Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

16TH May 2016

Adventure - Choate - Entrepreneur - Family and Friends - Timely

Start Up Choate Panel

Chloe @Choate

Chloe @Choate

Chloe and I hosted another Start Up Choate panel, this one at Alumni Weekend in Wallingford. I felt like I was home. The panel was really cool, and diverse. From first-timers to old timers. From old-school tech like Mobile (it’s ten years Alex!) to new stuff like trans-gender HR management (thanks for the heads up Natalie!). Here’s the whole panel:

  • Jordan Bookey ’96, Co-Founder of Zoobean
    • Jordan Lloyd Bookey is Chief Mom and co-founder of Zoobean. Her company’s flagship product, Beanstack, serves as a technology platform for public libraries’ reading programs across the country and in Canada. Formerly a teacher and Google’s Head of K-12 Education Outreach, Jordan is originally from Des Moines, Iowa, and now lives with her family in Washington, D.C.
  • Natalie Egan ’96, Founder of trans.cafe
    • Natalie is a proven entrepreneur with significant experience building software products, growing teams, raising capital, and navigating the complexities of start-up land. Her latest business, trans.cafe (which actually publicly launched just a few days ago on May 11), is a digital media / publishing company focused on creating transgender related content for both individual consumers and corporate institutions.
  • Nick MacDonald ’11, Founder of Bronx.Tech
    • Nick is new to entrepreneurship and is about to pilot his second venture after developing a social media tool for small businesses to control their digital presence. Nick’s new venture provides a controlled environment for corporations to build internal products or eLearning modules that drive down costly metrics within different divisions.
  • Alex Moazed ’06, Founder & CEO of Applico
  • Bob Vanech ’86, Founding CFO and Board Member, Zealot Networks
    • Bob Vanech, known to the Class of ’86 as Bobby V. is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and grown three different startups over the past 20 years in the technology, media, and telecom spaces. In the process, he raised over $100 million in angel and venture capital that included investments from approximately a dozen Choate grads and has employed over 20 Choate alums in both executive and entry-level positions. Bob’s most recent venture was the founding of Zealot Networks.

One of my favorite parts (besides the endless audience Q&A), was the new answers I got from this question: What trait did you learn at Choate and how are you using it today as an entrepreneur?

Now, I usually hear all about Time Management. With 4 hours homework, sports, extra curriculars, there are precious few moments left in the day. Choate forces us to prioritize, focus, or be swarmed under. But the answers I had not heard before were striking, and true. Bobby Vee spoke of the Universal Optimism he brought from Wallingford. A self described jock from the mean streets of Bridgeport, Bobby was infused with this glow that has never left him. He credits/blames Choate as the genesis. Jordan, on the other hand, surprised me a second time with the example of  Operating outside of comfort zone which is actually so normal here, as to be forgotten. We both went to the Choate school in Paris, way out of our league. Everyone there is challenged academically, socially, athletically, and yes morally. Challenged in a good way, but challenged.


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