Meet the team: Venu Kunche, Venture for America fellow
Over the past few months, QuotaPath’s been working to build a partnership with Venture For America, an organization that pairs young entrepreneurs with high-growth startups for a two-year fellowship. From the get-go, we were drawn to VFA’s mission to create economic opportunity in emerging tech ecosystems and we’re excited to sit down with our first ever VFA hire, Venu Kunche, to chat about his experience.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I did my undergrad at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) as a Computer Science major. Growing up, I watched my father run various small businesses that had a real impact in the communities that he served and quickly discovered the allure of entrepreneurship and solving problems through this lens.
In college, I started a couple of businesses in various industries such as education and nutrition. I saw a market opportunity in the nutrition industry for a bioavailable nutrition bar and decided to pursue it through my startup Kore. I won the UAB Blazer Innovation Challenge Pitch Competition and took Kore through the UAB Commercialization Accelerator. Although I was making good progress, I came to the realization that there was a lot I still had to learn about how to grow and scale a company. So after graduating, I decided to do VFA and I am thrilled that I now get the opportunity to work at QuotaPath.
How did you get involved with VFA?
As graduation loomed, I was running out of time to figure out where to take my career. My goal is to start a company one day but what path do I take to get there? When I found out about VFA, I immediately knew it was a perfect fit for me. Not only would VFA give me the opportunity to meet 200 other individuals as passionate about entrepreneurship as me, but it would also help me find a job at a startup where I could develop my skillset. Not only do I resonate with VFA’s mission, but I also have access to the resources and network to pursue my own startup ideas if I need it. It was a no brainer for me. Now the only thing I had to do was to make sure I found the perfect startup to work for… Enter QuotaPath! (Apply to Venture for America.https://ventureforamerica.org/apply/)
Why did you choose QuotaPath?
Going into the VFA Startup Match process was challenging as fellows have to wade through hundreds of startups to find the right fit. My strategy was to focus on four main factors: product, team, culture, and role. I wanted to work on a product that understood the user’s perspective to alleviate their pain points. When talking to QuotaPath, they emphasized the importance of providing genuine value to salespeople. I especially loved the fact that their base product was free. When looking at the team, I wanted to work for an experienced team that knew the industry well. QuotaPath checked that box for me since many team members have worked in the sales industry for years. Fitting in with the culture of the company was an extremely important factor for me. Luckily, I knew that wouldn’t be a problem with QuotaPath as soon as I learned how genuine and fun the team is. Finally, I knew that I wanted a multifaceted role that would work with many parts of the company. As Operations Analyst, I’ll be able to gain experience with many different parts of the company. Knowing that QuotaPath fit all of these criteria for me, it was an obvious choice to apply.
Prior to starting here, you attended a month-long training camp. What were some key takeaways from that?
The purpose of VFA Training Camp is to teach skills that might be useful to the startups we’ll be working at. Representatives from companies such as Y-Combinator, IDEO, Yelp, and BCG came to teach us valuable skills. We also learned about the stories of various founders from The Knot, Duo, Krypton, and many others. Through all of these lessons, the main thing that I learned is the importance of forming relationships. Every founder would stress the importance of building a relationship with the customer base and making sure to know them very well. In terms of relationships and connections formed at training camp, I was able to meet 200 highly passionate VFA fellows who had similar interests and goals as I do. Our lunch conversations consisted of thinking through random business ideas and determine the best way to approach finding product-market fit… pretty typical lunch conversations for an average fellow.
What are you most excited about?
QuotaPath is a company founded out of the challenges that our founders faced while leading the sales teams at their previous startup. They took this problem and created the solution with QuotaPath. I love that problems are seen as opportunities waiting to be worked on. This type of mindset is the thing that excites me most about QuotaPath. I also love how fast-paced and goal-oriented the workplace is. They genuinely put in a massive effort to try and provide as much value for their customers as they can. I know that there is so much I have to learn from this incredibly talented team of entrepreneurs and innovators.