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Innovation & Job News

60 Seconds With....Startupland's Jonathon Perrelli

Jonathon Perrelli, founding partner of Fortify Ventures

This week, Elevation DC spends 60 Seconds With Jonathon Perrelli, founder of Fortify Ventures and creator and producer of the documentary series Startupland. Though Perrelli is no longer incubating startups at the Fort, he is bringing their stories to the masses through Startupland, which is scheduled to be released June 6. 

Elevation DC: What was your first job?
Jonathon Perrelli: The first job that I was paid to perform was working on a farm where I painted long wooden fences and did odd jobs. I was 10 or 11 and hated it. My first startup, selling bubble gum, followed shortly after the painting project was completed.

Best thing about your business right now?
Fortify Ventures has a portfolio of growing companies that continue to grow in the right ways. We are very proud to be investors in IntroHive, SocialTables, SevaCall, Fleksy, Synapsify, Hinge, CoFoundersLab, Handpressions, Venga, Speek, ID.me, and many more. Also, Startupland started as a small project but has blossomed into a business that is already helping to inspire and educate founders globally.

If you could change one thing about your business right now, what would it be?
A salary would be nice, or more hours in each day.

Describe an “A-ha moment” (in business, or in life) that you’ve had.
Having children, for sure. The second that the stork dropped each one of them off, I was overtaken with love and joy. Hands down, having children has been the greatest A-ha moment, which coincides with an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love. Let's revisit this question when all three of them are teenagers ;).

What are you reading? Or, what have you read recently that has had an impact on you? Why has it been influential?
I'm currently reading: The Sumo Advantage by Bernie Brenner, which is a powerful playbook for [building] and nourishing business partnerships/relationships; 2) The Complete Herbs Sourcebook by David Hoffmann, which is becoming one of many resources that I am leveraging to help create a natural remedy for a loved one who is ill; 3) It's A Jungle In There by Steven Schussler, the founder of RainForest Café, who shares his story of perseverance, and it is a fun read; and 4) I will soon be reading Derek Coburn's Networking Is Not Working and can't wait because he is an inspirational leader, an incredible networker and a friend.

Biggest influence in tech or startup culture today? Why?
Hardware, wearables, wellness, and health IT. We have access to technology that could/should optimize our lives in every way yet we are not leveraging our resources properly. Huge opportunities exist in these fields. 

Company to watch (besides your own)? Why?
Disruption Corporation. Paul Singh has had a major impact on our region's emerging technology ecosystem and he is just getting started. We will see much more from him and his team over the months and years to come. 

A personal favorite is The Trip Tribe. It is about who will be joining you on the journey, not just the location of the trip. Full disclosure: Fortify Ventures is an investor and I am a Trip Triber. 

Beverage of choice?

Guilty pleasure?
Jalapeno potato chips.

Last tweet you got that made you smile?
From @TheTweetOfGod: "The less you know, the more you think you do."

Most recent app purchase/download? Why?
iA Writer, [since I'm] working on a book with "Startupland" in the title. 

What do you loathe about D.C.?
The traffic. 

What do you love about D.C.?
The people. 

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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