David Schonthal
David Schonthal

Clinical Assistant Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Print Overview

David Schonthal is a Clinical Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he teaches courses in new venture creation and business model design.  He also serves as the Director of Kellogg’s Zell Scholars program – a selective venture accelerator program designed to help student-entrepreneurs successfully launch new businesses.

David also serves as a Business Designer at the global innovation and design consultancy, IDEO, where he has helped develop initiatives such as the Startup-in-Residence program as well as other offers and approaches around venture design and corporate entrepreneurship.

David was previously a Co-Founder of Fusion Ventures, an investment and advisory firm focused on growing technology startups in the early-stages of their development. He was also formerly Director of Strategy and Venture Development at Tavistock Life Sciences; a private investment firm based in San Diego, CA., and has held numerous leadership positions at startups in the technology and life sciences sectors.

David began his career as a management consultant with Andersen, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers in both the United States and United Kingdom where he specialized in international growth strategy and e-commerce.

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

David has served as an advisor to the State of Illinois’s Invest Illinois Venture Capital Fund and mentors with several startup accelerators and incubators throughout the United States, including TechStars, CONNECT, San Diego Sports Innovators (SDSI), and Chicago Innovation Mentors.

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

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, Northwestern University, 2011-present

Other Professional Experience
Business Designer, IDEO
Co-Founder, MATTER
Council Member, ChicagoNext
Entrepreneur in-Residence, CONNECT
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

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.