David Dodson teaches S355 “Managing Growing Enterprises” and S543 “Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition”. Mr. Dodson is a graduate of Stanford University (Economics ’83, MBA ‘87), and a former case writer (1988).
David Dodson has been active for twenty-five years in the formation of new businesses through entrepreneurial acquisition. Prior to entering the GSB, Dodson worked at McKinsey & Company, where he worked for clients in oil field services, gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas, and offshore drilling. After graduating from the GSB, under the direction of Professor Irv Grousbeck, he wrote the original course material for search funds—then in its infancy. After one year as a case writer, David raised his own search fund.
Between 1990 and 2004, Dodson operated as CEO or Executive Chairman of five companies, including co-founding Wind River Environmental, the largest specialty trucking company of its kind; ADAP, Inc., an auto parts retailer that was eventually sold to Auto Zone; Smith Alarm Systems, Inc.; Paragon Systems, Inc.; and Worldbridge Broadband Services Inc, which was eventually sold to C-Corp.
Dodson has been an active mentor and investor in over fifty early stage companies, and has been on the board of directors of over a dozen companies, including Asurion, LLC, an insurance company with over 15,000 employees operating in 14 countries.
He has also been active with the creation of market-based solutions to problems related to health and education, with an emphasis on approaches that reduce dependency on charity and instead use the free-market system for sustainable solutions that end the cycle of dependence on charity or government support. To this end, he co-founded Project Healthy Children with Stephanie Cornell in 1999 to address issues of micronutrient deficiency among mothers and children without access to healthy and nutritious foods. Project Healthy Children focused on sustainable solutions to malnutrition, and its programs reached over 25 million children and adults throughout the world.
Dodson also co-founded Project Healthy Children (recently renamed “Sanku”) which was named one of the world’s most innovative companies by FastCompany in 2019, and 2013 Ashoka Changemaker prize-winner. In collaboration with Stanford University Sanku invented a gravimetric device that accurately fortifies wheat flour in small rural mills, eliminating heart-wrenching birth defects and maladies for the “poorest of the poor”, using a market-based approach for a sustainable solution to malnutrition. The Sanku device is the only machine of its kind in the world, and coupled with a unique business model harnessing IoT, Sanku hopes to reach 100 million people by 2025.
David is a resident of Wyoming and has three daughters: Caroline, Hannah, and Rachel; and his loving wife Wendy.