Mentor Spotlight: Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones is currently an Associate at ATX Venture Partners and a second-year MBA candidate at The University of Texas, McCombs School of Business. Before joining the program, he received his B.A. in Economics and Sociology from Morehouse College and graduated with honors.
While at Morehouse, Nathan was heavily involved in Student Government (SG) and served as the SG Chief of Staff. In this role, he was able to learn how to clearly define and understand problems that were plaguing the community and create avenues to collaborate with school officials to solve them.
One of the issues he noticed during his time at Morehouse was that there were no late-night dining options for students who were studying late into the night. This prompted him to start his first venture, Azul Byson — an app for people to make late-night food orders and have it delivered to their doorstep. Eventually, this became so successful that he would host late-night food events and hire a DJ for entertainment.
During his summers, he interned at Goldman Sachs and was offered a full-time position after the summer of his junior year, however, he declined it to pursue his social impact project, Village Micro Fund. The Village Micro Fund is a grassroots impact fund proving that under-resourced communities can self direct their own development through cooperative investing. They offer consulting and advising services in low-income neighborhoods and let the local people in the area invest in their local businesses. This project is a clear example of one of Nathan’s goals which is to build community around a product.
When asked what he wished he had known in college, Nathan shared that he wished he had paid attention to more design-oriented things. Since graduating from college, he has seen the importance of design in how people interact with products and he is paying more attention to this as he creates products centered around creating community.
Because of his love for supporting the entrepreneurship community, Nathan decided to become a mentor at The Launchpad. He feels that it is, when we’re in college, we have the most energy and our minds are on fire. While in college, students feel the pressure of everything coming together all at once, so what they need is a little structure and framing — something that Nathan enjoys and excels at. He enjoys hearing about how ideas form around some type of concept and how students are able to bring that to life. Nathan believes that mentorship is important and hopes to give back the same energy as influential people did for him in his life.
Upon completing his MBA in May, Nathan will be off to San Francisco to join an impact private equity fund to help neighborhoods work better. He will continue to think about how to create a place of community for people as well as start plans to raise funds for the Village Micro Fund.
Book a mentorship session with Nathan Jones and learn more about our other LaunchPad mentors here.
By LaunchPad Innovation Fellow, Seun Ibitoye.