bring years of founder knowledge and experience – but I remain on the side – able to help, but not get in the way! I describe what I do as Got The T-Shirt Scaleup Coaching.

Wisdom, Action and Support for Founders


Typically, I work with solo founders who are building their startup out of an employed / contracted role or out of an existing business. I can bring resource, action and knowledge to rapidly solve challenges that founders face when growing their startup.

You can join our Facebook group here.

Who am I?

I’m Neil Lewis, the founder of Media Modo and I’m dedicated to helping founders achieve successful growth. This is my story:

Our focus is Sustainable Growth which comes by creating something unique and exceptional, rather than seeking growth by competing to be bigger, faster or more furious.

We are customer positive and funding agnostic, believing that great businesses attract good funding partners, weak businesses chase finance at the cost of delivering great customer experience.

This is my experience: Ex Economist Group >> First Digital product in 1991 >> Successful startup / scaleup CEO >> Built 2 multi-million-pound businesses (with partners) one which went bust, 18 months after being offered a £12m sale >> Published Author (100 Rules for Entrepreneurs) >> Regular Public Speaker >> Ran first startup accelerator in Manchester in 2011 >> Developed early stage eTeamTool assessment model with Manchester Business School >> Built the Breakthrough Business Model Canvas >> Qualified John Maxwell Leadership Trainer >> Pre-Startup to Scale-up coach >> Lives in Valencia and works across Barcelona, London, Manchester and online.

Here’s our framework we built for accelerating growth – The Breakthrough Startup Canvas:

How did we get our Media Modo name? A story…

I was on a train from Alicante to Valencia, in Spain, talking to my friend Kevin about the name I wanted to choose for my new company.

“What are you going to do?”, he asked

“…well, it’s about communicating actionable ideas in an affordable format – because that’s what marketing and publishing is all about. Well, at least that’s what my kind of ‘how to’ publishing is all about.”

I had spent 20 years in information publishing; that is, creating and publishing lists of recorded music, annuity tables, directories of conference venues, tourism resources, economic and political analysis and most recently analysis of global property investment opportunities.

Always, the purpose of publishing was to create high value knowledge that enabled better decisions and choices. And through those better decisions we get more action which delivers better results.

So that’s where the Media came from; but, what about Modo?

As the RENFE train sped through the stunning white mountain and red earth landscape of Spain’s east coast, I knew the name had to reflect our European heritage too.

In Italian Modo means ‘the way’ or method. In Spanish, Moda means fashion, so Modo is a combination of these two ideas – fashion (and changing fashion) and method.

So why Media Modo?

It sounds cool, fun, a bit different, European not just English, but it also speaks of our purpose..

to be the (constantly changing) way to drive high value startup and scaleup knowledge and action…set in an European context.

That’s how Media Modo was created.

Over the years, I have combined this with my love of startup and scaleup entrepreneurship so that we publish and deliver tools and non-exec founder sessions, workshops and events to enable entrepreneurs and organisational leaders to startup and scaleup.

And that’s how we got our Media Modo name.

How we help

My publishing, coaching and training activities go beyond sharing knowledge and instead are all focused on facilitating breakthroughs – ahha! moments I call them. These are the points where a leader’s personal insight leads them to take action or to change behaviours.

If you’d like to talk to me about how I can help you grow your startup or realise your entrepreneurial ambition, then please contact me

Neil Lewis, @neil_lewis
Publisher, Coach, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker

Or you can explore a few of my books and articles

Books on leadership and entrepreneurship

100 Rules for Enterpreneurs by Neil Lewis
My book –100 Rules for Entrepreneurs, is published by Harriman House and tells the story of the lessons I learnt when we turned down a £12m for our bootstrapped business only to close it 18 months later and walk away with nothing.

That’s why I call this book my £12m book – the lessons inside cost me and my fellow partners £12m – and I wrote them down so that I wouldn’t have to pay for those lessons a second time!

Yep, I got the T-shirt for that one! 😉

Check out my blogs on Media Modo or videos or startup resources – or:

External Articles and thought pieces:

British Library – How the Breakthrough Canvas can Help Your Startup

Neil Lewis on Medium

Summertime career discovery fun!

Resilience – how to move from Survive to Thrive in the Startup world

To Quit or Not to Quit – that is the question

Why Purpose Fuels Your Startup – and How you Can Use it to Grow Your Organisation

How to Overcome Co-Founder Fights and Get Your Startup Scaling Again…

How to Gain Customers who Love Your Startup and Scaleup – 10 Ideas!

Who Do You Turn to at Critical Moments for Your Startup or Scaleup? A Coach or a Mentor?

The Secret Sauce that gives your Startup the Stamina and Vision to Succeed

Harriman House Intelligence

Why leaders need to be who they say they are

The future is digital

Speaking assignments

Lessons from building a business – at Chester Business School