New Jersey native Jonathan Hakakian is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Growing up, he was immersed in the family business and eventually helped it to expand. He started out in the construction industry, eventually becoming project manager before starting his own Internet consulting firm in 2006, which helped domestic clients manage their international outsourcing needs.
Hakakian is also a director at the recently launched Young Venture Capital Society (YVCS), which is a non-profit organization whose mission is to prepare young venture capitalists for the future by educating them about financials and the industry itself, creating networking opportunities and hosting talks with leaders of the field.
Hakakian received a degree in Business Administration and Finance from George Washington University.
Managing Director at SoundBoard Angel Fund (Founded in 2011)
Food/Beverage, Education, Consumer Products, Technology
Soundboard Angel Fund
Director, Young Venture Capital Society
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On being bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at an early age:
“Growing up in a family business has its advantages, only a small part of which was listening to my parents hash out the details of the business at the dinner table, in the car, on vacations – really, any chance the two of them had. It is this exposure to the inner workings of business and the business owner mentality, that ignited a sense of intrigue and curiosity within me.”
On words of wisdom for startup entrepreneurs:
“Be open to listen to the investor side of the table. I know that sometimes it’s not easy to take an investor’s advice, but hear them out. Keep an open mind.”
On what Soundboard is looking for in startups:
“Right now, it’s all about the entrepreneur…If we don’t mesh with the entrepreneur, if we don’t believe in the entrepreneur and see his or her vision and that (that entrepreneur) can really make the business happen, then we can’t invest. This is where it starts with us.”