Entrepreneur drives away with profits

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( Courtesy of Nate Ryan )

“Don’t be afraid to grind.”

Cal State Fullerton alumnus Nate Ryan gave this advice to all students looking to succeed in the business world.

Ryan began his career at CSUF in 2015 when he majored in entrepreneurship. He is now an asset to a multi-million dollar company.

“Entrepreneurship is not what it seems like in the movies or TV or what you read online. It’s a full-time, 24-hour-a-day job but the rewards outweigh the downside,” Ryan said. “Just push through and grind, and it’ll all be worth it.”

Ryan, 25, is the vice president of strategic revenue at HyreCar, a company that rents out vehicles to transportation companies like Uber and Lyft. When Ryan joined the HyreCar team a little over a year ago, its office was a corner Starbucks in Fullerton, occupied by a handful of entrepreneurial minds. Now, it is located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles with a team of 35 employees from around the world.

Ryan said the company has been growing at a rate of 25 to 35 percent a month. How did this startup become such a fast growing company? Ryan credits the success to its business model and good timing.

Ryan has made himself indispensable at HyreCar by fully integrating himself into the company. As a person who knows the technology inside and out, Ryan said he is a crucial part of the operation.

Nicholas Wilford, a CSUF communications student, has been working for Ryan as a driver success agent for about five months.

“Whenever he walks in a room, there’s about 10 people who yell, ‘Nate! Nate! Nate!’ for issues,” Wilford said. “He’s able to deal with all of these issues, manage them and make sure that everything is running smoothly, and the company is going in the right direction.”

Wilford said Ryan is a good leader and an asset to the operation as he can do almost any job at the company.

“No one else can do what he does,” said Wilford.

Ryan got his start at CSUF when he built his entrepreneurial skills in the hands-on core classes of the entrepreneurship program. Not only did Ryan commend the program for offering real-world skills, but also the mentors and network it gave him.

“One of the most important things about college is actually building your network so that after you graduate, you have this plethora of people that can help you excel through your career no matter what your degree was,” Ryan said.

Will Taormina, a 32-year-old entrepreneur and a fellow CSUF graduate, met Ryan while he was in college working on projects and quickly became a mentor.

“He has a work ethic that I don’t typically see in young people his age, in that he’s very old school and basically works his a** off and doesn’t complain. He makes decisions for the benefit of the company and just is really a good team player,” Taormina said.

When Taormina heard the HyreCar team was looking for some senior leadership to help grow the company, he knew just who to recommend.

“A lot of companies would be lucky to have someone like Nate,” Taormina said.

Since Taormina connected Ryan with the founders of HyreCar, Ryan has helped their clients and revenue grow, as well as their company culture.

“We have a very diverse team here,” Ryan said. “Being able to maintain a culture where all these different personalities can mold and inspire each other is difficult, and I think I do a relatively good job of inspiring that kind of creativity and culture where we work really well together.”

Ryan said about half of HyreCar’s staff are CSUF graduates. Nicholas Wilford was just one of the many students hired in the last several months.

“We’re always expanding and just a company who looks out for Cal State Fullerton students, starting with Nate,” Wilford said.

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