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Getting To Know You: Lionel Lodge, CEO & Co-Founder, SyncLodge

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As part of our series profiling the finalists of the Business Champion Awards 2023 we spoke to Lionel Lodge, the CEO & Co-Founder of media licensing company SyncLodge

What do you currently do at SyncLodge?

I am CEO and Co-Founder. I overview all aspects, work directly with each division of the company, and manage cross-industry communications.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

I have worked in many aspects of the entertainment industry in the management as well as the creative side. In mid-2000’s CD sales were disappearing.

Sync licensing was suggested as a way to cover the lost revenue. By first focusing on leveraging my own catalogue, I built up a sync licensing agency. This gave me great insights into the mechanics of the industry.

I was surprised by how analogue the industry-standard workflow tools were. It was obvious that a digital transformation was needed. There was a high level of frustration and a lot of time wasted on non-creative tasks.

We spent the first year talking to established, and new, contacts in the industry, mapping pain points. We built a clear plan of system structure and saw that no one else was looking at the industry in this way.

The need was there, the market was clear, and the opportunity was obvious.

Who do you admire?

I admire many people. I admire people like Elton John, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen. I also admire people like the astrobiologist Betül Kaçar, the legendary jiu-jitsu competitor Roger Gracie, and the co-founder of OpenAI, Wojciech Zaremba.

I also admire the people close to me (my wife Karin and my family), the team at SyncLodge, and so many people in the industry I have the honor of working with.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

There are quite a few things I would have done differently. Many little things along the way and a few larger issues. Over the years and through the businesses I have started there have been some painful lessons learned.

There have been quite a few through the building and launching of SyncLodge. Hindsight makes it obvious that there was a wrong decision made. Inevitable, but also insightful.

We continually question our assumptions, working through probabilities, and getting advice from industry stakeholders, but the unexpected will still come.

What defines your way of doing business?

Cooperation, inclusivity, transparency, and honesty. To have long-standing industry presence we need to empower our teams’, our members’, and our associated partners’, longevity.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Choose the people you work with carefully. Partnerships can be more intense than marriage. You will go through many difficult things together so be clear on your reasons, your goals, and how you want your work culture to be, from the start.

When you have your first sit-down with a potential partner, regardless of if you know them previously or not, don’t go in hoping they will think highly of your new startup plan, go in asking if this person has the skills to deliver what the company needs from them and, is this a person I would want to spend most of my time with over the next 5 years.

Are we personally compatible? People tend to be on the “nice” side of their personality at first meets, so be prepared to ask some direct questions to see if their perspectives align with your perspectives. Even if you are being interviewed make sure the fit is good for both.

SyncLodge are a finalist in the Business Innovation of the year category of the Business Champion Awards