Michael Acton Smith (AKA Mr. Moshi) is CEO, Creative Director and founder of kids entertainment company Mind Candy - the driving force behind global kids phenomenon Moshi Monsters.
In 1998 whilst in his early twenties, 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 a £1,000 loan from Smith’s mother. Their breakthrough moment came in the form of the “Shot Glass Chess Set”. Within five years they were listed by The Sunday Times 'Fast Track 100' as the 13th fastest growing, privately owned business in the UK. Following his success with Firebox, Michael secured $10m backing and launched Mind Candy in 2004. 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 gained positive press coverage with Perplex City being hailed as the future of gaming. The game was also nominated for a BAFTA award in 2006 yet only attracted a niche audience. After three years (and $9m spent) Perplex City was placed on indefinite hold. With just $1m left in the bank, Smith took a final roll of the dice. In 2007, having been inspired by the growing success of Facebook and kids brands including Tamagotchi, Mind Candy launched online world Moshi Monsters. The risk proved to be his best decision to date. Michael Acton Smith’s ultimate vision is to ‘build the largest entertainment brand in the world for this new digital generation of kids'.
Smith was born in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, where he lived with his parents and sister. The family spent many summers in the USA, as Smith’s father is American.Smith studied Geography at Birmingham University, England where he met Tom Boardman at the chess club, who went on to be one of his best friends and co-founder of Firebox.com, Smith's first business. After university he worked briefly at investment bank Goldman Sachs which he left after six months.Smith lives in central London. In his spare time he organizes boutique music festivals and networking events including Berwickstock and Silicon Drinkabout. He was recently ranked among the Twitter elite. His official Twitter username is @acton.