Episode 0 – Our Prelude

Samuel Cho 0:00

Welcome to the very first episode of The Koinos Podcast. This is episode zero, our Prelude. First of all, I really want to thank Kate Martin for creating our amazing intro and outro to this podcast. If anyone is looking for a talented voiceover actor, please check out her profile on fiverr.com. You can find her by searching Kate Martin. All right. So with that said, Hello, my name is Sam, and I’m the host of The Koinos Podcast. Today, I’ll be talking to you about three things. First, I’ll be telling you about who I am. And then I’ll be sharing about the story about Koinos and the start of this podcast. And to wrap things up, I’ll make some suggestions for why you might want to listen to future episodes. Now, who is Sam Cho? I’ve actually gotten called out on this a couple times in my life. Back in the day, some very close friends of mine would say, Sam, I really can’t pinpoint who you are. You’re like an enigma. And to be honest, I sometimes felt a little insecure about that. I felt like I didn’t have a well understood identity. And people would always misunderstand my actions judging me as someone that had too much FOMO or a fear of missing out. And that all of my activities would just further emphasize that I’d become a jack of all trades, and Master of None. Now, let me explain. Growing up, I wasn’t a nerd or bookworm, even though I did things like the Academic Decathlon. I mean, come on, who studies 10 additional subjects in high school just for fun. And I wasn’t a typical jock either. Because even though I played sports, I also sang and played instruments.

And I’ll never forget the time when my football coach said, Sam, you got to choose one, football or the chorus. And of course, I chose singing, which actually led to a very fond memory of mine, which was achieving first place for bass one in the New Jersey Allstate chorus. But I digress. Now, I’m not trying to brag, so please don’t take it that way. I’m just trying to give you some context for answering the question. Who am I? Well, like many self told narratives go, I’ll keep going on with my family. I am the youngest child. I have two amazing sisters that really helped me shape my academic journey, and career choices. We were all born from the same parents who immigrated from South Korea to New Jersey in the mid 70s. My mother and father were entrepreneurs for many years, running their own chain of shoe stores in New York City. And at one point, my dad launched his own residential construction company. My paternal grandmother also lived in the same house as us. And she was actually a single mom of three ever since the Korean War. I absolutely adore my grandmother, because she was always there for me. prayerfully supporting me in everything that I did. Maybe I’ll read to you the letter I gave to her for her 90th birthday. She’s actually still alive today. And she claims to be 92 for like the past six years. She’s got quite a personality. And she’s absolutely amazing. My mom is equally incredible. Self taught English and serving our family as the primary breadwinner for a number of years. I really learned a lot from all the strong role models in my house. And sometimes I felt like I had four mothers. But I’ve realized in my adulthood, that it’s through the direct influence of my Korean American family, that I’ve become very passionate about small business owners, entrepreneurial endeavors, and the broader issues around diversity and inclusion. I can say I’ve been an entrepreneur since high school because my first business was a DJ company. I used to bring around my entire setup which consisted of strobe lights, a fog machine, and two six foot tall custom made speakers with an insane amount of bass powered by a crown ce 1000 amplifier. I would host sweet 16th school dances sometimes hiring myself pro bono because I was also the class secretary. I did house parties and did a couple bar and Bat Mitzvahs and it’s probably because of my audiophile days as a DJ, that I kind of feel comfortable right now doing this podcast. During my college years, I continued with my entrepreneurial endeavors. Every time I built a website to help someone launch an e-commerce business. I even pursued my own frozen yogurt shop. This was before places like red mango and Pinkberry were even around. But swirlberries, as I called it, never got off the ground because of the great recession. I’ve worked for consulting startups that grew from five to 70 people. And I even launched a not for profit organization in 2012. That still exists. It’s called Grace In Motion. And in my most recent years, I launched a couple tech startups and led new business initiatives for one of the world’s leading FinTech companies. I’m graduating from my executive MBA program at the Cornell University, SC Johnson School of Business in May of 2020. And so these days, I’m very active in the startup community around New York City. I’m a startup coach at the Queens Economic Development Corporation. I’m an advisor to several other tech founders, and I’m a venture partner at Next Gen. I love meeting with founders to help them grow their business ideas. So if you ever need a hand in strategy or operations, please feel free to email me.

Now for topic number two, why did I create Koinos and this podcast? Well, to give you some context, I was actually developing a business idea that connected executives from MBA programs throughout New York City, before the current covid 19 crisis got really bad. For about six months, I was curating dinner groups and happy hours for executive level networking across Cornell, Columbia and NYU. As I was coordinating these events and bringing people together, I realized that many of us were looking for a community beyond our schools. So I created Koinos to extend our MBA relationships beyond our immediate cohorts, and help build bridges across the top business schools here in New York City. The goal of course is to grow beyond these schools, and potentially beyond our home city. So as a way of connecting with people during this crisis, I thought of starting a podcast to highlight some of the personal adventures and stories, graduating from these schools. The stay at home self quarantines have forced all of us to put our life on hold, and all of our activities for connecting offline are just missing. And what I’ve learned so far is that nothing beats a face to face conversation. But there are so many new methods for building community online in a personal way. That seems to be really amazing. For instance, people have been trying Netflix party, jackbox TV, over zoom, and even attended live comedy shows, concerts and musicals streaming over YouTube. It’s so fascinating. And I’m hoping that through this podcast, our Koinos community will begin to grow and stay connected by hearing each other’s story as we navigate this ever changing world that we live in. As a listener, I invite you to be part of this community because our ultimate vision is a renewed world where all people live in a vibrant community, and your support and active participation can help us bring that vision to reality.

Lastly, why should you consider to continue to follow this podcast? Well, we will be sharing exclusive one on one interviews with some of the brightest executives and entrepreneurs from the top MBA programs of the world. You’ll get the inside scoop from real students and alumni about their experiences in grad school, oftentimes, while working full time, and developing their startups and raising a family. We’ll naturally start off with some of my friends at Cornell. But I would love your help to connect me with other people you might know who would be a good fit for this show. In each episode, we’ll learn about an interesting startup or business initiative led by our guest, listen to their journey and see how we can apply some basic principles from their story to an issue that we might be dealing with in our personal or professional lives. Similar to how iron sharpens iron, the knowledge sharing from our show will sharpen our minds and spirits as a community. Even though this podcast is not my full time job, nor a professional production, I’m going to try my best to deliver authentic, high quality and engaging content on a bi-weekly basis. So please subscribe to this show because the number of subscribers will help remind me how many people actually care and believe in Koinos. I truly hope this community flourishes into something that makes a positive impact to our lives and the communities we live in. In closing, thank you again for listening to episode zero, our Prelude, and I hope to see you again on May 1 for our very first interview with Shady Henian, CEO and founder of Physician Promise.

Outro 10:31
Thank you so much for listening to The Koinos Podcast. Koinos is all about bringing people together to strengthen communities. Our vision of a renewed world where everyone lives in a vibrant community can become a reality with your support. To learn more about our mission and how you can get involved, visit us @ www.koinos.co. Remember, The Koinos Podcast is your place to connect with executives and entrepreneurs.

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