About Martin Port
Martin Port (born 29 July 1962) is a Yorkshire based entrepreneur. A technology pioneer, Martin founded Masternaut, one of the first UK companies to offer software-as-a-service, with its web-based vehicle tracking solutions. Martin took Masternaut from a small startup in 2002 to become one of the UK’s fastest growing businesses, with places in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Martin’s entrepreneurial endeavours were recognised in 2008 when he won the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Technology and Communications. In November 2009, Martin sold Masternaut to Hub Telecom, a subsidiary of Aeroports de Paris, Europe’s second largest airports operator.
Community and Charitable involvements
Martin Port is an active member of the Leeds Jewish Community and has been involved in supporting various events, fundraising campaigns and activities.
2012 - BigChange
Martin founded BigChange in 2012 with the goal of using cutting edge technology to create an all-in-one mobile workforce and Job Management solution.
Five years later BigChange has grown from an annual turnover of £300k to £7m in 2017. In 2017 alone, BigChange won over 10 awards including the prestigious Deloitte Fast 50, recognising the fastest growing tech businesses. BigChange ranked 25th in the UK and 98th in the Fast 500 in EMEA.
BigChange now has a 60-strong team and operates in over 650 Companies operating in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia.
2009 - Approached by Dell
In 2009, Martin was approached by Dell and was chosen to feature in a national advertising and brand building campaign. In addition to Martin Port, Dell’s Take Your Own Path campaign featured UK entrepreneurs such as Richard Reed (co-founder of Innocent Smoothies), Tony Wheeler (founder of Lonely Planet), Juliet Davenport (founder of Good Energy) and Mark Gerhard (CEO/CTO of Jagex). The campaign was featured in the national UK press in addition to outdoor media. In 2010, Martin was asked to front the launch of Take Your Own Path in Australia.
2009 - Martin sells Masternaut UK to Aeroports de Paris
Martin Port sold Masternaut UK to Hub Telecom in 2009. Hub Telecom is a subsidiary of Aeroports de Paris which is Europe’s second largest airports group. At the time of sale, Martin Port remained at Masternaut as Managing Director. The Institute of Directors awarded Martin Port with its Entrepreneur of the Year prize in 2010.
2002 - Masternaut
Martin founded Masternaut in 2002 and was the first company to offer a GPRS based vehicle tracking system. The company initially only had three employees and occupied a serviced office on a science park in Leeds. The company started to grow rapidly and by 2003 Masternaut had 1000 subscribers. In 2004 Masternaut moved to its present-day headquarters, a converted historic Almshouses building in Aberford, Leeds. By 2005, over 10,000 subscribers had been reached.
In 2006, Martin Port acquired Three X (a mobile workforce software business) from GE. In addition, the company won a significant £2.5m contract to supply a tracking solution to automotive parts company Unipart. In 2007, Masternaut’s rapid growth was recognised with its first place in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100, a league table of the UK’s fastest growing technology businesses. Also in 2007, Martin Port teamed up with Australian Entrepreneur Ian Maloney to open Masternaut’s first office in Sydney, Australia.
The success of Martin Port’s business continued, and the company gained further places in the Tech Track 100 in both 2008 and 2009. Martin Port made two acquisitions in 2008, with the purchase of Fibre City, an internet service provider with state of the art hosting facilities and ICM Business Solutions, a Microsoft Gold Partner specialising in Microsoft Dynamics CRM software.
1989 - Kroustie Speciality Bread
On his return from New York in 1989, Martin founded Kroustie, a speciality bread retail and wholesale business. The business was started with the help of a government enterprise allowance. Martin’s business was seen as highly innovative at the time since Kroustie was selling premium and gourmet continental breads at a time when the UK market was very much focused on selling plain white and brown loaves. One of Martin’s outlets was rumoured to be one of the highest grossing bakeries per sq. ft in the world. Martin Port claimed an impressive list of clients for his Leeds bread company including Archie Norman, former Chief Executive of Asda, Andy Bond, former Asda CEO and Marco Pierre White, the celebrated chef and restauranteur who originated from Leeds.
Martin Port was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire on the 29th July 1962. He attended Moortown County Primary School, later attending Allerton Grange High School. At the age of 14, Martin had a Saturday job at Cecil Gee department store in their menswear department. At the age of 15, Martin started a small printing business with his friend, producing business cards for local companies. In 1986, 24 year old Martin Port moved to New York in the USA to help a friend who had founded a German bakery business. Martin returned to the UK three years later and started his first business called Kroustie. Kroustie sold bread to retailers and wholesalers. This was founded with the support of a government enterprise allowance.