Star of BBC Two's Dragons' Den and Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire, Piers Linney is an entrepreneur and investor with experience across a range of sectors with a focus on technology, telecommunications, health, fitness and wellbeing. During his time as a Dragon he invested £100,000 into publishing start-up Lost My Name (now Wonderbly) in exchange for just 5pc equity, which valued the business at £2.0m, the highest valuation ever seen in the Den at that time. Wonderbly has now sold over 3m personalised children's books in over 200 countries and was #1 on last years Tech Track list of the UK’s fastest growing companies. Wonderbly has raised £16.5m with investors including Google Ventures and is one of the most successful investments made in the Den.
He is well-known as a champion of entrepreneurship and SMEs and as a media commentator on relevant issues.
Piers attended his local comprehensive school in Lancashire and went on to accounting and law at the University of Manchester and a professional background in the City in both law, as a Solicitor specialised in venture capital, and investment banking and M&A with Credit Suisse. Having been the CEO of a corporate finance business raising funds for technology start-ups, SMEs and special situations and a partner at an alternative finance fund, he has broad experience of the financial and operational challenges that face start-ups, SMEs and high growth businesses as a founder, adviser, director and investor.
Piers has been recognised as one of the top 100 most influential Black Britons and won the inaugural Entrepreneur of the Year award at the EY sponsored Black British Business Awards. In 2017 he was a recipient of the Barbados Golden Jubilee Award for Outstanding Service in the UK and in 2018 he was recognised as one of the UK’s top 20 Ethnic Minority Executives in the Financial Times / EM Power list. He sat on the Cabinet Office SME Panel and the Board of TechUK and is a Trustee of Nesta, the UK’s leading innovation charity. Piers is a non-executive director of British Business Bank, the UK government-owned development bank that has facilitated £10bn of funding to unlock capital for small and medium-sized businesses, including StartUp Loans.