I’m here to share what I’ve learned along my journey, and help you with my unique perspective & abilities

Knowledge, experience,
& care

Rafal Bergman, PhD(Comp), PMP

CTO Zen, Founder & Managing Partner

I’m Rafal Bergman, and like every person I have many interests and experiences, as well as latent and well-developed skills and talents. My professional life gave me ample opportunity to develop my potential when it comes to creating new technology products, concepts and businesses. I started as a Software Engineer and advanced through the ranks of a Team Lead, Software Architect, Engineering Manager, and Chief Innovation Officer, all the way to the role of a CTO in a London Stock Exchange listed plc. In that process I grew from a hardcore technologist into an effective leader with deep appreciation of human psychology, a skilled manager and experienced executive.

I acted as a CEO for several investor-led start ups, and created a number of tech start ups of my own. So far I exited four. My largest entrepreneurial success to date was GeoVS, which I sold to SRT plc. The technology which we created from ground up was the only of its kind in the world and required the highest levels of scalability, reliability, performance and quality – but also top-notch usability. We pushed the boundary of what was possible in all those difficult areas, learning a lot in the process (and enjoying the ride.) We sold our systems to clients in over 30 countries, including the Governments for National-scale applications, and grossed several hundred millions of British Pounds. We won several awards, including for the National Project of the Year from His Royal Highness the King of Bahrain.

When it comes to business, including working with start up and SME clients, I worked with small teams and multi-billion dollars ‘unicorns’ on a wide variety of projects. I built and led many high performing teams, and managed to deliver, or turn around and save a lot of projects, but also saw failure from up close a few times. In this journey I experienced both sides of a large success and a miserable ending of some businesses (including mine, my clients’ and those of some friends in my network). This gave me a deep understanding of what patterns, methods, approaches and habits lead to success, and which end up in the abyss of a painful disappointment. It showed me how thin the boundary between success and failure sometimes is, and gave me an iron determination to avoid the mistakes and help others do better. It also taught me the principles of navigating uncertainty, and that it is the most important skill of an effective CEO, and of any CTO worth his salt.

Some projects were unusual and required, above all, intellectual agility grounded in sound problem solving and decision making skills. One that I’m most proud of – but perhaps also the strangest – was when I was appointed as an Expert Witness in the High Court of Hong Kong to help them crack one of the biggest criminal cases this territory has ever seen, involving 39 casualties. Via original analysis and custom made data processing software I created, our legal team uncovered facts that even the 2-years long multi-million official Commission of Inquiry didn’t know about. With several months of hard work, including my 6 days in the witness box in front of the Jury, we discovered the truth and saved an innocent person from 8 years in jail.

I’m still an active tech entrepreneur, and have a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by start up founders and leaders. I am active in several start-ups, mostly in Artificial Intelligence (AI) space in Digital Health, Genomics, Digital Advertising, E-Commerce, and Enterprise applications. I am also driven by sharing my knowledge and open to helping other entrepreneurs and managers in any way I can, whether by informal coaching and mentoring, or as part of commercial arrangement (see my CTO services for more info on the latter).

CTO Zen is my way of contributing to this world, my passion and vocation.

Here are some of my clients

Have Something in Mind? 💡

I paid my dues over two decades of corporate R&D and tech entrepreneurship, learning what works and what doesn’t, so you don’t have to repeat the same mistakes.

Contact me today to see how your plans can be accelerated and safeguarded against risk & uncertainty with my unique perspective, knowledge and award-winning and CTO services.

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What my clients say

Here are some articles I wrote to share my CTO knowledge and perspective on AI, tech, software engineering, business & leadership. I’m writing new content all the time (just sometimes struggle to find the time to publish it quickly) – so stay tuned for more!

Navigating uncertainty is the most important role and responsibility of a CTO

The most important skill (in business & life)

Some skills are key to your success. Emotional intelligence, leadership, empathy, influence, storytelling, analytical skills, learning & growth-mindset, public speaking, fundraising, recruitment are amongst those. But in modern times, characterized by constant change, one skill stands out as the most important of all.
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