Making Needed Connections
Seizing the opportunity to leverage technology to make connections and respond to a global crisis
Small Business Needs Support
The Small Business School Challenge was conceived to support SMBs in crisis due to COVID-19 and the associated economic fallout.
MBA Students Need Exposure
MBA students were simultaneously experiencing a lower quality educational experience and in a position to gain valuable work experience while doing something positive for their community.
Everyone Needs Virtual Solutions
The SBSC team and events are designed to connect SMBs, MBAs, mentors, and sponsors in a 100% virtual environment to maximize opportunities for impact.
We all need Main Street America to win.
We envision a world in which small business innovation and strategy is available to all.
Even beyond the COVID-19 crisis, small business success drives our economy. Yet many MBA curriculums don't have the capacity to include small business exposure on such an intimate level.
By providing hands-on consulting experience in a very real small business environment, the SBSC adds an invaluable experience to an MBA student who may have entrepreneurial aspirations or wish to work in an industry that supports SMBs.
Meet The Team
Founder & Chairman
David is an expert and advisor on self-employment and the Future of Work, and the co-founder of LifeWork - a platform that ensures self-employed people get paid securely and effectively.
When the COVID-19 crisis took hold in March 2020, he dreamt up a mechanism to connect small business owners who needed support adapting to the ‘new normal’ with MBA students lacking meaning and connection in their now-remote education. The SBSC was born 6 weeks later, serving 450 MBAs and 150 SMBs and laying the foundation for an organization of enduring impact.
David received his MBA from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley in 2019. He spends his spare time traveling, with family & friends, and focused on health and wellness.
CoFounder & Executive Director
Katrina is an international business consultant to SMBs with 10+ years experience owning & coaching small businesses.
After studying architecture and sustainable design, she discovered entrepreneurship and never looked back, growing multiple brick and mortar businesses that earned local and national recognition.
After 8 years in that world, she decided to become a digital nomad and put her accumulated business knowledge to use consulting with other business owners remotely while traveling Latin America.
Having been on both the SMB and consulting side, she jumped at the chance to support the original SBSC event, and is excited to continue the mission.
Director of Operations
MBA Candidate at Washington University in St.Louis, Olin School of Business who successfully led his school cohort SBSC-III event before coming on to step into Director of Operations for SBSC-IV.
Austin spent his undergraduate years pursuing global studies and economics to achieve a sense of global citizenship that he can uphold through both qualitative and quantitative analytical rigor. During his MBA, he leveraged product management marketing, commercial entrepreneurship, and strategic thought leadership to drive changes in industries from retail, to finance, to nonprofit service, to community development.
Austin is passionate about advocating on behalf of under-served populations in order to forge global communities and motivate socioeconomic justice.
Board Chair of Finance
James has owned and operated a portfolio of Mathnasium Learning Centers in the Mid-Atlantic since 2009. He graduated from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business 2009 where he focused on general management and entrepreneurship.
After receiving a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Virginia in 2000, James was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force.
James is a former board member of Reaching Out MBA. He is married to his husband Will and they live on a quiet piece of land west of Richmond, VA.
Rebecca is a law student in her final year at the University of Berkeley, School of Law. As an advanced clinical fellow in the New Business Community Law Clinic at Berkeley Law she assisted and advised numerous entrepreneurs navigating complex legal issues related to building a successful small business or non-profit.
Before coming to law school, Rebecca founded a school for students with disabilities in East Harlem and developed a drive for problem solving complex issues through innovative ideas.
Rebecca is currently a summer associate at O’Melveny and Meyers in San Francisco, working on complex litigation matters.
The VP Small Business at RingCentral, Mike has been a catalyst in three hyper-growth public tech companies that serve small businesses. He served eFax as a product leader on the founding team, j2 Global as the GM of a $250M business unit, and RingCentral as a marketing executive.
Along the way he has walked every step from unfunded idea to $25B+ valuation. In addition to building businesses, he has worked over 25 successful M&A deals from due diligence through integration and has led as many reorganizations.
In addition to decades of trial-by-fire leadership experience, Mike is a certified court mediator and management coach.