New KIEI Faculty

New KIEI professors will be profiled on this page on a rotating basis.  Currently, read about:
John Aiello
Joe Dwyer
Troy Henikoff

 
Professor John Aiello
John Aiello | Entrepreneurial Selling: Business to Business (MKTG-962-B)

For John Aiello, the key to successful business lies in communication and cohesion between sales and marketing. Early in Aiello's career, while working in Brand Management for the Miller Brewing Company, he began to notice a disconnect between the sales staff working in the field, and the marketing mission of the corporate office.

The same proved true when he was recruited to work for a large home builder at the age of 27, and started running the marketing and sales departments. With this experience, Aiello began to closely observe the two departments and how they interacted, as well as to develop a system for marrying the missions of both in order to generate greater revenue.

Aiello used this experience later in life, when he reconnected with a fellow University of Illinois graduate, with whom he co-founded The SAVO Group. The mission of the business was to consult companies -- from major corporations to mid-level ventures -- on how to increase communication between sales and marketing. The SAVO Group focused their services primarily on large B2B corporations, and in just a few short years, launched their first software product in 2002.

The software, termed "enablement software," created a brand new category for business strategy, further assisting the collaboration between the sales and marketing departments of their clients' businesses. The SAVO Group has since grown to employ 100 people, and generate $50 million in revenue. Over 200 major corporations now use the software globally, such as IBM, American Express and GE.

Starting in the fall of 2012, Professor Aiello will be teaching Entrepreneurial Selling: Business to Business (MKTG-962-B). This five-week course will include guest speakers, as well as focus on important topics, such as developing a story around a product or service, and how to match this story to the unmet needs of prospective clients. In addition, students will learn how to prospect, prepare for meetings, successfully master the key steps to discovery, the art of the conversation, and develop the skills to be a challenger. Aiello will also be sharing the top ten lessons he learned in entrepreneurial selling.
Professor Joe Dwyer
Joe Dwyer | The Entrepreneurial Firm: Building the Winning Team (MORS-952-B)

Venture capitalist, entrepreneur and advisor, Joseph Dwyer joins the Kellogg faculty during the 2012 winter quarter to teach The Entrepreneurial Firm: Building the Winning Team. With an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Dwyer launched his first business venture over 20 years ago, and he has led several businesses since that time.

Dwyer first joined the Kellogg community in 2005, when he decided he was ready to face new challenges, as well as identify opportunities to collaborate with intelligent and highly-motivated people. After completion of the program in '08, Dwyer served as the CEO at a social media startup, which grew rapidly over a six month period before it was sold. At that time Dwyer transitioned to OCA Ventures, where he now holds a partner position. Venture capital is interesting for Dwyer, as he enjoys the work involved in building companies. Dwyer splits his time between his partnership at OCA Ventures, and his partnership at Digital Intent, a company that specializes in high velocity building of new digital businesses.

An Interview with Professor Dwyer

What skills and tactics will the students glean from the coursework?

In terms of roles, we will cover founders, employees, advisors, financiers, and even how customers play in the mix. Activities covered will include leadership, recruitment and hiring, compensation and motivation, and building an effective culture. Topics will be both quite tactical in some cases, (how to search for a technical co-founder, or divide equity amongst co-founders), and quite strategic, (how to build and coordinate team enthusiasm).

We will also look at some human capital train wrecks -- promising businesses that failed primarily due to people problems. On top of that, we'll look at some real world, near real-time people-driven innovation challenges, and explore how we might address them if we had the chance.

Will there be group projects?
There will be some group projects; this is, after all, a course about collaboration. However, I believe that effective collaboration derives from a common direction and effective culture, and does not necessarily correlate with volume of time spent meeting, or even directly working together. Therefore, there will be plenty of individual work, and the evaluations will be largely individually based.
 


Professor Troy Henikoff Troy Henikoff | Entrepreneurial Tools for Digital Marketing (MKTG-961-A)

For Troy Henikoff, CEO and Co-Founder of Chicago-based seed accelerator TechStars Chicago, the entrepreneurial spirit started early. Although Henikoff graduated from Brown University in 1986 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, he decided to pursue a career in entrepreneurship.

Henikoff's first company built custom network database applications for businesses. As the company grew from a one-person-shop to building software for Fortune 500 customers -- CDW, Abbott Labs, McDonald's and Hyatt Hotels -- Henikoff realized he needed additional formal business education, and entered the evening program at Kellogg in 1988. While Kellogg was immensely helpful in filling some of the gaps in Henikoff's education, his coursework was competing with the "real life MBA" of running a growing company, and ultimately Henikoff chose to focus on his entrepreneurial endeavors.

After selling his first company to Medline Industries in 1992, Henikoff stayed on to run the software division of Medline for the next five years, successfully installing software in 10 percent of the nation's hospitals. As soon as his five-year contract was up, Henikoff left to pursue the startup world again. First it was building the technology for Jellyvision, the creators of "You Don't Know Jack!" Next, Henikoff went on to found SurePayroll, the largest Internet-only provider of payroll in the country, which was ultimately sold to Paychex, Inc.

Henikoff's teaching experience began while working as a mentor in Entrepreneurship 462 with Barry Merkin in 1994, which lead to his realization that he wanted to teach. Henikoff returned to Northwestern University, and received a master's degree from the McCormick School of Engineering, and then began teaching Entrepreneurship to Northwestern University undergraduates in 2005. In the spring of 2011, Henikoff also began serving as a faculty coach for the New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.

Henikoff joins the Kellogg staff within the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI) in January of 2013, and will be teaching Entrepreneurship Tools for Digital Marketing (MKTG-961-A) and Entrepreneurship & New Venture Formation (ENTR-462-0).

An Interview with Professor Henikoff

What first interested you about entrepreneurship?
I joke that nobody was willing to give me the job I wanted right out of college, so I had to create one. Actually, there is some truth to that -- I love solving new problems, creating new solutions and doing things that have never been done before. Being an entrepreneur was natural for me.

Why do you think understanding web design and functionality is important for entrepreneurs?
As entrepreneurs, you don't need to be a web expert to start up a business with a web presence, but you should have a deep enough understanding to hire the right web design and development talent. You need to understand the process well enough to effectively manage it, and to understand what is important and what is not. I have seen so many smart people run into dead ends, because they relied on the "expert" to manage their web presence and it was a disaster.

What students would most benefit from taking your Entrepreneurial Tools for Digital Marketing (MKTG-961-A) course?
Students who are considering starting a business that requires a web presence, or one that relies on a significant portion of web sales should take this course. The class is not just designed for students planning to start a web-based business, but entrepreneurs in general. They will be exposed to Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, as well as how to use Google Adwords and AdSense, and learn skills for optimizing conversions on websites. It is a hands-on course with lots of real-world cases and an opportunity to get dirt under your fingernails.