Matthew Buckland is an internet entrepreneur in the media and marketing space. He is the founder and MD of Cape Town-based digital agency Creative Spark and publisher of award-winning social media and emerging technology analysis site, – companies he started in 2010.

Named as one of “SA’s top 100 most influential media and advertising people” (The Annual), Matthew is an internet professional who has worked in the internet space for the past 20 years.

In 2015 he was selected in Fast Company Magazine’s Most Creative People in Business and in 2014 he was selected as an “Oude Meeste Master of Digital”, sitting down for an onscreen discussion with well-known actor Idris Elba to talk about being an entrepreneur and the changing digital environment. In 2011 he was listed in Destiny Magazines feature, “Power of 40: 40 Entrepreneurs under 40 doing interesting things”. He was a founding board member of the Silicon Cape, an entity that fosters startup growth in South Africa. He was also a founding board member of digital media & marketing industry bodies like the OPA and IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) in various capacities.

Matthew previously worked for the BBC Online ( division) in London, and internet multi-national Naspers which owns South Africa’s largest online operation, first as the GM of Publishing, and then going on to found and head up the award-winning 20FourLabs, which went on to win the Nokia mobile app innovation challenge. At Naspers he completed a Harvard Business School Executive Education Course for future leaders with focus on online business and social networking. Prior to this he headed up online news publisher Mail & Guardian Online for seven years (co-owned by Guardian Newspapers Limited), turning the online division into a profitable entity for the first time in its history and founding the Webby Honoree-award winning Thought Leader. He’s also had stints at Avusa, Carte Blanche and

Matthew has served as a judge for various industry awards from the Bookmarks, to Social Media Week, to the Sikuvile journalism awards and the NextWeb Startup awards. He has spoken and guest-lectured on online media issues around the world, including New York, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Ireland and Kenya. He was also proud to share the stage with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales in a talk on “Future Web Trends” in 2007, and Craigslist creator Craig Newmark at the IIE Goldman Sachs Global Leaders in New York in 2008.

2014: Invited to IAB committee for industry awards, Bookmark awards
2013: Invited to join board of Cognician, a successful management software company
2009-2012: Elected to committee of Silicon Cape, responsible for funding and events
2005-2008: DMMA/OPA – chairman, Deputy Chairman, Head of marketing
2007: Elected Deputy Chairperson of the Online Publishers Association (OPA) (Now chair)
2006: Board of Creative Commons South Africa

2015: Selected in Fast Company Magazine’s Most Creative People in Business in 2015
2014: Selected as an “Oude Meeste Master of digital”, sitting down for an onscreen discussion with well-known actor Idris Elba
2014: Startup judge/Dragon at Social Media Week: Johannesburg
2013: Bookmarks/DMMA awards – Judge
2012: NextWeb Startup World – Cape Town – Startup Judge
2012: Standard Bank Sikuvile journalism awards – Judge
2011: Listed in Destiny Magazine: Power of 40: 40 entrepreneurs under 40 doing interesting things
2011: Selected for the Old Mutual “Do Great Things” Entrepreneur guide
2010: DMMA Silver and Bronze Bookmark Award for
2010: Best business blog for @ Blog Awards
2010: Afridoctor app wins Nokia’s Africa-wide innovators competition (Prize of US$80 000)
2009: Named in top 100 of “South Africa’s most influential media and advertising people” by The Annual
2009: Named as one of “300 Young South Africans you should take out to lunch” by the Mail & Guardian Newspaper
2009: Named an upcoming New Media “Mogul” by FHM magazine & nominated for the 2009 Men’s Health “Best Man” awards.
2008: Three Webby Official Honorary Awards for Thought Leader and News in Photos (Awarded alongside blogs by CNN, CBS News, the New Yorker, CNBC, the New York Times, Time magazine and the Observer Media Group).
2008: SA Blog awards – Thought Leader: Blog of the year & best politics blog
2008: SA Blog awards – best site promoting blogs
2008: Winner Best SA Business blog:
2007, 2008: Judge for the PICA online magazine awards for PMSA
2005: Judge for Highway Africa Innovative Use of New Media Awards 2005
2005: Contributor “Writing for the Media In Southern Africa” (Paperback Oxford Univ Press)
2005: Judge on’s Amstel Salute to successful entrepreneurs
2005: Runner up for 2005 Telkom ICT journalist of the year, Business Magazine Category
2004: Judge for Highway Africa Innovative Use of New Media Awards 2004
2004: Head of Marketing: Online Publishers Association (
2004: Guest lectures at Wits University, New Media III course & Honours course
2003: Guest speaker at Konrad Adenauer Institute Convergence Conference
2003: Guest speaker at Highway Africa Conference 2003: “Paid Content: The quest for profit”
2003: Guest lecturer at Wits University Business School: “Online Newspapers”.
2001: Guest Speaker at Highway Africa Conference 2001

2015: Wits Radio Days: “The great podcast resurgence and the rebirth of radio”
2015: Edgars/John Brown conference: The Future of Online Publishing
2013: “Unwavering persistence of entrepreneurs”: Keynote address at Youth Entrepreneurs Connect Conference at the ICC, WCape Govt, UCT, UWC
2013: DMMA Publishers conference – speaker and panelist
2012: Ogilvy “FutureWeb” Talk Cape Town
2011: Cape Town design capital launch in Cape Town
2010: Presented at Tech4Africa in Johannesburg
2009: MC for Silicon Cape, Cape Town
2009: Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Annual Media conference in Cape Town
2009: ThinkFest! @ The National Arts Festival in Grahamstown
2009: Web 2.0 Summit in Cape Town
2008: Beyond the printed word in Amsterdam on “Innovations in online media”
2008: Highway Africa: Shared speaking panel with Dan Gillmor on citizen media
2008: Web 2.0 and Media, in Johannesburg
2008: Independent Electoral Commission: “New Media, Democracy & elections”
2007: Shared speaking panel with Wikipedia head Jimmy Wales on “Future Web Trends“
2007: IFRA in Ireland: “Media 2.0: Integration of Web 2.0 into news sites”
2007: Highway Africa on the Business of the web and media convergence
2007: Chairman Digital Round Table World Association of Newspapers in Cape Town
2006: Goldman Sachs Global Leaders in New York: “Online journalism & changing media”
2006: Speaker at We Media Conference in London: “Blogging in Africa”
2005: Lecture on Online Media at InWEnt in Berlin
2005: Chairperson at Highway Africa conference for session: “Online business models”
2005: Speaker at Marcus Evans’ conference: Revolutionising Online Business”
2005: Speaker at KAS conference in Kenya “Integrating New Media Opportunities”
2004: Speaker at IQPC SEO conference: “Search & the advertising revolution”.
2004: Speaker at SA publications forum: “Online Publishing ’04”.