Chronicles of Summer Startup Accelerator Experience, Insights, and Projects

Hey everyone! I’m Jonathan Van, but friends call me Johnny, so feel free to do so!

I’m originally from Dallas, TX. Texas born and raised! I went to Dallas Jesuit and graduated in 2010 with honors. I have been working with my parents import/export/distribution business for a lot of my life and my business skill, acumen, and work ethic come from there.

Today, I study at the University of Texas at Austin. I’m a marketing major and management information systems minor. Also getting a certificate in Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship. HOOK ‘EM!

I’ve worked with the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, hosted UT Entrepreneurship Week, attended Leadershape, learned from NCIIA VentureLab, and was in the inaugural 1 Semester Startup class led by Dr. Bob Metcalfe, my mentor Dr. John Butler, and Joshua Baer. I led a startup for a little while called uThinkTank, which was meant to build an online incubation space like to help crowdsource solutions and build gamechanging startups. Today I’m interested in working at a startup or working on a startup of my own. I have a few side projects going all the time. At UT I evangelize students to think more creatively and start making things instead of just going with the flow.


My goals for the course:

Meet 200+ new people during time at New York.

Connect General Assembly to Austin.

Create awesome site visits for Fridays.

Spend as many possible seconds at GA learning and making things.

Speak to every professor and get the real story.

Help affiliate companies succeed & hit new milestones. Provide results!

Bring back knowledge to UT and evangelize Austin.

Use all of my knowledge to either empower a startup or start my own company.

Get close to all my GA program fellows.


Tidbits: I hated reading until I met my girlfriend. Now I constantly spend time reading on my iPad. If I’m ever passing time without some fixed goal…you’ll find me reading and learning.

I’m obsessed with technology commercialization, design, reverse engineering, innovation, creative problem solving, singularity, law of accelerating returns, and engineering grand challenges. On a grand scale: Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Design.

Additionally I train in several martial arts: I’ve trained in wrestling, boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, kali, jeet kune do, wing chun, muay thai, silat and hapkido. If anyone is interested in training please please please don’t hesitate to chat with me.

Lastly, I’ve met the love of my life and the girl who I want to marry, so if you hear about my girlfriend a lot…I don’t really apologize…it’ll just happen.

Words I’d like to be remembered by: relentless, fast, legendary.


I regularly look at this for inspiration: (Silat Suffian Bela Diri) (Filipino Martial arts) (Gokor Hayastan)

These are all my favorite. I really do have a problem with having over 10-20 tabs open on one browser.


I look forward to seeing you all!



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