My acknowledgment of San Francisco started when as a kid, my father would tell me stories of my grandfather, which I never had the chance to meet, traveling around the world for business and to explore all corners of the world. My grandfather was an Entrepreneur, an Artist, a Pioneer, and an Inspiration for me. He created a family business on what he mastered: art. He first manufactured and sold his furniture in Italy and then expanded internationally and traveled the world to buy new materials and find new customers. In the ’70s, my grandfather traveled to Hong Kong, Osaka and other cities in Asia. On his way home, he decided to stop in San Francisco and fell in love with the charming city. It is also on that trip that he filed a patent of a furniture invention that he would create.
All of my father’s stories about his father resonated within me and made me realize that I wanted to follow his path in coming to the United States. Any opportunity is a good opportunity when it comes to building our own future. This is why I decided to move from Europe to the U.S for college. I now study at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. This University continuously allows me to see how my future would taste and I am loving it. Out of the many opportunities Northeastern University offers, one stood out for me: a program of four months of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the heart of San Francisco. It was evidence for me at that point, I knew I wanted to follow my grandfather’s path as an entrepreneur and make the journey to San Francisco. Not only would I be able to replicate his entrepreneurial mindset and make it my own, but I would also be able to experience the same things as he did. These are the familiar and emotional reasons that bond me to this city of entrepreneurs and make me feel that San Francisco is part of me.
I strongly believe that some things of the past still live inside of us and that those same things can’t be erased. Family is one of them. Family is your past, present, and future; it is the pillar on which you build yourself as an individual and the safe heaven where each member cooperates to cultivate a common culture. Family culture does not only mean traditions but rather identifies the common mindset, vision, way of thinking a family carries on over decades. Entrepreneurship is a mindset that can be carried through generations and I am capitalizing on this family trait through the Entrepreneurship and Innovation program. This program allows me to take this mindset and make it a reality.
“Birds of the same feather, flock together,” and I would add that they “think alike towards a specific meta.”
So, here I am in San Francisco, following my grandfather’s path and seeing with my own eyes what he loved so much in the past. San Francisco is a unique city. With its tall buildings, famous bridges, historical sites, great food, art, diversity, hills, seaside, and inclusive society, this city is full of life. It is a great city for young adventurous people. These characteristics charmed my grandfather and now, five decades later, they continue to charm me.
But something has changed for sure: the amount of homeless and people in need. As of 2019, the San Francisco Department of Health’s database suggests an estimated 17,600 homeless residents citywide. Numbers that throughout the years have exponentially increased and that unfortunately weakens the charm of San Francisco. This last point is a negative aspect of San Francisco that reveals deeper roots to the problem: housing unaffordability? Large companies? State passivity?, and that makes me doubt of the initial charm I had felt.
On a more positive note, the program I am currently pursuing is at the height of my expectations; one that provides me networking and professional opportunities that are essential for someone such as myself whose passion will lead to starting a company with a positive impact on society.
I cannot wait to complete the program and see how much I have evolved towards finding my personal vocation.