It Started Early
As a kid I would sit on my bed in my room and throw a ball back and forth to a friend who would sit across the room. As we threw the ball, we’d think “what can we do to make some money?” At that age, it wasn’t as much about the money as it was about the opportunity and freedom that money affords a thirteen year old boy.
At that age, I was driven to create. I wanted to take action and I was attracted to business because it was about creating something from nothing. I can remember rearranging my room to look like an office and I made a ticker tape where I would post the closing Dow Jones Industrial Average every night. I was the kid walking up and down the street, knocking on neighbors’ doors selling wrapping paper, greeting cards, vegetables, etc.
When I was 15, I wanted to start a business selling baseball cards. I asked my mom how to go about doing just that. “Do I need a license?”, “do I ask someone’s permission?” My mom didn’t have the answers. Our public library didn’t seem to either. Due a lack of information, that baseball card business never got going. But the fire to create a business never went out.
I earned a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania.
My First Business Experiences
At Harvard Law in 1997, I was part of the founding team of a technology company that went on to raise a couple rounds of venture capital during Dotcom 1.0, although I went to work for Skadden Arps, a corporate law behemoth. A couple years in to that job, I was recruited to be a venture capitalist and corporate development executive in San Francisco – finding, negotiating, and closing venture investments and mergers & acquisitions. After being a casualty of the Dotcom bust in 2001, I moved to Texas and ended up launching a residential mortgage company. My partner and I got lucky and sold that at the right time – late 2006, not long before the wheels came off the lending wagon.
What I Do Now
Too much. I have 20+ years of experience in business finance, corporate law, and entrepreneurship. I run Cenkus Law, provide consulting services from The Startup Shepherd ®, and I’m an active angel investor. If you have questions or opportunities or anything else to discuss, reach out.