“As a company, we will judge our success by what our employees – and our alumni – change in the world.” -CEO Ric Elias
📍 Red Ventures Senior Associate (Charlotte)
📈 Founding member of RV Brazil (Sao Paulo)
✅ Successful Startup Founder (NYC)
Ricky Stephens went from being a Senior Associate in Charlotte, to being a founding member of our Brazil office, to becoming a successful startup entrepreneur.
“I worked at Red Ventures for 4 years and was one of the 3 founding members of RV’s first international office in Sao Paulo. I stayed in Brazil for nearly 18 months, and it was a truly transformative experience. A new culture, a new language, a new purpose within the company. It helped me earn a level of self-confidence that I never had up until that point – which in turn unlocked a desire for additional new possibilities.
I’ve always been passionate about food, but toward my final months in Brazil I began researching the intersection of food, sustainability, and health. Eventually, I got to a point where these topics became real and felt urgent, and from that point on there was no looking back – so in August 2016 I returned to New York with the idea of joining a smaller start-up team focused on these issues. In 2017 I launched AgTech X, an early-stage incubator for urban agriculture-related entrepreneurship and education, which I ran for the next two years. In 2019, we were acquired by Agritecture Consulting, and I now work full-time for Agritecture as Director of Digital Strategy.
I studied history at a liberal arts school, so for me, RV was like attending a 4-year long boot camp in business strategy, management, and data. Everyone would always say “it’s the people” that make RV special – and even though I loved my former colleagues, it was hard to fully appreciate this at the time. Looking back now with more experience – it really stands out. Building a culture with the drive and sense of purpose that filters all the way through this company is just so difficult and rare to find. It’s incredible that RV has been able to maintain that culture for so long, especially with all the success and change you guys have experienced.
Being able to watch RV continue to grow, knowing I played a (very small) part in it, is an amazing feeling. Especially now that the business has expanded across so many new offices. Maybe that’s the reason I still find myself saying ‘we’! 😏”
Want to learn more about what Ricky’s up to now? Visit https://www.agritecture.com/ and follow @agritecture on all social media!