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Author and serial entrepreneur Bob Dorf to speak at Whitman

Bob DorfThe Department of Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises (EEE) at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University will host author and serial entrepreneur Bob Dorf on Wednesday, April 23 for a presentation entitled “Let Your Customers Design Your Startup: Putting Lean Startup Principles to Work.” The event will be held from 7-8 p.m. in Room 202 of the Whitman School at 721 University Avenue, Syracuse. Prior to the presentation, a networking session will take place from 6-7 p.m. in Whitman’s Milton Room, room 411. Both events are free and open to the public.

“Syracuse University is extremely excited to have Bob Dorf visit the SU campus,” remarks Alex McKelvie, associate professor of entrepreneurship and EEE department chair. “Bob’s work on customer development has been fundamental for helping entrepreneurs get their companies up and running quickly and efficiently. His methodology has entrepreneurs get operational while also keeping the customer in the middle. His approach and story are inspiring and informative for students.”

Dorf travels the world helping startups, incubators, governments and established corporations learn how to effectively deploy customer development process through speaking, workshops, and intensive hands-on startup bootcamps. His training comes in many forms, including speeches, workshops and hands-on consulting. He teaches customer development and business modeling in full-semester and week-long classes at Columbia Business School, where he is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship.

In March 2012, Dorf collaborated with Steve Blank to publish The Startup Owner’s Manual: A Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Great Company. The book offers parallel customer development pathways for companies in the web and mobile channels, as well as traditional physical goods and enterprise software startups; it also includes in-depth web marketing tutorials.

Dorf left a lucrative broadcasting job at the age of 22 because he had a passion to start his own company, which he then did seven times over three decades. He has invested in and coached or advised more than two dozen startups over more than a decade.

Consistently ranked as one of the top entrepreneurship programs in the nation, Whitman’s EEE department helps students discover their innate entrepreneurial potential, giving them a set of tools and perspectives to capitalize on that potential and help launch their careers. For more information, visit