Carlo Cisco started his first business, an event planning and promotion business, as an undergrad at the University of Miami. After a stint in equity trading in New York City, he moved on to Groupon, where he helped expand the service in Japan. After returning to the United States, Carlo founded a restaurant discovery app called Food Fan. Drawing upon his previous work experience and a desire to broaden the scope of his business, he developed the idea for SELECT.
SELECT is a black card that gives members exclusive discounts, perks, and event access at more than 1.6 million locations worldwide. While it is not (yet) a credit card itself, members may link a preexisting credit or debit card to their SELECT card. One must apply for the SELECT card and pay an annual membership fee; acceptance is contingent upon certain criteria. Carlo says SELECT is working toward a partnership that would allow the card to function as a credit card as well.
Though he has built a community of his own through SELECT, Carlo looks to YEC for support and camaraderie. “The journey as an entrepreneur can be long, hard, and perhaps lonely,” he says. “You’re not going to have many people in your friend group doing the exact same thing and that’s part of the void that organizations like YEC fill. I can’t think of any other organization that connects the tier of entrepreneurs that YEC does in the way that YEC does.”
The journey as an entrepreneur can be long, hard, and perhaps lonely. That’s part of the void that organizations like YEC fill.
Similar to the way SELECT vets applicants for the card, YEC curates membership based on a set of criteria. “There’s a threshold for acceptance [that means] people are excited to connect with each other. You’re more likely to have a business deal or just hang out with someone through YEC than otherwise,” Carlo says.
Beyond the connection benefits, Carlo has participated in Expert Panels, one of the visibility opportunities for YEC members. Expert Panels feature tips and advice from multiple YEC members around a particular topic. Carlo says that participating in Expert Panels has not only been a boon to his personal branding efforts, but has benefitted SELECT in terms of sign-ups, job applications, and investor interest.
Watch more of Carlo's story on the YEC YouTube channel.