New Mentor in Residence Eager to Help Startups Thrive
Konstantine Drakonais, one of our new Mentors in Residence, is an experienced early-stage entrepreneur and investor focused on proprietary IMPACT technologies. As an “Entrepreneurial Engineer,” he gravitates to technology companies within the software, med-tech and green-tech markets. He has led over 40 investments for LaunchCapital and the Pritzker Vlock Family Office to date and serves as a strategic adviser for many of his portfolio companies.
Q: What kinds of projects are you looking forward to working on/mentoring at Tsai CITY?
KD: I am a generalist and love working with creative teams. I tend to get into the weeds pretty quickly on technical and marketing challenges, developing strategic plans so teams can gain some perspective from my experience and see the big picture for what they are developing and how they should think about facing the challenges they will encounter on their journey. This ranges from straightforward incorporation questions to navigating their product/service market placement within a landscape of powerful incumbents.
Q: How did you find Tsai CITY, or how did Tsai CITY find you?
KD: I've been a mentor and advisor to the YEI teams in the past and am very excited to work with this new team at Tsai CITY.
Q: What were you doing before you came to CITY?
KD: I am the chief strategy officer and a board director for Amastan Technologies. I am also a venture partner for LaunchCapital and was responsible for establishing the Connecticut office over 10 years ago.
Q: How do you draw upon your engineering background to work as an “entrepreneurial engineer,” and how do you plan to bring that style of work to CITY?
KD: I am a professional environmental engineer, although non-practicing these days. I've used the experience of being trained as an engineer and working as one to approach problems and derive solutions. It’s a method and creative process—both organized and innovative. Startsups always need to be thinking outside the box but also be firmly rooted in order to execute and make progress. I like to help teams set milestones and then work collaboratively to achieve their goals.
Emma Chanen is the Digital Media Intern at Tsai CITY.