Alex Zorychta Volunteer ProfileJuly 15, 2019
Alex Zorychta is a UVA alum with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and a passion for entrepreneurship. After graduation, he founded several startups including a biotech company, an online magazine, and a YCombinator mobile gaming platform. At his biotech startup, Alex worked primarily on building a device that could detect bacterial infections in an inexpensive and easy way, similar to how a pregnancy test works. Having raised $250,000 dollars from a research grant, Alex led a team in the lab creating this product.
Although Alex loved his field and the perspective that it gave him, he was even more interested in cultivating personal connections with people around him. This motivated him to pursue a new opportunity in supporting student entrepreneurs. As he started growing his network of student mentees, the Engineering School at UVA reached out to Alex, asking him to do what he loved at a higher level, by helping student entrepreneurs follow a path similar to the one he took after graduation. Alex created a new way to support student entrepreneurship by cultivating community, creativity, and conversations. Alex held over 500 one-on-one meetings with students, supporting them through their challenges, and connecting them to others in the community who would be able to help them even further. Through this approach of intentionally designing the peer influences of the community, UVA saw a four-fold increase in the number of students who decided to pursue their startup full-time after graduation.
Alex’s passion for mentoring rising entrepreneurs, with a focus on better and more communication, made him an ideal volunteer for CIC’s Entrepreneur Workshop. Alex was interested in engaging with CIC entrepreneurs and went on to teach a workshop on customer discovery to two of the Entrepreneur Workshop cohorts. Alex felt this was a great opportunity to build transformational experiences that bring new perspectives and a creative mindset. His workshops are designed in a way that involve significant interactive elements and lessons about how to connect with strangers on a deeper and more meaningful level.
Alex believes CIC is “a special organization, unique from regular high-tech, high-growth incubators for startups”. He expresses that “participants of CIC are remarkable in a way that few people are. Usually, people who participate have a lot going on in their lives, and they venture out into this world of uncertainty to pursue what they’re passionate about.” Alex describes CIC entrepreneurs as eager and attentive. “Being in a room with these people, it’s energizing”, he says.
Alex is always looking for more opportunities to deliver these kinds of transformative experiences and hopes to continue to volunteer for CIC cohorts!
Thank you, Alex, for your support of CIC!