Startup founder presents to HW Venture

Alumnus Alec Katz ’19 presents to students about his education company, Curious Cardinals.

Sandra Koretz/Chronicle

Alumnus Alec Katz ’19 presents to students about his education company, Curious Cardinals.

Iona Lee and Tate Sheehy

HW Venture invited alumnus Alec Katz ’19 to discuss entrepreneurship and his startup Curious Cardinals in Rugby Auditorium on Jan 11. 

 Curious Cardinals employs college students to help them pursue their interests with mentorship and guidance. Before founding Curious Cardinals in 2020, Katz founded Soles4Good, a nonprofit that helps women in developing nations begin their own businesses. 

In his presentation, Katz explained that optimism is an important leadership quality because it can inspire others. He said to smile more and inspire others, and he encouraged the audience to be enthusiastic in their pursuits. 

“A life hack that I’ve learned over the last year is just to smile more,” Katz said. “It is the best and easiest change you can practice. If there is anything you take away from today, it is when you feel sad, [be sure to] smile more. If you are in an awkward situation, smile more.”

Katz said problem-solving and following through with goals requires passion, self-motivation and drive. 

“If you’re not the most passionate person for the problems you’re trying to solve, go back to another problem because there will be someone who lives it and breathes it,” Katz said. “When things go poorly, you need to be passionate about [your issue] because it is a roller coaster, and you need to be able to weather the storm.”

Attendee Sarah Brown ’24 said Katz motivated her to pursue issues she is passionate in. 

“[Katz] inspired me to continue working on our school projects and do things not necessarily because they will look good on a college application but because I find [them] interesting,” Brown said. “What I took away from this presentation is to do what interests me and work on passion projects because they will always be beneficial in the long run.”

HW Venture member Gabe Levin ’23 said he hopes to preserve his relationships with speakers he has met through Venture after their presentations. 

“I communicate with alumni and community members who want to begin or continue their involvement with HW Venture’s various programs and opportunities,” Levin said. “I’ve met some amazing people through HW Venture that I hope to maintain my relationship with for years beyond my graduation.”