David Schonthal
David Schonthal

Clinical Assistant Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Print Overview

David Schonthal is a Co-Founder and Partner at Fusion Ventures, an investment and advisory firm focused on growing technology startups in the early stages of their development. He also serves as a Business Designer at innovation and design consultancy IDEO, where he's helped launch initiatives such as the Startup-in-Residence program as well as developing new offers and approaches around corporate entrepreneurship and Venture Design.

Previously, David was the Director of Strategy and Venture Development at Tavistock Life Sciences, a private investment firm located in San Diego, CA, where  he served in senior management roles for a number of startups in the firm's portfolio. Prior to Tavistock he was a Manager in PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting practice in London, and worked as a Senior Consultant for both Andersen and Deloitte in Chicago where he specialized in international growth strategy and e-commerce.

In addition to his teaching roles at Kellogg, David is also the Director of school's Zell Scholars Program, a highly-selective venture accelerator program designed to help MBA student-entrepreneurs successfully launch their businesses.

David serves as a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship council, ChicagoNext and is the Co-Founder of MATTER, a new co-working and innovation center located in downtown Chicago focused on catalyzing and supporting healthcare entrepreneurship.

David was previously an advisor to the State of Illinois's Invest Illinois Venture Capital Fund and a former member of the San Diego Zoo's Innovation Council. He currently mentors and advises with several startup accelerators and incubators throughout the United States, including TechStars, CONNECT, San Diego Sports Innovators (SDSI), and Chicago Innovation Mentors.

David earned his MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his B.A. in International Relations from Boston University.


Q&A with David Schonthal on Design Thinking

Print Vita
MBA, General Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Bachelors of Art, International Relations, Boston University, Boston University, Magna Cum Laude

Academic Positions
Director of the Zell Scholars Program, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-present
Adjunct Professor, Entrepreneurship, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2011-present

Other Professional Experience
Business Designer, IDEO
Product Manager, Arthur Andersen, LLP
Senior Consultant, Arthur Andersen, LLP
Senior Consultant, Deloitte, LLP
Manager, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP
Chief Operating Officer, Iapyx Medical
Director, Strategy and Venture Development, The Tavistock Group
Partner, Fusion Ventures
Entrepreneur in-Residence, CONNECT
Council Member, ChicagoNext
Co-Founder, MATTER

Print Research

Print Teaching
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

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.

Note: This course may not be dropped after the second week of the quarter.