Jake Croman is an entrepreneur who lives and works in New York City. He is Vice President at Centennial Properties NY, where he oversees leasing and acquisitions, and is also the Co-Founder of the Eddie Croman Foundation, which is a subsidiary of a larger nonprofit organization known as Frankie’s Friends. Donations to the Eddie Croman Fund help save pets’ lives by financing grants to cover the cost of veterinary care for pet owners who cannot afford the full cost of their pet’s medical treatment.
Outside of Centennial Properties NY and the Eddie Croman Foundation, Jake is also an active real estate investor who primarily devotes his time to restaurants, medically supply companies, and fashion brands. He consults on a number of diverse retail concepts as well. An accomplished entrepreneur, Jake Croman has contributed his advice and thoughtful insights on a variety of business topics that have appeared in major online publications like Entrepreneur, VentureBeat, and SCORE, which provides engaging advice and guidance for small business owners in the NYC area.
Jake’s passion for entrepreneurship first began in high school. Inspired by his love of music, Jake realized there was a market in New York City to connect mid-range artists with talent bookers at local music venues. Jake Croman’s desire to fill this niche gave him the motivation to throw himself into this initiative. He worked as an independent agent on commission and gained exposure to the business underlying New York City’s music and entertainment scene. Through this work, Jake has developed valuable negotiation skills and strategic networking experience, although helping talented artists find their voice and following is what made this work the most rewarding for Jake.
Jake later went on to attend the University of Michigan — Ann Arbor where he was an American Culture major in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts with a focus on Jewish studies during World War II. Jake enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of UM — Ann Arbor’s American Culture program, which allowed him to explore his intellectual interest in music within the larger context of American culture. He also enjoys that his coursework helped him develop a framework through which he can understand social identities within our contemporary media landscape. Additionally, Jake Croman’s studies have demonstrated the significance of ethical leadership and diversity and how it shapes innovation and success for future generations.
Becoming an entrepreneur at such a young age, Jake believes that college is the best time for businesses-minded people to begin thinking about starting their own companies, as colleges make a multitude of resources and opportunities readily available to anyone interested. Through his own experience, Jake Croman seeks to offer valuable expertise for young college entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their enterprises.
Jake’s networking and fundraising expertise allowed him to extend his knowledge for fundraising efforts on behalf of a number of charitable organizations. As a member of the University of Michigan’s Upsilon Chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, Jake led the organization’s fundraising campaign to support St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. He also supports the NYC Chabad, the Jewish Resource Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as Yad Vashem. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, while also maintaining a deep spiritual background passed down through his family. He is a big Yankees and Knicks fan and spends the majority of his time in Manhattan.
Where did the idea for The Eddie Croman Foundation come from?
The Eddie Croman Foundation started when our family dog Eddie passed away. My family and I love animals and we noticed there were so many families at the vet every time we went who were unable to afford their pet’s medical bills. I know what the bond between an owner and its pet is like — they’re an extension of family — so I helped to establish this passionate organization that supports the medical expenses of underserved families with sick or disabled dogs and pets.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
It’s hard to describe a typical day for me since my schedule looks so different from one day to the next. As for how I make each day productive, there are a few strategies I’ve developed to help me stay on top of things. First, I’ve stopped caring what people think about me so that I can focus on my growth mindset instead and pursue my goals. Second, I’ve implemented the Pomodoro Technique, which is a time management method where professionals break their day up into 25-minute chunks. And then third, I rely a lot on technology to help me be organized and efficient.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I have a great group of friends and colleagues who I enjoy collaborating with and bouncing ideas off of.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Millennials and emerging technology.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I focus on not procrastinating, and getting things done in a timely manner.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take things slower and enjoy life a little more often. Don’t live too fast and always enjoy time with family and friends.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
There’s no better time to start a business than while you’re in college.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Stick to a routine and never procrastinate.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Giving incentives for referrals. Always give other people a reason to help you.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In terms of music, a failure that I’ve had is doing business with someone who wasn’t ready. But this is also true in the business world as well. Never assume that you’ll make money until you’ve done your due diligence on the people you’re working with. Don’t get stuck listening to the hype, always do your due diligence.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Find something you’re passionate about and go with it.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A gift to my girlfriend.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I use Flipboard as a way to sort through and find the most relevant news for me.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Steve Jobs Autobiography, an absolutely inspiring read.
What is your favorite quote?
Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people. -Steve Jobs
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.