Kevin O'Leary is known to millions across North America as the Co-Host of Shark Tank and Dragon's Den and as the former co-host of Squeeze Play, BNN's popular investment show. On both Shark Tank and Dragons' Den, O'Leary ruthlessly grills entrepreneurs, which a) makes for great television, but b) serves to show them—and anyone watching at home—that starting a business and growing it is vastly complicated and requires much more than simply having an idea.
O'Leary's track record in business gives him the force of authority. In 1993, with no money, he launched The Learning Company, which developed software that helped kids with reading and math. Six years later, he sold it to Mattel for 3.7 billion dollars, one of the largest tech deals in Canadian history. As an "Eco-preneur," O'Leary specializes in investments that make money—and are environmentally friendly. In 2003, he co-founded Storage Now, Canada's leading developer of climate controlled storage facilities; in 2007, it was acquired by In Storage REIT, for $110 million dollars. He is also the co-host for Discovery Channel's Discovery Project Earth, which explores ways we can reverse global warming. His 2012 book The Cold Hard Truth About Men, Women and Money is a candid take on finance, and #1 Globe and Mail bestseller.
A shrewd investor, O'Leary is on the investment committee of Hamilton Trust, and on the strategic advisory board of Genstar capital, a $1.5-billion private equity firm. He received his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and now serves on the Ivey executive board.