Foster Futures: Matt Koenig

Matt Koenig

It doesn’t take long to identify Matt Koenig (BA 2019) as an entrepreneur.

The junior from Bellevue is a leader in the Buerk Center’s Lavin Entrepreneurial Action Program, and former president of Startup UW—“the best student organization at Foster!” he says with characteristic verve—where he helped forge a national network of 25 schools, hosted a West Coast early stage pitch competition and mounted a student startup showcase on the UW Quad.

Koenig also represented Foster at the Emory Global Business Leadership Conference and has already worked in five internships: three with T-Mobile, one with a design startup and one with Apple.

“Each internship has taught me a little more about productivity, working within a team and how I can best bring value to a company big or small,” he says.

To this, Koenig has absorbed every ounce of the school’s entrepreneurial focus. “Even at the biggest firms, entrepreneurship is increasingly celebrated and encouraged,” he says. “Foster ensures that every students has the ability to become a relatively seasoned entrepreneur at a very young age.”

He’d like to lead business development or strategy at a large tech firm. Or, maybe just start his own someday. So… the next Elon Musk?

“That’s the idea,” Koenig says, laughing. “Maybe I need a PhD first.”

More about Matt:

What did you do before college?

Before Foster, I played varsity basketball, performed music around the Seattle area, and had a lot more time for video games. I’m not sure that illustrates any personal insights, but I still try to remain pretty active, my Spotify playlist is top-notch, and I can beat anyone at Madden.

How are you leveraging your Foster experience to achieve your career aspirations?

Foster has every relationship needed to be successful in any field a student desires. As undergraduates, if we provide the grit, Foster will enable a network strong enough to accomplish any goal–no matter how lofty. For me, I was able to leverage the vast technology resources through the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, Startup UW, and the Lavin Program. Furthermore, the EY Center for Career Advancement has helped with introductions and advice as I have navigated next steps in my career. Andy Rabitoy and his team are so connected, there’s not an industry or company that is outside of their network!

What aspect of Foster’s culture do you believe will prove particularly valuable in your career?

The school’s focus on entrepreneurial spirit is particularly important to today’s business environment. The ability to think creatively about a problem while quickly iterating towards results will never go out of style. As industry competition increases, the ability to quickly build, measure, and learn through a product lifecycle is going to be absolutely vital.

What are do you like to do in your free time?

I love yoga although I’m particularly terrible at it. I am a huge pop music nerd, and actually completed a certificate of sorts at a music conservatory in pop composition. The Seahawks have to make the list and I’m still holding out for the Mariners despite their longstanding tradition of mediocrity.

What is a “fun fact” about you that people find interesting?

Fun fact is I’m neither fun nor do I know any facts. But did you know that a group of kittens is called a kindle? My Amazon Echo told me that this morning.

Foster Futures is a series highlighting some of the students who are leading the Foster School into its second century—and themselves into promising careers. The series began in the winter issue of Foster Business magazine.

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