Cloud computing provider Outsourcery has revealed its co-CEO Piers Linney is to join the line-up for the next series of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den as a replacement for outgoing Theo Paphitis.
Linney will join fellow rookie Dragon Kelly Hoppen, an interior designer, alongside Duncan Bannatye, Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden for the 11th series of the popular show, in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of potential investors. Notable success stories over the years have included wireless broadband provider Square Mile, which was sold to BT, and Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce, which has since expanded into snack foods, pizza and beverages.
A qualified solicitor, Linney spent several years in the investment banking sector and moved across to the IT industry in 2000, where he was involved with a number of start-ups before co-founding Microsoft partner Outsourcery in 2007. He also sits on the governance board at the Cloud Industry Forum and featured on the 2013 PowerList, which tracks the 100 most influential black British people and includes names such as double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.
Linney said: “I am excited to have the opportunity to join Dragons' Den and once again support entrepreneurs both financially and through my extensive network.”
He explained that he planned to use his own standing within the tech sector to attempt to widen the appeal of Dragon’s Den, hopefully luring more information economy entrepreneurs to take part.
Linney is no stranger to being in front of the cameras, having been involved in Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire two years ago, in the course of which he spent 10 days volunteering at a young offenders institution in the Midlands.
However despite his burgeoning TV career Linney will not be the only one in the room with a connection to the channel. Fellow Dragon Peter Jones has been heavily involved in the comms sector since the late 1990s, helping to found wireless comms and mobility distie Data Select, which was linked to Computer 2000 in takeover rumours two years ago.
And Daisy CEO Matt Riley has also dipped his toes in the murky waters of reality TV, recently taking part in the interview stages of The Apprentice.
Image credit: Richard Cannon, BBC