David Schonthal


David Schonthal, Operating Partner

David Schonthal has been an entrepreneur, investor and innovation-leader in the healthcare world for over 20 years.

Outside of 7wire, David is an award-winning Professor of Strategy, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School of Management where he teaches courses on new venture creation, design thinking, healthcare innovation and venture. In addition to his teaching, he also serves as the Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at Kellogg and the Faculty Director of the Zell Fellows Program, a selective venture accelerator program designed to help student entrepreneurs successfully launch or acquire new businesses.

Along with his colleague Loran Nordgren, David is one of the originators of Friction Theory – a ground-breaking methodology that explains why even the most promising innovations and change initiatives often struggle to gain traction with their intended audiences – and what to do about it.  This work is popularized in David’s bestselling book, The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas (Wiley).

David previously spent a decade working at world-renowned design firm, IDEO, and also served as an Operating Partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital, a consumer and enterprise-focused fund, and Director of Venture Development at Tavistock Life Sciences, a global private investment firm.

David is currently a Global Advisor at Design for Ventures (D4V), a Tokyo-based early-stage venture capital fund that invests in design-led Japanese startups and is the Co-Founder of MATTER, a 25,000-square-foot innovation center in downtown Chicago focused on catalyzing and supporting healthcare entrepreneurship.

David is a monthly columnist at Inc. Magazine and a contributing writer to Forbes, Fortune and Harvard Business Review magazines, authoring articles on corporate entrepreneurship, innovation, change and business design.  David has been honored on Crain’s Chicago Business magazine’s “40 Under 40” list (back when he was under 40) and was names one of “30 Thinkers to Watch in 2022” by Thinkers50, an international organization thar identifies, ranks, and shares the leading management ideas of our age.  He has won Kellogg’s Executive MBA Outstanding Professor award 7 times as well as a Faculty Impact Award for excellence in teaching.

He earned his MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his BA in International Relations from Boston University.

As much as David would like to think he’s one-of-a-kind…he’s actually a triplet.