Yet, his love for all things mechanical stretches beyond a mere hobby for Dino. An innovative entrepreneur, he has founded multiple startups, including a heads-up display system that enables incoming phone alerts to float in front of a moving vehicle.
He’s now using his expertise and passion for the fast-paced industry to lead EU operations at Damon Motorcycles—a Canadian-born electronic motorcycles startup.
We caught up with Dino to find out how his Online MBA journey sharpened his business vision.
Why an MBA was necessary for an already successful entrepreneur
With a mechanical engineering and computer science background, Dino has a keen eye for all things technical.
“I knew in my early 20s that the business route was for me,” he says, adding that he grew up in a family business, so an ambitious mindset was engrained within him.
While he founded and advised multiple startups, he continually faced obstacles due to his lack of formal business expertise.
He quickly recognized that his programming expertise as a computer science major could only take him so far.
“When you hire people for a startup, you don’t always know the depth of the business,” he says.
He knew that gaining the business tools to apply knowledge he already had could be transformative for his career, so he set his sights on an MBA degree.
Instead of feeling afraid of failure, he said that he keenly wanted to embrace it and learn about what factors contribute to mistakes in business.
His search for an MBA program led him to the University College London (UCL) MBA in Global Management. The ability to study for an MBA degree in his own time and at his own pace was a major attraction for Dino’s busy lifestyle and career.
The UCL MBA program can be studied online in as little as 24 months.
Tackling new skills in an Online MBA
Since Dino wanted to tackle complex business problems head-on, the Online MBA at UCL provided the perfect platform to do this.
Although the program is studied virtually, the MBA offers action-oriented courses. For Dino, some of the stand-out courses included New Venture Creation, which guides students through the different steps of starting a business.
He also keenly engaged with the Data Analytics course, sharpening his technical skill set in relation to core business areas. Meanwhile, he was able to enhance his understanding of corporate sustainability in another elective.
“The MBA enabled me to explore the depth of business, which you don’t always get in the real world,” he says, “you’re exploring multiple career paths rather than focusing on one business role or area.”
It also helped that he was able to learn from his MBA cohort, one of whom worked at a Fortune 500 company.
Through the capstone project, students can work on a thesis of their choosing. Dino’s topic focused on the future of motorcycles within his company.
“I wouldn’t have known so much about the [motorcycle] industry without the thesis.”
Driving EU operations for an innovative motorcycle startup
With previous experience as a regional director at manufacturing company TM Engineering, and as an investor of multiple startups, Dino’s business prowess did not go unnoticed.
The founder of Damon Motorcycles first approached Dino to see if he would be interested in investing in the startup, becoming one of the first investors.
He was then invited to be on the board of directors before later stepping up to head of EU operations. His role involves setting up the business in Europe, strategizing on how to import motorcycles, setting up sales and distribution networks, and dealing with policies and regulations.
“The MBA helps you become more capable at handling a large workload,” he says.
Never looking to slow the engine any time soon, Dino is also in the process of building another company. Despite receiving multiple exciting offers, he’s choosing to pursue his own entrepreneurial passions.
“Some of the most valuable learnings [from my MBA] are the case studies, where you take tools and elements from your classes to avoid past mistakes,” he says.
As someone who was already a successful entrepreneur and investor prior to his MBA, he says that the Online MBA program has been crucial to formalizing his business knowledge.
“In the context of managing finances for a business, if you fail to analyze the data or do enough research to make it more streamlined or efficient, then not having a strong foundation of knowledge [in this area] could cost the company a lot of money,” he adds.
It’s not just his MBA classes that are helping him to navigate his career, he’s also leaning on the wisdom of his UCL MBA network, with whom he regularly keeps in touch.
“It’s welcoming to know that you have that support network whenever you need it—their advice can shed light on many different business issues,” he concludes.