Helping People and the Environment: Student Viola Di Veroli
Viola Di Veroli is an International Business major from Rome, Italy. Viola attended high school at the Mosenson Elite Academy in Israel and enrolled in JCU in 2019. She participated in the 2021 Global Wellness Shark Tank with her startup Greety.
Please tell us a bit about your background.
I was born in Rome and lived there until I was 14 years old. In my freshman year of high school, I learned about an international program in Israel and decided to move there. I lived in a boarding school where I met many people from all over the world. Living there for three years helped me mature faster and allowed me to discover other cultures.
What brought you to JCU?
After graduating from high school, I didn’t know what path to pursue. My family wanted me to move back to Italy and stay for a few years. I wanted to continue my education, but I did not want to go to a traditional Italian university. When I first discovered JCU, I instantly knew it was the place for me. I could be close to my family while being in an international environment.
Together with Giorgia Efrati, you participated in the 2021 Global Wellness Shark Tank Competition with Greety. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
I always had ideas that I wanted to explore, but what I was truly interested in was coming up with a project that was appealing and profitable, but that also helped people and the environment. That’s how Greety was born. Rome has a huge trash issue, and unemployment has skyrocketed since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. My goal was to take these two problems and turn them into opportunities. In fact, Greety is considered to be the first advertising tool for businesses that want to increase their corporate social responsibility. Companies finance Greety, and then we scout the most littered areas in the city and give people in need of a job the possibility to work as sweepers whenever and wherever they want.
What attracted you to the entrepreneurial/business world?
While I was living in Israel, I witnessed the growth of the “startup nation.” I was in close contact with the entrepreneurial world, which made me realize the many high-tech opportunities out there. In one of my classes, I had the opportunity to work with Professor Silvia Pulino on a project aimed at helping women buy or rent houses for a fair price. With Professor Pulino, we analyzed several business models such as Pink Taxy, a company that ensures that women get home safely, and I realized how entrepreneurship can truly change the world. In March, I moved back to Israel and started working for a startup that operates in the advertising field. Thanks to Professor Pulino, I got the chance to interview and talk to Nir Shimony, CEO of TechforGood, an Israeli incubator that focuses on social entrepreneurship.
What are your plans/goals for the future?
My long-term goal is to finalize my business idea, Greety, but I know that before doing so I need to acquire more experience. Once I graduate, I would like to start working for one of the many social impact startups in Israel. I also plan to start a master’s program in Human-Computer Interactions at IDC Herzliya (Israel) next year, to further my knowledge of the high-tech field. This program is the perfect fit because it is a mix of entrepreneurship, computer science, and psychology.
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Always be curious and listen to what people with more experience have to say because most of the time you will learn something from them. Take risks, because every time that I have taken one it always ended up being the best choice I have ever made. Never say no to opportunities, even if you are not sure how they will turn out. Finally, do not be afraid to fail, especially if you are young. Even if you fail, you will surely gain knowledge that could be helpful for your future.