Founder’s Story

“Life can only be understood backwards.”

Even though living it forward has felt bumpy and filled with detours; in retrospect, there’s a straight line between starting my first business at 16 and Seminal. The string throughout has been the desire to share the story and expertise of myself and others:

Started writing for publications like . Entrepreneur-NEW-LOGO


success_manifesto_cropped Wrote my first book during my junior year of college. It became an bestseller.


Started speaking across the
country and have now
spoken in 7+ countries.


extreme_entrepreneurship_tour Co-founded the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour to bring hundreds of the country’s top young entrepreneurs to speak on 600+ college campuses.


Co-founded the Empact Showcase to recognize the impact of the country’s top young entrepreneurs at the White House, Capitol Hill, NASDAQ, and the United Nations. nasdaq


logos Contributed articles to Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and Time.


As a parent, the greatest gift we can give to our children is to pass on our lessons learned. The same is true for us as human beings. Our greatest gift is sharing our lessons with the next generation as a whole.

Imagine a sold out sports stadium with tens of thousands of people. Imagine that you have the opportunity to give a few minute speech about your story and your biggest lessons learned and everyone’s attention is on YOU.

That’s the opportunity we all have NOW.

The right content at the right time can completely transform someone’s life. It’s definitely changed ours.

It doesn’t make sense that many of the most impactful and successful people in the world rarely share their expertise and that teaching is such a poorly compensated profession.

The mission of Seminal is to help create a better world by distilling the insights of the world’s top leaders into immediate, easy-to-follow, research-backed action steps while making it sustainable for experts to share their wisdom on an ongoing basis.


A world where everyone consistently shares their story and their expertise on how to lead a more successful, purposeful, healthier, and productive life and their message reach and impact all of the people that it could be most helpful to.


Michael Simmons
Michael SimmonsCo-founder
I’m a serial, social impact entrepreneur. Over the years, I’ve been featured in five books, the AOL Home Page, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, ABC, NBC, and CBS. Previously, I was named one of the Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25 by Business Week and as one of the Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 by Inc.
Ian Chew
Ian ChewOperations Manager
Before joining Seminal, I was the director of product development at Thriving Talents, a HR training firm with clients from SMEs to Fortune 100s (Microsoft, Intel). For my work and projects, I have interviewed over 700 people from more than 20 countries in three years. I’ve been mentioned in TIME, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Business Insider, as well as featured in Canadian Geographic, CBC, and Global TV News Maritimes. A believer in giving, I regularly coach and mentor young entrepreneurs.
Shizuka Ebata
Shizuka EbataDigital Production Lead
Having lived in four different countries – Thailand, Japan, South Africa, Canada – I have a great passion about learning the world. As an activist, learner, teacher and writer, I interned at Greenpeace Japan and ACORN (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network), as well as volunteered at IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature). I also worked for Business Bank Group, a company that promotes entrepreneurship in Japan.