Fish Sandwich Chronicles: Dave Mawhinney at Big Jim's-Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Carnegie Mellon University

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fish Sandwich Chronicles: Dave Mawhinney at Big Jim's

It was especially fitting to finish the third season of the Fish Sandwich Chronicles at Big Jim’s Restaurant & Bar with Dave Mawhinney.

Mawhinney is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, angel investor and educator, and Big Jim’s is, well, a bar in lower Greenfield that sells a humongous fish sandwich that would serve four people. Mawhinney was mentored by the late great Don Jones at IndustryNet, worked at or invested in several local startups and a few years ago became executive director of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Big Jim’s was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners Drive-ins and Dives” five years ago on the “Long Time Legends” episode.

So speaking of legends, I asked Mawhinney if he received any advice from Jones when he came to work at his namesake center.

Don Jones was my mentor and like a second father,” Mawhinney said. “He is the smartest man I ever met. Don encouraged me to shine the spotlight on the entrepreneurs — they are the ones creating new value and changing the world.”

Mawhinney, who earned his MBA at CMU, is the son of a minister and grandson of a steelworker, but his own kids are well-versed in entrepreneurship. His sons have worked at 4Moms, the Strip District-based maker of collapsible strollers and baby carriers — consumer products propelled by robotics principles.

Something Mawhinney has championed at CMU is making entrepreneurship inclusive instead of a siloed entity within the business school.

“One of the reasons I returned to Carnegie Mellon was to help achieve Don Jones’ and Jack Thorne’s original vision of creating an entrepreneurship center that would serve all of Carnegie Mellon and the region,” he said...Read more»

By: Patty Tascarella, Pittsburgh Business Times