Industrial entrepreneur and alumnus David W. Dussault ’00 shared his experiences from the business and entrepreneurial world with students and faculty this past Thursday in Karp Hall. The event, organized by Union College Entrepreneurs Organization (UCEO) was aimed at promoting the idea of innovation and entrepreneurship amongst attendees.
Referencing his past, Dussault shared that he was an average student all his life. In fact, he revealed, because he was an average student ever since high school, he was rejected by Union in both early and regular decision applicant pools. He was later accepted into the college after meeting with the then Dean of Admissions. He added that he eventually ended up serving as his class president during his time here at Union. Dussault stressed that regardless of one’s academic standing, actual learning goes farther compared to just taking a class for the sake of it. He also thanked his professors and mentors in college for teaching him hard work and perseverance – skills he believe are critical to success in the business world.
While discussing his business model, Dussault explained how he believed that industrial entrepreneurship was the way to go forward in today’s world. As part of this explanation, he talked about how his company, based in Schenectady, believes in transforming lives through investing in education and creating jobs for skillful people. He further asserted that passion, honor and entrepreneurship are valued within his company.
Briefly shedding light on his past, Dussault talked about how, after graduation in 2000, he started working for General Electric but realized shortly thereafter that he was where he never wanted to be. “I never considered myself working a nine to five job, but sometimes when people around you are waving job acceptances, your vision tends to get blurred”.
Shortly after, Dussault resigned from General Electric, and founded a company known as P1 Industries. A group of companies now, it was able to get its hands on a million-dollar project from General Electric as its first assignment. In a nutshell, they are a group of high tech manufacturing businesses that were started to provide world class customer experiences to the energy and aerospace industries. They deploy state-of-the-art manufacturing and engineering technologies to provide “prototype-to-production” services for global industrials such as General Electric, Mitsubishi and Siemens.
In 2014, Dussault co-founded P1 Ventures: an investment and advisory company that seeks partnerships with passionate entrepreneurs and strategic business leaders that believe in long term and patient value creation.
They also provide investment, resourcing and mentorship through active operational engagement to build profitable growing companies worldwide. Dussault hopes to “revitalize American manufacturing through entrepreneurship,” as he believes American manufacturing is fastest in the world. As of now, his companies are approaching $20 million in annual revenues. He has also been involved in funding various startups throughout the world, one of which included building a school for 1,400 students in Northern Uganda.
As a student, Dussault worked three different jobs, and noted that he realized early on that life was a struggle and that you had to be the best in your field in order to survive.
He said, “What makes me happy, is seeing the next generation of my employees come forward and take the company forward. I rest content knowing that everyone has a destined purpose in life and that they can contribute to humanity and to people around them in one way or another.”
Samantha Kruzshak ’19, sharing her thoughts after the event, said, “It was very interesting to to listen to David Dussault’s talk and learn about the tricks of the entrepreneurial world.
“Being undeclared in college until now, it was fascinating to know that you can be part of the business world and work towards changing lives, irrespective of your field of study.”
This talk was part of a series of events that are scheduled to be held by UCEO and other business groups that invite alumni from the business world to share their success stories.