Jerry graduated in mechanical engineering from UCL in 1977. Despite a numerate education, his interest rapidly turned towards marketing communications, and ended up combining the two in the digital world.
His marketing career began with British Aluminium followed by Volvo and then BMW, until 1986 when he met a bloke in a pub who was teaching computers to understand English. This was a few years before the worldwideweb was invented, so leaving a promising career in mainstream marketing to launch the world’s first AI search engine was a bit of a risk to say the least. It also gave him his first crucial business lesson – timing is everything.
His second lesson was ‘don’t sell solutions to problems people don’t yet have’. Since then he has learned many more lessons about what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. To date he has founded, and sold, a number of successful digital service businesses, mostly involved with the car industry.
These days he’s a professional dragon or business angel. He still owns a few businesses he founded himself where he acts more as a mentor than being actively engaged, and invests in start-ups where his experience and network of connections might help to make a difference. He is also a volunteer business mentor for the Princes Trust and for Guildford Council.
In what spare time he has, he travels, plays tennis and golf, and regularly attends the TED conference where he mixes with the great and the good for what he calls his annual indulgence of inspiration and humiliation.