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About David

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations if you live near him.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

Even our college- and graduate-level education systems, accelerators, incubators, and other seed vehicles are unable to empirically prove that over time they provide aspiring and new founders of start-ups and early-stage firms (“founder-CEOs”) with what they need when venturing into the belly of the startup beast. Even our most sophisticated entrepreneurship research institutions are unable to produce longitudinal empirical data on founder-CEOs and their ecosystem to predict outcomes.

David — known to always work with moxie and passion abounding is wildly passionate about changing one or both of these problems. After all, over the past five decades, start-ups and early-stage firms have produced 100 percent of net new U.S. jobs; and Gallup reports that 50 percent of Millennials and 45 percent of students in grades 5 through 12 say they want to start businesses – that is tens of millions of young people.

With the ambition and cruise-missile-drive displayed by Col. Harland Sanders when at age 62 he first became a founder-CEO by franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken, David is offering to proctor Gratis an avant-garde, holistic, experience-based, multidisciplinary, entrepreneurship preceptorial for aspiring and new founder-CEOs – at a renown liberal arts college, university offering business majors, extension school, preparatory school, and/or continuing education program. He will team with many diverse subject matter professors and experts. The great news for an educational institution is that David’s preceptorial is applicable and adaptable to students in all academic concentrations, faculty members, administrators, alumni, and others.

David has architected his preceptorial to help founder-CEOs learn how to “think” at critical points in the development of a start-up on to best “survive” and then best “succeed“ or best “fail.” As part, he has researched and will integrate into the preceptorial his research findings and personal experience on the granular factors that destroy the performance of founder-CEOs; 52 percent of whom are no longer with their start-ups by the time the business raises the third round of financing. Mysteriously, the most successful of founder-CEOs, the ones who led their start-ups to achieve key milestones the quickest, were the first ones to get fired. SWAGs suggest that over 95 percent of founder-CEOs fail – an utterly unacceptable societal outcome, if true.

David has architected and is equally passionate about guiding the implementation of a transformative start-up research platform, which would change the paradigm for educating founder-CEOs. David understands
there is a void of indispensable technology-driven longitudinal empirical data and other evidence on founder-CEOs, and their ecosystem for analytics, business intelligence, predictive analysis, etc. to predict
outcomes — and he knows how to solve this historical problem so many views as impossible. Akin to an exciting archeology dig, David expects astounding, ground-breaking outcomes.

David — known to always to be ahead of his time with uncanny vision and innovation abounding — has wisdom from over 45 years of start-up entrepreneurship, C-level management, strategy development, $3 billion of financing, 17 years of plaintiff entrepreneurship litigation work, and research on founder-CEOs — shrewd intuition and precognition, which are levels and dimensions above experience and academia.

One start-up that David founded grew at approximately 275 percent CAGR to produce more than $197 million in revenue in year five from launch. Months later, Merrill Lynch valued the business at up to $669 million for BNY Mellon and $651 million for the State of Florida; each produced hundreds of millions of shareholders value. He later left his own company by electing an ethical and honest business path in contrast to the one dictated by morally- and legally-challenged partners in a now-defunct $1.7 billion private institutional investor. After nine years of litigation, David ran out of money, was forced into bankruptcy, and lost everything – chapter two of the “Investors’ Scorched Earth Defense Litigation Playbook” as they spend “other peoples’ money,” e.g., Florida pensioners. David has succeeded greatly and failed greatly, each an undefined term in entrepreneurship – and in life.

Philosophically overlooking the fact that at least 60 founder-CEOs who became billionaires earned nothing more than a high school diploma or less, David has placed importance on education. Since his Quaker preparatory schooling, David has never viewed education as a terminal achievement. He earned a BA in economics, Wharton MBA in finance, and JD in general law; executive education galore; and Harvard Negotiation Project, inactive PA Bar and FINRA Series 7, 24 certifications. A few years ago, David unsuccessfully applied to earn a Ph.D. or D.B.A., but he was too old to fit into the program narrative on the ideal Ph.D. or D.B.A. student.

Cambridge, MA     davidbstill@aol.com