Vanderbilt Accelerator 2009
Founder & Partner at New Coast Ventures
As captain of the men's tennis team at Vanderbilt — Nick Cromydas already experienced college life at an accelerated pace. The heavy demands of a two-semester sport didn't deter him from earning a spot on the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll for four straight years.
Still, he says, "as a student-athlete you often have little time to think of exactly what you plan to do after you graduate." He applied to the Accelerator program after a favorite professor told him that many of his peers who found themselves in post-college "life limbo" gained a lot from the Accelerator experience. Nick also was drawn by the opportunity to deal with real problems and real companies rather than academic case studies.
Looking back on the experience one year later, Nick says that "you'll learn more about business and yourself in four weeks than you have in 22 years." One thing he says he learned is confidence "that I can accomplish anything within the business realm that I set my mind to do."
He's off to a hot start. While helping lead the Northwestern women's tennis team to a national championship in 2010, Nick completed a business plan and was close to realizing a longtime personal goal — starting a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization to combat ovarian cancer.
"Accelerator gave me the confidence to pursue my goals relentlessly," he says (those goals include pursuing an MBA in a few years). "It was absolutely instrumental in helping me jump into the professional world."