Catarina Krizancic Volunteer Profile

January 22, 2019

Catarina Krizancic is a cultural anthropologist and works at the University of Virginia as the Director of
the CORE program which is aimed to “deepen cross-cultural learning experienced in study, internships,
or research abroad.” After living outside the United States doing research for ten years, Catarina now
calls Charlottesville home, and is very much involved in the community by sharing her experience both
in academia and entrepreneurship.
Being an academic, Catarina identifies with the value of independent initiative in entrepreneurship. She
also finds similarities between her work as an anthropologist and as an entrepreneur in that creating
relationships and building trust with others is important in both. Catarina also grew up with
entrepreneurs around her starting from her father who is in consultancy for scientists that want to
market their ides, her stepmother who is an independent negotiator, and family members who have the
entrepreneurial energy to “go do your thing, and put up a shingle.”
She first joined CIC as a workshop participant in the Fall of 2015 when she was testing her idea of a
project of working with veterans who had extensive experiences doing development work and working
with NGOs. Although it is currently not an active project, Catarina considers it as “on-hold” rather than a
failure because none of these ideas disappear – they just are not sustainable and feasible at the time.
Catarina has had many other projects in the past that she enjoyed very much because of the excitement
that she draws from the process of building a start-up. She loves the part where she needs to do
everything for her business because it was a way for her to know it thoroughly and to know the work
enough to identify what types of people she should hire. From this comes her advice to entrepreneurs
to have an idea of how big they want to grow their businesses and to keep in mind the tendency of
losing touch with the actual activity that the entrepreneur built the business around in the first place.
Now volunteering with CIC as a workgroup leader, Catarina observes that CIC draws good people –
entrepreneurs who are courageous and authentic enough to place themselves in a vulnerable state of
starting a business. She is inspired by this courage, heart, passion, and energy that ultimately manifest
themselves in group sessions in CIC’s collaborative workshop.
Her ultimate advice to entrepreneurs in terms of doing business and for life in general is to enjoy what
one is doing – to not do anything only with the hope of getting to an end result but with the intention of
enjoying the process all the way through.