About Kevin Siskar
TL;DR: Kevin Siskar is Managing Director of the Founder Institute in New York. He has built a portfolio of over 80 early stage companies and in 2016 he was named Best Startup Ecosystem Developer in the entire Founder Institute network, which has a global network across over 150 cities. Kevin is the host of the Ambition Today podcast where he explores the hardships and heroism of entrepreneurs, creators, investors, and builders who ambitiously changed the world. You can find find him on Siskar.co talking startups, products, technology and services — and the people who build them. Kevin is also a Venture Partner at Outbound Ventures, the founder of Brinkway and a co-founder of the NYC Innovation Collective.
My name is Kevin Siskar and the story of how we got to here starts from early on. When I was four years old I started an enterprising lemonade stand business called "Cliché Water" which was later acquired before I was nine years old by Coca-cola for an undisclosed amount. O.k. o.k.., you got me, that never happened. Luckily for my work ethic though, I did start working hard when I was young and mowing lawns while I was in middle school. I grew up in a household where if you wanted something bad enough, you had to figure out a way to go make money, save up, and get what you wanted yourself.
Fast forward now to after the many years of mowing lawns and starting college at the University at Buffalo, where my major was Cognitive neuroscience, the analytical combination of Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychology, Linguistics, and Artificial Intelligence, along with a minor in Philosophy. Being in the neuroscience field at the time I saw there was an opportunity to improve the speed with which scientific results got published by using the internet instead of quarterly or annually published paperback journals that had multi-year review cycles. I started working on the idea. A few months later and after "accidentally" pitching one of the most successful Venture Capitalist in the country on the Forbes Midas List, I was hooked on startups.
I became fascinated with how some certain people had the ability to take something that was just an idea in their brain and manifest it into reality. Through out this time I sought to perfect my knowledge around entrepreneurship, startups and venture capital investing over the following years. During this journey I had some unique life experiences. I was a volunteer Fireman and EMT in Buffalo NY where as elected Lieutenant and went on hundreds of emergency response calls helping local citizens over the course of 8 years. Then I traveled Europe and lived in London for a bit while working for an entertainment startup leading innovation in the film and cinema industry. Eventually I migrated to New York City where I worked for Jason Calacanis’ Launch Ticker which curates the top stories in the tech industry to deliver need-to-know news in less than 10 minutes a day. During that time I graduated the Founder Institute with my own company and pitched Arianna Huffington on another startup. After that I helped build some software and worked on new business development for one of the largest Ad Tech companies in North America. At the same time while living in New York City, away from my hometown of Buffalo, my inner roots and sports fandom manifested itself in the creation of The Herd Report.
Also, throughout those early college days I sometimes hustled as a bartender in order to pay the bills. Fun fact: as a result of that I am surprisingly good at making fancy cocktails when the situation calls for it.
I am currently the New York Managing Director of the Founder Institute, an early stage technology startup launch and entrepreneur training program founded by Adeo Ressi that is currently on pace to launch over 750 companies per year in over 100 cities worldwide. I am also a Venture Partner with Outbound Ventures. My expertise in early stage startups has helped launch dozens of companies across New York's "Silicon Alley" and the United States North East.
The journey of life never ends and I want to bring you all along for the rest of the ride. Hopefully I can help you along the way too. You can find find me here on www.Siskar.co talking startups, products, technology and services — and the people who build them. I also host the Ambition Today Podcast interviewing ambitious startup founders and entrepreneurs about their life's journey to success. I am looking forward to the future together!
Thanks for being here,
P.S. You can see where else I am on the web by checking out the social icons at the bottom of this page and you can keep up with whats happening each week on Siskar.co by signing up with your email to my newsletter! See you around!