Tell us about yourself

I grew up in rural Nova Scotia on a hill were you can see the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. I spent a lot of time playing sports like table tennis and basketball when I wasn’t working on family farms, Christmas tree lots and helping my father cut lumber. Later, I went to StFX University to study Information Systems, then worked in Halifax as a software consultant. In 2005 I moved to Toronto to study Information Engineering at UofT, went to the UK in 2007 to get some international experience and worked as an SAP Consultant. I came back to UofT to do my MBA and caught the entrepreneurial bug.Mark van Berkel

Why do you like working for Hunch Manifest?

I enjoy working on new and exciting technologies, solving difficult problems while also building the business.  Online Presence Management is a holistic way of thinking of how you’re showing up and performing on the web. Getting on top of all the channels and opportunities to leverage a superior online presence is non-trivial – which is a difficult problem and why I like it.

What do you do at Hunch Manifest?

These days I am involved in the strategy, technology and operations of Hunch Manifest. Its a mixed bag, everyday is different and I enjoy figuring out what’s the best effective way to get the results we need for our customers.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I like what I’m doing now, otherwise, I’d like to spend more time with NGO and not for profits.

Two fun facts about Mark

  1. Spent 5.5 years working in pub and restaurant kitchens while in high school and university; now I like to chop and clean dishes for family dinners.
  2. Provincial table tennis champion in high-school

Favorite website


Blogs you like to read

For news Huffington Post, Drudge Report, Zero Hedge. For work Semantic Search Marketing, Google WebMasters Blog, and the Semantic Arts blog

Last book you read

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Your career influencers

Early in my career it was my management at Sierra Systems, they shaped me into a professional. As I studied graduate engineering it was Michael Gruninger, Michael Uschold and Dave McComb taught me all about Ontologies in the Enterprise. More recently, I’m a fan of Peter Drucker, Bill Reddin and Russell Ackoff. They’re all management systems designers and continue to remind me to do the right things vs do things right.

What is your favorite social media medium

Google+ for its communities.

When do you get your best work done

Afternoons are best for me.

Mark van Berkel is Founder and President of Hunch Manifest Inc. While managing business operations he also leads the team in designing semantic technology to provide personalized online presence and reputation management services. Prior to forming the company, he was consultant in enterprise software projects to companies including Panasonic, Shell, and General Electric and was an Architect for a world leading human capital management software-as-a-service. Mark holds a Bachelor of Information Systems from StFX University and did his graduate studies at University of Toronto, getting a MEng Industrial Information Engineering and an MBA, Strategy and Innovation from the Rotman School of Management. In 2006 he published a 170 page report as a researcher at the Semantic Technologies Lab at the University of Toronto and built a semantic technology prototype for SAP Research Labs. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn or Twitter. Mark is also certified in Google Analytics.