CompanyThe Sabbatical Project, EFL Global

Skills & ExpertiseB2B Sales: hiring and scaling a sales team, negotiating contracts of all shapes and sizes. Company culture: establishing, maintaining during scale-up, remote workforce, and mission. Partnerships: external negotiations and maintenance, internal cofounder dynamics from seed to exit.

Dennis [DJ] DiDonna has dedicated his career to commercializing social science research to create organizations which positively impact the world. DiDonna founded The Sabbatical Project with collaborator Professor Matt Bloom to explore when and why sabbaticals lead to positive outcomes for working professionals. He is currently writing a popular press book on the results of their research.

DiDonna previously cofounded EFL Global, which developed a "FICO score for emerging markets" in 2010. EFL enabled over $2B in capital to underbanked businesses and individuals across 20+ countries before being acquired in 2017. After his own meaningful sabbatical, DiDonna served as Interim Executive Director of Notre Dame's Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), which seeks to reduce poverty and improve lives through evidence-based policy. DJ also served as Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the African Leadership University during his time off, co-creating its multi-country Expert-in-Residence program. DJ has lived and worked in dozens of emerging market countries. He studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Notre Dame and received his MBA from Harvard Business School.