With Thanksgiving this week, I’m taking some time to reflect on my entrepreneurial journey and the many reasons I am thankful. Without a doubt, my entrepreneurial journey has been quite a rollercoaster ride. And, I’m deeply grateful for the amazing people who have chosen to take this ride with me.
I started this journey five years ago. My co-founder and mentor Seyed Amiry seeded an idea of creating a cooperative school. While we were ahead of our time for a cooperative school, you, Seyed, put an idea in my head that turned into Uptima Business Bootcamp. For your vision and ongoing mentorship, I am grateful.
Two years after that conversation, Uptima was officially born. We were given a home at Impact Hub Oakland. The Hub has not only been a space for our classes, but a place of synchronicity for many collaborations that have benefitted the Uptima community and network. I am grateful to Impact Hub Oakland for its partnership.
This same week three years ago, the first cohort of Uptima entrepreneurs graduated from their first module. This group of eight entrepreneurs took a chance on a new program, and they stuck with me while I was writing lectures the night before each class. For taking a risk on me and this idea, and giving me so much valuable feedback, I am grateful.
And, then an interesting thing happened when I got into the flow with Uptima. The day after our first cohort graduated, I went out on a first date. And, I met my life partner Karl Langer-Croager. For your love, support (and waking up early on Saturdays to help me prepare for classes!), I am grateful.
Today, we’ve grown to serve over 250 entrepreneurs through our programs. Each of our entrepreneurs inspires me by their dedication to make a positive impact in their communities through their businesses. For your investments in our local communities, I am grateful.
Last, but certainly not least, it takes a real team effort to build a network of business accelerators. Our dedicated lead instructors and mentors—Kelley, Fyodor, Thomas, Lesa, Seyed, Ginger, Sharmila, and April—make our programs happen. Additionally, our support team of Nancy, Hannah, Aaron, and Tatiana provide marketing, community management, and administrative assistance that keep our accelerators running strong. For your belief in me as a leader, the vision of Uptima, and the value of what we do, I am grateful.
Thank you to all! Wishing you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!