As a student at University of Delaware I remember a moment when the entrepreneurship program was just getting started. They were giving away $500 to students who wanted to start ventures, and they didn’t get enough applicants. I knew there wasn’t a lack of ambition on campus, but instead a lack of interest and awareness in pursuing entrepreneurial projects.
I spent the following years leading the school’s entrepreneurship club, hosting speaker series, leading workshops, planning pop-up events, collaborating with other clubs, and designing learning experiences to help more students see the potential of incorporating an entrepreneurial mindset into their lives.
When I graduated, I was introduced to a group of people working on Dual School, an entrepreneurship program for high school students. I had so many ideas for how to best spark interest in problem solving at a young age, and I saw this as the opportunity to try longer form programming. I was designing multi-month, sometimes, multi-year programs for young people.
Dual School has been quite successful, sending alumni to the top schools in the country like Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Cornell and more, while also helping these youth launch changemaking ideas in their local communities. We brought in nearly one million dollars in revenue and partnered with school districts, the state of Delaware, other non profits, and local corporations.
A few key things happened that made me realize it was time to move on from Dual School. First, I moved away from Delaware and became more distant from the young people we served. Second, we had enough funding to sustain, but not enough to really scale up and hire a solid team around me. I ended up spending most of my time feeling like a solo-founder. I had great advisors, and great partners at many times, but there was not a strong core team working collectively full time. Lastly, I felt like my growth was stagnating. I was ready to jump into something faster paced, working with a great team on an ambitious goal.
I felt parts of that when I explored web3 in late 2021. I was thrown into a fast-paced environment where I was learning quickly and building with some incredibly talented people. But as the market turned in the spring of 2022, it became clear that the team would not be able to support me full time.
That leads me to this moment. After 4+ years of founding and leading an organization in the entrepreneurship education space, a year of exploring web3 and a lifetime of thinking about innovation, I’m ready for my next move.
I’m looking for opportunities with small technology companies who need someone scrappy that can come in and immediately find ways to add value in marketing, partnerships and business development.
If you know of any opportunities or people I should talk to, please reach out to zjonsee at gmail dot com! Or connect with me on Linkedin.