Third Time’s the Charm: UVA Darden Grad Joins Family’s Third Generation of Entrepreneurs
By Jay Hodgkins
When University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumnus Vincent Harris (MBA ‘09) launched his tech startup, Hoozip.com, in 2016, he became the third generation of entrepreneurs in his family.
Harris shared the story of his family’s entrepreneurial efforts in a recent profile on Darden’s Alumni Spotlight.
“It was tough because I have definitely seen the wheels come off this thing before,” Harris said. “In Black and brown communities, there’s not a lot of knowledge about wealth-building, and there is scant access to risk capital, so when you watch an entrepreneurial bet end poorly, the experience can scar you. But empirically, I knew I had taken the right steps. And I knew that Darden had given me a set of skills and connections that are powerful enough that — even if this goes south — I’m going to be able to land somewhere and be fine.”
The entrepreneur also provided an update on his efforts with Hoozip.com.
The company’s flagship product “helps salespeople have better phone conversations,” according to Harris. He and his co-founder, Justin Winthers, hold a patent on a technology that aggregates residential property information and “fuses it with homeowners’ demographic and psychographic data” in real time.
The instant intel helps real estate investors like him identify prospects and personalize sales and marketing interactions.
Although Harris and the company are based mostly in New York City, its roots run straight through Charlottesville. Harris knew UVA McIntire School graduate Winthers from their undergraduate days on Grounds, and a Darden classmate helped the team land a seed round of venture capital.
And the name? “It’s definitely a nod to the great Wahoo,” Harris said with a smile.
Read the full profile on Darden’s Alumni Spotlight.
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia