Dennis Donahue honored as a "Marvelous Mentor"
Dennis Donahue honored as a “Marvelous Mentor” by Saint Louis Small Business monthly. It’s more than just doing great legal work; it’s about paying it forward and helping others.
Small Business Monthly February 2016 pg. 26
Increasing Success with Honesty
While working as an aeronautical engineer with McDonnell Douglas (MDC), Dennis Donahue began law school at SLU under MDC's tuition reimbursement program. He received mentoring from the company's litigation team and patent attorney along the way.
"Even while I was in law school, I was thinking about mentoring others and I volunteered for the MDC Homework Hotline," he says. "I became the coordinator of the Homework Hotline while I was an engineer with MDC."
Donahue's law career grew through MDC's merger with Boeing, a move to private practice, and eventually starting his own firm. With a focus on entrepreneurial businesses, his clients included large corporations, family-owned companies, small businesses and start up companies.
"When I became a partner in the law firm, I started mentoring younger attorneys and entrepreneurial clients," he says. "I also created a new patent course at SLU School of Law, in which I gave projects and training to my law students as I would to first year associates at the law firm. When I started my own law firm, I continued mentoring entrepreneurs outside of my law practice."
In 2011, Donahue and Linda Lewis joined their patent practices to form CreatiVenture law as a practice dedicated to entrepreneurs. While Donahue works with clients to protect their intellectual property assets, he still dedicates time to giving back through mentoring.
"I mentor entrepreneurs as a part of Gateway VMS, and I serve as a specialty mentor for the company's Capital Innovators accelerator program," he says. "I also volunteer at ITEN, and I mentor my start up clients. To encourage clients to take advantage of my mentoring support, I offer one day each month in which I provide no cost consultations."
Donahue's general goal in mentoring is to increase the chance that his mentees will achieve success in their businesses.
"Depending on the particular mentoring relationship, my goal may be to help the mentee bring a product to market, increase profitability of their business, scale the business with partners or investors, and / or avoid pitfalls," he says.
For entrepreneurs who are considering their first start up, venture, and for seasoned businesses owners who are considering a new venture with an innovative product, Donahue believes they should perform their initial market research with people they know, trust, and like.
"I recommend that they perform this research before they spend their hard-earned money on me or anyone else," he says."