LaunchNET Staff: Get to Know Us

As an office that specializes in creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation, we felt it would be more interesting to have some more "get to know you" information about our staff. 

So we had each of our staff members answer some questions about themselves.

Enjoy! 

Julie Messing

Executive Director, Venture Initiatives 

What do you love about LaunchNET?

I love the community that forms around generating ideas and accomplishing new goals while making a difference and having a lot of fun.

What inspires you as an entrepreneur and/or advisor? 

Supporting our amazing student entrepreneurs is most inspiring for me. There is nothing like being a part of the "aha" moments.

What's your weirdest (or most interesting) entrepreneurial-related experience? 

Hmmm, I'm guessing it hasn't happened yet.

What's your favorite Starbucks drink?

water -and I love the vanilla mini scones.

Fictional character you identify with the most (and why): 

I think it depends on the day. At the moment, I think of Leslie Knope for her complex mix of traits like her drive to serve, ambition, constant optimism, sweet-tooth, and good intentions that don't always go as planned.

Zach Mikrut

Zach Mikrut

LaunchNET Program Manager

What do you love about LaunchNET? 

Working with students/faculty/staff/alumni on projects that they are legitimately passionate about. I love hearing the initial elevator pitch and feeling the energy and excitement around a new idea, solution, or side-hustle.

What inspires you as an entrepreneur and/or advisor? 

Our entrepreneurs inspire me, especially our students. I am constantly amazed at how they balance their time between school, work, activities, and their side hustles. Nothing beats the feeling of a student coming in to let us know that they just made their first Etsy sale or printed business cards with their company name for the first time.

What's your weirdest (or most interesting) entrepreneurial-related experience? 

Once in high school, I worked for an entrepreneur that owned an office supply company. I was supposed to help set-up some furniture and cubicles for one job, but it turned into a bizarre summer of making deliveries, carrying/carting extremely heavy pieces of equipment, and generally making it up as we went. I will never forget my first time trying to back "the cube truck" up to a loading dock and took away some serious lessons on what not to do as an entrepreneur.

What's your favorite Starbucks drink? 

Just a standard coffee. no cream or sugar.

[Editor's note: I have only ever seen Zach drink French-pressed coffee]

Fictional character you identify with the most (and why): 

Batman.

Tabitha Messmore

Tabitha Messmore

Venture advisor & marketing maven

What do you love about LaunchNET? 

I love my job at LaunchNET - to get to teach, advise, create, and learn about new things all the time in such a supportive environment is a dream come true. I love supporting and helping our clients grow and learn, watching them become more confident and successful.

What inspires you as an entrepreneur and/or advisor?

Helping my clients achieve their goals and supporting them through the good and tough parts of being an entrepreneur, as well as showing students that they don't need to have a business to think entrepreneurially.

What's your weirdest (or most interesting) entrepreneurial related experience? 

My first business was started as a result of going to a "learn to knit" class with my 7 year-old son. I ended up learning as well and liking it so much that I was designing and knitting accessories for all my friends in New York.

What's your favorite Starbucks drink? 

soy carmel macchiato

Fictional character you identify with the most (and why): 

Marvin the Martian- because I like to always be exploring new territory