How This Slam Poet Found His Rhythm on the C2FO Product Team

By: Kathryn Tanner

Joe Porter is a caring philanthropist, a decorated slam poet, and a 2018 Young Entrepreneur Program Kansas City (YEP KC) intern. In high school Joe liked to write slam poetry, a form of spoken word poetry without a standard rhyme, the point of which is to tell a story. This led to him creating a slam poetry club at his high school. When the mental health coalition was trying to bring awareness about mental health to his school he was the first to step up and became the schools’ ambassador. As the ambassador, he met with the leaders from the mental health coalition to talk about ways to advertise their program to teenagers, and gave presentations to his school about the importance of mental health. When Joe’s teacher told him about YEP KC, Joe instantly knew this would be a good opportunity for him. YEP KC paired Joe with C2FO, a startup company located in Kansas City, whose main focus is to generate early payments between buyers and suppliers.

Joe previously interned at Dimensional Innovations (DI) an engineering and design firm founded in Kansas City. He interned in the engineering department and while there, he worked on online designs, although the work he did at DI was different from what he’s doing at C2FO he says both companies have the same atmosphere and encourage collaboration and transparency throughout the departments. Since interning at C2FO Joe has learned a lot about finances. Joe works in the product department. Joe’s day begins with him shadowing members in the product department as they make calls, and sitting in on meetings. After lunch Joe works on his own research project. In his final week at C2FO Joe will present the research from his project to the VP of product. The hands-on experience, and networking opportunities were the most valuable parts of interning at C2FO. Joe has made it his mission to learn the next software C2FO is bringing in to the company even though he will only be here for four weeks.

He sees everything here as an educational opportunity, and wants to learn as much as he can before he leaves.

When Joe applied for the YEP KC program he didn’t know what to expect. He had never taken any business classes in high school, and didn’t know anything about finance. Before his first day at C2FO, Joe thought he was going to be working in the software engineering department, but he was pleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case. Instead he would be in the product department. Although Joe was placed somewhere new to him, he feels that the experience has helped him develop a new set of skills. Joe thinks that the networking was the most valuable part of the YEP KC program.

Instead of going to college in the fall Joe will be spending the next ten months in Israel. While in Israel, the majority of his time will be devoted to volunteering and an internship Joe received because of the connections he’s made through YEP KC. After Israel, he will attend Lehigh University in Pennsylvania to study mechanical engineering. The most important thing that Joe has learned at C2FO is that creativity can get you anywhere. From YEP KC Joe has been given a chance to see what happens behind the scenes at a startup company.

Joe’s advice for next year’s group of YEP KC students: Take every opportunity to network because you never know what connection is going to come in handy in the future.