Born in the inner city of New Haven, CT / grew up loving basketball, video games, and music
One of the first in my family to attend college (VCU), but dropped out due to the lack of finances & entrepreneurship education options
Became a Sales Rep but wasn’t satisfied due to the lack of innovative product offerings in my area and cultural fit within the companies I worked for
Started a side hustle selling cannabis to my network @ my former college / got caught and served a total of 6 months / experience inspired me to explore economic innovation and niche social networks
Once released, I started my R&D, began sharing my work online and using no-code tools to rapidly prototype my ideas, and co-created a tech cooperative with local college students; and as a result, my life was forever changed
As an 80's baby growing up in the inner city of New Haven, Connecticut, I was obsessed with basketball, music, and video games. I was also the family-appointed "techie" who would setup and fix our electronic devices.
As an honors student, I was one of the first in my family to go to college. In 2001, I attended Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with the goal of becoming a walk-on for the basketball team, and honing my entrepreneurial skills.
Unfortunately, those plans didn’t come to pass as I couldn’t afford out of state tuition during my second year. This led me to begin a career in Sales and indirectly foster my desire to become a founder of my own business in the future.1983-2002
Finding Myself Through Adversity
Throughout my sales career, it was challenging to find a company that offered innovative products that excited me; especially one that had a culture that aligned with my personal values. So I jumped from job to job, until I eventually stumbled upon an opportunity to start my first side hustle: selling cannabis to my network at my former university.
Everything was going smooth until a string of unexpected events happened: My father passed away, and a couple months later I was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana. I ended up being incarcerated for a total of 6 months. Fortunately, that was a blessing in disguise for me as I discovered what I wanted to do with my life during the period.
I became fascinated with the alternative economy that operated within the prison camp I was located at; which inspired me to begin thinking about how to fuse experimental economics with the power of social networking. I was determined to begin my research and development into these spaces once I was released.2003-2009
Taking a Leap of Faith
In the Spring of 2009, I was finally free from the criminal justice system, and my life’s focus shifted. The majority of my time was spent on learning about and practicing eastern spirituality, doing a deep exploration into economic innovation and technology, and working a part-time seasonal job at the only place that would hire me: a local movie theatre.
After getting laid off as a seasonal worker in February 2010, I was filled with both excitement and fear. Was the Universe trying to communicate with me? What would I do for income? However, I vowed to myself that my circumstances would not hold me back. I was going to create my own future. This was the moment I began to take action toward my dreams of being a full-time entrepreneur.2009-2010
The Dream Journey
My entrepreneurial adventure started with (1) designing an economic innovation framework called “Producism”, (2) connecting with students at my former university to co-create an idea incubator cooperative that experimented with niche social networks, and (3) creating a personal challenge that forced myself outside of my comfort zone and helped raise awareness about the work we were doing.
This challenge entailed giving away 90% of my belongings to the homeless (only minimalist living), having no home of my own (only couchsurfing), and having no guaranteed income (only freelancing, bartering, and gifting). In exchange for room and board from my supporters, I offered my skills to help them begin building their startup ideas.
This challenge began in Oct. 2010 and lasted until Oct. 2013 when our team received a $50K grant from a successful tech entrepreneur. This adventure was documented as a YouTube series called “The Dream Journey”.2010-2013
Embracing Failure & Loss
The grant that we received funded a pilot we were developing at my former university, VCU. The project was called Producia, and it was a social marketplace for cash-strapped college students to find resources to build their creative projects; it used a time-based digital currency instead of traditional money.
Unfortunately, we didn’t reach our goals for the pilot, eventually ran out of funding, and was rejected by all of the accelerators we applied to. I believe we failed because we were too early to the market, the product had a high learning curve, and we focused more on creating new features instead of building community.
Eventually, my co-founders and I parted ways to work on our own digital agencies. I continued to refine my work and skills knowing that I would eventually get back to working on products instead of exchanging my time for income.
But then another devastating life event happened, my mother died due health complications. I felt lost; the same feeling as when my father died. I needed to channel those emotions into something constructive. I knew then that I had to get back to building my dreams instead of building someone else’s. I was going to start a new venture.2014-2018
Coming Full Circle
I believe in the saying “the further you go down, the higher you go up”, because it’s been a recurring theme in my life. In the summer of 2018, I was fortunate enough to gain a small inheritance from my mother's untimely death to enable me to focus full-time on building out my ideas and plans, with my new company, SEEDstudio. I took the next 2 years to work on my personal development and a strategy for bringing new products to market...then in early 2020, the Pandemic happened.
I started to witness a lot of R&D work I did back in the early 2010s, begin to become more and more mainstream: crowdsourcing, new types of startup incubation, alternative funding, impact entrepreneurship, the creator economy, crypto, online learning, niche social networking, startup societies, new types of gaming, and more. Now in 2021, I feel like the world is now ready for this new frontier of economic innovation...and here we come.2018-Present
Money Ads Mobile Advertising
VP of Sales & Marketing
Offered mobile billboard advertising and text message marketing services to local and regional businesses
Was in charge of website development, marketing strategy, and business development
This was the best job that I had because it enabled me to utilize all of my skillsApr 2007 – Oct 2008
Illuminated Ventures Project
Co-Founder & Innovation Manager
Mission-driven idea incubator cooperative that experimented with niche social platforms and offering aspiring talent low-risk entrepreneurship opportunities.
Lead our team in strategy and product developmentJune 2010 - December 2014
Jack of All Trades
Richmond, Virginia / Atlanta, Georgia
Offered startups, small businesses, and non-profits a variety of services:
-Business Planning and Strategy
-Community Currency DesignJan 2015 - June 2018
Founder & Innovation Architect
Mission-driven venture studio that experiments with co-creating crypto-infused social apps into impactful startup businesses.July 2018 - Present
- Emotional Intelligence
- Innovation Management
- NoCode Website & App Development
- Strategy Development
- Business Development
- Systems Design
- Community Currency Design
- Instructional Design
- Gamification Design
From the Book: "Don't Sell Me, Tell Me" by Greg Koorhan
A combination of the following:
Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done
Core Desire: to create things of enduring value
Goal: to realize a vision
Strategy: develop artistic control and skill
Talent: creativity and imagination
Weakness: perfectionism, unfinished projects
Greatest Fear: mediocre vision or execution
The Creator is also known as: The Artist, Inventor, Innovator, Craftsman, Musician, Writer, Dreamer
Motto: The truth will set you free
Core Desire: to find the truth
Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world
Strategy: seeking out information and knowledge; self- reflection and understanding thought processes
Talent: wisdom, intelligence
Weakness: can study details forever and never act
Greatest Fear: being duped, misled, or ignorance
The Sage is also known as: The Scholar, Detective, Philosopher, Researcher, Mentor
Motto: I make things happen
Core Desire: understanding the fundamental laws of the universe
Goal: to make dreams come true
Strategy: develop a vision and live by it
Talent: finding win-win solutions
Weakness: becoming manipulative
Greatest Fear: unintended negative consequences
The Magician is also known as: The Visionary, Catalyst, Shaman, Healer, Medicine Man
- Self Published the book "Producism: A New Game for a New Economy" (Jan. 2013)
- Featured or Mentioned in the Following Publications (2011-2015)
-The Next Web
- Became a Panelist at the Following Events (2011 -2014)
-SEED @ Harvard
-Penn Microfinance Annual Conference @ the Wharton School of Business
-Shareable Magazine’s SHARE NY @ Parson's New School of Design
-InsideBitcoin NYC & Las Vegas
-The Future of Money and Technology Conference
-Living the New Economy Conference - Oakland
- Raised a $50,000 grant for a next-gen social marketplace startup (2013)
- oTrep's startup pitch was invited to submit a full proposal for an opportunity to receive up to $1.75 Million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation's "America's Seed Fund" - Proposal is in development (2020)
- Mirchi Market