One-On-One with Daniel Johnsen

August 30, 2017

Based in the USA Daniel has recently taken up the position of Entrepreneur in residence for the RAPAD region. Daniel is a Startup Coach, Mentor & Advisor.

He has coached companies accepted into Tech Stars and is a Global Facilitator spending much of his year facilitating accelerator weekends and helping entrepreneurs build great businesses.

Daniel will be heading to Westech Field Days this year as part of the Free Entrepreneur Matching Program being run in the Innovation Space & Technology Precinct. We’ve asked Daniel a few questions so you can get to know him, and then if you’re interested you can register to meet Daniel in a ‘one on one mentoring moment’ here.

What does innovation mean to you?
Innovation has many definitions by many people. I believe innovation is when a new path is created where it didn’t exist before. Innovation can be simple such as introducing a hand cranked can opener or as advanced as robot controlled surgery.

Who would you love to see registering for your mentoring sessions?
I always enjoy people that challenge themselves and are willing to think about absurd ideas and then follow through. People that work with and through others usually accomplish more than solo founders.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
“A lack of planning on your part doesn’t necessarily constitute an emergency on mine.” This was posted in my high school guidance counselor’s office — there’s a fine line of a true emergency where you need to drop everything to help someone out because of circumstances and a total lack of planning where someone’s help is needed but it could have been accomplished weeks ago with a little bit of notice.

What is your advice to anyone thinking about starting up their own business?
There’s no other time in history where you can bring an idea to market as cheaply and quickly as today. Everyday that you delay starting someone else is thinking about starting.

What is your greatest achievement?
While earning my MBA, one of the optional activities included business plan competitions where other MBA students from around the USA and world would formulate and create business plans and present them to seasoned jury of business professionals. Through the business plan team I led, we earned an invitation to the Super Bowl of business plan competitions, besting over 340 student teams from around the world including notable schools such as Harvard, Stanford and a host of other universities. We ended up placing 3rd in the world, the highest at that point for the university. Our company failed to raise enough funds to continue operations but was an absolute great learning opportunity.

You’re a part of Techstars – a global ecosystem built for entrepreneurs. Tell us why you believe access to coaching and advising is so important in a start-up?
Everyday there are at least 50 or more people trying to solve the same problem you want to address. Emerging entrepreneurs have a choice to make progress alone or they can simply ask for help and assistance. Asking for help is simple but counterintuitive. No one will steal your idea, they can’t match your passion or industry knowledge. I try to share the extensive list of mistakes I’ve made over the years to help those I meet realize that through my mistakes their path could be easier. I enjoy showing people various tips, tricks and shortcuts to achieve their goals. We’re all in this together, so let’s make the most of it.

Book your one-on-one mentoring moment with Daniel here.