David McCourt

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David McCourt
David C. McCourt, Chairman and founder of Granahan McCourt Capital
Chairman and founder of Granahan McCourt Capital

David McCourt is an Irish-American entrepreneur with experience within the telecom and cable television industries.[1] He grew up in Watertown, Massachusetts, and is a graduate of Georgetown University. McCourt was an early contributor to the development of transatlantic fiber networks and has gone on to found or buy 20 companies in nine countries.[2] McCourt has completed capital raising and merger transactions valued in excess of $7 billion.[3] McCourt's net worth was previously estimated at $750 million.[4] The Economist described him as having "impeccable credentials as a telecom revolutionary".[5]

Career[edit]

In 1982, McCourt founded his first company, McCourt Cable Systems, operating as a designer and builder of cable wires. The company grew to be the largest privately owned designer and builder of cable systems in the US.[6] In 1985, McCourt purchased the first independent TV station within the Caribbean Island of Grenada, Discovery TV.[1] In 1987, McCourt founded the first competitive phone company in the US, Corporate Communications Network. This was merged with Metropolitan Fibre Systems (MFS) before being sold for $14.3bn to MCI before its eventual bankruptcy as park of Worldcom in 2002.[7] McCourt’s next venture collaborated with engineering and construction firm Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc. From this partnership emerged McCourt/Kiewit International, based in London, which became the largest designer and builder of residential cable television and telephone networks in Europe.[8]

McCourt was responsible for bringing the first competitive telephone and TV landscape to Mexico. McCourt also brought traditional waiting times for land line phones down from one year to less than thirty days and at a fraction of the cost compared to incumbent suppliers.[9]

In 1993, he acquired control of C-TEC Corporation, a diversified telecommunications company that was recapitalised and split into four publicly traded entities: RCN Corporation; Cable Michigan, Inc.; Mercom, Inc.; and Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises, Inc. Following a 1995 rights offering which raised $100 million, Mercom, Inc., a cable provider with systems in Michigan and Florida was sold to Avalon Cable of Michigan along with Cable Michigan Inc. [10] Avalon Cable was subsequently acquired by Charter Communications which went into bankruptcy in 2009.

McCourt was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of RCN Corporation until its bankruptcy in 2004 following 23 consecutive quarterly losses and $4 billion of total losses.[11]

McCourt later turned his attention to TV and film, taking production roles. In 2005, McCourt won an Emmy for the series Reading Rainbow, a long running children's show that encourages reading.[12] And McCourt produced Miracle's Boys with Spike Lee on Nickelodeon's new teenage network.[13] He also served as Executive Producer on the ten-part documentary series “What's Going On?” which documented the impact of global conflict on children around the world.[14]

Granahan McCourt took a controlling stake in internet video company Narrowstep Inc in 2006. David McCourt became Chairman and CEO and led a $10.5 million equity financing for the company in 2007[15]. In 2008 Narrowstep agreed to be acquired by Onstream Media for $11.8 million, however the deal value was cut to $5.1 million and eventually abandoned.[16] Narrowstep was then sold to KIT Digital (later renamed Piksel) in a share deal in 2009 and KIT Digital subsequently filed for bankruptcy and its CEO was found guilty of fraud.[17]

In 2013, in his role as Chairman and CEO of investment firm Granahan McCourt, McCourt led a consortium of companies including Oak Hill Advisers and the family of Walter Scott Jr. in acquiring Irish fiber company, enet. Its network is used by 70 different telcos to serve broadband to over a million people across Ireland.[18] In 2014, McCourt acquired another Irish telecoms operator, Airspeed Telecom, for an undisclosed sum. McCourt and his associates have invested over €100m into Irish operations.[19]

In July 2016, it was announced that a consortium bid headed by Granahan McCourt and enet was successfully shortlisted by the Irish Government in its ongoing tender process to develop Ireland’s €1bn National Broadband Plan.[20] The consortium includes Granahan McCourt Capital, the John Laing Group and 3i Plc.[21]

In 2016, McCourt announced the first Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following the Vision 2030 reform plans outlined by deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, seeking to open up opportunities for foreign investment.[22] The partnership saw the creation of a new joint venture between McCourt’s satellite firm Skyware Technologies and Saudi Arabia based space and technology organizations, TAQNIA and KASCT.[23] Through his ownership of Skyware Technologies, McCourt also operates global manufacturing facilities in key territories including China, where he has set up multiple strategic partnerships. [24]

In June 2016, McCourt launched ALTV.com, a digital TV platform designed to meet the needs of technologically underserved people around the world. ALTV.com gives training and workshops in writing, filming, lighting, editing and wardrobe.[25] ALTV launched with headquarters in Dublin, with initial plans for rollout across the Middle East and North Africa.[26]

McCourt's investments also include a phone app called Findyr, a crowd sourcing technology being used for market research, due diligence and tracking economic trends.[27]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • McCourt won an Emmy for the children's series Reading Rainbow [28]
  • US President Ronald Reagan presented McCourt with the first award from the White House recognising extraordinary accomplishments by private sector businesses.[29]
  • McCourt became the first ‘Economist in Residence’ at the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.[30]
  • McCourt was selected as "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young LLP in 1999.[31]
  • McCourt was named "Top Entrepreneur" by the Harvard Business School Club of New York.[32]
  • The American Irish Historical Society presented McCourt with its gold medal in 2004.[33]
  • He received the 2014 Award for Outstanding Alumni Entrepreneur from Georgetown University.[34]
  • In 2016 McCourt was named the inaugural Executive in Residence for Entrepreneurial Economics and Innovation from Georgetown University.[35]
  • In 2018, McCourt was awarded The Science Foundation Ireland annual medal for outstanding contribution to technology and innovation.[36]

Personal life[edit]

McCourt resides with his wife and children outside of New York City, and he spends a considerable amount of time in Europe and the Middle East.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ireland-based e|net has serious global ambitions in telecoms", Irish Times, 01/2011. Retrieved 1/2014
  2. ^ "David McCourt explains why micro-working is vital, and why he's so disappointed by Trump and Clinton". City A.M. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Granahan McCourt Acquisition Corporation Prospectus".
  4. ^ "David McCourt Executive Profile", Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 1/2014
  5. ^ "Stand and Deliver", The Economist. Retrieved 1/2014
  6. ^ "'I love doing battle': The tough guy who made $750m - BBC News". Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  7. ^ "How I keep my hands on my money" (PDF). Sunday Times. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  8. ^ "David C. McCourt: Founder and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital". Granahan McCourt Capital. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  9. ^ "David C. McCourt Discusses Granahan McCourt's Plans to Bring Connectivity to the Developing World". USC Annenberg.
  10. ^ Jones, Dow. "COMPANY NEWS; CABLE MICHIGAN AGREES TO BE ACQUIRED BY AVALON CABLE". Retrieved 2018-10-05.
  11. ^ "Can RCN chief David McCourt hang onto job in bankruptcy?". tribunedigital-mcall. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  12. ^ "Emmy Award for Irish Businessman". Massmind.
  13. ^ "UCD". Producer, David C. McCourt, Receives Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Series.
  14. ^ "A Conversation with David McCourt, Founder and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital". Chicago Political Review. Archived from the original on 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  15. ^ "Internet TV Company Narrowstep, Inc. Completes $10.5 Million Equity Financing". Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  16. ^ "Narrowstep Sale To Onstream: Deal Value Cut From $11.8 Million To $5.1 Million". Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  17. ^ Raymond, Nate. "Ex-Kit Digital CEO, associate convicted in U.S. of fraud schemes". U.S. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  18. ^ "US telecoms investors buy Irish fibre firm E-net". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  19. ^ "The billion-dollar Boston mogul who aims to fix Ireland's broadband". Irish Independent. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Revealed: The three bidders shortlisted for National Broadband Plan". Irish Independent. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  21. ^ Irish Independent. "The billion-dollar Boston mogul who aims to fix Ireland's broadband". Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  22. ^ "Saudi Arabia Vision 2030: Eight things you need to know about the reform plan | The National". Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  23. ^ Henry, Caleb (2016-05-10). "Taqnia, Skyware and Cresent [sic] form Satellite JV with KACST - Via Satellite -". Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  24. ^ "Executive Spotlight — David McCourt". SAT Magazine. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  25. ^ "The cable guy: David C McCourt on Ireland's broadband future". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  26. ^ Editor. "ALTV begins streaming video service with MENA rollout". Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  27. ^ "'I love doing battle': The tough guy who made $750m - BBC News". Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  28. ^ "UCD". Producer, David C. McCourt, Receives Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Series.
  29. ^ "The cable guy: David C McCourt on Ireland's broadband future". Silicon Republic.
  30. ^ "How to succeed in today's media economy". USC News.
  31. ^ "RCN Chairman and CEO David C. McCourt Named 'Entrepreneur of the Year' by Ernst & Young". PR Newswire. 18 June 1999.
  32. ^ "Harvard Business School Club Selects David C. McCourt, Chairman/CEO of RCN Corporation, as Top Entrepreneur". PR Newswire.
  33. ^ "American Irish Historical Society". American Irish Historical Society.
  34. ^ "ANNOUNCED: 2016 GEORGETOWN OUTSTANDING ALUMNI ENTREPRENEURS OF THE YEAR". Hoyapreneurs. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  35. ^ "GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY APPOINTS DAVID C. MCCOURT TO GROW ENTREPRENEURIAL CREDENTIALS". Startup Hoyas. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  36. ^ "St. Patrick's Day Science Medal Recipients Announced". RTE. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  37. ^ "David McCourt explains why micro-working is vital, and why he's so disappointed by Trump and Clinton". City A.M.