David Schonthal
David Schonthal

Clinical Associate Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Print Overview

David Schonthal is a clinical associate professor of innovation & entrepreneurship at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, where he teaches courses in new venture creation, design thinking, innovation and creativity. He also serves as the executive director of Kellogg's Zell Fellows Program, a selective venture accelerator program designed to help student entrepreneurs successfully launch new businesses.

Outside of Kellogg, David is a portfolio director and business designer at IDEO, an award-winning innovation consultancy, where he helps companies design new business models and creative paths for products and services to get to market.  David has also developed initiatives such as the IDEO's Startup-in-Residence program, as well as other offers and approaches around venture design and corporate entrepreneurship.

Previously, David spent nearly a decade in the venture capital and start-up world as a partner at Fusion Ventures and director of strategy and venture development for Tavistock Life Sciences, both based in San Diego, California.  He has also held numerous senior operating roles at startups in the technology and life sciences sectors.

David is a co-founder of MATTER, a 25,000-square-foot innovation center in downtown Chicago focused on catalyzing and supporting healthcare entrepreneurship, and serves as a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's technology, innovation and entrepreneurship council, ChicagoNext. He is a contributing writer to Forbes, Inc., and Fortune Magazine, authoring articles on corporate entrepreneurship, innovation and business design.  David has received several honors for his work, including a Kellogg Faculty Impact Award for excellence in teaching, as well as being named to Crain's Chicago Business magazine's "40 Under 40" list and the "Techweek 100."

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

If all else fails, David's Plan B is to use his booming baritone to break into the lucrative voiceover world.



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 Fellows Program, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-present
Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University, 2011-2012
Adjunct Professor, Entrepreneurship, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2012-2013

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

Print Research

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend 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**

Creativity as a Business Tool (MORS-955-5)
There are many myths about creativity. Some believe that it's a "trait" only certain people possess. Others believe that its usefulness and application are limited to certain "creative industries" (e.g. advertising, design, the arts). Our belief is that everyone is inherently creative - and that tapping into this creativity unlocks powerful tools for business in any field. This course will teach students 5 key steps to access their "Creative Confidence" and provide them with tools, techniques and experiences that will enable them to practice these skills in their professional lives. The class is team-based and highly experiential. Students must be prepared to work with other, take risks, extend their comfort zones and possess an open-mind to benefit from the course. This course is designed to complement the technical and diagnostic skills learned in the other courses at Kellogg. A basic premise is that the manager needs analytical skills as well as interpersonal skills to effectively lead groups. The course will provide students with the opportunity to develop these skills experientially and to understand team behavior in useful analytical frameworks.

Executive Education

View Program