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He came to prominence as a result of the BBC programme Dragons' Den, where he appeared as a 'dragon', or investor in the first two series. Although he made two investments during the first series, he did not make any investments in the second, and thereafter stepped down to advise the investment of funds on behalf of Tudor Investments, a US-based hedge fund that began investing in early stage high technology startups. He remains the only Dragon not to invest throughout a series.
He founded and sold two companies: Visual Software and ITAL Computers. He is also non executive director of Brightpearl. Between 1996 and 2000 Doug was President and CEO of Micrografx, a US publicly quoted software company.
In 2001 he moved to Cambridge, UK and co-founded the investment society, The Cambridge Angels, along with his friend Robert Sansom, the founder of FORE Systems.
From October 2004 to November 2008 he was Chairman and CEO of Trutap, an instant messaging app. Despite raising a total of $14.4M, it failed to take off despite boasting over 250000 users.
In May 2006, he received an honorary Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion - the only honorary awardee that year - for his work promoting, developing and helping entrepreneurs. as director and co-founder, Library House in Cambridge. Library House went into administration in December 2008.
In 2008 he founded the School for Startups, an enterprise focussed on teaching entrepreneurship across the UK in partnership with leading UK Universities, the Royal Institution and the British Library.
In May 2008 Richard published his investigation into the British government's support of small businesses. The Richard Report was written at the behest of the Conservative Party, though Richard emphasised the work was politically neutral.
In 2010 Richard received the Enterprise Educator of the year award from the National Council on Graduate Employment for his work through School for Startups with UK Universities and an honorary Doctorate from the University of Essex for his contribution to enterprise education.
In 2012 Richard undertook an independent review of the national apprenticeship system culminating in the publication of the Richard Review of Apprenticeships. Richard and his review were mentioned in the 2012 Budget when the Chancellor expressed his unreserved support for the Review.
The same year Richard joined the governing board of the Technology Strategy Board, the UK's innovation agency.
In 2012 Richard went on a Windows of Opportunity roadshow aimed at demonstrating that anyone, from pensioners and lifelong savers to young professionals, can become an angel investor.
In 2013 Richard published his first book, How to Start a Creative Business, that focuses on how creative people can start and grow their own successful businesses.
He currently resides in Cambridge, England.
- "Doug Richard Biography". Room54 Ltd. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
- "The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion". Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Doug Richard: Exit the dragon
- Dragon's Den
- Doug Richard Biography Room54 Ltd Doug Richard Corporate Speaking
- Doug Richard's School for Startups
- Doug Richard's School for Startups Interviews
- Doug Richard's Contact page on oneleap
- Why Trutap was decimated
- TheEmployable Interviews Doug Richard January 2012
- “Windows of Opportunity” roadshow
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