Introduce us to Nick Ramos
I was born and raised in San Antonio and I went to Central Catholic High School. I graduated from UTSA in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship. While at UTSA, I started two companies, Clutche Tech Inc and Intellectual Bolus. After graduation, I received a call from UTSA that our rehabilitation treadmill for stroke victims received a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation I Corps program. It took us across the US, and I was able to interview individuals to help me improve the product, set pricing models and really see different points of view of how stroke injuries impacted people’s lives.
Today I am at CANopener Labs, helping pinpoint the hurdles or the objectives to help companies, improve and rapid prototype their products, and expand their networks and skills. I am also the Director of Innovations for EEVET, where I’m using my fundraising expertise to help multiple ventures.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I started at a young age in construction where I was an electrical contractor. I then branched out, starting my own general contracting company working on small commercial build outs and residential remodels. I wanted to work along side people with the same mindset and a desire to help the community.
What challenges do young entrepreneurs face in our city?
We face a very traditional mindset that you must work your way up a ladder. I have been able to find unique paths to creating opportunities. Sometimes people think that if you’re too young, you can’t start a company. I feel experiences, even from a simple conversation, help you learn what other people are doing and how you can improve it or how you can help them improve what they’re doing.
What are some of the resources that you have found to be helpful?
The universities have excellent resources within their respective colleges such as 3D printers to help you prototype or access to platforms like Bloomberg to be able to conduct business research before you even start developing a product. Places like Geekdom and LaunchSA and co-working spaces that allow you to use resources for a fee, allow you to scale your idea and meet like-minded people that can help you in the areas you’re not as strong in.
How do you manage your work life balance?
I use certain email platforms or integrations that allow me to combine everything I’m doing for work and my health because I’m a diabetic. I make sure my personal life is well-rounded stool and even though we can’t always be balanced we can give and take to create a work life balance.
Gaining better control my diabetes is a main priority for me. I want to share my experiences and my knowledge so I need to make sure my diabetes and my health is under control so that I can share these experiences with people. The same goes with personal relationships as an entrepreneur. We kind of get tunnel vision so I learned to take a step back and acknowledging everyone who is helping.
What are a few things that you wish you had known that you’ve had to learn the hard way?
- Pay attention to what you really want to do so you don’t spread yourself too thin.
- Not all monies are the same. Know the difference between smart and not so smart money.
- Understand what resources come along with the investors network or even friends and family you bring into your company
Do you have mentors that have worked with either professionally or personally?
Two of my mentors have helped me with key components of how I decide by taking their advice into consideration with a path I’m looking to go down. Drue Placette has been a big presence in my professional growth. Dr. Sergio Palacios, at Saint Mary’s entrepreneurship program, has helped me to really think outside the box. They don’t give me the exact answers but rather, give me the resources and external information to decide.
What is one of the things that you enjoy most about being a young professional in San Antonio?
Being young allows me to make tons of mistakes and still learn and grow from them so that I can help others and improve on my current projects at work. I can think outside the box and take risks.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.
When I’m about to speak in public, I get more nervous when I over prepare than when I just go out and do what I need. I would rather do a public speaking event on the fly and if I try to memorize and overthink then I get nervous. At the National Science Foundation conference, I presented and defended our thesis in front of hundreds of people. It was very a terrifying event given we were talking in front of very well-recognized, knowledgeable attendees and even the founder I Corps events. It allowed me to be real and show what we’ve learned and discovered throughout the entire course of customer discovery. I had a blast and it was one of my top accomplishments to-date.
Where is Nick Ramos in 5 years?
I’ve been growing my networks, my companies, and my fundraising abilities. I want to start a capital fund for the Latino-based community in San Antonio.