Cane Bay Partners Co-Founder David Johnson often credits the University of West Georgia for many of the valuable academic experiences that nurtured his entrepreneurship journey. Johnson got the chance to pay it forward on Nov. 9 by sharing his expertise with budding entrepreneurs at UWG’s first ever “Wolf Den” Elevator Pitch Competition.
This “Shark Tank” style competition offered students a platform to pitch business ideas to a team of UWG alumni entrepreneurs, including Johnson. Participants vied for cash prizes.
Johnson, who is the owner of two successful fintech consulting firms, said he was impressed with the level of creativity and innovation that the students demonstrated.
“They had some really great ideas for new businesses,” he said, “and were able to shake off their fears to stand up in front of a lot of people to give their pitch and take some tough questions from the judges.”
The “Wolf Den” Elevator Pitch Competition was one of many activities to take place during UWG’s inaugural Entrepreneurship Week. In 2021, UWG rolled out a five-year strategic plan that prioritized making learning relevant and useful for students. This year’s Entrepreneurship Week was part of that overarching plan to foster experiential learning, also known as “learning by doing.”
Johnson said he was excited to see the students get some of the same meaningful experiences that he had at UWG and that he was looking forward to seeing their ideas take flight.
“UWG is where my entrepreneurship journey began, so it’s exciting to see a new generation of Wolves get this opportunity,” he said. “I can’t wait to see the way their ideas are going to change the world and expect next year’s competition to be even bigger and better!”
A long-time supporter of business education at his alma mater, Johnson has shared his time, expertise, and financial support with the school over the years.
In 2011, his monetary gift established the “David A. Johnson Applied Econometrics and Analytics Fund,” which made it possible for UWG to offer courses in econometrics and business analytics using SAS statistical software. Another contribution in 2015 established the “David A. Johnson Distinguished Scholar” endowment to support a dedicated professorship within the analytics program. Then, in 2016, Johnson made a substantial contribution that helped fund the construction of the 70,000-square-foot facility that houses the Richards College of Business.
Johnson also faithfully participates in UWG’s annual SAS Analytics Summit to provide mentorship.
For Johnson, it’s all about giving back to an institution that’s had a huge impact on his success.