Serial Entrepreneur and

Dr. Dan Young loves Delaware

Dr. Dan Young

Bringing an Academic Legacy into the Future

Dan Young has no shortage of ideas. The serial entrepreneur typically has many initiatives in play. Currently, he is the organizer of TEDxWilmington, the chapter director of StartUp Grind Wilmington and founder of Maverick Class, an edutainment company. His calendar is filled with volunteer activities.

More recently, the Delaware native is receiving accolades for his work at Goldey-Beacom College. In 2018, he became the founding director of the school’s Doctor of Business Administration Program. Students from the first cohort graduate in 2021.

Young, who holds advanced degrees in marketing, took an entrepreneurial approach to the curriculum.

“I looked at the full landscape of doctoral business programs to figure out what we could do that no one else was doing,” he explains. He concluded that the program should be built on the premise that students can help solve business problems in the community.

The doctoral students have tackled projects for the Delaware Department of Labor, American Airlines, the office of the New Castle County [Delaware] Executive, Theatre N in Wilmington and The Mill, a coworking space.

Young is also an assistant professor in the program. But it’s not his first foray into academia. He has education in his blood.

ambassor profile Dr. Dan Young
ambassor profile Dr. Dan Young

    Upholding a Family Legacy

    Young’s grandfather — who went to Howard University and the University of Pennsylvania — was the first Black school principal in Delaware. His father, William Young, received a scholarship to Harvard University and became the head of human resources at Wilmington Trust Bank. Young’s mother spent nearly four decades in education, primarily working as a vocational-technical school career counselor.

    “I always think of my family as the ultimate Delaware success story,” says Young, whose great-grandfather was a foreman on the Pennsylvania Railroad. 

    The Concord High School graduate, who played varsity football and ran indoor track, was accepted at both the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware. He ultimately chose to attend UD on a full scholarship.

    Because Young admired his marketing professor, Stewart Shapiro, Young remained at UD for his master’s degree and worked alongside Shapiro. Five years later, when he was a financial planner, he went to Temple University for a Ph.D. in social and behavioral marketing.

    “I like to be busy,” he says. 

    Delaware’s Academic Spirit

    Over the years, Young has taught at Wilmington University and in the Horn Program of Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware. He’s held his TEDxDover events at Delaware State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), and he has colleagues at Delaware Technical Community College.

    “And we have incredible access to our lawmakers, CEOs and the media,” he says. “We can make incredible inroads in terms of communicating between all the stakeholders in business and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

    “It’s incredibly easy to work with all of them because of the close proximity of those colleges and universities,” he says, noting the schools’ missions and demographics form a talent pool of diversity.

    Goldey-Beacom has a reputation as a premier accounting and finance business school. Delaware’s location near major cities makes it easy for the students to visit companies in the Greater Philadelphia area, review best practices and come back to campus.

    Part of the students’ mission is to market their “clients” to potential investors. The region also boasts a remarkable number of angel investors, Young notes.

    From a personal standpoint, Delaware allows him to pursue his passions easily. Delaware named him their Culture Builder of the Year for 2020 and Delaware Business Times chose him as a Finalist for its 2020 Small Business Advocate of the Year. His personal goal is to recruit, train, mentor and place 100 new Black business professors in Delaware colleges and universities by 2025.

    Young, who feels blessed for his opportunities, is not about to slow down. The Delaware success story is fond of quoting the Biblical passage from Luke 12:48: “To whom much is given, much will be required.”