“If you want to make a difference, then be the difference. Choose to live in service of others and don’t let the perceived obstacles in your path get in the way.” Ed Natera’s (’92) motto inspires him to achieve both his personal and career goals. Ed’s entrepreneurial career began during his time at Sacred Heart University and he strives to make an impact with all that he does.
Like many Pioneers, Ed chose Sacred Heart for the liberal arts curriculum. “I didn’t have aspirations to be a doctor, lawyer, or CPA like my parents, so I decided to explore my future opportunities with an open mind.” Before his freshmen year at SHU, Ed had an extraordinary opportunity: “I began a summer internship in New York City that ultimately shaped my entrepreneurial career. By the time classes had started in the fall, I had been retained as a paid consultant making more money than I knew what to do with. I had even considered postponing going to school but my mother quickly talked me out of that.” Ed started classes that fall and continued to work while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Pursuing an education while working gave Ed the opportunity to apply the information he was learning in the classroom to the business he was doing outside of the classroom. Even as a freshman, Ed’s professors taught him invaluable lessons. “My philosophy professor was Ed Papa. I remember having great conversations with Dr. Papa about logic and how it was relevant to my chosen major. What I remember most was how relevant the class material was to what I was doing in the outside world and sharing that with my teachers and fellow students.” Ed looks back fondly on his computer science courses and notes that Sandy Honda, Domenick Pinto, and Dr. Fran Grodzinsky played pivotal roles in his SHU education.
Ed didn’t wait for graduation to begin chasing his dreams: “During my junior year, I incorporated my first business that provided technology consulting services. I had clients ranging from GE to small business. After graduating, I also became heavily involved in real estate investing while continuing to grow my technology business.” Ed thrived during the internet boom of the ‘90s and continued to grow and expand upon his different business ventures. In 2011, Ed began work on a social media application, Track180, which brings attention to national and global issues. “The application launched in the spring of 2013 and was nominated for best digital media publishing platform by the Global Media Congress earlier this year. Currently, I am promoting the app and have gone back into real estate investing.” Ed’s entrepreneurial spirit will continue to bring him success, adventures, and new beginnings.
Ed’s early involvement in business coupled with his classroom studies blended for success and inspiration. He notes, “SHU had a great impact in my endeavors because I could see how relevant my studies were to what I was doing. I attribute this combination to much of my success.” Ed recently returned to campus to speak with current students in a digital marketing class: “I was so amazed at the growth of the University since the time I was there. I can’t even imagine what it will look like ten years from now. My hope for the University is for it to continue to grow and expand.” As a student, Ed’s time at SHU shaped his future career. Now, his time at SHU will shape and inspire the careers of current students.