Georges F. Doriot

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Georges Frédéric Doriot (September 24, 1899 – June 1987) was a French-born American venture capitalist. An émigré from France, Doriot became director of the U.S. Army's Military Planning Division, Quartermaster General, during World War II, eventually being promoted to brigadier general. In 1946, he founded American Research and Development Corporation, the world's first publicly owned venture capital firm, earning him the sobriquet "father of venture capitalism". In 1957, he founded INSEAD, the world's top global graduate business school with campuses in Fontainebleau (France), Singapore and Abu Dhabi. wiki

Georges Doriot "was a pioneer in the development of venture capital in the 1950s. Born in France in 1899, he came to the U.S. to get an M.B.A. and extended his stay, working for an investment bank and teaching at Harvard Business School. One of his most popular courses was on business start-ups. Over a 40-year teaching career, he would influence thousands of top students, including Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx...

"After the war, Doriot returned to teach at Harvard, where he would remain on faculty until 1966. In 1946, he founded American Research and Development Corporation, the first publicly owned venture capital firm. Nearly half of A.R.D.'s shares were owned by insurers and educational institutions. With its $5 million bankroll, A.R.D. placed high-risk bets on fledgling companies, helping the new companies get started in exchange for a stake in their futures. Before Doriot's arrangement, innovators had to seek private investors for their ideas; for example, Juan Trippe had turned to the Vanderbilts when he started Pan Am." [1]

For a recent book examining his life see, Spencer E. Ante, "Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital" (HBS Press Book: 2008).

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  1. Georges Doriot, PBS, accessed August 20, 2008.