Kickass entrepreneur: Industry


For anyone in the corporate world, LinkedIn is an incredible way to stay connected to business associates, get noticed and get hired by the right company. So why not have that same network for people in the service and hospitality industry? Now there is and you can thank Cody Barbo, Matt Cecil and Vincent Di Nino. It’s called Industry and it’s an exclusive professional network for anyone in the restaurant industry.

All three founders had problems in the past finding the right job and getting in front of the right people. Last year, they came together to create a better way to connect people in the industry, allowing users to highlight their skills and talents using photos and videos. And this is also a time saver for employers, allowing them to post unlimited jobs, manage and track their applicants and maintain a pipeline of talent. Currently they have more than 2,500 industry professionals on their platform and have no plans on slowing down.

Q:What was the inspiration behind Industry?

Barbo: I was working on my first tech start-up when I decided I needed to make some extra cash. Living downtown, a restaurant/bar job seemed like the logical choice. I was denied from 10 different restaurants for “lack of experience” and one manager said I was “overqualified...” so I resorted to Craigslist, found a new restaurant opening, and luckily got the job. Once working in the restaurant I noticed nobody used LinkedIn, and I thought there has to be a professional networking site for the restaurant industry, yet I couldn’t find one. Thus the idea for Industry was born.

Q:What was the worst job you have ever had in the “industry?”

Barbo: I’ll go with the opposite answer, and say that my best industry job was as a chef at a sorority in college.

Cecil: I have never had a bad job in the industry...only bad managers.

Di Nino: Honestly, I’ve never had a bad job in the industry. Every position I have held I can honestly say I enjoyed and appreciated.

Q: If you were a superhero who would you be and why?

Barbo: Iron Man, because he’s the closest superhero to Elon Musk, and I hope to out-innovate the Musk in my lifetime.

Cecil: Spongebob...who wouldn’t want to live in a pineapple under the sea?

Di Nino: I would be any superhero that could fly. I’ve always wanted to fly.

Q: Best part about doing business in San Diego?

Barbo: Work, live, play. There’s no place I’d rather be than this fine city.

Cecil: We chose to start our company in San Diego because we know that we can recruit and retain employees. San Diego is one of the most desired places to live in the world. Why not work and play in the same place.

Q: Favorite hobbies or activities to do in San Diego?

Barbo: You can find me working out at FIT everyday. I also consider myself a hardcore foodie. I think I have over 200+ bookmarks on Yelp to recommend to anyone.

Cecil: I love to skydive!

Di Nino: Going to breweries, beach, ball games, and of course enjoying our great restaurants and nightlife

Q: If you could be on any reality show which show would it be and why?

Barbo: “The Profit” with Marcus Lemonis. The man is brilliant. He’s all about people, process, product, and when you execute well on all three, success happens. I hope to someday mentor start-ups and other entrepreneurs find their path to success.

Cecil: I am not a big TV guy but I love to watch “Shark Tank.” I think the reason I like it is because I feel like I am living it every day as an entrepreneur.

Q: What are the main differences about someone who works in the industry vs. someone in the corporate world?

Barbo: People who work in the industry are some of the hardest workers on the planet. We put up with a lot. I like to think of it as our own MBA: Master’s in Basic Abilities. We have the confidence and street smarts to get by in life. Basically the “work smarter, not harder” philosophy.

Cecil: The corporate world is black, white and structured. People that work in the industry don’t conform to the mantra of corporate America.They live their life to be happy, have unique experiences, and make amazing money (more than most people would imagine) In the industry, personality is everything and it is what makes you stand out from the rest. If you are looking to take off the necktie and step behind the bar or walk into the kitchen...being an industry professional is for you.

Di Nino: Street smarts. I would argue that while industry workers might not be the most formally educated, their social skills and street smarts are much higher than your average corporate employee. Industry workers are constantly meeting and engaging with new people and as a result develop stronger social skills as well as “people reading skills.”

Q: Three things you would take to a deserted island?

Barbo: Tom Hanks (and Wilson?), The “Mythbuster” Guys, and duct tape. Between us and the duct tape, we’d figure it out.

Cecil: My fiancee, Kelsey Lizee, a yacht (filled with food and water) and a helicopter.

Di Nino: My wife, son and daughter.

Source: DiscoverSD