Interview: Ann Davis, Co-Founder & CEO of Venture with Impact
Prosper Suite Entrepreneur Interview Series
Ann Davis is a Co-Founder & CEO of Venture with Impact. Venture with Impact organizes full packaged skills-based volunteering abroad for those looking for the ability to work remotely for at least a month. They organize accommodation, workspace, and local partnerships.
Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Venture with Impact currently has programs in Medellin, Colombia, and Trujillo, Peru. Their upcoming new programs in 2018 will be in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Portugal.
See the world. Alongside cultural activities and trips to dig deeper into the local culture, each program includes shared accommodations.
Do your job remotely. Each program includes a shared workspace with high-speed internet.
Make an impact in your community. The core of each program is getting matched with a personalized pro-bono opportunity with local partners.
Venture with Impact Programs
Medellín is one of the most popular digital nomad cities in the world. Colombia’s second largest city offers the amenities of a livable urban life; including public transportation, safety, affordable cafes and grocery stores, temperate weather, and high-speed internet. View the application here.
Thailand offers ancient ruins, tropical beaches, and the modern cityscapes of Bangkok. Chiang Mai is a Northern religious center that has elaborate Buddhist temples, including 14th-century Wat Phra Singh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang. View the application here.
TRUJILLO, PERU (JANUARY 2017 — AUGUST 2017)
Trujillo is a coastal colonial center in Northwestern Peru known for its surfing and Chan Chan, the UNESCO World Heritage Site that was the largest adobe city in the ancient world.
View the application here.
Interview with Ann Davis, Co-Founder & CEO of Venture with Impact
1. Why did you start your first business?
There are many variables that led me to found Venture with Impact, however, it really begins with my experience as a cancer survivor. While working as a teacher in New Orleans I was on a run with friends one day and felt an electric shock run up the side of my leg, like I had stuck my foot in a toaster. Bam! I was on the ground, body in convulsions, and was rushed to the hospital. Two weeks later after a 12-hour craniotomy, I was diagnosed with brain cancer and my life forever changed. After undergoing chemo and radiation treatment, I made a full recovery and have been in remission for four years. Without this mind-boggling, terrifying, looney life event, I would probably never had the guts to quit my full-time job and follow my dream.
2. When did you start your first business?
October of 2016
3. When a customer first visits your website, what is the first interaction they have with your business?
I believe that when people come across our website, it is our mission that most resonates with them. Having traveled the world while working full-time jobs, we understand the internal struggle of wanting to maintain a professional career, while at the same time nurturing our adventurous and humanitarian identities. The mission of Venture with Impact is to expose professionals to new cultures, people and ideas so that they may be more informed and empathetic world citizens, and in the process, provide a positive social impact.
4. Where is your business located? If you are online, what region are you focused on?
Incorporated in Milwaukee, WI. Programs in Medellin, Colombia, and Trujillo, Peru. New Programs in 2018: Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Portugal.
5. What is your personal goal for your business?
Work flexibility and travel. Inspiring others to travel and give back.
6. What is your business’ purpose (mission statement)?
The mission of Venture with Impact is to expose professionals to new cultures, people and ideas so that they may be more informed and empathetic world citizens, and in the process, provide a positive social impact.
7. What helps your business stand out from your competition?
In addition to being a workstation program, we stand apart in that we have a social impact component. We match our Venturers with a skills-based volunteer project dependent on the needs of our organizations as well as the professional abilities, interests and work schedule of each participant.
8. What struggle did you have reaching your customer?
Honing in on our target market, and reaching that market using a bootstrapping budget.
9. What lessons did you learn from that struggle?
Perseverance and lean analytics are key.
10. What tip would you give new business owners?
Take risks, be positive and optimistic, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and use your network. Don’t be afraid to tell people about your idea and spread the word. We are so afraid of failure and what others think…but most people don’t spend time thinking about what that you failed at, but if you succeed, it’s something that they notice.
11. Where do you hope your business will be in one year?
Three new locations, 3 times as many participants, 10 times the impact!
12. What are you doing to make that hope a reality?
Our founder is participating in a business accelerator program in Milwaukee this fall, with the goal of encountering angel investors.
13. Who is your business mentor (in real life person or an author/ business coach)?
Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across…amzn.to
14. What are you obsessed with outside of your business?
Travel, Health and wellness (yoga, vegetarianism, work-life balance, etc.), foodie
15. Does this obsession overlap with your business? If so, how do you integrate it?
Absolutely! I am constantly traveling and living abroad, which also allows me to try many new foods! My most recent foodie find is Champu, from Cali, Colombia. It’s a mixture of corn, pineapple, lulo (fruit), cinnamon and cloves. Additionally, I have the opportunity to practice yoga in studios and outdoor environments all over the world.
Learn a Bit More About Venture with Impact
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