Serial entrepreneur details how to spark startups

The challenges of startups, how to tackle them, and strategies for staying focused on the goals will be some of the themes in a workshop that begins this week at HCDC Inc.


The business development nonprofit, along with Queen City Angels, is sponsoring a “Switched on Startup” workshop series with angel investor and serial entrepreneur Mark Dawes.


In the six-part series, Dawes plans to delve into the challenges that startup founders face and share frameworks and tools to help solve them. He will also dive into the entrepreneur’s mindset to illuminate some of the principles startup founders need to navigate what can be difficult terrain.


Dawes is an innovator in the business startup space. He practices innovation coaching, strategic coaching, and mentoring of business leaders and teams who need to create new markets and new business models.


He has been an entrepreneur-in-residence for Procter and Gamble, where he worked on more than 60 new business creation projects and collaborated on three new business launches — Swash by Tide, Home Collections by Febreze, and Tide Dry Cleaners.


He was one of four founding partners and vice president of operations of Cinmar, LLC, which over time grew by merger and acquisition into Cornerstone Brands, Inc. a $450 million catalog and internet conglomerate whose titles include Frontgate, The Territory Ahead, Travelsmith, Garnett Hill, and Ballard Designs.


The series will take place at the HCDC Business Center with the first session providing an overview of the “Switched on Startup” Methodology. Here’s the lineup:


Wed., Feb. 27, 12:30 p.m.–2 p.m: A workshop overview to get a sense of the methodology and set the stage for subsequent sessions. Lunch will be provided.

Thurs., March 14, 4–6 p.m.: The Switched on Startup: What “think different” really means, plus nine frameworks, over beers.

Thurs., April 11, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.: How to foster “antifragility” and use problems to grow stronger. Lunch will be provided.

Wed., May 22, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.: A session on “Good Enough,” and how to trade between superior and “good enough” to accelerate learning and progress. Lunch will be provided.

Thurs., June 13, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.: How to master “wicked problems,” using some help from above, the words of Saint Ignatius. Lunch will be provided.

Tue., June 25, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.: The final session will focus on time-tested frameworks for strategizing, planning, and organizing. Lunch will be provided.


The workshops will take place at HCDC’s Business Center, conference room 160, 1776 Mentor Ave., in Norwood.


Registration is free and is available here.

Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is an award-winning journalist, Cincinnati native and father of three. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.
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