David Schonthal
David Schonthal

Clinical Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Print Overview

David is Co‐Founder and Partner at Fusion Ventures - an investment and advisory firm focused on growing startups in the early stages of development. Fusion’s portfolio includes companies in healthcare, services, technology and social enterprise located in the US, Europe and Latin America.

Prior to joining Fusion, David served as the Director of Strategy and Venture Development at Tavistock Life Sciences in San Diego, part of the Tavistock Group – a private equity firm with broad holdings in 15 countries. While at Tavistock, David served in senior management roles for a number of the firm’s young portfolio companies in both the healthcare and consumer packaged goods industries.

David’s experience also includes roles as Manager in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ consulting practice in London and Senior Consultant for both Andersen and Deloitte in Chicago -- specializing in global strategy, e‐commerce, and business process improvement.

In addition to his position at Kellogg David teaches Entrepreneurship and New Ventures at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and serves as a Venture Catalyst at IDEO - an award-winning innovation and design firm.

David is a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s technology, innovation and entrepreneurship council (ChicagoNext), and is an investment advisor to the State of Illinois’s Invest Illinois Venture Capital Fund. He serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CONNECT, a Southern California-based startup incubator for technology and life sciences companies, and is a Mentor with the Chicago Innovation Mentors program – an organization focused on commercializing cutting edge technologies from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Illinois Chicago and Argonne National Lab. David is a former member of the San Diego Zoo’s Innovation Council as well as a former Entrepreneur-in-Residence for San Diego Sports Innovators – an entrepreneurship and development organization focused on growing the business of sport in Southern California.

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
Adjunct Professor, Entrepreneurship, Northwestern University, 2011-present

Other Professional Experience
Partner, Fusion Ventures
Director, Strategy and Venture Development, The Tavistock Group
Chief Operating Officer, Iapyx Medical
Manager, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP
Senior Consultant, Deloitte, LLP
Senior Consultant, Arthur Andersen, LLP
Product Manager, Arthur Andersen, LLP

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

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.