Tell us what you think we need to know about you.
I was born and raised here, in the South Bend area. I went to Mishawaka High School, and then went on to Indiana University where I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I started pursuing a secondary education degree. Right at the time where I was basically a semester two away from graduating with that degree, I realized I didn’t really have a passion for this— I had more of a passion towards entrepreneurship.
My dad had a small business and every summer I was helping him with that, and constantly trying to improve that for him. While I was in college, I also started my own business for the summer: an exterior cleaning business. I really gravitated towards this more. So I changed my major at the very last minute.
If I would have had three more credits to my name and credit hours, the school that I transferred to would not have allowed that to happen.
So I did that, came home in the summers and continued to grow my business. I then got involved in a startup in Bloomington and was able to actually manage my business remotely from there. That didn’t completely work out due to some things out of my control. Luckily, I had this business to fall back on and so I didn’t have to go and get a real job yet. I’m constantly walking that tightrope of having to get a real job or not. So it was good to have that, it’s carried me over until this point. Now I’m looking for some bigger problem to solve.
You’ve talked about being mission-driven. What kind of problems are you excited to tackle and how does your notion of mission play into that?
I’m trying to avoid coming into this whole experience with any pre-conceived notions of specific problems. When it comes to being mission-driven, I just want to have some sort of net-positive on whatever I’m doing.
There’s a lot of businesses out there that are just designed to make money, but, that’s not really something that’s of interest to me. I mean, of course we need money in order for our businesses to be sustainable, but really I just want to create something that is is net-positive on society.
I want the people who use a product that we create to be gaining something positive from that. that’s what I view mission-driven as— just having a net-positive impact on the people who I do business with and the people I interact with.
In contrast to everyone else from Cohort 2, you are local to the area— How do you think this affects your process in searching for problems?
I think it’s going to definitely give me a better grasp the community as a whole and how that works, since I’ll already have a foundational understanding of it. I think it could be a disadvantage in some ways too, because other cohort members have seen problems in areas that I’ve never been exposed to. But I think that being a part of the cohort, and the whole concept of INVANTI, sharing ideas and such, is really beneficial because I can help everyone get up to speed with what the community is like. I mean, I’m not an expert, but I can help them get a feel for my experience here, and they can help me get a feel for how that relates to their experiences. I fully plan on that being a part of my process — integrating their experiences and my experiences.
It’s exciting what’s going on here, and it excites me being from this area and seeing all the people come together, socially speaking. I was just at the Innovation Rally earlier today, and it was packed! There were a couple hundred people coming together who really want to improve this area and see it become a hub, so it’s exciting.
INVANTI is a startup generator in the Midwest.
We recruit entrepreneurial talent and provide them deep insight into the most important problems facing Americans today. We then generate new solutions and business models and ultimately build companies that matter: invanti.co