CEO and Founder: TechHuddle and Elasticera. Managing Partner at Acceleratr
Richard graduated from Loughborough University in 1994 with a degree in Computer Science. Since then he has established himself in the world of Internet Technologies and founded and managed his own companies. Richard tells us more about his Loughborough journey and career experiences.
When I was 12 years old my 11 year old brother received a ZX81 as a present. We were hyper competitive and I think I was more than a little jealous. Whilst he wanted to play games I wanted to write games.
Faced with the fact that I was only interested in technology and my GCSE grades were unlikely to be good enough for me to do A Levels I decided to do a BTEC National Diploma in Computing at college.
College was very serious compared to school and I was doing something I enjoyed so I applied myself and came top of the year for my course at my college.
My two elder cousins were both at Loughborough University doing Physics and Geography and recommended the institution to me. I applied to various Polytechnics and Universities and in the end I chose Loughborough University due to its superior reputation.
Being around super smart people forced me to raise my game. It also made me realise that if I weren’t smarter I would just have to think differently and work harder to achieve my goals.
If you could give one piece of advice to prospective or current Loughborough University (Computer Science) students what would it be and why?
Bill Gates once said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
If people underestimate what they can achieve in ten years imagine how much they underestimate what they can achieve in a 40-year career!
Aim very high and think about the steps you need to take to achieve it.
I found the transition from University life to the world of work pretty easy. I elected to do an industrial placement as part of my degree course, which I think, helped prepare me for the world of work.
After graduating from university I moved back to my parent’s home in Devon and got a job working for the company I had worked for during my industrial placement.
I fairly quickly realised that I needed to move closer to London to progress my career so I moved to Bracknell to work for Hewlett Packard’s Professional Services organisation.
I really enjoyed working for Hewlett Packard. I got to travel to various parts of the world on business and take on huge amounts of responsibility. After nearly 5 years at HP easyGroup, who were one of my clients, invited me to dinner one night and offered me a job.
It was a tough decision but I decided to leave HP and join easyGroup as the IT Director for easyMoney. I eventually progressed to be the CTO of easyGroup reporting directly to Sir Stelios. By the time I eventually left easyGroup I had helped launch 8 businesses in 5 years!
After easyGroup I was the CTO for various companies including eCommera (built the ecommerce websites for House of Fraser, ASDA Direct, etc.) and TDPG (Zoopla and PrimeLocation). TDPG was the catalyst for me starting my own businesses.
After leaving TDPG I founded Elasticera and TechHuddle in that order.
Elasticera is a cloud based dynamic imaging service used by leading eCommerce websites. Clients include, Ted Baker, Aldi, Maplin, Surfdome, etc.
TechHuddle is an IT services company with a twist and based on what I wanted as a CTO. It has grown rapidly over 4 years, employs over 200 people and has clients in various countries around the world.
Most of TechHuddle’s clients are based in the UK; although we do have clients in various countries including the US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium. My goal is to significantly increase our number of international clients.
I am also looking to mentor and invest in various start-ups through Acceleratr.