David Rahn

David Rahn

BADM 693: Seminar in Strategic Management

David earned his BS in computer science with an artificial intelligence sub program at UC Santa Cruz. He earned his master’s in engineering management at Santa Clara University.

Following graduation, David went to work for a tech company which was commercializing “Expert Systems” technology from the Stanford Artificial Intelligence program. An early career highlight was being trained as a consultant to Fortune 500 companies, focused on developing and implementing strategic initiatives. Across several startups and young companies, David worked at positions from software developer to CEO. Along the way, David started several ventures, one of which provided strategy development and technology implementation for major financial services corporations. In one engagement, they developed and implemented a strategic plan calling for sales software for 7,000 agents, dramatically increasing sales agent productivity. Upon exiting this specialized consulting firm, David semi-retired and moved to Chico.

David is a lecturer in the management department in the College of Business. He relates well to the OMBA student experience because he followed a similar path: while working full-time, he completed his master’s in engineering management. Upon learning he was selected to design and deliver the OMBA 693: Seminar in Strategic Management course, he was delighted.

A faculty member since 2000, David’s passion is strategy and entrepreneurship. He has taught 20 different courses and developed eight. He is the director of the e-Incubator student mentoring program and faculty advisor to the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization. He developed the Digital Entrepreneurship course for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management (ESBM) program. David works with the computer science department to team up engineers with entrepreneurs. His recent publication in the Journal of Education for Business, “Bridging the Gap – A Model for Collaboration Between Entrepreneurship and Software Engineering Students,” describes the program. His subsequent paper, “Fostering Entrepreneurship in Project-Based Courses,” won a Best Paper award.

David is active in professional organizations and is past-president of the Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (ABSEL). He was a track chair for the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurs (USASBE) the preeminent entrepreneurship association and conference in the world today, and presents there annually. David’s e-Incubator program was nominated for Best Entrepreneurship Program at the 2022 USASBE conference.

A derivative of David’s course, Digital Entrepreneurship, is being commercialized by the start-up BizLaunch, and has been adopted at major universities across the U.S. Several adopters have major entrepreneurship programs and are ranked nationally, such as the University of Tennessee and Penn State, the latter of which recently earned an elite ranking of Top 50 Entrepreneurship Programs based on the Princeton Ranking for Top Entrepreneurship Programs in the U.S. Recently, over 50 graduating entrepreneurs from these programs signed on in a single day to participate in the beta cohort for a follow-on program. This new program is a collaborative led by David and composed of academic colleagues from major universities and industry experts. It provides a solution for serious, young entrepreneurs wanting a full-service platform for community, training, and tools as they move into their professional lives.

David loves dogs of all kinds, training dogs and watching funny dog videos. Send him a link to a funny dog video and he’ll love you, too. He is passionate about supporting his high-school aged daughter in her competitive athletic pursuits. Due to COVID-19, David and his daughter constructed a home gym so she could continue her pursuits, and she competes in national competitions across the U.S.