Who we are.
Pilot Lite Ventures is not a consulting firm. We are the original global bespoke venturing specialist firm. We start work where traditional consultancy firms finish. We share the risk with our clients to deliver a unique global venturing process. We use specialist teams on the ground to validate, launch and manage new, or accelerate current ventures for major corporates in both established and emerging markets. We physically own the risk of delivery.
We are not a consulting firm...
We are a specialist global venture management firm with real delivery teams on the ground who validate, launch and manage new ventures for large global corporations or well-backed start-up operations in the UK, Europe, India, China, Asia and USA.
We start where consultancy firms stop...
We take a business idea from a paper plan to a real operation in market. We use a 'boots up not desk top down' approach to take businesses into new markets and turn around under-performing businesses. Each new venture we launch increases our knowledge base and allows us to identify best practices that enable our clients to manage risk better, find faster routes to first revenues and justify further investment.
What makes us different is that we back our own skills and ability to make things happen...
We share the risk of new ventures with our clients, capping and putting fees at risk against specific delivery milestones and looking to share in the upside of joint success. This gives us the platform to accelerate the accuracy of delivering a successful outcome while lowering the risk of execution for our client.
We also believe in advising our clients to the point where we will not hesitate to tell a client they should not pursue a venture if we do not believe in the validity of the opportunity. And because we focus on delivering tangible results, if we don't achieve what we set out to achieve with our client, we prefer not to be paid.
Our Leadership Team.
A Director of Pilot Lite, Mike Anstey is a successful entrepreneur with a track record of building and managing the rapid growth of new businesses worldwide and has personally raised over $120m for new ventures. A proven individual with extensive global corporate venture management experience, Mike has launched businesses within the Electronics, Semi Conductors and Media markets in the USA, EU and Asia. He has worked and lived in the USA and Canada working with brands such as L’Oreal, GM, VISA, Hearst, Conde Nast and leads a number of the company’s ventures teams.
A Director of Pilot Lite, Sandy Westwater has 15 years experience in strategy, venturing and marketing with a track record spanning media, telecoms, technology, financial services and pharmaceutical sectors in both corporate and management consultancy roles. He has held executive board responsibility for marketing in a leading out of home media group, been part of the start up team at mobile operator 3, led the launch of a successful dotcom subsidiary for one of the world’s largest Financial Services groups and performed a number of sales and marketing roles at PA Consulting and P&G.
The CEO of Pilotlite Ventures USA, Michael Princi is a successful executive with over 20 years of leadership experience in both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial situations. Michael previously ran a boutique advisory firm focused on increasing shareholder value and returns on invested capital for its clients. Before co-founding the advisory firm, Michael was a senior member of Accenture’s Corporate Strategy Practice focused on corporate strategy, M&A, corporate restructuring, and shareholder value creation. He has worked with clients ranging in size from start-ups to members of the Fortune 50. Michael was an infantry officer in the United States Army and is a graduate of the Airborne and Ranger schools. He received an M.B.A. from The Johnson School at Cornell University and a B.S. in Operations Research from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
As a Director of PilotLite, Pier Massa brings over 25 years’ experience through a unique combination of executive management and consulting roles. Pier has extensive experience in building new businesses as well as driving growth in large and complex organizations. Expertise includes enterprise wide strategy development, business and market planning, brand led transformation, process transformation and customer experience engineering. Pier brings a horizontal orientation to identifying and resolving business opportunities, with a focus on active facilitation, strong cross functional engagement and full benefit realisation. With a successful track record in Financial Services, Health & Wellness and Consumer Packaged Goods, Pier has led executive leadership positions for major North American brands including Virgin, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce [CIBC], Molson Breweries, Adolph Coors and S.C. Johnson Wax as well as being a Consultant with The Boston Consulting Group.
As a PilotLite Director, Matina Massa is a change agent, planner and business architect at heart. With 25 plus years of experience in IT strategy, business planning, process transformation and program management she is particularly capable of implementing complex programs across multiple stakeholders as well as enabling start-ups deliver in terms of their operational capability. She is a seasoned consultant bringing extensive experience in enabling change through people, process and technology as well as having worked in leadership positions for large international organizations such as Virgin, Hewlett Packard Operations, Canadian Pacific Railway, TransCanada Pipelines, Esso Petroleum, Munich Reinsurance and Siemens in both Europe and North America. Matina is ITIL certified and is fluent in English, German and Spanish with a strong knowledge of Italian.
Matt Simpson is an Executive Partner at Pilot Lite. He is also currently Head of Strategy and Operations, EMEA at Google, having previously build new businesses for the Royal Mail as head of their Innovation unit. Prior to that Matt lead numerous product development and deployment teams at Orange, France Telecom and Freeserve and originally hails from retail including various marketing roles with Dixons Stores Group and WH Smith. Matt holds an MBA from Cranfield University
Paul Baverstock is an Executive Partner of Pilot Lite Europe. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale University School of Management, Paul is a highly experienced and successful communications specialist with an outstanding track record in reputational management and public relations. After stints with AT Kearney and The Mitchell Madison Group, Paul became CEO of LLM Communications, then Managing Director of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, the UK’s leading public affairs agency before becoming Chief Operating Officer of the Bell Pottinger Communications Group. Paul’s expertise lies in business strategy, business management and strategic communication planning and implementation. He is a skilled handler of the frontline media, and often comments on UK politics for the broadcast media.
Ron Reinders is an Executive Partner with Pilot Lite with an international remit. Ron is a hugely experienced and influential business figure with a successful career built over 35 years with BAT. He has been a Board Director of Dunhill Cigars, Chairman of CG Ventures, International Sponsorship Manager (F1, MotoGP and Music), Global Horeca Manager, a board member of both the Federation of Motorbike Racing and Federation of American Events Europe and was a regular speaker at international marketing programmes at the Horsley Management Centre in the UK and University of Buenos Aires/Universidad Austral in Argentina.
Brian Smith is an Executive Partner with Pilot Lite Europe and Founder of Brian Smith Associates. Brian brings a wealth of international experience in Sports, Media and marketing to the firm and our client assignments. He is responsible for publishing the Official National Football League Super Bowl Programme in Europe, created the partnership between BBC Worldwide and Channel Four to launch the multi-platform NFL Fantasy league and for Premium-Rate Information Services for ITV. Brian is an expert in international promotional and public relations and stages major industry events at premier venues across the world. Brian is also Chairman of the F&B Committee at the RAC.
Daniel Lane is an Executive Partner with Pilot Lite Europe. Daniel brings a wide range of international experience, skills and knowledge to Pilot Lite’s client assignments earned at senior corporate level. Most recently Daniel was a Director of Sony SES in Europe and is an expert in TMT, Manufacturing and Business Services.
Graeme Chapman is an Executive Partner with Pilot Lite Europe. He is a leading figure in consumer products marketing worldwide having led Olympus UK and Olympus Europe, retiring as European President Consumer Products in 2008. Graeme offers a wealth of senior strategy, marketing and governance experience gleaned from a role responsible for 26 countries and a turnover in excess of €900 million. He is an expert in new market entry strategy having opened new businesses in Russia and across Eastern Europe and launched Olympus’ Microscopes and Medical businesses into the UK where the brand quickly became a market leader.
Nils Ostbirk is an Executive Partner with Pilot Lite Europe. He is an International FMCG senior executive with extensive operating experience in Europe and Asia and a proven track record enabling organizational excellence and operational efficiency to drive brands and build sustainable growth. Nils has held senior roles with Carlsberg, I’Oreal and Philip Morris and is a specialist in international business/market development, brand management, international and local commercial relations, organizational and systems efficiency improvement, cost restructuring, turnaround, public and government relations.
Minter Dial is an Executive Partner with Pilot Lite Europe. Minter brings huge international experience to the firm’s assignments. Minter has an Anglo-French-American heritage , was educated at Eton College, Yale University and INSEAD and speaks three languages fluently. He has an outstanding track record from a 20 year career working in over 30 countries in roles spanning investment banking, travel and FMCG industries. He is an expert in Branding, Internet/eBusiness, Sustainable Development, Education and Change Management. Prior to Pilot Lite, Minter built a successful career with L'Oréal completing a wide range of international assignments eventually to hold worldwide responsibility for business development, strategic initiatives, e-Business and communications and was a member of the Worldwide Executive Committee for the Professional Division.