Craig Cecilio is the CEO & Co-Founder of DiversyFund, an online alternative investment platform that is disrupting traditional wealth building methods through the power of technology. A capital syndication expert and entrepreneur, Cecilio has over twenty years of industry experience as a lender or sponsor financing nearly $500 million of real estate assets. With DiversyFund, Craig has broken down the barriers to real estate investing by leveraging technology giving all investors the chance to participate in the highest quality alternative investments.
1- What in your life inspired you to start your own company?
I’ve built multiple companies prior to DiversyFund. I also worked for nearly 20 years in real estate as a syndicator for real estate capital and as a sponsor. I led the development of over 1,000 single family residences and apartments, financing more than $500 million worth of real estate assets.
Through these deals, I saw that the traditional ways of raising money for real estate projects were archaic and excluded the everyday investor. I watched the rich get richer, and wanted to create a solution that will include the everyday investor into these incredible investments. That’s where the idea for DiversyFund came from.
2- How do you describe DiversyFund in few words?
DiversyFund provides all Americans equal opportunities to invest like the 1%.
3- What are your focus areas and why?
We open up alternative investments that were previously only available to the wealthy to everyone. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to build wealth, not just the 1%.
4- How do you think creative companies like yours are changing the future of Investing?
Our goal is to democratize investing. To bring equal investing opportunities to all. We do this by leveraging tech to bring the opportunities to all, to make it easier for people to invest anywhere, and to take the bias out of investing.
We are providing not only the option to access something that used to require millions of dollars for as low as $2,500 but also educational resources so people can make the right decision for their wealth building journey– and you can do it on your phone.
5- How did you build up an entrepreneurial spirit, do you believe you were born with it or you developed it?
I have always been entrepreneurial since I was a kid. I always knew that if I wanted to build my own wealth, I had to take matters into my own hands. I guess some people are just wired that way.
6- Are there any interesting projects you’d like to share with our readers?
I started recording the first few episodes of my new Podcast, “The Art of the Opportunity.” I speak with inspirational leaders from different fields to talk about how they get through obstacles and take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. It will be launching very soon, and if anyone wants to connect and be part of the show, send me a DM on Instagram @craig_cecilio
7- If you could turn the clock, what one thing would you love to change about your career?
I’ve had failures and made mistakes, but I wouldn’t be where I am without them. I tend to see failures as opportunities to learn, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.
8- Can you share with us one of your daily challenges, that you feel will inspire new entrepreneurs?
Most people think that being a CEO means being in the trenches and getting involved in every detail of the daily operations of a company. I have a different point of view– I think that a good leader focuses on the mission and hires the experts to fulfill the mission. The real goal is to get everyone on the team aligned and organized and I think that’s one of my daily challenges.
People get lost in tasks, details and daily challenges and someone has to pull everyone back up and remind them of the overall goals. As a CEO you steer the ship and that’s something that I have been needing to do daily.
9- Do you find as an expert, that you enjoy the challenge of the industry being complex where the game rules are always changing?
Not only do I enjoy it, but I also thrive in change. It brings out the strategic side of me. I think it’s just the way things are. Rules will change no matter what and it will be messy and complicated.
Sometimes, you have to be the one to the change the rules; it’s just how it is–evolve or die.