Cate Costa is the Founder of Venture Catalyst Consulting, a small consulting firm that specializes in helping startup company founders plan and expand their new businesses. She also operates the New Venture Mentor blog – a weekly dose of tips, tricks, and tutorials to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses – and the Startup Nomad blog – a discussion of entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world – from her primary website at www.CateCosta.com.
Until recently, she also worked as a Business Consultant with the Minority Business Development Agency’s Business Center in Washington, DC helping the founders, CEOs, and executive management teams of minority-owned companies with contract procurement, financing assistance, business process improvement, marketing, and growth strategy development. Now she’s fully mobile and exploring startup ecosystems around the globe – beginning in Latin America – to see how entrepreneurs are making it happen at home, wherever home may be.
Prior to becoming a consultant she headed up the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Howard University School of Business and oversaw the operations of the school’s entrepreneur incubator, the Institute’s entrepreneurship education workshop series, special events that included a business pitch competition and the Google Digital Empowerment Event, the Institute’s one-on-one startup counseling sessions, and the Annual Faculty Conference on Entrepreneurship.
Her other experience includes work at a small venture capital firm, at a startup internet advertising company, and as a sole-proprietor with a contract running one of the largest revenue departments on a cruise ship. She’s had the opportunity to do business in over a dozen countries and to help numerous entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses across industries ranging from retail to artificial intelligence robotics and everything in between.
She is also a lifetime member of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, the National Society of Hispanic Professionals, and Beta Gamma Sigma and serves as the Small Business Chair on the Executive Board of the DC Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and previously served on the Membership Committee for the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and on the Education and Training Committee for the Maryland/DC Chapter of the National Minority Supplier Development Council.
MO: Can you talk about your approach when working with entrepreneurs without any business background?