Dan Porter

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service

Dan Porter is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service of NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He has spent ten years in educational non-profit followed almost twenty years as a start-up tech entrepreneur and investor where he started and sold two companies. Porter was a high school teacher in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and joined the founding team of Teach For America. He was responsible for its early recruitment and selection efforts, site expansion and eventually served as the President of Teach For America. After Teach For America he worked on early New Visions independent high schools in New York City and then moved from starting up non-profits to technology start ups. Porter became the President of TicketWeb, which sold the first concert tickets on the Internet, and he sold TicketWeb to Ticketmaster for $40 million. Porter was also the CEO of OMGPOP where he created the Draw Something mobile game which has been downloaded 250 million times and he sold the company to Zynga for $180 million.

Porter has also worked with well known entrepreneurs to expand their digital activities. He started and invested in companies for Richard Branson for three years at the Virgin Group and did the same for Ari Emanuel at William Morris Endeavor where he launched channels in fashion and Esports, grew the digital talent business and launched their $50 million venture fund. Porter has lead investments in over 30 leading companies including MasterClass, Classpass and Glossier.

Porter served on the board of Venture For America, which combines entrepreneurship and social good, and consults with numerous companies. He currently is CEO of Overtime, a mobile and video first sports platform. Porter has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and numerous tech publications and has mentored startups at TechStars, First Growth, and NYU. He is currently launching a social, technology venture around political engagement. Porter lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, two sons, and two dogs. He graduated from Princeton University and has a Master's from NYU.

This course is designed for upper-class undergraduates who have a social innovation project, entrepreneurial business, or CSR idea to develop or implement. Also welcome to the course are students who would like to learn and practice success skills and employment strategies, and are willing to participate in class teams with other students who have project ideas. To bring the dynamic world of social innovation fully into the classroom, this course will provide: business leadership training and the skills to develop a clear social vision and values, viable business-modeling practices and feasible financial projections— i.e. how to structure an organization for different funding strategies, practice in pitching and promoting an idea, and tips on launching a start-up with social impact. Classes are enhanced with expert guest teachers and speakers, case studies and experiential exercises. This course will help students develop their individual or team projects, workshop how to create maximum social impact after graduation, build their resumes and develop critical skills for the process of finding or creating their future jobs.

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Using “business as a force for good”, social entrepreneurs implement innovative private sector approaches to solve social, cultural and/or environmental problems.  Surviving start-up and scaling to maximize impact is both an art and a science, especially when attempted without outside investments.  Statistics show that approximately 10% of small businesses surpass $1 million in revenues, while only 0.5% surpass $10 million.  Fundamentals of Social Entrepreneurship will draw upon the real-life successes and challenges faced by the professor and other social entrepreneurs in structuring and scaling their enterprises. Students will read several articles, watch videos and complete group projects to experience the launching and scaling of their own social enterprises.

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