An entrepreneur, writer, philanthropist & unshakable optimist dedicated to helping you build a thriving startup community.
Who I am, What I Do
My name is Steven A. Rodriguez. I’m a connecter. I engage different fields, professions, and ideas in order to help people build startup communities. I can pitch the best people and ideas, but it takes a community to raise a startup. I can provide models and solutions, but there is no overnight success. Where I provide value is in empowering people to actively shape their startup community for the long game. The same is true for the martial arts, for education, for all of the different worlds I work and play in. I manage specific startup programs, but take the lessons from a global entrepreneurship network of programs and initiatives and collaborate with community stakeholders. I take solutions from the kwoon floor and bring them to personal development.
The net effect of all this is that fresh ideas, insights, and solutions are never far away because I can take a problem in one world, look for a similar problem with a solution in another world, and find solutions when “pure professionals” in just one world get stuck. That’s who I am, that’s what I do.
One of the things I’m often asked is
“How on earth did you get in all of this?”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been insatiably curious about human connection. I wanted to know, what exactly is it that makes people engage, connect and collaborate effectively? Why do some communities struggle while others find a way to thrive, often despite the most challenging circumstances?
I was also passionate about entrepreneurship. After moving to Washington DC, I became involved in fostering a #GiveFirst culture across a multitude of local, national and international startup communities.
Now I speak publicly about startup communities, helping to change the narrative around new majority small businesses and entrepreneurs for Project 500™ in Washington, D.C. I’m part of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, a non-profit building one global entrepreneurial ecosystem; a co-founder of BloomShift™ with Osman Sheikh; chair of the Technology Council at the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; a co-organizer for Techstars’ Washington, D.C. startup programs DC Startup Week™, Startup Weekend DC™ and Startup Digest™; the Vice President of Membership at the CCNY-DC, the City College of New York’s alumni chapter in Washington DC; the Managing Director at SUEGO™, a minority-owned solutions provider that develops innovative programs, products and services in five program areas. I was a practitioner of the Wing Chun martial arts style under the guidance of SiFu Michael Speights at Wing Chun MD.
I believe you must embrace a #GiveFirst mentality if you want astartup community.
That means give before you get. I believe that whether in your personal or professional career, removing the transactional component from the relationship is critical to thrive in the modern world and to foster effective community building.
News and Updates
You’ll find me online on:
- Twitter: @steverodrigz
- LinkedIn: on my profile
- Facebook: On my fan page.
- Instagram: On my profile @steverodrigz
Biographies are really weird things. About pages. All that. You basically have to primp yourself up and act all pompous and important and make sure people know why you’re worth it. I’m a really approachable and nice-seeming guy. Never hesitate to introduce yourself to me when you see me out and about, okay? I’m nice. Promise.