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Born to create

Robert (Bob) Duggan is a California-born, American entrepreneur with an enduring succession of profitable business ventures extending over five decades.

From a fledgling bakery to cutting-edge pharmaceuticals, from microcomputing to medical innovation, Bob Duggan has directly created lasting changes in many organizations– change resulting in financial success for those involved, as well as the betterment of the many lives impacted by these advancements.

Known to his friends for both his willingness to tackle boardroom challenges and his love of surfing, Bob lives to inspire the creative genius in every endeavor he pursues.

“Innate and inborn in every human being are the characteristics of genius.” – Bob Duggan


Definition: Make changes in something established. Especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.

Derivation: Mid 16th century: from Latin innovat- ‘renewed, altered’. from the verb innovare, from in- ‘into’ + novare ‘make new’ (from novus ‘new’).

Computer Machinery Corp

“A willingness to take chances is part and parcel of innovation.” – Bob Duggan


What can we really achieve? Bob sees all of us as limitless.

While Bob’s diverse experiences, interests and commitments may be hard to quantify, they share this commonality: serving others results in wealth creation and help for others.

Bob’s uniquely innovative thinking, combined with his attitude of customer-centric service, has contributed to the success of his business ventures, as well as the success of many organizations, boardroom positions and community activities throughout the world.

To participate in a venture with Bob is to discover your own limitlessness.


Definition: A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.

Derivation: Mid 18th century (denoting a person who undertakes a project): from French, from entreprendre ‘undertake’.

Paradise Bakery

“It takes courage to do things others consider impossible or have tried and failed.” – Bob Duggan

Solid Roots

The son of an Irish immigrant, industrial engineer father and a nurse mother, Bob grew up in sunny California, primarily the San Jose area. His family scrounged for change at month’s end– nickels and dimes around the house or in the sofa, to pay bills. They worked hard and taught Bob the value of work.

Bob’s interest in business started young. After graduating cum laude from St. Francis High School in Mountainview, California, he attended the University of California Santa Barbara and UCLA, majoring in business and economics. At UCSB he met Herbert C. Kay, a Wharton fellow and acclaimed Stanford graduate who would become Bob’s mentor.

With just $5,000, Bob began investing. Within a year and a half, that sum grew to half a million dollars. Today, that sum has grown into the billions through endeavors that continue to advance the legacy of those early roots.

Steadfast Success

When Bob Duggan grew his initial $5,000 seed money by nearly 10,000% in just the first 18 months, it was only the beginning of an illustrious business career.

One of his first business investments, Sunset Designs, made Jiffy Stitchery needlepoint kits. In the mid- 1980s, it sold to British consumer-goods giant Reckitt Benckiser Group for $15 million.

Some of Bob’s other remarkable investments, by the numbers:


150 Times Over Initial Investment

$100,000 investment, sold for $15 million. That’s over 150 times over the initial investment.


1 Location to 70

From a single location to partnerships with McDonald’s, KFC and Disney World and 70 locations. Sold to Panera.


$8 Million to $600 Million

Grew from an $8 million company to $600 million, 75 times larger.


1,500% Growth

Grew from an initial $3 million investment to a sale price of $45 million, a growth of 1,500%.


Sold for $21 Billion

Bought as a penny stock, $0.67 in 2009. Traded at $261.25/share when sold for $21 billion in 2015, just six years later.

Summit Therapeutics

A struggling pharmaceutical company. Research with potential to help people, but without the big breakthrough that would be needed for success. That was the story at Summit Therapeutics, which sounds familiar to those who knew the scene Bob walked into at his earlier project, Pharmacyclics. This time, Bob is on a daunting quest: a new antibiotic.

While antibiotics have been around for nearly 100 years, little advancement has occurred in the last 40 years. Even though the need is there–bacteria adapts and advances at rates that should provide the impetus for research–many potential investors fear the research costs outweigh the potential revenues on these drugs. Not Bob Duggan. He is willing to pursue the need, even if others don’t see the financial reward.

Summit Therapeutics is on the verge of something important: ridinilazole, an antibiotic to treat the life-threatening clostridium difficile infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), c. difficile infects about a quarter of a million people each year in the US alone, killing about 12,800 of them. It’s the perfect scenario for what Bob does best: serve others with something needed, even if it is something other companies wouldn’t pursue; do the job well, and the wealth creation will follow.

Pulse Biosciences

The 21st century is an exciting time in the field of medical research. At the crossroads of increased understanding of the human genome, the genetic makeup of cell invasions and aberrations (like cancer), and the improved understanding of human longevity, comes Pulse Biosciences.

Focusing on bioelectric medicine, Pulse’s proprietary Nano-Pulse Stimulation (NPS) technology has the potential to treat a range of cosmetic and medical conditions for which we currently have no known optimized solutions. One example: the quick, painless removal of skin lesions (like melanomas), which would also have cosmetic uses, utilizing NPS.

Innovation that enhances wellness, which, in turn, potentially generates wealth–that’s a Bob Duggan specialty.

Genius Inc

Everyone has genius inside of them; it’s just a matter of recognizing and cultivating those traits which enable the genius to flourish.

At least, that’s the premise of Bob Duggan’s passion project, Genius Inc. Even the word “genius” comes from a Latin word meaning “attendant spirit from one’s birth,” which gave rise to the later senses of the word: “a person’s characteristic disposition” (16th century), then a person’s natural ability, and ultimately “exceptional natural ability,” the sense that’s been around since about the 17th century. Perhaps, though, we can trace that word’s meaning backward again within ourselves, to a spirit inherent in all of our abilities?

Genius Inc works with organizations and individuals (everyone from top executives to children) to generate “genius culture” within a group or the full genius potential in an individual.

Utilizing the 24 Characteristics of Genius, identified and quantified by Dr. Alfred Barrios, Genius Inc’s the team at Genius Inc create education to inspire and develop the genius in all.

Duggan Investments

Rather than rest on his laurels, Bob continues to serve on the boards of organizations and provide hands-on leadership in CEO and other executive roles for specific projects.

Bob oversees a team of top professionals who can execute his vision, offering direct, skillful support and leadership for some of the world’s next great innovations, particularly in the biosciences field.

Current projects include groundbreaking developments in cancer treatment, anti-microbial therapeutics, human longevity and anti-aging technologies, and stem cell research.

Selective. Results-driven. Successful. Dedicated to making a difference for the betterment of all involved. That’s Duggan Investments.


Bob Duggan served on the board of the fledgling pharmaceutical company, Pharmacyclics, in 2008. The company faced imminent bankruptcy. Stock traded at values from as little as $3 each to less than a dollar apiece. The CEO quit. It looked like a sinking ship.

Bob didn’t just stay on at Pharmacyclics. He doubled down. He took the helm and invested heavily, becoming Pharmacyclics’ largest shareholder.

Finally, the breakthrough: a B-cell cancer drug (IMBRUVICA®) highly effective for treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common form of adult leukemia.

In what became known as one of the greatest trades Wall Street has ever seen, Bob negotiated the sale of Pharmacyclics in 2015 to AbbVie, for $261.25 per share–a sum totaling $21 billion.

Intuitive Surgical

Where the talents of surgeons and technology merge comes robotic-assisted surgery (RAS).

Like several of Bob’s other investment projects, Intuitive Surgical seeks to make a lasting improvement in the biosciences field.

When computers operate, equipped with the right software and guided by the right surgical hands, patients benefit. Less-invasive procedures occur, with smaller incisions and enhanced precision. These surgeries then result in improved outcomes and recovery, less trauma, and minimized scarring for patients.

Intuitive Surgical’s current offerings, the da Vinci™ and ZEUS® surgical system platforms provide precision and innovation, along with real-time 3D monitoring, to surgeons and hospitals, for various surgical procedures each year.

Metropolis Media

In the mid-1990s, Bob and his son, Demian Duggan, would begin a project to help former communist countries transition to capitalism, Metropolis Media.

Serving as the chairman of the board and personally investing 100% of the $3 million initial financial capital, Bob would oversee this organization’s spread to outdoor media projects in an estimated 10,000 locations throughout Eastern Europe, in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia.

Eventually, Capital Research purchased this family-run enterprise at a price of over $45 million– 15 times greater than Bob’s initial investment. Metropolis Media is now owned by French advertising giant JCDecaux Group.

Communication Machinery Corp

When Bob Duggan helmed Communication Machinery Corp (CMC), they were only the third company in the world to create and sell Ethernet Node-Processors, the computer networking technology utilized for establishing local area networks (LAN) and providing a gateway to the internet.

Another technology developed at CMC used bit-slice-based intelligence to function as both a front-end processor and a key-to-disk computer terminal in one seamless system. These workstations allowed companies and governments better data capture than many other technologies available at the time.

After successful growth and marketing, under Bob’s leadership, CMC held an 80% market share in this specific type of computer workstation, enabling a sale to Rockwell International for $45 million.

Government Technology Services

In the 1980s, Bob Duggan founded Government Technology Services, Inc (GTSI) to assist, mostly government agencies, to acquire new, much-needed computer technologies.

GTSI engaged in some notable firsts: the first browser-based government contract catalog, the first-ever use of a credit card on the internet (as part of a deal with NASA), and the first government IT portal. Combined, these firsts positioned GTSI as an early pioneer in the new field that would become e-commerce.

Under Bob’s leadership, GTSI grew from an $8 million company to over $600 million in revenue, ultimately acquired by UNICOM Global (where it still operates under UNICOM Government, Inc).

Paradise Bakery

A bakery might seem like an unlikely origin for a man who would go on to helm technology and pharmaceutical companies, but who doesn’t love a good cookie?

One of Bob’s earliest projects was Paradise Bakery in Long Beach, California. In those early days, Bob played a very hands-on role in the day-to-day operations of the bakery business, even inventing a chocolate chip cookie recipe, the “Chocolate Chip Chipper.”

Paradise pioneered premium baked goods distribution, partnering with such companies as McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Disney World. They grew to over 70 locations in 10 states, ultimately selling to Panera Bread company.

You can still enjoy an independent Paradise Bakery if you visit the Aspen, Colorado store still owned by Duggan’s business partners, Carter Holmes and brothers Danny and Mark Patterson. They’re scouting a new location, but chocolate chip cookies are always on the menu and available by the dozen.

Sunset Designs

An early investment project of Bob’s involved the relatively modest sum of $100,000. In 1975 he invested in Jiffy Stitchery, a children’s embroidery set company, with money that amounted to 50% of the company’s venture capital, in exchange for 50% equity and a seat on the board.

From his board position, Bob guided the marketing and financial decisions of the burgeoning company. Soon, more than 7,000 retail stores sold Jiffy Stitchery sets, with Sunset Designs holding over 80% of the market share with their simple, colorful and aesthetic designs.

The company sold in the mid-1980s to British multinational consumer goods company, Reckitt Benckiser Group, with a return rate of more than 150 times Bob’s initial investment.


Definition: A business enterprise involving considerable risk.

Derivation: Late Middle English (in the sense ‘adventure’, also ‘risk the loss of’).

Computer Machinery Corp

“We share a common purpose…our focus remains to create a remarkable difference for patient betterment around the world.” – Bob Duggan

Leadership Which Inspires Genius

Within the origin of the word “executive” (a person with senior managerial responsibility) lies the root “follow” (from the Latin ex- “out” + sequi “follow”).

Good executives execute tasks and get the job done, they lead, and others follow. Great executives inspire progress — they walk paths that others will naturally want to follow.

From pioneering computing and medical technology to aesthetic designs and genius ideas, Bob recognizes potential in all of his endeavors — the exceptional people and ideas which create growth.

Any one of Bob’s projects over the years could have been a career peak for a successful CEO. But Bob doesn’t stop. At this moment, he serves on the board or as CEO at more than one organization. Additionally, Bob enjoys spending time with his family, funding organizations and projects he believes in, and carving waves on his surfboard around the world.


Definition: The desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

Derivation: Mid 18th century: from Greek philanthrôpos, from philein ‘to love’ + anthrôpos ‘human being’.

Bob with the Dalai Lama

“By striving to achieve great things, not just for yourself but for the betterment of mankind, some will accuse you of being idealistic. Surely, there are worse things to be accused of.” – Bob Duggan

Generosity that Makes an Impact

Bob’s charitable contributions span a scope as broad as his many investment projects, the commonality being those projects which make a genuine impact.

Bob has made significant contributions to worldwide disaster relief efforts, literacy programs, and drug prevention and rehabilitation programs. His generosity has warranted numerous awards for his patronage and participation in community, national and international charities and outreach groups.

Some of Bob’s awards and acknowledgments include a US Congressional Medal of Merit, a Key to the City for the city of Shanghai, China, and a Knight of the French Légion D’honneur (Legion of Honour) by President Jacques Chirac.

When accused of being a bit of an idealist, Bob shrugs. There could be worse things to be known as.

A Genius Community

It was a rainstorm the citizens of Cristo Rey, Costa Rica were all too familiar with. Bob attempted to cross the flooded bridge in his Land Cruiser, unable to see where the bridge ended and the rushing river took over. His front-left tire went off the bridge, tipping into the violent water, when the citizens of Cristo Rey rushed to his aide; pulling Bob and his vehicle back up onto the bridge and saving both from the familiar yet dangerous rushing river.

In thanks, Bob has become involved in the community there, discovering what would be most helpful to the town and its generous citizens. The project to build a Genius Bridge, Genius Plaza and a Genius School in this small town has begun, a social investment in a Genius community to benefit its citizens and their future.

Philanthropic Focus

  • Education
  • Literacy Programs
  • Drug Prevention and Rehabilitation
  • Disaster Relief

Knight of the Legion of Honour

Bob was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour by Jacques Chirac for his work in robotic surgery and the first transatlantic remote procedure.

UCSB Board of Trustees

Bob has served on UCSB Board of Trustees since 1989, funded two faculty chairs and delivered the Commencement address to the class of 2009.

Congressional Medal of Merit

Bob received the US Congressional Medal of Merit from Dr. Ron Paul in 1985.

Key to the City

Bob was given a Key to the City of Shanghai, symbolizing trust and honor.


Definition: Exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.

Derivation: Late Middle English: from Latin, ‘attendant spirit present from one’s birth, innate ability or inclination’, from the root of gignere ‘beget’. The original sense ‘spirit attendant on a person’ gave rise to a sense ‘a person’s characteristic disposition’ (late 16th century). Which led to a sense ‘a person’s natural ability’, and finally ‘exceptional natural ability’ (mid 17th century).

“You have a right to know that genius is within you.” – Bob Duggan

Inspiring Life-Long Learning

From his academic roots, graduating cum laude from St. Francis High School in Mountain View, California (where Bob played football and served as student body vice president), and on to his studies at UC Santa Barbara and UCLA, Bob learned to value education.

Bob also values experiential learning, citing a three-year, full-time apprenticeship with his mentor from UCSB, Herbert C. Kay, as crucial to his education.

Bob has served on the Board of Trustees at UCSB for many years and has continued to fund educational endeavors: athletic departments and the UC Santa Barbara Gold Circle Society, two faculty chair positions (in Mathematics and Life and Physical Sciences), and foundational donations to new departments (the Institute for Energy Efficiency and the XIV Dalai Lama Chair in Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies).

Bob’s mission to inspire genius through Genius Inc is also ultimately an educational endeavor–educating professionals and executives to utilize their inherent potential intelligence. A life-long learner himself, Bob utilizes these charitable and educational activities to create the future of business innovation.


Definition: The fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.

Derivation: Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin actio(n-), from agere ‘do, act’.

Athlete, Surfer, Adventurer

Growing up near the Pacific waves on the coast of California inspired one of Bob’s greatest life-long passions: surfing.

What began in Santa Cruz, California, has taken him on adventures around the world–Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Hawaii, Mexico and other beautiful parts of the world. For Bob, surfing is also a family affair. His children have often accompanied him, learning their early surfing skills starting as young as age three.

Catching and riding the best waves requires more than athleticism. It requires patience, persistence, optimism, and the essential joie de vivre, which makes Robert (Bob) Duggan quintessentially Bob.

If you don’t find Bob in the boardroom, it could very well be because the surfs up!


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Latest News!

Bob’s visit to IRCAD in September 2021

In 2001, my team at Computer Motion and I worked closely with IRCAD to conduct the first ever transatlantic remote robotic surgery. The operation was performed successfully by Professor Jacques Marescaux and his team from the IRCAD using our ZEUS surgical robot and was a wonderful success!

IRCAD’s research orientation has always been directed towards the development of less invasive surgical techniques. Over the past two decades, tens of thousands of surgeons have come to IRCAD to improve their skills and practice in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery.

I’ve had a wonderful time as a guest at IRCAD this month!