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Richard Portelance

Richard Portelance


New Milford, CT USA

"Entrepreneurship is synonymous with perseverance and grit."

Career Roadmap

Richard's work combines: Entrepreneurship, Education, and Helping People

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Day In The Life

Founder & CEO

I innovate digital products that help students and job seekers discover pathways to future opportunities.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

    Canterbury School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Graphic Communications, General

    Western Connecticut State University

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be a Founder & CEO:

Bachelor's Degree: Creative Writing

Bachelor's Degree: Business/Commerce, General

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

I've taken a lot of twists and turns

  • 1.

    I joined my first digital marketing agency in 1996 and had the opportunity to work with some great companies, like IBM, Rhodia, Savin and Burns Guitars. It set my passion for digital tech in motion.

  • 2.

    In 2001 I was fitted for my first set of hearing aids. I didn't realize that I had probably been hearing impaired throughout high school and college too. It was a humbling turning point for me.

  • 3.

    Post 9/11 the agency I was working for went under. I started my first company, which lasted for 2.5 years, before running out of capital and closing shop. A painful lesson in cash management!

  • 4.

    I spent 4.5 years as the Digital Director for a private secondary school, and recreated myself. I was at the front edge of Educational Technology, and found a passion for helping young people succeed.

  • 5.

    In 2014 I founded CareerPath, and our first client was Dartmouth College. We were flying high!

  • 6.

    In 2017 CareerPath won the ReSET Accelerator Venture Showcase Pitch competition—it felt great to have our hard work acknowledged!

  • 7.

    I led a group that completed the Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire's White Mountains with my son and a group of adult leaders and boy scouts. It was an awesome accomplishment for us all.

  • 8.

    We had high expectations this year, but COVID-19 changed our plans. Another lesson in entrepreneurial resilience and grit. We have gotten back on track, but our perspective has changed slightly!

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Peers:

    As an entrepreneur, you tend to hear 'no' an awful lot. Especially if you try to raise money for your organization. We often heard our idea was cool, but we didn't have enough traction—that we needed to prove it out further. It's a real gut check.

  • How I responded:

    To begin, I would say that you should have sound financial footings for yourself when you begin—you need to be able to put food on the table. Second, if you believe in your idea, listen, but don't panic. Incorporate what you learn, and keep making progress. There is a saying "sales solves all problems" and it's mostly true when it comes to investments and success. Entrepreneurship is synonymous with perseverance and grit—if you can't take disappointment, it may not be the path for you!

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

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  • My first startup ended in a financial disaster, leaving me with a load of debt. I made a commitment never to leverage my family's assets to run a business again. For CareerPath, I sought early investment, sacrificing some equity for partnership.