Best recognized from the CBC’s Dragons’ Den, Kevin O’Leary’s impressive reputation has been built upon his entrepreneurial vision, investment smarts and drives to succeed. In addition to being one of the Dragons, O’Leary is the co-host of BNN’s SqueezePlay, the host of BNN’s O’Leary Live, and a ‘Shark’ on the ABC show, Shark Tank. He is also chosting the CBC News world’s business show, Lang & O’Leary Exchange, Chairman of O’Leary Funds, and the chairman of the investment committee of Boston’s 107 year old Hamilton Trust.
Born in Montreal, O’Leary is the son of a United Nations ILO official, which contributed greatly to his diverse cultural and educational experiences. He was educated in countries around the world, and he received an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Psychology from the University of Waterloo. In 1980, O’Leary earned his MBA from the University of Western Ontario.
In 1986, O’Leary co-founded SoftKey Software Products, and by the late 1990s, SoftKey had acquired numerous competitor companies including Compton’s New Media, The
Learning Company, Mindscape and Broderbund. In 1999, the company was sold to the
Mattel Toy Company for $3.7 billion, which is one of the largest deals ever done in the consumer software industry.
O’Leary became co-investor and a director in Storage Now, and in 2007, he joined the advisory board of Genstar Capital LLC. As a self-proclaimed “Eco-preneur” O’Leary’s focus is on investments that make money and are environmentally friendly. He is the founding investor and director of Stream Global, and is currently working as the entrepreneur/investor co-host for the Discovery Channel’s, Discovery Project Earth, a new program that explores Innovative ways man could reverse global warming.
O’Leary has developed a cult following among financial professionals and smart investors with his pull-no-punches look at the good, the bad and the ugly with respect to the markets and investment opportunities. Within his various television roles, his opinionated nature has won over millions, and he continues to impress with his audiences with professional tips and personal anecdotes.
In addition to serving on the executive board of The Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, O’Leary is a member of the investment committee of Boston’s Hamilton Trust and an investor and director of EnGlobe.
From modest beginnings, Kevin O’Leary built a company worth more than $4 billion dollars. Since then, he has become an internationally recognized investor, respected commentator, and much more. Kevin’s life experiences have included not only great successes, but also many challenges, adventures, risks taken and lessons learned. At select live speaking events, you can hear first hand as Kevin shares the top insights he learned along the way.
Kevin speaks openly about his upbringing, including the important lessons he learned from his parents and from his stepfather. Some of these lessons, especially those from his mother, Georgette, have stuck with Kevin until today. Kevin describes how important those lessons were for his success and how you can learn from them as well.
In his speaking engagements, Kevin delves into what it’s like to be Dragon and a Shark. Kevin discusses his relationships with the other Dragons, why he approaches entrepreneurs as the “Merchant of Truth”, and what it takes to get a deal on the show. Kevin’s years of experience as a successful repeat entrepreneur are a value source of insights.