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Who is Sebastien International? (Other than some bloke with a comfy couch in Chatswood)


If you’re a long-time reader of Anthill, the name Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin might ring a bell (or ping a modem).

Eckersly-Maslin is the author behind the Anthill blog series called, How to start a business in 7 days for under $500. The series is one of the most popular series we’ve ever published. (Inspiring, practical and real — the three attributes we hold most dear, if you ever feel a desire share your story with our readers.)

In seven days, he not only created and launched a business, autocarlog.com, but he designed the brand to promote it, developed the website to manage it and built the hardware to run it — all for $489.22.

You might also remember a post that we ran several weeks ago promoting a mysterious casting-call under the equally compelling headline, WANTED: Big thinking entrepreneur for documentary film. Must travel.

We had received a ‘pitch’, also through our editorial ideas submission form, seeking “a charismatic solo entrepreneur (or aspiring entrepreneur) to take part in an innovative documentary film project.” It sounded like an adventure that might be of interest to our readers, so we put out the call.

Well, if you haven’t already guessed where this long-winded introduction is heading, watch the video.

Sebastien International: The beginning

The motivation behind the casting-call is now no longer quite so ‘mysterious’. It seems that our good friend was chosen to take part in online marketing campaign that will follow his plans to create the world’s smallest multinational.

Funded by Servcorp, Eckersley-Maslin will use the facilities of this international brand as he circuits the globe. Along the way, I’m sure that many opportunities will arise to drop the name Servcorp and promote its serviced and virtual offices.

A Servcorp funded startup?

While it’s likely that many elements of Eckersley-Maslin’s journey will be engineered (like any good source of ‘reality’ entertainment, from The Apprentice to The Hills), our protagonist will indeed be required to build a real business.

Yes, that part could hardly be scripted.

Having spoken to Eckersly-Maslin at length over the past week, not only is he required to come up with the business idea for his tiny multinational, at the conclusion of the campaign, he gets to keep it. Whatever he builds on Servcorp’s coin, he gets to own.

With the assistance of three public relations agencies on four continents (let me repeat this: three agencies, four continents), he also hopes to wrangle meetings (and possibly forge alliances) with entrepreneurial heavy-weights, such as Richard Branson and Donald Trump.

It’s an ambitious agenda, especially considering that the business idea is still taking form. However, if there is one thing I know about ‘Sebastien International’ (as his new peeps would like him to be now referred to) is that he’s a ‘do-er’.

While most people are happy to watch, he’s the first to roll up his sleeves. When most think, ‘Why?’, he asks, ‘Why not? And aside from that, I’m obliged to write nice things about the guy, if I want to keep crashing on his couch in Chatswood.

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