Tell us your name and a little about yourself.
My name is Nico Hodel. I’m a web developer and programmatic marketer from Honolulu that’s passionate about technology startups. After running my own web development and marketing company called Valence Digital for over six years, I began work on Start It Up NYC, an accelerator that serves NYC startup companies.
What exactly does your company do?
Start It Up is an NYC-focused startup accelerator that provides web development, digital marketing, PR, investor relations and video production services to NYC startups.
What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
I was still under contract with former clients from my past company Valence Digital when I began work on Start It Up so balancing new commitments early on while still being true to past professional and personal obligations was a challenge. Change is never easy, especially when it means a short-term sacrifice of free time, profit, or comfort. But, I find if you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, those sacrifices seem surmountable and even insignificant.
What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?
Always be honest with yourself and where your passions lie, as well as realistic of what is possible on a practical level. Balance overcoming external obstacles with being true to yourself and your principles. I was lucky to receive this advice from parents and mentors and it never steered me wrong.
Who are your biggest influences and people you admire and why?
Brilliant, multidisciplinary minds like John von Neumann, Alan Turing, and Pythagoras stand out. In modern times, I’ve encountered some amazing entrepreneurs and visionaries like Bill Ottman of Minds, Poonam Vasantha Kumar of Savor, Keith Kirkland of Wear works and George Zheng of Leep Foods. Surrounding myself with these innovative entrepreneurs is what keeps me motivated and humble.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are?
My family and friends are my greatest treasure and support system, and nothing I have done would have been possible without them. It’s easy to take the people close to you for granted but I’ve found them to truly be the most formative and important aspects of my life. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with brilliant people like my business partners Josh Bryant-Gainer and Adi Patil. They are the reason I continue working on Start It Up every day.
What do you see as your greatest success in life?
Helping founders realize their dream to see their company grow is a tremendously gratifying experience. Having done the work to build the trust of so many dreamers and amazing entrepreneurs is my greatest success.
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