David J. Whelan is a Principal Advisor for Larta’s Commercialization Assistance Programs. A long-time strategy consultant, advisor, and interim operational executive, Dave has devoted his career to building businesses and inspiring entrepreneurs. Working across multiple industries, Dave has a passion for the intersection of technology, health, and wellness, with an emphasis on business strategy, marketing and branding, and operations. He has a strong analytical and quantitative background, coupled with deep strategy and team-building skills. He is as comfortable developing and positioning new organizations for success as he is helping improve the performance of established businesses.
Recent engagements include developing a multi-year strategic and financial plan for a leading synthetic biology organization and developing a commercialization spin-off strategy for a cancer diagnostic technology. He helped launch New York Genome Center, a unique not-for-profit scientific research institute, where he served as Senior Vice President, Business Development & Chief Strategy Officer and collaborated on the development of the business plan, fundraising of $115 million, and operational launch. His experience also includes roles as acting chief operating officer for a specialty chemicals distribution and laboratory services business, and product management and channel strategy for Apex Fitness Group, a division of 24 Hour Fitness, where he helped launch one of the first fitness wearables. Earlier in his career, he spent over six years as a retained executive search consultant with Ethos Consulting Inc. As a consultant and confidant to his clients—primarily CEOs and venture capitalists—his mission was to help to build management teams that could build successful enterprises. Dave began his career with a biotechnology incubator in San Francisco.
Dave has worked in and on behalf of numerous industries throughout his career, including aerospace and defense, telecommunications, software and hardware, biotechnology, manufacturing, consumer products and retail, entertainment, and not-for-profit organizations.
Currently, he serves as founding board member or advisor to STEMP, an innovator in digital health products designed to improve health, wellness, and quality of life; Qora, a health and wellness data analytics company; LuxxList, a digital style publication; Myndery, an online solution for behavioral and learning issues; and Nurse at Your Door, a direct-to-consumer healthcare business.
Dave holds an MBA with Honors from the UCLA Anderson School and a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, and he remains very involved in alumni activities with both schools. He also studied at London Business School and Carnegie Mellon University. He has held a Top Secret Security Clearance.