Last December we had the opportunity to speak with Nicholas Marsteller, Kent State University’s student manager at the time for NEOSVF. It was made evident very early in the interview why Nick was a chapter leader. He was a natural conversationalist, carrying the conversation past a simple response, and his passion for entrepreneurship was apparent as he spoke on his experiences and future plans for his own business.
Thank you, Nick, for being our first interview in this series. It was great to hear your perspective on things and we can’t wait to see where the future takes you.
How were you previously or currently involved in NEOSVF?
I’ve been involved with the program for the past 2-3 years and I’ve been student manager for a year.
Where is your current job and what is your position?
I am currently a student at Kent State and interning as a marketing assistant for Apogee IT Services. I also help market Kent’s innovation program.
Did you always want to work with startups? What pushed you in that direction?
Shark Tank initially piqued my interest in startups, I grew up watching it with my family. After that I began looking into schools that offered good entrepreneurship programs and Kent was one of the top options. From there I tried my best to get connected and involved in the startup ecosystem here.
Would you ever want to be on Shark Tank?
I would want to be on Shark Tank, but I would prefer to go on as one of the sharks, now that I’ve sat on the other side of the investment thanks to NEOSVF.
What is one piece of advice you have for students?
My advice is to take advantage of all of the resources offered while in college. They are either free or heavily discounted. When you graduate people will be less willing to help you. Many people wait until they graduate to realize what they missed out on.
How do you think your high school self would feel about where you’re currently at?
My high school self would be pretty happy but I find it is hard to say that for sure because you are always looking forward to being better.
What is one of your proudest student and/or career moments?
My proudest career or school moment might be winning the Idea competition because of the amount of time and effort put into it. Seeing my work pay off was nice because before, I never felt like the work I was doing was mine or validated. Having the little victories are so worth it.
[Nick pitched the idea of his startup, Citrous, for this competition. The product has officially launched now!]
How was that experience?
It was a really great experience. For me, the most valuable part was the mentoring process and really figuring out why you’re doing what you’re doing.
You mentioned that entrepreneurship and marketing go together, can you expand on that?
Yes. I think a lot of entrepreneurs are marketers because when growing a business you have to focus on how you present yourself to your audience, how to really differentiate and add value.
Now, we have a bit of a random question for you: if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
You know, I feel like I can relate to a lot of animals, like a giraffe for example, but I wouldn’t want to be them. I think I’d probably want to be a cat.