Doug Richard Dragon: Cambridge Angels and School for Startups Founder

Doug Richard

Dragons’ Den investor Doug Richard is a famous businessman, government financial adviser, capitalist, and Television Personality.  He became famous after appearing as a panellist in the first two series of  Dragons’ Den- Britain’s famous reality show. The entrepreneur has always been a hero for startups and small ventures. The entrepreneur has over 25 years of experience in technology and software businesses.

Dragons’ Den Investor Doug Richard Networth and Portfolio

Doug Richard’s net worth is estimated to be £62m. The entrepreneur is passionate about technology and development. In 1985, Richard introduced his first business, ITAL Computers, which offered systems and services to the southern California aerospace sector. Moreover, in 1991, he sold the venture and used the profits to establish his second enterprise, Visual Software. In 1996, he sold the software development company- Visual Software to Micrografx, in the exchange for £12,463,650 shares. Moreover, in 1997, Richard became the president and CEO of Micrografx, a software house in the US.

In 2001, he invested in DSVR and became the non-executive Chairman. Additionally, he co-introduced Cambridge Angels, Britain’s venture providing finance from capitalists to aspiring entrepreneurs in the same year. However, he decided to quit the company in 2008.

Doug invested in several businesses between 2001 to 2008. He continued his journey to success and introduced Library House- a research group for technology-based startups. In 2008, the company became a victim of deflation, forcing Library House into administration.

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Dragons’ Den Investor Doug Richard: Founder of School for Startups

In 2008, Richard established an organization that helps entrepreneurs to start better and more profitable ventures with world-class training. Therefore, he introduced School for Startups Ltd which offers virtual classes, training, business resources, and everything a budding entrepreneur needs. Since then, he has mentored thousands of people in online and offline classes.

Before establishing School for Startups, Richard proactively mentored, trained and supported many budding entrepreneurs. In 2008, Doug also launched Trutap, a mobile software business providing its customers with the service of free SMS and interactive messaging. Trutap collected three funding rounds from two investors, the Cambridge Angels and Tudor Investments. In the same year, the entrepreneur became the Chairman of the Conservative Party Task Force. Meanwhile, he also issued Richard Report on Small Business- a scheme to help small and growing ventures. 

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Doug Richard Honours and Rewards

In 2006, he received The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. Additionally, in 2007, he also became a member of the Royal Society of the Arts. The University of Essex awarded the tycoon an honorary doctorate for his help and contribution to entrepreneurship in 2009.

In 2010, National Council on Graduate Enterprise rewarded Richard with the Enterprise Educator of the Year. The serial entrepreneur published the CFE’s “Entrepreneurs Manifesto”, a plan to grow businesses in the UK in 2010.

In 2012, the UK government appealed to Richard to prepare a review of the traineeship system in the country. Consequently, he prepared the Richard Review of Apprenticeships, which was approved by all political parties, becoming the basis for the improvement of the apprenticeship system in Britain.

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In 2013, the entrepreneur received an honorary doctorate from the renowned University of Plymouth for his contribution to supporting small ventures in the southwest. Doug was also designated as an ambassador for the Business and IP Centre of the British Library. In 2013, Doug Richard wrote his debut book, “How to Start a Creative Business”, a manual on starting and sustaining ventures in the creative industries. He also worked as an Adviser at One Young World in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Doug is also an ex-non-executive director of the United Kingdom’s Research and Innovation Agency, Innovate UK.

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The Worst Moment of Doug Richard’s Life

In 2015, Doug’s life turned upside down when the Daily Mail reported that the entrepreneur has been taken into custody for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl. However, the entrepreneur strongly opposed the allegations. In September 2015, a teenage girl accused Richard of child sex charges. Later, the entrepreneur got bail in October 2015.

In January 2016, Doug was presented at the Old Bailey, where he confessed to having consensual sex with the 13-year-old girl. He also mentioned that he believed the girl was 17 years old and would never have sex with a child knowingly. The tribunal heard that the concerned girl provided Richard with her Identity Document multiple times, showing that she was 17.

After investigating the matter, the court cleared the entrepreneur of all the charges against him. The court declared Doug innocent but it affected his reputation and businesses adversely. However, this incident made the tycoon a better version of himself.

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Richard continued his journey to success by investing in several small as well as large businesses, growing his net worth. Doug Richard’s story tells that success is possible only if an individual explores and invests in new projects. The entrepreneur has proved that dreams come true with hard work, dedication, and never giving up.