Matt Pierri, co-founder and CEO of SociAbility

Photo of Matt Pierri

Matt Pierri is the CEO and co-founder of SociAbility. SociAbility is a young, motivated organisation working to mainstream accessibility information to empower people with disabilities to greater social engagement. We’re currently raising seed funding to build our app and pilot our project in Oxford!

What is your background? What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Matt is an Australian lawyer currently based in Oxford as a Visiting Scholar at the Blavatnik School of Government, where he is researching the role of stereotypes on disability law and policy-making. Matt has also been an active voice in the disability space, having co-founded Wheels in Motion (an Australian non-profit that raises funds and changes social perceptions around disability perceptions, and the Oxford Accessibility Projec. Matt recently completed a Master in Public Policy and MSc in Social Science of the Internet at the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

What is your definition of entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is pursuing a novel idea to an old problem, often against the odds and convention.

How and when did you know your idea was good enough to develop it?
SociAbility Logo

I knew the idea was good enough when I kept thinking to myself that it would be great if such a product existed. So I decided to build it myself!

What would you say are the top 3 skills that needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Why?

Resilience. Creativity. Listening.

What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?

The challenge and reward of building something from scratch!

What individual, company or organization inspires you most? Why?

Roger Federer! His dedication to perfection, class and humility is particularly inspiring

If you had 5 minutes with the above indiv/company/org, what would you want to ask or discuss?

How he remains motivated to work so hard so deep into his career!

What would you say have been some of your mistakes, failures or lessons learned as an entrepreneur?

One of the most significant lessons I’ve learnt is to not rest on your laurels. After a few little wins, it’s important to keep momentum and keep pushing rather than coasting and expecting things to continue falling into place.

How have you funded your ideas?

So far, with various philanthropic grants and donations.

Are there any sector-specific awards/grants/competitions that have helped you?

Oxford Hub social entrepreneurship awards!

What is good about being an entrepreneur in Oxfordshire? Bad?

Oxford is full of intelligent, passionate and motivated people. Oxford is also, unfortunately, very tradition-heavy and slow to change – particularly for social issues and minority group equality.

If a new entrepreneur or startup came to you looking for entrepreneurship resources, where would you send them? (Anything Oxfordshire especially!)

To the Enterprising Oxfordshire website!

Any last words of advice?

Keep going!