CEO and Co-Founder of ONEHOPE, Jake Kloberdanz, shares about the ONEHOPE beginnings along with some great advice for young entrepreneurs. ONEHOPE is a lifestyle brand with a world-class vineyard in the heart of Napa, which donates half of its profits to partner non-profits that encompass several causes. Jake’s story begins with overcoming various challenges in starting a social enterprise to having donated over $1M through ONEHOPE (!!!) over the years and is an active member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). He has even developed a new business theory, known as Cause-Centric Commerce, which helps solve issues around the world and change commerce forever.
Jake Kloberdanz is not only changing the conversation, but he is also changing the thought process around a business to be more conscious of others. He has created a business style that stands out and generates success, which he is sharing with others to improve their businesses through the YEC. Bottom line—the business world needs more people like Jake, who are making a difference each and every day!
01 | Jake, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I love people and building teams. I believe businesses and business leaders have the ability to solve most of our world’s greatest challenges. Cause Centric Commerce is my passion; spreading it with the world is my mission. I’m compassionate, competitive and hungry.
02 | What catapulted your passion for building a wine label that gives back? When you started this idea, did you have any setbacks, challenges or criticism from friends, family, and colleagues?
A close friend of mine got Non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer and it was the spark I needed to make this vision a reality. I’ve had tons of setbacks since starting ONEHOPE including all the same challenges other businesses face—lack of knowledge, resources, and capital. I’ve overcome them by asking the right questions, surrounding myself with the right people, and doing what I say I’m going to do.
03 | From your bio, you successfully raised over $10M in financing since starting ONEHOPE, wow!! Can you take us through that process and share some of your golden tips for our readers who are pursuing funding?
I’ve now raised over $25M between our vineyard project and ONE
HOPE Inc.. Raising capital has never come easy to me. When I started I had no formal training and didn’t know anyone who was a professional investor. I showed up at a lot of events, and went out of my way to make sure I introduced myself to a number of people. The more people you talk to the more chance you have of finding people who are the right fit to be your partner in some way. Investing is just one of those ways that people can partner with you, but I’ve found that the right investors are usually worth more than just capital—they can also be great mentors. Getting great investors early on provides the credibility and validation to gain momentum.
04 | We understand (and applaud!) ONEHOPE has successfully worked with hundreds of nonprofit partners and has donated over $1.3M to various nonprofits. First, what does that feel like? Second, how do you celebrate? Three, how do you go about choosing your nonprofit partners?
It feels great, but there is a lot of work left to do. We celebrate making an impact every day, so there isn’t one particular milestone that we look to, but when we crossed $1M dollars donated, that was special. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
05 | We read about your business model theory, known as Cause-Centric Commerce, which “defines turning impact into a long term and sustainable one by helping build cause into companies’ and individual’s everyday business model, culture and lifestyle.” What are your 5 top tips for creating Cause-Centric Commerce?
1. Find nonprofit partners that make sense for your company.
2. Look for credible impact partners.
3. Relay quantifiable and transparent metrics.
4. Make giving back happen year-round.
5. Set a vision to be a part of something bigger.
06 | As an active member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, first, can you give us insight into what the YEC does and second, tell us about your specific participation.
YEC provides great resources for the entrepreneurs in their organization by first and foremost creating a great community filled with people who have different skill sets and backgrounds. We’ve been involved by taking advantage of the PR opportunities they offer as well as introductions to people in similar industries.
07 | Jake, as a leader, what are your leadership principles that you’ve applied to your life that have been an integral part of your success?
I try to apply the following Principles:
– Do the things that you ask others to do
– Work hard to lead from the front, and drive from behind depending on what’s needed
– Fight for the 10% of the decisions that are most important to me, and let my teammates lead in the other 90%
– Be honest and direct, while being respectful and fair
– Error on the side of generosity
– Try to put yourself in the other people’s perspectives before making a decision that impacts them greatly
08 | We were so excited to partner with ONEHOPE this Summer at our NYC Issue Release Party. Why is partnering with CONSCIOUS important for your company?
CONSCIOUS is very aligned with our ethos as a Social Enterprise. We build a social impact into every product we make and every event we’re poured at. Partnering with CONSCIOUS and other progressive events like this is a priority of ours.
09 | Anything new and exciting in the works at ONEHOPE?
We are starting to offer a software platform that provides Social Impact As a Service with ONE
HOPE Foundation. You can learn more about this by going to ONEHOPEfoundation.org
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FROM THE EDITOR
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