Spotlight on Chukwudi N. Kanu
Meet Chukwudi N. Kanu: Program Manager at StartEd, Co-Founder of Life After Bing, UN Youth Representative, and Associate at 1455 Ventures
What inspired you to get into your line of work?
I wear a few different hats, but formally I work as the Program Manager at StartEd, Co-Founder of Life After Bing, and as an Associate at 1455 Ventures, where I support early-stage founders from ideation to growth stage, create a space for Black and Latinx students and alumni to connect, share opportunities, and get great insights for their careers, and invest in founders of AI/ML, Automation, Blockchain/DLT, Real Estate, Health, B2B, Security, and SaaS companies, respectively.
The reason I'm in these roles is because I grew up debating as a Model United Nations Delegate, as well as representing my generation in different youth forums for over a decade. As a result of that, I got exposed to a wide variety of issues in different countries that I wanted to address, but didn't know how. Now, I watch a lot of anime and one thing a character named Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece said that REALLY resonated with me is that he's nothing without his comrades in the face of mountains of adversity. That sticks with me to this day because I don't have the capacity to solve all the problems of the world alone, but there's plenty of people with similar ideas that also want to resolve them who I can collaborate with and support to resolve those problems. Hence why, I'll host programs to support them, create spaces for them to connect them with others they can collaborate with, and deploy capital to help them scale.
What is the best piece of personal advice you've ever received? How about advice you've given?
The best piece of personal advice I've gotten is to enjoy the little detours you find yourself on your journey. That's usually where you find the things that are important to you. It's really helped me acclimate to unplanned situations which have usually ended up leading to great things.
I think the best advice I've given is to always aim to view the world through different lenses. Sometimes the lens you view the world from is not what you need to address the problem in front of you.
Who is a mentor that has changed your life? How and why?
Aaron Cohn at Quiet Ventures and one of the Hosts of Founder's Fridays. He was the first person I told that I was interested in venture capital who believed in me and gave me actionable steps to move forward. Without that push he gave me, I'm not sure I would be in the positions I'm in now.
Confidence Boost Power Song: Luck Life by Symbol
Words you live by: "Keep flying higher so that others are inspired to fly with you." - Itsuki Minami
Fave Film: The Godfather