About

Hi, I’m Aaron! I teach in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at Duke University and I co-founded RocketBolt.

If we were living in the early 1900s, I’d be called a “Renaissance Man.” If this were the late 1900s I’d be called either “well rounded” or “unfocused” depending on whether I was applying to college or applying for a job, respectively. These days, however, people like to call me an entrepreneur. Here’s why…

I’m a Duke English major (class of 2005) who earned a PhD at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I specialized in digital humanities. I’ve written articles on Homer, Shakespeare, Eliot, Dickinson, and Whitman. I also published my first book, The Krzyzewskiville Tales, when I was 20.

At some point during my academic English endeavors I decided I should learn to code. I started hacking PHP, then learned Python, and now I mostly work in Javascript/Node. I’ve gotten pretty good at this “engineering” stuff, too. I’ve been named named a Microsoft Fellow, and I’ve developed apps that — in the time it takes you to finish reading this bio — will have processed requests from tens of thousands of active users.

A few years into my coding career I caught the entrepreneurial bug and decided I was going to build a successful tech company. Hasn’t worked out so well yet, but I’ve learned a lot along the way. I’ve graduated from three of the world’s top tech accelerators — DreamIt Ventures, The Startup Factory, and 500 Startups — which is basically like telling you I’ve repeated the second grade three times. And my current company is doing well, so maybe I’ve finally learned something useful.

So that’s me. It’s your turn to tell me about you. Let’s connect on either Twitter or Instagram: @AaronDinin. I always enjoy swapping war stories with fellow web travelers — mostly about higher ed and startups, but occasionally the revolutionary kind as well.

Instagram

  • Dear @dukeinnovation students... pay no attention to the tiger on the chalkboard behind you. #nothingtoseehere #grr
  • Today, the @southwestair Twitter account shared some valuable wisdom with my @dukeinnovation #socialmediamarketing class. I couldn’t agree more 😁
  • Founder of @thestartupfactory and one of my first business mentors, @davenealnc, stopped by the @dukeinnovation Capstone class to discuss #venturecapital and why the #researchtriangle is a great place to build a #startup.
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#entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #entrepreneurlife #startups #startupstories #venturecapitalist #innovation #researchtrianglepark #rtp
  • When Bill Aulet, author of Disciplined Entrepreneurship and managing director of @eshipmit swings by Durham for a day, you cancel your lesson plan and convince him to guest lecture in your @dukeinnovation #entrepreneurship capstone class 😁
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#entrepreneur #startup #startups #entrepreneurlife #startuplife #innovation #business #guestlecture #disciplinedentrepreneurship
  • Lucky to have @youtube #tech personality, #entrepreneur, and #startup founder @matt_schaefer_ swing by my #socialmediamarketing class today to talk about strategies for building audiences online.
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#videomarketing, #influencermarketing, #startups, #entrepreneurship, #marketing, #fearthealgorithm
  • Thanks to Bill Walker, founder of #medtech startup Hemosonics and @dukeengineering director of #entrepreneurship, for speaking with my @dukeinnovation capstone class.
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#entrepreneurship #startup #startups #innovation #inspirationalquotes #knowledgebomb
  • In today’s #socialmediamarketing class for @dukeinnovation, I agreed to give students extra credit if they could convince any celebrities to follow them on Twitter. One of my students was a bit more successful than I’d expected 😳
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#entrepreneur #innovation #startup #marketing #hustle #impressive
  • Giving a 3 hour lecture to a wonderful group of Chinese students from Yangtze University visiting @dukeuniversity. We’ll be taking about #marketing #sales #startups #entrepreneurship  #innovation #socialmediamarketing and lots of other stuff that’ll probably put them to sleep. 😴.
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P.S. It’s really hot in this room and we’re all sweating.
  • ‪“In a business, you can hire to solve almost any problem, but nobody can replace discovering the problem and finding the path toward solving it. That’s what an entrepreneur does.” ‬- Sam Fox, a brilliant young #entrepreneur and @dukeuniversity alum who came back to talk with my @dukeinnovation capstone class about his journey into healthcare innovation.
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#entrepreneur #startup #innovation #healthtech #healthcare #guestspeaker
  • Some #boomerang shots from the first day of classes including the first failure challenge of the year: a one hour game of tic tac toe with students, faculty, and staff from across @dukeuniversity. Because why not? 🤷‍♂️
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A special thanks to my new partner in #failure, @star.gould, for jumping in as my #learningtofail co-teacher. It’s going to be a fun semester.
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#startup #startups #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #innovation #highereducation #highered
  • Torturing my @dukeinnovation #socialmediamarketing students because it’s the #firstdayofschool at @dukeuniversity 😈🤑🤐
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#innovation #entrepreneur #marketing #mystudentshateme
  • Snuck into the back of today’s @dukefuqua Program for Entrepreneurs kickoff event. Maybe if I attend enough classes I can convince someone to give me a free #MBA 😁
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#p4e #entrepreneur #startup #entrepreneurlife #freeMBA

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