MLTer’s recognized as part of “40 under 40” – Trevor Thomas-Uribe
Trevor Thomas-Uribe is a 2009 MBA Prep Alum and a Darden School of Business Alum. He is Co-Founder and Partner at Cross Culture Ventures. Named one of the 2016 40 Under 40 Top Diverse Talents in Silicon Valley, Trevor shares more about his path to Cross Culture Ventures.
Can you briefly tell us about your career path/story to date before getting involved with Cross Culture Ventures?
I started out as an engineer. I studied at Morgan State University for undergrad, worked for a couple years in management consulting and then went to MIT for grad school. I started a company in LA while in Boston and continued working on it while obtaining my MBA at Darden. After graduating and exiting the company, I started working in venture capital, first at a family office in LA, then small fund in San Diego, before co-founding Cross Culture Ventures.
What motivated you to become part of Cross Culture Ventures? Please share a little about your company/organization.
Marlon Nichols (MBAP ’09), Troy Carter and I started Cross Culture Ventures because we share the belief that startups best equipped to navigate the flux of mainstream culture have an advantage. We thought our combination of experiences would help us to build an interesting fund investing along that thesis. We started about 1.5 years ago and have made 11 investments so far.
What did you learn from MLT and your business school experience that helped you achieve your success?
MLT’s focus on scrappiness, and superior preparation was great life advice that has stayed with me. In fact scrappiness is a characteristic we look for in the founders we back. I also met Marlon, and a bunch of great people I run into surprisingly frequently. At Darden I learned finance, entrepreneurship and general management. I also learned a bit about the south, and American culture that I hadn’t learned growing up in the Bay Area and Northeast. Darden also was great in that they invested in and incubated my start up. Finally, it was a professor/investor from Darden that helped me to realize that I could cut it in venture capital.
Did you ever think you would be where you are today?
I thank God for all of His blessings and I am excited about what is in store. Being in venture was a long-term goal that happened much more rapidly than I had planned.
Anything you wish you had done differently?
There are thousands of things I would have done differently. I’ve made so many mistakes, as a founder, as an investor, just as a human being. The biggest one is not enjoying the moment. I wish I had taken it a little easier and enjoyed every step. We are always surrounded by drama and beauty. One has to make a decision to embrace the beauty.
Share briefly your experience so far in Silicon Valley. Include some of the things you’ve learned or discovered.
I actually grew up in Palo Alto, so Silicon Valley is home. It’s been really awesome coming back and living and working in my hometown, and seeing how much it has changed. Though it’s a bit less bohemian than it was when I was a kid, it is also more inclusive and exciting.
How do you feel about winning this award?
Grateful! I didn’t even know that I was a nominee, and was honestly surprised by the selection. I thank all those that made that happen.
What advice would you give someone interested in going into the Tech industry or starting their own business/organization?
Do it! But take a long-term view. It will be awkward at times, and there are no roads without detours—stick with it, don’t quit, work hard and eventually something awesome will work.
What’s next for you?
More Venture! Professionally, I hope to be in venture for as long as I can continue to be useful to founders and investors. I love this work, I love working with incredible founders and seeing them succeed.