Employee Spotlight of the Month: Yvette Rodriquez
Yvette Rodriguez, Associate at Cultivation Capital
Name: Yvette Rodriguez
University: Brown University
Class of: 2015
What did you study in college? Economics & History
You joined Cultivation Capital as a Venture For America fellow. How was your experience participating in VFA, and how did it prepare you for your role at a venture capital firm? Being part of VFA has been great because of the exposure you get to a network of like minded peers interested in evolving dynamism and their interesting ideas. As well as VFA training camp exposing you to the different concepts start-ups tackle. Given that there’s always something new in VC, and you want to keep up with trends in tech, I’d say VFA best prepared me to feel comfortable with the feeling of not knowing how to do something, but quickly figuring it out, and constant change
What are you currently working on? One of the things I like about my job, is that I’m able to work on a variety of things. I work with the accelerators to identify promising early stage start-ups with great ideas across FinTech, AgTech, SaaS, healthcare IT, and consumer products. This involves marketing aspects, market research and outreach. I’m well as learning what an accelerator’s down-select process looks like to learning about fund formation and fund structures.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your job? Initially, it was the learning curve that comes with understanding some of the industries that various start-ups are in and how their business models and KPI’s vary by industry. Oh and also learning the meaning of the myriad of acronyms.
What has been most rewarding? I’d say having the first class of accelerator companies that I was involved with graduate from PWE Accelerator and hearing about their progress.
What’s next on your list to learn? More about everything! Now that I’ve been exposed to industries like FinTech and know more about the world of SaaS I realize there’s so much I don’t know because these areas are always bubbling with new offerings and new processes.
Since you moved to St. Louis as a VFA fellow, how have you felt about the transition into a new city? Anything that made it easier or harder to settle in? I think moving to a new city you are not familiar with right after college can be difficult because you are simultaneously transitioning from a familiar place in which you have a network to a new place without a network. While also transitioning from the safety bubble of college to the “real world of adulating”. Working in a co-working space like T-Rex was helpful in meeting young people working passionately on their ideas. The pre-established network of fellows that were already in St. Louis also helped in settling in.
What do you like about working in venture capital? It’s dynamism, I get to learn about industries and processes that I didn’t even know existed. I like listening to different pitches and hearing the entrepreneurs talk about how they are uniquely tackling different issues—I also love hearing about the inception of the idea.
What feedback or advice would you give to a recent college graduate who is considering launching his/her career in St. Louis? St. Louis is a small community in which it is feasible to have a pulse on what is happening around town, especially in the entrepreneurial scene. The people are quite friendly and willing to answer your questions – no matter how unsophisticated they may be.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? I’m terrified of heights. I can’t even ride the Ferris wheel without having a panic attack.
To learn more about Venture for America, check out their website: www.ventureforamerica.org.
Interested in hiring a VFA fellow? Contact Colleen, firstname.lastname@example.org