Joe Dwyer
Joe Dwyer

MANAGEMENT & ORGANIZATIONS
Lecturer of Management & Organizations

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Joe Dwyer is a venture capitalist, technologist, and serial entrepreneur. He is a a partner at Digital Intent, a firm that conceives, builds, and grows new digital startups, as well as a venture partner at OCA Ventures.

Joe has been creating and growing new digital businesses for almost twenty years. Established in 1994, Joe’s first company helped clients such as Bain & Company, Albertson’s, and Exodus Computing conceive and build new digital products. In 1996, he created The Virtual Market, one of the first dynamically generated e-commerce sites on the web. In the late 1990′s, Joe helped form LoanSurfer.com (later joining the board and becoming CTO), which quickly grew to be one of the top-five online mortgage banks. And in 2001 he co-founded TouchPoint Solutions, an enterprise software-as-a-service company with customers including Kodak, British Petroleum, and Lockheed Martin.

In addition to founding companies, Joe has stepped in as CEO for several companies to shepherd them through particularly high growth phases, or to transform the companies. For example, Joe was CEO of ArtistData, a social media solution for music artists, which was subsequently acquired by SonicBids. He was also CEO of Brill Street, a company that leverages technology to better match employers with promising young talent.

Joe continues to support the Chicago entrepreneurial community as a mentor for Excelerate Labs, an executive advisor for Techweek, a Charter Member of TIE, and a lecturer for the Founder Institute, among other activities.

Joe holds an MBA with Distinction from the Kellogg School of Management, and a law degree Cum Laude from the Northwestern University School of Law, where he was awarded the Order of the Coif. Joe also has an undergraduate degree in international relations from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Joe has been programming for longer than he cares to admit, and creating web user interfaces since the early 1990′s. His latest exploration is into high-performance distributed real-time systems based on Node.js and Redis. He has also lived and worked abroad extensively, and needs to brush up on his language skills in French, Spanish, and German.

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Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
New Venture Discovery (KIEI-462-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Management & Strategy

Formerly ENTR-462-0

The goal of New Venture Discovery is to help you better understand how high-growth ventures are conceived, tested and validated—and to give you frameworks, tools and practical advice to help you build your own business ideas. This course focuses on the “discovery process”, ground zero in the business formation stage, where the goal is to achieve product/market fit. Is there any inherent interest in your idea? Where is your idea strong and where is it vulnerable? The course is designed to help you test and answer these fundamental questions around business viability, with the added constraint of having limited resources available. The goal is to get you as far as you can, with as little as you can, as fast as you can!
The class is taught a lot like a lab course might be taught in the sciences. Students form into teams and begin the class with nothing more than an idea or a problem that they think is worth solving, and from it they create: a) a number of assumptions and hypotheses around their idea; b) an iterative series of in-market experiments to confirm or deny their hypotheses. The “lab” in which the teams conduct their experiments is the market – seeking the input of actual consumers, customers, partners and others in the value chain of your business. Note: if you’re not prepared to get out of the Jacobs Center (and often Evanston) to conduct the necessary fieldwork, you should not take this class.
Lastly, if you’re conversant in design thinking methodology and/or have a fundamental working knowledge of the Business Model Canvas, you may not want to take this class, as three of the ten sessions have a design thinking component and the BMC is a framework used throughout the class. (If you fit in this category, you can likely waive the class for your entrepreneurship concentration.) Note: This course may not be dropped after the second week of the quarter.

Entrepreneurship: Building Innovation, Teams, and Cultures (MORS-952-A)

This course counts toward the following majors: Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Most venture capitalists will agree that the key determinant of success in an early stage company is the management team. In an environment where formal business plans are of little help and ideation continues around the development of the right business model, management teams must be innovative, resourceful and adaptive. People, not plans, define outcomes. But attracting, coordinating, and encouraging the right co-founders and employees is incredibly tricky, even when you're not faced with scarce resources and deep uncertainty. This five-week course explores the factors that define high-functioning teams, and offers frameworks and approaches to assembling, motivating, and coordinating effective teams in highly fluid and challenging contexts. Topics include the psychology of teams, legal aspects of team building, and how to divide responsibility, compensation, and equity among the founders. Culture is key to sustainable success in the face of evolving needs, crises, and opportunities. We leverage a powerful intent-driven framework designed to define and grow corporate cultures to create lasting value. The goal is a repeatable methodology for achieving a “flow state” of innovation bringing together founders, employees, customers, and investors to achieve extraordinary outcomes.

Entrepreneurship: Building Innovation, Teams, and Cultures (MORS-952-B)

This course counts toward the following majors: Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Most venture capitalists will agree that the key determinant of success in an early stage company is the management team. In an environment where formal business plans are of little help and ideation continues around the development of the right business model, management teams must be innovative, resourceful and adaptive. People, not plans, define outcomes. But attracting, coordinating, and encouraging the right co-founders and employees is incredibly tricky, even when you're not faced with scarce resources and deep uncertainty. This five-week course explores the factors that define high-functioning teams, and offers frameworks and approaches to assembling, motivating, and coordinating effective teams in highly fluid and challenging contexts. Topics include the psychology of teams, legal aspects of team building, and how to divide responsibility, compensation, and equity among the founders. Culture is key to sustainable success in the face of evolving needs, crises, and opportunities. We leverage a powerful intent-driven framework designed to define and grow corporate cultures to create lasting value. The goal is a repeatable methodology for achieving a “flow state” of innovation bringing together founders, employees, customers, and investors to achieve extraordinary outcomes.