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University’s Ellsworth Lecture to Offer Secrets of Building a Company from the Ground Up

Posted 09/21/2015
Posted by David Isgur

Brian Bordainick, founder and CEO of Dinner Lab (a membership-based, social dining experiment), will discuss “The Start-Up Secret Sauce: Building a Company from the Ground Up,” in the annual Ellsworth Lecture, presented by the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business. Bordainick’s talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 5:30 p.m. in the University’s Wilde Auditorium.

When Dinner Lab started in 2012, it was an illegal, late-night diner operating out of Brian Bordainick’s basement apartment in New Orleans, La. Today, the secret supper club is present in 20 U.S. cities and is valued at more than $33 million.

In this personal talk, Bordainick, 30, will detail his story as a young entrepreneur—bringing an idea from concept to reality, finding investors, expanding the business, and dealing with the emotional toll of leading a company through trial and error. Never one to settle, Bordainick discusses the future of his exponentially growing company, his innovative use of data and feedback, and how anyone can turn an entrepreneurial dream into reality, with the right attitude.

Click here to register online for this program.

Bordainick’s entrepreneurial spirit was sparked shortly after his graduation from the University of Georgia, when he went to work for Teach for America. He was assigned to a makeshift school fashioned out of FEMA trailers in the parking lot of a flood-ravaged New Orleans high school in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In an effort to provide after-school activities, he helped raise $1.8 million to build a football field and track on the school’s campus.

In the wake of that assignment, Bordainick was recruited as director of entrepreneurial investment for 4.0 Schools, an incubator for tech-focused innovation in education.

Featured in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30: Education list, Bordainick has appeared on Anderson Cooper 360, ESPN, The Today Show, and CBS News. He has been a guest speaker at the TEDxGoldenGateED program and various universities throughout the country.

The University of Hartford’s Ellsworth Lecture program promotes an awareness of, and appreciation for, the American business system. It was created in 1979 by Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc., to honor its former chairman, the late John E. Ellsworth.

For more information, contact Nancy Olson, Office of the President, at 860.768.4417 or