Throwing down The Gauntlet

Doug Richard, who set up and chairs Cambridge-based technology research group Library House, has launched a new service called The Gauntlet, which is an online service providing entrepreneurs with a way to test their business proposition. The idea is that entrepreneurs will use the service, which has been developed using Library House’s research capability that set out to catalogue the criteria successful VCs use before investing in a business. The idea is that entrepreneurs can effectively test their business proposition in a safe environment, ideally before they present to potential investors, allowing them to make sure they have all the necessary ingredients and answers to the questions likely to come their way.

The Gauntlet was developed by Library House in partnership with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Institute of Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge. The East of England Development Agency has joined these groups to sponsor a competition aimed at innovative companies or entrepreneurs based in the East of England. The competition allows companies in this region to use The Gauntlet service at no charge and then be automatically entered into a competition where the 10 best propositions get to present to a panel of UK VCs, with the winner securing £250,000 and £100,000 of business services.

Doug Richard was recently featured on the BBC documentary Dragon’s Den, in which a selection of generally poorly prepared budding and would-be entrepreneurs did elevator pitches to a panel of investors, including Richard. Go to for more detail.