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Growing great ideas
into great companies.

Arbor Dakota Strategies

Many entrepreneurs and companies have great ideas. But growing those great ideas into great companies is more complex than it appears. Customers do not flock to you because you have a great idea. Arbor Dakota helps you grow that great idea into a great company…the hard part of entrepreneurship.

We specialize in helping early stage tech companies with developing uncontested markets, sharpening their message and presence, improving their sales discipline and achieving the growth that they, and their investors desire, better understand the metrics that drive valuation, improve the probability of funding (or even eliminate the need for funding) and reducing the amount of mistakes that they make (and there are many). We combine creativity with experience with hard work to achieve results that will not disappoint. We love the dirty, messy, ugly process of early stage company development.

Services include:

Consulting (Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift, Marketing Messaging and Lead Generation, Developing OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), Sales Process, Financial Reporting, Attracting Investors and overall Business and Company Building Consulting)
CEO Development (from Founder-CEO to Early Customer Acquisition-CEO to Scale-CEO)
Mentoring (helping entrepreneurs through the journey to help them overcome obstacles)
Training and Content Development (on-boarding employees, sales, partner implementation, lead generation, strategy development..)
Board Development and Relations (learning how to select and manage through board issues)
Public Speaking (on a variety of entrepreneurial, strategy and innovation topics)

Customers include tech companies ranging in size from $0 revenue to $20M in revenue, economic development organizations, university technology transfer offices, incubators, accelerators and VC firms (for portfolio companies).

Learn More From a Thought Leader

Available Training Courses

Structured courses to improve entrepreneurial performance.

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TEDD Talks

Thoughts about challenges facing early stage companies.

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eBook Store

eBooks designed for organizations trying to learn more about entrepreneurship.

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We will help you
think differently

about your business.

Contact Us

Latest News

Blue Ocean High School Pitch Competition Announces Appointment of Ted Dacko as Executive Director

Dacko to lead expansion of national program empowering high school entrepreneurs

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, June 19, 2018 –Blue Ocean Student Entrepreneurs Corp (BOSE), the organizer of the Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition, the premier entrepreneurial competition for high school students, today announced Ted Dacko is appointed to the role of Executive Director – a critical leadership appointment supporting strategic growth of the competition.

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Ted Dacko to Conduct Training on Financial Reporting in Early Stage Companies June 27 at SPARK

Early-stage companies struggle with the concepts of financial reporting.  Financial reporting is not accounting.  It is  the art and science of marrying together sales, marketing HR and financial information to better understand both your history and forecast of your business.  Join us at Ann Arbor SPARK at 9:00 am on June 27, 2018 to learn how to better run your company.

register here

Arbor Dakota to Host Blue Ocean Author Renée Maugborne in Ann Arbor

Arbor Dakota is proud to host world-renown author of Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift, Renée Maugborne for two fireside chats in Ann Arbor on Friday March 30.  The first talk will be at 10:00 am at Ann Arbor SPARK Central and the other will be at 12:30 pm Stamps Auditorium at the University of Michigan.  The talks will focus on how to create uncontested marketplaces using the Blue Ocean concepts.  Registration for the SPARK session is below:

Registration Page

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What Others Are Saying

“We’re proud to have Ted Dacko’s application of the blue ocean process featured in our book Blue Ocean Shift.   As CEO, Ted shifted HealthMedia from the red to the blue ocean,  transforming the struggling $6 million dollar company to one worth $185 million in just two years.   We wish more companies in the technology and healthcare sectors would follow this lead.   Three cheers to Ted!”

“Ted’s content, training classes and mentoring have been invaluable to help Ann Arbor SPARK tech companies launch and scale.  His content is well-received, his classes are full and get great reviews and there is constant demand for his consulting services.”

Bill Mayer, Vice President Entrepreneurial Services, Ann Arbor SPARK

“Without Ted, I would have never moved HealthMedia beyond a science fair project. His marketing expertise, sales expertise, organizational expertise and operational expertise are the best I have ever seen. He is a brilliant business mind and it has always been a pleasure to work with him.” from 2008 Deals of the Year Speech

Vic Strecher, Founder, HealthMedia

“Ted Dacko is relentless in his quest for collective benefit. He is the opposite of a win/lose thinker. Ted’s word is good; he delivers every time. It is rare to work with an extraordinary strategist, who at the same time has non-negotiable, impeccable standards.”

Anna Silberman, Vice President Preventive Health Services and Clinical Client Relationships, Highmark, Inc.
“We (Arboretum Ventures) invested in HealthMedia believing that we would be rewarded. We received a ten to one return on our investment within four years of the investment which was a truly great result for our investors, a real homerun. So, I have four words that I would attribute to Ted Dacko ” Ten to One Return”.”
Tim Petersen, Partner, Arboretum Ventures

“In over 25 years in business, I have never worked with someone as creative and as effective a leader and competitor as Ted Dacko. His insights cut through the clutter and yield actionable strategies that bring misery to the competition and outstanding results to the equity holders.”

Eric Montgomery, Founder, Fairfield Partners
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