Doug Richard pictured in 2006
|Education||University of California|
|Occupation||Entrepreneur, businessman, government advisor|
|Known for||Dragons' Den|
|Net worth||$75 million (as of 2015)|
|Awards||The Queen's Award for Achievement in Enterprise Promotion|
Doug Richard (born May 6, 1958) is an American entrepreneur best known for his television appearances in the United Kingdom. He appeared as a "Dragon" on the first two series of Dragons' Den and was also a government adviser.
Richard received his undergraduate degree from University of California at Berkeley majoring in psychology in 1980. He received his Doctorate of Law at University of California at Los Angeles in 1985. He received his Executive Management Certificate from UCLA School of Business in 1989.
Richard founded his first company, ITAL Computers in 1985, which sold services that integrated computer aided design and manufacture systems to the southern California aerospace industry. ITAL Computers was sold in a private transaction in 1991 and the profits used to found his second company, Visual Software. Richard co-founded, managed and sold Visual Software with his partner John Halloran. Visual Software was sold to Micrografx, a NASDAQ listed public company for $12,000,000 in shares in 1996. In 1997, Richard became the president and CEO of Micrografx, the company by whom he had been acquired the year before. Richard turned around the fortunes of Micrografx by shifting its focus from consumer software to business and technical marketplaces. Micrografx was sold to Corel Corporation in 2001.
After the sale of Corel Corporation, Richard re-located to Cambridge with his family. Shortly after the move, Richard co-founded the Cambridge Angels, an angel investment group focusing on technology startups in the Cambridge region, with Robert Sansom in 2001. He retired from the Cambridge Angels in 2008.
Richard was an active angel investor from 2001-2008. His first investment was in a Manchester based startup, Designer Servers, known as DSVR. Richard and the founders successfully exited from the company in 2004 when it was sold to the company that became Legend Communications, PLC.
Also in 2001, Richard co-founded Library House with a group of entrepreneurs and angel investors from the Cambridge Cluster. Library House was founded as a buy-side research house focusing on technology startups and be-spoke analysis for venture capital firms. The financial downturn in 2008 led venture firms to reduce their investments in research forcing Library House into administration as another victim of the global downturn. Its database of transactions, which was the only database of European venture activity, was sold to Dow Jones.
In 2004, Richard co-founded Trutap, with David Whitewood, a mobile software company offering free text and interactive messaging across the internet, prior to the introduction of smart phones. Trutap received three rounds of funding from two investors, Tudor Investments and the Cambridge Angels. The company closed in good order and the remaining investment was returned to Investors after the company was unable to pivot with the introduction and success of the iPhone.
In 2008, Richard founded School for Startups Ltd.
In late 2004, Richard was approached by the BBC to join a new reality TV show called Dragons' Den. Richard was joined by Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne, Rachel Elnaugh and Simon Woodroffe as the first 'Dragons'. Richard appeared on the first two series of the programme. He voluntarily stepped down after the end of the second series after accepting a position as a venture partner with the hedge fund Tudor Investments.
In 2010, he was awarded Enterprise Educator of the Year by National Council on Graduate Entreprise.
Richard was appointed as an ambassador for the British Library's Business and IP Centre.
He is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.
In 2008, Richard wrote and published the Richard Report on Small Business, as the Chairman of the Conservative Party Task Force, a policy guideline on support for small business for the Conservative Party while in opposition.
In 2010, Richard published the "Entrepreneurs Manifesto", a call-to-action to drive entrepreneurship in the UK.
In 2012, Richard published the Richard Review of Apprenticeships, a government requested review of the apprenticeship system which was supported by all political parties and formed the basis for the reform of the apprenticeship system in the UK.
In 2013, Richard published his first Book, "How to Start a Creative Business", on entrepreneurship in the creative industries.
Richard founded School for Startups in 2008 to help people start their own businesses through training and support courses, and to help governments and regions drive economic growth based on the principles of entrepreneurial economics. The school has taught over 30,000 people how to start their own business. The school is best known for a series of high-profile programmes including:
More recently Richard has focussed School for Startups on programs in developing countries. Recent programs include:
On 7 September 2015, Richard was charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He appeared before the City of London Magistrates' Court on 5 October and was bailed until his appearance at the Old Bailey in January 2016 for trial.
On 25 January 2016, Richard appeared at the Old Bailey, where he admitted sexual activity did occur but said it was consensual, believing her to be 17 at the time. Richard had met the girl through a dating website called SeekingArrangement. The court heard that the 13-year-old girl in question told Richard on a number of occasions that she was 17. On 29 January 2016, Richard was cleared of all offences brought against him.