Simon Woodroffe OBE is a British entrepreneur, businessman and one-time television presenter best known for his appearance in the first series of Dragons’ Den.
Educated at Marlborough College towards the end of the 1960s and leaving school with two O-Levels, before spending 30 years in the entertainment business designing and staging concerts for many artists, including The Moody Blues, Madness, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder and George Michael.
In the 1990s, Simon went into television – spearheading the development of television deals to show international rock concerts worldwide for the likes of Nelson Mandela, Amnesty International and the Prince’s Trust.
In 1997 Simon founded YO! Sushi, the UK’s only conveyor belt sushi bar. The concept turned dining out into a complete entertainment experience, featuring call buttons, robot drinks trolleys and Japanese TV. The first restaurant opened in the heart of Soho and became an overnight phenomenon.
Today, YO! Sushi continues to expand both at home and overseas, and has opened 100 restaurants serving six million customers each year.
In 1999 Simon won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2001 he was awarded the accolade of Best Venue at the Retailer of the Year Awards. In recognition for his contribution to hospitality, Simon was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2006.
Simon was an original Dragon on BBC Two’s worldwide hit programme Dragons’ Den, making (and breaking) the dreams of would-be entrepreneurs pitching business ideas for financing.
Simon has also featured on numerous television programmes including: Discovery TV’s VIP Weekends with Ian Wright, ITV’s Homes & Property and ITV’s The Millionaire’s Club.
As a result of his entrepreneurial success, Simon has developed a strong reputation on the worldwide public speaking circuit. He speaks openly, avoiding business cliché, and inspiring audiences to pursue their own endeavours, whether they’re from start-ups or large corporations.
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- Business Management
- Business Success
- Business Investment