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Non-Technical Founder Building a Tech Startup to over $10M: David Moricca, CEO of Socialive (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Dec 6th 2021
David Moricca, CEO of Socialive

We very often get questions on whether non-technical founders can build tech companies. David’s story is a really interesting one that touches many aspects of the 1Mby1M methodology.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s begin at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

David Moricca: I was born in Buffalo, New York and spent most of my childhood in Philadelphia. I ultimately made my way down to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for college.

Sramana Mitra: What did you study?

David Moricca: I studied political science. I was always very interested in it. I had a plan to go to law school which I did ultimately. But I never practiced law. It was a wonderful experience down in Chapel Hill. It was a very entrepreneurial environment down there. I graduated in 1998.

Sramana Mitra: Did you go to law school right after undergrad?

David Moricca: I did not. I took a year in between undergraduate and law school. I had started a non-profit when I was in college based on some work a friend of mine has done. The non-profit I started was called School Children of the World. It was an educational video business where we were creating 20-minute videos on school children from different countries to help their US peers learn through personal narrative. We spent a lot of time in Zimbabwe where we did our first video. We did our second video in Malaysia.

I was working with the University of North Carolina in that gap year. They essentially employed me. They helped me build the non-profit. My responsibility was to go out to schools in rural North Carolina and present what life was like for kids in Zimbabwe to help create a connection for a lot of the middle school and elementary school kids in the rural parts of North Carolina.

Sramana Mitra: You went to law school. What year was that?

David Moricca: I started law school in 1999. I graduated in 2002.

Sramana Mitra: What happens in 2002?

David Moricca: It started before that. I got to law school. I deferred Harvard law for a year. I was contemplating not going. I was beginning to recognize that the practice of law didn’t fascinate me. I was getting more entrepreneurial. I was thinking a lot more about business and business opportunities. Also, social enterprise. I was interested in becoming a social entrepreneur.

I ultimately decided to go. Even during my first year, I sought some learning opportunities outside of law school. I spent time at Harvard Business School and at MIT Sloan. I was able to connect to an individual who was then the General Counsel of America Online before it merged with Time Warner. He was kind enough to bring me under his wing. He was a Harvard Law School alum.

He invited me to spend the summer working at AOL and working half a summer at a law firm so I could experience that. I was excited to have a front row seat at AOL and see how they negotiated deals at AOL. I knew at that point that I wasn’t going to practice law. I ultimately applied for a consulting job during my second year of law school. I got a summer associate position at McKinsey. I did well enough to get an offer to return. That’s where I spent my first few years after law school.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Non-Technical Founder Building a Tech Startup to over $10M: David Moricca, CEO of Socialive
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