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Empowerful Podcast: Dave Whorton, Founder of The Tugboat Group

The Empowerful Podcast was created to share the profound stories of movers and shakers who are positively impacting the world. Together, we believe we can amplify that change. We live by the motto of an old African Proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

 In today's episode of the Empowerful Podcast, we are joined by Founder, CEO, and visionary of The Tugboat Group — Dave Whorton. The Tugboat Group is built on the premise of supporting "Evergreen" companies, which are companies built to grow sustainably, stay private, and have a purpose-driven mission. After being involved in many facets of finance and private equity, Dave shifted gears to design a system to do things his own way.

Tune in for a conversation about the growth of small brands, how to navigate the financing landscape, and Dave's journey from Silicon Valley to Sun Valley. For all aspiring business owners, this is an episode you won't want to miss.

Available on: Spotify and Apple Podcasts


For someone to buck the status quo of the venture financing world, they need to take a journey into the belly of the beast first. Dave has certainly done that. His experience is wide-ranging along with the cast of characters he shared conference tables with along the way. Dave got his start working for Hewlett Packard and studying mechanical engineering. It wasn't long before a connection led to an opportunity, led to Dave helping broker the sale of a business at age 24. Dave's next serendipitous connection led to a foot-in-the-door in the venture capital world. Within that world, Dave helped back massive deals, founded start-ups, and ran into mutual partnerships with Jeff Bezos.

As Dave started to build his family, he realized he needed to slow down and focus on what he really cared about. He started to look around and see if there was a different strategy for building an amazing company. Dave was moving out of the traditional VC landscape and starting to create his own legacy — The Tugboat Group. 

The Tugboat Group is built on the premise of supporting Evergreen companies that operate under the model of the "7 Ps." These "Ps" are designed as a roadmap to help founders create the company they aspire to build without compromising their values in the name of rapid growth and a quick exit. The Ps are as follows: 

"The first three Ps — Purpose, Perseverance, and People First — define the character of the leaders and team. The last four Ps—Private, Profit, Paced Growth, and Pragmatic Innovation — reflect the long-term strategy tenets of an Evergreen business."

To MiiR, these concepts are music to our ears. When Bryan, MiiR's Founder & CEO, learned about The Tugboat Group, he was eager to join and has been a member ever since. As the business landscape trends towards a focus on quarterly profit and fast money, we are excited to be a part of a community that thinks differently. To Dave and The Tugboat Group, thank you for helping pave the way!

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