Hometown: North Hollywood, CA
University: Georgetown University ’12
What initially attracted you to Venture for America?
VFA made promises that went against everything I heard before.
I was told I couldnt do startups because of the risk. VFA minimized the risk. I was told it was smarter to hate my job and earn more than to earn less. VFA offered half the salary and a job Im passionate about.
VFA challenges the status quo and by extension, I do too.
What is the best part of being a VFA Fellow?
While completely absorbed in the local start-up scene, VFA is great at keeping my ears open to entrepreneurial activity happening across the national landscape and helping me tap into the larger network of knowledge and experiences. Were largely aware of the other activity happening outside of our city and able to plug into people, resources, and events everywhere.
What does Cintrifuse do?
Cintrifuse has three elements: the fund, the space, and the access.
Our fund will invest in early-stage venture capital funds across the nation and develop a network of venture capital firms and other high-potential investment sources.
Were building out a 40,000 square foot coworking space in Cincinnatis up-and-coming historic district, Over-the-Rhine, as a center for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Were also providing startups with access to our leading edge partners including Procter & Gamble, Kroger, Childrens Hospital, and Macys, among others. Cintrifuse believes this partnership will provide the expertise and connections to accelerate startup growth.
What do you do on a typical day at work?
There is no typical day. I walk in, go to my standing desk, unpack and catch up with my co-workers. Prep for meetings on website development, fundraising, potential investments, tenant applications, architectural renderings, class production, etc. I might meet with a couple entrepreneurs and see if they can mentor, teach a class, want to work in our space, connect with our network, etc. Ill also work on hosting classes for entrepreneurs, holding discussions to fold community players into what were doing, look at potential hires, and more.
What’s your favorite thing about Cincinnati?:
The connections Ive made in Cincinnati are completely unprecedented, the level of engagement and genuine interest people made me feel instantly welcomed me into the city. I honestly feel like I could grab a cup of coffee with anyone without blackmailing anyone.
In reality, Cincinnati’s the first place I’ve had a full-time job (and identity) of creating value and it has a special place. While going to school or visiting my friends, there isn’t the same sense of fitting in and rooting yourself in the city. It’s a completely different dynamic and I’m glad to be experiencing a culture and community independent from my previous experiences.
Cincinnati also has the great perks of its proximity to nature, Nashville, and Chicago while supporting its own culture and style of innovation. The best breweries are popping up here, I can get anything from Vietnamese to vegan food for lunch. Ive attended tons of shows from ballets to musicals to comedy shows. Come and youll love it too!
What do you hope to accomplish in your time with VFA?
Become Cincinnatis one-stop source for start-up information and connections, learn a programming language, lure my startup idols to be my mentor, be on reality TV, start a company.