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Matthew Buckland

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Internet entrepreneur

2010 – Present

Matthew Buckland

Rhodes University

Matthew Buckland

Full Name
Matthew James Buckland

22 August 1974 (age 49) (
South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Founder and MD of Creative Spark

Board member of
Silicon Cape Initiative Creative Commons OPA/DMMA/iAB Cognition

Selected Fast Company Magazine's Most Creative People in Business (2015), Destiny Magazine: Power of 40: 40 entrepreneurs under 40 (2011), Top 100 “South Africa’s most influential media and advertising people” by The Annual (2009)


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Matthew Buckland is a South African Internet entrepreneur and businessman who is the founder of Creative Spark - a digital agency and publisher which was acquired in 2015 by UK firm M&C Saatchi PLC (LSE: SAA), the holding group of M&C Saatchi. Buckland is also the founder of Burn Media, a suite of technology publishing brands which includes Memeburn,, and others.


Matthew Buckland Meet internet entrepreneur aka Master of Digital Matthew Buckland

Buckland previously headed the online division of the Mail & Guardian, thereafter he started 20fourlabs at, the largest South African online news publisher, owned by Naspers. While at the Mail & Guardian Buckland founded Thought Leader.

In 2015 he was selected as a "Master of Digital", sitting down with actor Idris Elba for a "Q&A Session".

Buckland lives in Cape Town with his wife and two daughters.

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Early life

Buckland studied journalism at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. He worked in London for the BBC's then-commercial web arm, as a developer, and then a web development producer. He then later worked as the Internet editor for prime-time TV show, Carte Blanche, before becoming Managing Director of Mail & Guardian's online division. He is the eldest son of Andrew Buckland and Janet Buckland, a prominent South African acting family.


In 2010 Buckland founded Creative Spark and Burn Media, which he funded himself after being unable to raise venture capital for it. Five years later, in 2015, he sold a majority share in his company to the FTSE-listed agency, M&C Saatchi. The deal included the sale of both the digital agency and the publishing arm, which owns titles such as Memeburn and Ventureburn. Ventureburn is a site that reports on the startup, entrepreneur and investor ecosystems in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

He was the Master of Ceremonies at the Silicon Cape Initiative launch event and was elected to its inaugural board. The Silicon Cape Initiative is a South African-based organization which aims to turn the Western Cape into a high-tech startup hub. Buckland credits this organisation for inspiring him to move out of the corporate world into entrepreneurship.

In 2012 Buckland was recognised in the Power of 40: 40 Entrepreneurs Under 40 "Doing Interesting Things"

In 2013 and 2014 he was a member of the Cape Town chapter of Entrepreneurs Organisation.


Buckland’s industry accolades include:

  • Selected in Fast Company Magazine's Most Creative People in Business, 2015
  • Selected as an "Oude Meeste Master of digital", sitting down for an onscreen discussion with well-known actor Idris Elba, 2015
  • Startup judge/Dragon at Social Media Week: Johannesburg
  • NextWeb Startup World - Cape Town - Startup Judge
  • Standard Bank Sikuvile journalism awards - Judge
  • Listed in Destiny Magazine: Power of 40: 40 entrepreneurs under 40 doing interesting things
  • Selected for the Old Mutual "Do Great Things" Entrepreneur guide
  • Afridoctor app wins Nokia's Africa-wide innovators competition (Prize of US$80 000)
  • Named in top 100 of "South Africa's most influential media and advertising people" by The Annual
  • Named as one of "300 Young South Africans you should take out to lunch" by the Mail & Guardian Newspaper
  • Named an upcoming New Media "Mogul" by FHM magazine & nominated for the 2009 Men's Health "Best Man" awards
  • References

    Matthew Buckland Wikipedia

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