Welcome to Part 5 of our National Geography Awareness Week Story Series in partnership with the National Geographic Society!  We're celebrating this special week by highlighting five innovative young professionals and students who are blazing their own paths in geography.  Later today, we'll bring all of our new friends together in a virtual panel discussion.

Myles Sutherland, Santa Monica, California

Meet Myles Sutherland, Emerging Business Manager at Esri.  Myles was instrumental in creating a new sales and support division within Esri specifically to incubate start-up companies.  You may spot him in a make-shift garage office discovering the next geo-rock star or leading a Dev Meet Up in a city near you.
Learn about Myles' Geo Journey in a 5 minute clip.

Claim to Fame:

  • Supports start-ups and other businesses that want to integrate geography, but don't know how to get started.
  • Promotes small businesses and helps them leverage the latest mapping technologies.
  • Connects people and opportunities in creative ways.

Geo Shout Out:

"I've always been super passionate about physical geography.  I grew up in an outdoorsy family and my father is a geographer, so it has always been a big part of my life.  While at University, I got more into the human side of geography.  I often work with start ups who are either working with the physical world or people.  My geography background enables me to combine both people and place.  For example, I can show businesses where their customers are located and how they behave."

Zig Zags:

"I studied geography at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, where I learned about mobile technologies like GPS.  After I graduated, I became a Product Manager for Trimble Navigation.  After three years working there, I moved to the U.S. and became a Mobile Product Manager at Esri.  My role there has evolved over the last six years.  I now focus completely on working with start ups to integrate geography into their Software as a Service (SaaS), web, and mobile products."

Advice Byte:

"If you are curious about starting your own geo business,  go and talk to as many folks as possible who have already started one.  Ask for their advice about how to run a company.   You need to think about questions like: How you are going to start building prototypes? Who is going to buy your products? How are they going to gain value from your product or service? What's the culture of the organization you want to create?"

"Another way to get started is to intern with an early stage start up.  Pretty much every company I come across has some way they need to leverage location data, but they don't know how to actually create the maps, set up the data, or run the analytics.  If you have these skills, you can add value to their company."

Say What?:

"Having multiple mentors is important, since  everyone has a unique background and perspective.  Tapping in to these can help you grow in multiple directions.  I've learned that people can achieve the same results by going down totally different pathways.  They will have different advice on how to achieve the same goal.  You have to be able to make your own decisions from conflicting information you gather from multiple sources."

Stay in Touch:

Linked In: linkedin.com/in/mylessutherland

Twitter: @mylessutherland

Website: www.esri.com

Munch on More Stories in this Series:

Reed Tomlinson
geo business starter
Lauren Herwehe
globetrotter & student
Mike Colosimo
geo business starter
Sam Zuhlke
nat geo educator

Written by Rachel Kornak, GISP, Creative Director & Editor of GeoPivot Magazine.  This story series is brought to you by National Geographic Education in celebration of 2013 National Geography Awareness Week and the 125th birthday of the National Geographic Society. Check out their blog for more exciting geography stories.  Special thanks to Justine Kendall, the Geography Awareness Week Program Coordinator for making this story series possible.


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