Rick Inatome

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Rick Inatome
Rick Inatome.jpg
Born (1953-07-27) July 27, 1953 (age 70)
Detroit, Michigan
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materMichigan State University
  • Léman Manhattan Preparatory School (Chairman of the Board)
  • Collegio Partners (Managing Director)
Spouse(s)Joyce Helene Kitchen Inatome
  • Joseph T. Inatome
  • Atsuko Nan Inatome
AwardsEntrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine

Rick Inatome (born July 27, 1953) is an American entrepreneur, business leader, mentor, consultant, public speaker, investor, and computer industry pioneer. He is best known as the co-founder of Inacomp Computer Centers and for his significant contributions to technology integration and education.[1] Inatome serves as the managing director at Collegio Partners and the board chairman at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School.[2][3]

His first business, Inacomp Computer Centers, would grow to become a multi-billion dollar nationwide chain that would see him placed as the President of Microsoft’s Advisory Board and a member of the Apple Advisory Board in the eighties and nineties.[4]

Since then, he has worked in a variety of roles, often founding, investing, and advising companies that exist where technology and education intersect. Inatome has been recognized with numerous accolades, including being honored as a Michigan State University Distinguished Alumni and Entrepreneur of the Year by the Harvard Business Club and Inc. Magazine.[4]

Early life and education

Rick Inatome was born in Detroit, Michigan. His parents – American citizens of Japanese ethnicity – were relocated to the city after being placed in an internment camp during World War II. Inatome attended Michigan State University, where he studied Economics.[5]

During his time in college, Rick was the lone survivor of a multiparty abduction where the assailants ended up taking the lives of the other three victims. Inatome’s first experience with computers happened during his time at Michigan State. While living in the dorms, he began to tinker with computers, building several in his room.[5]

In 1976, shortly after graduating, Rick realized he could sell computers to a public that then had limited familiarity with or access to the technology. He thus set out to establish a technology distribution channel that disrupted the national marketplace by introducing the personal computer to the general public. The foundation of that company would grow into Inacomp Computer Centers, which would later become a Fortune 500 NYSE company.[4]


Inacomp Computer Centers

After completing his university studies, Inatome co-founded Inacomp Computer Centers. The company played a pivotal role in introducing personal computers to the general public and corporate America. Under Inatome's leadership, Inacomp grew into a global technology integration company with an annual turnover of $4 billion.[6]

Recognizing the need to educate the public on computer usage, Inatome developed courses in collaboration with higher education institutions to bridge the knowledge gap.

Contributions to the Computer Industry

During the 1970s and 1980s, Inatome worked closely with renowned figures in the computer industry, including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and others.[7]

He served as the chair of Microsoft's initial advisory board and as a member of Apple's board of advisers. In recognition of his contributions to the digital world and his efforts to advance the integration of education and technology, Inatome was honored with inclusion in the Computer Hall of Fame.[8]

Educational and Other Professional Endeavors

In addition to his work in the computer industry, Inatome played a crucial role in turning around American Speedy Printing, a bankrupt national printing chain, and positioning it as an industry leader.[9]

He was also part of an investment group that acquired Sylvan Learning Centers, transforming it into the largest supplemental learning and tutoring provider in the United States.[2] Inatome expanded Sylvan's services to include teacher training, computerized testing, distance learning, and other educational offerings.

Inatome's dedication to education as a catalyst for unlocking human potential is evident in his endeavors. He has developed innovative tools and measures to enhance learning outcomes and empower students to surpass traditional academic indicators. Since 2020, Inatome has served as the chairman of the board of Léman Manhattan Preparatory School.[3] Additionally, he has chaired the Michigan Information Network and the Michigan Technology Council and played a founding role in establishing the Michigan Virtual University.[7] Inatome is sought after as a consultant, mentor, and public speaker, leveraging his expertise to inspire and guide others.

Throughout his career, Inatome founded and managed various private equity funds and served on numerous boards in both the private and public sectors. Notable positions include Chief Executive Officer at ZapMe and Chairman and Managing Director at Mentor Capital Partners and Sterling Capital Partners.[7][10]

Awards & recognitions

Mr. Inatome has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Harvard Graduate School of Business (which was presented by the Harvard Business Club - Detroit Chapter). He was also named Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine.[11]

He has served as the Chairman of Michigan Virtual University (of which he was the founding chair), and he was appointed by the state governor to serve on the Michigan Information Network and to chair the Michigan Technology Council.[7] Additionally, Rick has worked on the advisory boards of the Michigan State University School of Business and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He also held a position on the board of the Michigan Minority Business Commission.[12]

His alma mater, Michigan State University, recognized him as a Distinguished Alumni and awarded him the Financial Leadership Award from Michigan State’s Broad School of Business. The Detroit News once named him the Michiganian of the Year.[13]

Inatome has also served on the boards of numerous corporations,[9] to include:

  • Atlantic Premium Brands Ltd.
  • Automobile Club of Michigan (AAA Michigan)
  • The Auto Club Group
  • Great Lakes Angels
  • CarFAX
  • Sylvan Education Ventures
  • R.L. Polk & Co.
  • Fortune 500 NYE Inacom Corp.
  • Laureate Education, Inc. (SIU)

Rick’s other honors include working on the advisory boards of numerous major technology companies during the onset of the personal computer epoch. He has been a member of the Advisory Councils of Microsoft Corporation, on which he served as the charter President, as well as councils for Apple Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company (Compaq), and International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation.[1]


Rick Inatome has served as a trustee for Cranbrook Science Institute and the Henry Ford Hospital.[14] Inatome has also sat on the boards for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Chamber of Commerce, PBS WTBS, and the Michigan Cancer Foundation. He has also been a regular donor to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.[15]

Personal life

Inatome resides in Naples, Florida, with his wife, Joyce Helene Kitchen Inatome, and three children.[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Magazine, D. M. OsborneInc (2 March 2000). "Rick Inatome Faced Key Question: Can a 46-Year-Old CEO 'Get It'?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Home". Collegio Partners. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Rick Inatome - Chairman of Léman". ideamensch.com. 20 June 2023. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Getting It". inc.com. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "RICK INATOME". Crain's Detroit Business. 25 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  6. "Rediff On The Net, Infotech: A spot interview with Rick Inatome". m.rediff.com. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Michigan computer pioneer Rick Inatome to speak at WSU's E2 Detroit Oct. 15;". Research and Discovery. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  8. "hall-of-fame". connect.comptia.org. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Rick Inatome - Crunchbase Person Profile". Crunchbase. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  10. "Dressed for Success". inc.com. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  11. "The Entrepreneur of the Year: Our fifth annual company-building awards". inc.com. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  12. "Rick Inatome | Entrepreneur and Founder". Rick Inatome | Entrepreneur and Founder. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  13. "Michiganians of the Year, since 1978". The Detroit News. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Rick Inatome". prabook.com. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  15. "CFSEM-2022" (PDF). cfsem.org. Retrieved 19 July 2023.

External links