During his time as a student at Georgetown, Zubin Teherani’s academic interests spanned from Chinese to Pre-Med. Teherani had trouble finding the major he was most interested in, but knew all along that he was drawn to a course of study – and a career path – that would allow him to help others.
In 2011, while he was still at Georgetown, Teherani and a friend co-founded C2C Abroad, a startup that sold phones and SIM cards to students who were studying overseas. Although the business ultimately failed, it provided Teherani with valuable experience in e-commerce and person-to-person sales.
In Teherani’s senior year at Georgetown, during the chaos that is hiring season, he applied to Venture for America. Teherani considered both consulting firms and large tech companies, but eventually decided that he wanted to pursue a path of entrepreneurship. Venture for America, an organization that places college graduates at startups in “lower-cost cities,” offered the structure and support that Teherani needed in order to feel safe taking the risk of working at a startup.
VFA placed Teherani in New Orleans at a company that builds software for scanning driver’s licenses. Although his experience in startups was limited and his knowledge of technology was essentially nonexistent prior to starting at VFA, Teherani has since had the opportunity to develop his understanding and expertise in both areas. Teherani’s responsibilities at the startup included sales, digital marketing, and the redesign and redeployment of their website. His experience at VFA was so meaningful that Teherani is now working on starting his own company in New Orleans. “If I could go back and do it again, I would one hundred percent do it again. The combination of the network of people I’ve met, the mentorship involved, the incredible amount of learning I’ve done in just a year – it has been amazing.”
Teherani credits much of his interest in startups and entrepreneurship to his experiences at Georgetown and (at the risk of sounding “very very Georgetown”) to the Jesuit ideals that play such a huge role on campus: “Going to Georgetown really exposed me to this idea of reflecting on the ‘serving others’ type of mentality.” Although working for a startup may have been the riskier, more uncertain choice, Teherani’s passion for entrepreneurship and his desire to help others allowed him to explore options far removed from traditional careers in tech or consulting, and ultimately led him down the road less traveled: Venture for America.