Connecting Minds through Cross Network Engagement with Grad Pad

By AfriBlocks Network on March, 1 2024
Connecting Minds through Cross Network Engagement with Grad Pad
AfriBlocks Network
AfriBlocks Network

Entrepreneurial dynamism finds its embodiment in Rondale Davis, a multifaceted professional with a background as a CPA and former Ernst and Young accountant, coupled with the innovative prowess gained through an MBA from UCLA Anderson '23. Originating from Boston, MA, Davis charted a journey from the vibrant streets of Harlem in New York City to the entrepreneurial landscape of Los Angeles. Firmly rooted in LA, he exemplifies the narrative of a first-generation college student, graduate, and entrepreneur, showcasing a distinctive fusion of experience and determination in his pursuits.

Motivated by Challenges

Davis’s journey into entrepreneurship was sparked by his experiences as a graduate student leader at UCLA, where he grappled with the challenge of connecting and finding opportunities across different programs and schools. This challenge, prevalent in both student and alumni networks, led Davis on a discovery journey.

“I vetted the business idea by receiving 200+ survey responses that focused on the business idea/product design and performed 130+ hours of interviews with experts and potential customers/users,” Davis shared. This meticulous approach culminated in market validation through securing Grad Pad’s first single-event customer, UCLA for Palooza 10, with approximately 2,500 attendees.

Excitement in Connecting People

For Davis, the excitement stems from his innate ability to connect people. “Connecting people is my superpower,” he asserted. With a rich history of organizing events, from intimate gatherings to large-scale affairs, Davis recognized the potential impact of Grad Pad in addressing the pain points of alumni engagement for universities like UCLA.

“I’m excited about the fact that we are able to provide cross-program/network engagement for large universities like UCLA, and that we will be able to facilitate intergenerational engagement across vast alumni networks,” he added.

Team Growth Challenges

Growing the Grad Pad team has not been without its challenges. Davis pointed out the importance of ensuring a workstyle and personality fit while finding premier talent at an affordable rate. Leveraging UCLA resources, he initially tapped into free interns and low-cost developers but emphasized the need for financial savvy as he expands his team using personal resources.

Scaling Strategies

In planning for the future, Davis envisions leveraging premier outsourced talent for scaling. Platforms like AfriBlocks hold promise in this regard. He plans to conduct virtual and in-person outreach through job postings and networking to continue building a team that aligns culturally and works seamlessly towards Grad Pad’s mission.

Words of Wisdom for Founders

Davis shared valuable advice for aspiring founders: “Get used to hearing ‘no’ early on. You may need to pivot your customer acquisition process or your product/service, but that is part of the journey. Always take away learning lessons from rejections so you can continue to iterate for success!” He also emphasized the importance of surrounding oneself with experienced mentors who can guide business decisions based on their entrepreneurial journey.

Connecting on Social Media

Readers interested in following Davis’s journey and staying updated on Grad Pad can connect with him on LinkedIn under the name Rondale Davis or on Instagram as Suavomendez. For Grad Pad’s official updates, check out their Instagram page (@grad.pad), X (formerly Twitter) account (@Grad_Pad), and LinkedIn profile

Join the Grad Pad Community

For those eager to learn more about Grad Pad and become part of this innovative community, Davis encourages visiting their website and signing up. The platform promises to be a catalyst for cross-network engagement and intergenerational connections, embodying Davis’s vision of bringing people together for mutual growth and success.

Get latest publications directly in your inbox