Troy Henikoff

Adjunct Lecturer of Marketing

Print Overview

Troy Henikoff is a Managing Director of MATH Venture Partners. Additionally, Troy is the Managing Director of Techstars in Chicago. Troy was a co-founder of Excelerate Labs, which became Techstars Chicago in 2013. He also helps manage the FireStarter Fund, teaches Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and is on the board of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, which supports the startup incubator 1871.

Prior to Techstars Chicago, Troy was the CEO of, president of Amacai and co-founder and CEO of Troy built the technology for Jellyvision (creators of "You Don't Know Jack!") and was the president of Systemetrics. His first company was Specialized Systems and Software. Troy has an undergraduate degree in Engineering from Brown University and a Master's Degree in Project Management from Northwestern.

Print Vita
Masters of Project Management, 2008, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University
Bachelors of Science, 1986, Mechanical Engineering/Design, Brown University

Academic Positions
Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2012-present
Faculty Coach - New Venture Challenge, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, 2011-present
Adjunt Professor of Entrepreneurship, Business Institutions , Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University, 2004-2011
Visiting Professor, Croma Business Academy, Crioma Business Academy, 2004-2005
Guest Lecturer, Entrepreneurship, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1993-2009

Other Professional Experience
Co-Founder and CEO, Excelerate, LLC, 2010-present
Administrative Member, FireStarter Fund, 2012-present
CEO,, 2007-2010
President, Amacai Information Corporation, 2005-2007
Founder, AuctionScience, 2003-2004
Co-Founder and President, SurePayroll, 1999-2002
Director of Technology, Jellyvision, Inc., 1998-1999
President, Systemetrics, a division of Medline Industries, 1992-1997
Founder and President, Specialized Systems and Software, Inc., 1986-1992

Print Research

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
New Venture Development (KIEI-464-0)

**This course was formerly known as KIEI-940-0**

New Venture Development is the logical continuation of New Venture Discovery (KIEI 462). Students that have completed initial testing and market research and have determined that there appears to be a product-market fit for a customer base of a significant size, can apply to this course. This course is focused on testing and validating product-market fit, user interfaces and experience and advancing to the development of a refined MVP concept. There is an emphasis on using digital tools to test customer acquisition and messaging.
Teams are not expected to have programmers at this point in time as the focus is on using a variety of free ware to test the product/service. A significant portion of the workload for this course will occur outside of the classroom. Students must be prepared to engage with potential customers and industry experts. Within the classroom, students will be encouraged to share learning experiences and help other student teams. The course work will be supplemented by guest speakers who are experts in specific industries as well as functional areas and a pool of alumni and local mentors who can assist in the development of their businesses.
New Venture Development will be offered in the winter and spring quarters. Upon the completion of New Venture Development, student teams and faculty will determine whether a team should move to New Venture Launch. Other courses that are beneficial to take in advance of this course are: MKTG 961: Entrepreneurial Tools for Digital Marketing and MORS 952: Building Innovation, Teams, and Cultures. Admittance to New Venture Development is by application only. The application is available here. If a student wants to by-pass KIEI 462, they must identify that they are well versed in the process of design thinking and have already conducted significant market research to validate their business concept.

Entrepreneurial Tools for Digital Marketing (MKTG-961-5)
This course was formerly known as MKTG 961-A/MKTG 961-B
In this course, we discuss the strategies and tactics smart startups use to get traction online. You will learn dozens of strategies for acquiring new customers and when to use them, what matters when optimizing your site for search engines, how to get early PR, how to leverage social media to build your brand, how to use paid channels to drive growth at scale, how to optimize your site so customers are compelled to take action, how to maximize your retention rate, how to architect a referral loop that works, what data to focus on and what to ignore, and much more. Plan on fast-paced lectures and hands-on group project work.