In 1987,following participation in an Australian government sponsored Enterprise Workshop (probably not too dissimilar to the WTF Accelerator program), Richard realized that he had a real entrepreneurial trait, and that risks were worth taking provided they could be effectively understood, managed and mitigated. Since then, amongst other things, Richard has founded and owned a number of technology based companies, in particular one focused on hardware technology transfer and another focused on online software development. The technology transfer venture was extremely successful; the online software venture failed – it failed largely because it needed a lot more bandwidth than was cost effectively available in 1999/2000 – to far ahead of its time. Cashflow pressures lead to poor business decisions and the project was forced to liquidate. Now others like Quicken, MYOB and Xero dominate this niche with the megabytes of bandwidth now available.
In both these instances the key was identifying the technology niche, the need and the market; and in each instance Richard was spot on.
There are always lessons to be learnt from both success and failure, however the important thing is not to dwell on the outcomes but to learn the lessons. By participating in the WTF Accelerator Program as a mentor, Richard hopes to be able to pass along some of these lessons and share his past experience.
Over the past 45 years, Richard has gained extensive business management and technical experience from his involvement in the global energy industry, the IT industry and various technology transfer ventures. He has an early background in petroleum and drilling engineering, having specialized in directional drilling technology and instrumentation, and later was instrumental in pioneering horizontal drilling technology applications in the coal bed methane & utilities industries.
Richard is currently Chairman and CEO of KKSH Holdings Ltd, a small private investment company with a portfolio of investments, primarily focused in the global energy sector. KKSH is also mandated to build a portfolio of angel funding investments in early stage technology ventures.
Aside from his involvement with KKSH Holdings, Richard is also currently a director (previously Chairman) and founding shareholder of Singapore based KRX Energy, a company focused on unconventional gas exploration and development in Indonesia. He has previously held roles that include Senior Vice President and Managing Director with US listed energy company, Pacific Asia Petroleum Inc., (now Erin Energy Inc. (US:ERN)) – 2007-2011; Founding shareholder and Chief Operating Officer of Australian listed energy company, Sino Gas & Energy (ASX:SEH) – 2005- 2007; Founder and Managing Director of IT start up Corporate Online – 1998-2001 and Founder and Managing Director of Australian mining, utilities & oilfield services group Surtron Technologies 1987-1997.