Joe Dwyer
Joe Dwyer

Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Print Overview

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 (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.

Print Vita
M.B.A., 2008, Entrepreneurship, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Graduated with Distinction
J.D., 2008, Law, Northwestern University School of Law, Northwestern University, Cum Laude
B.S.F.S., 1991, International Relations, Georgetown University

Academic Positions
Lecturer of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-present

Other Professional Experience
Advisor, OCA Ventures, 2013-present
Partner, Founder Equity, 2013-present
Partner, Digital Intent, 2010-present
CEO, Brill Street + Company (OCA Ventures portfolio), 2009-2010
Venture Partner, OCA Ventures, 2008-2013
CEO, ArtistData, 2008-2008
President and co-founder, TouchPoint Solutions (now Esprida), 2001-2002
CTO,, 1998-1999
CEO and founder, Blir, 1998-2001
CEO and founder,, 1995-1996
CEO and founder, Digital Design Studios, 1994-2002

Print Research
Book Chapters
Cordova, DianaJoe Dwyer and B. Langlois. 1989. "Reactions to affirmative action: A case study." In Affirmative action in perspective, edited by F.A. Blanchard & F.J. Crosby, 139-146. New York: Springer-Verlag.

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

New Venture Discovery is designed to help students navigate the earliest stages of starting a new venture beginning with the identification of a problem in the market that is worth solving. The class teaches students tools and techniques to translate these problems into viable business concepts, with an emphasis on enabling an aspiring entrepreneur to get as far as possible, with as little as possible, as FAST as possible.

Student teams begin the quarter with nothing more than a series of hypotheses about a new venture, then design and execute a series of in-market experiments that either validate these assumptions, or force them to iterate aspects of their business model in real time. The objective of the course to guide students toward the achievement of "product-market fit" as a crucial first step in in the creation of a startup. From here, students can evolve their businesses by enrolling in the "Develop" and "Launch" courses that serve as the continuation of the new ventures curriculum.

New Venture Discovery course material ranges from customer discovery and design thinking, to rapid prototyping (of both offers and business models), bootstrapping methods and communicating/selling the vision for a new venture. The course format is a blend of lecture, fieldwork, cross-team collaboration and ideation sessions, outside speakers and expert mentoring.

**This course may not be dropped after the second week of the quarter**

Executive MBA
Capstone Course (STRTX-470-0)