How I Came to Startup Institute Boston


Jordan Morano graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut’s School of Business in June 2005, with a concentration in Finance and a Minor in International Studies. He has worked in the business operations of two international hedge funds based in New York, NY and Paris, France, as well as an energy management company in Boston, MA. He also helped launch a gelato business with his sister in NH.

When reflecting about what lead me to apply to the Startup Institute Boston, up and quit my job and attend the Spring 2013 class, my mind goes way back to the beginning of my memories. When I was a kid, three years old, I was playing with my sister near an elementary school that our brother and sister attended. We were being watched by our Mexican babysitter (we were living in New Mexico at the time).

I remember making the connection that our siblings were in school and then asking my younger sister if she wanted to go see them. Without waiting for a response, I led us across the schoolyard wall (it was a short mud wall at the time) and across the yard to the school doors.

I had no idea what classroom my brother or sister were in, but proceeded to peer into each door until I saw my brother who quickly shooed us away to my older sister’s classroom where we unceremoniously joined her class celebrating a birthday. My mom was waiting for us at the school exit and was furious. Reflecting back on it now, I smile because I see some traits that are and will continue to be a part of me: I tend to do first and figure things out as I go.

There are a number of similar stories like this throughout my life. The most recent obviously being the decision to leave a stable job and join the Startup Institute. Despite this tenacity to do, I have also wrestled with indecision. Throughout my late 20s, I have become more aware of the essential ingredients that make up my being and therefore I am able to make life decisions more confidently. I’ve never had a problem making a decision when something I know I want is presented in front of me.

I studied business in college and studied abroad in France my last semester. I began my professional experience in NYC where I firm hopped until I found myself in a small (50 people) but large ($6 billion) hedge fund, working in the back office doing business operations.

I learned a lot but quickly became restless and demoralized with my morning commute (ever see Joe vs. the Volcano?). I tried changing it up, bought a scooter, looked at work overseas, told my boss that I wanted to work for the Amsterdam office and even almost went. I eventually found a job at a French hedge fund in Paris.

I quit my job while I was in the plane to Paris for my final interview. Again I don’t have a problem making decisions when I set my mind to something). In Paris, despite the expat lifestyle, I didn’t enjoy my job and felt even less challenged than before. I did some night MBA classes and after two years came back to the states. Then I put my mind to helping my sister’s business take off, which I then went ahead and did.

At this point, the ingredients of my life had become more firmly in place, and I knew what I wanted: to work in the tech industry using tech. I looked for work in Boston, and joined a clean tech company in the finance operations, where I worked for 2 years till I found the Startup Institute.

As would have it, I discovered SIB from an alum who was wearing a t-shirt and was at a coffee bar that I frequent. I am a big believer in opportunity cost and that is why SIB is a marvel: you need to make yourself present for opportunity when it hits you and you can’t do that behind a desk. You can, however, definitely do that at Startup Institute.

Over the past few weeks, I have been immersed in the startup culture here in Boston through multiple channels: founders’ talks and Q&As, panels, and job fairs. I have also been learning online marketing skills that will aid me on day 1, as well as bouncing and learning ideas from other students with different experiences and skills. The opportunity to learn has increased every day that I have been enrolled in this program and I feel that my hunger to learn has only increased.