Forging a path to entrepreneurship: meet Nithin Akuthota of CRC Technologies

While an entrepreneurial spirit may not be a prerequisite for doing government contracting, the Director of D.C. Operations at CRC Technologies, Nithin Akuthota finds innovation essential in any field. A firm believer in the collaborative economy, Nithin thrives in settings that are open and imaginative, forward thinking, and inspiring.

Although his role at an Ohio-based project management-consulting agency may not put Akuthota’s entrepreneurial acumen to work, this WeWork Wonder Bread member does his best to find alternative outlets for his creative spirit.

With a background in political science and years of experience in the energy and environmental fields, Nithin’s position requires him to advise on projects directly related to both the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. But while a consultant by trade, Nithin is a born-innovator — a thinker who takes comfort existing a little bit outside the box.

We sat down with Nithin for this Member Spotlight feature – a series that showcases the individuals behind startups and small businesses. Here’s what he shared:

Like many of my contemporaries, I’ve had a diverse but focused career development path. I’ve worked for non-profits, law firms, for myself and now, for a small consulting agency. As Director of Washington D.C. Operations for CRC Technologies, I currently provide consulting support to engineering and environmental companies that support large Department of Energy and Department of Defense projects.

I liken entrepreneurs to engineers. They identify problems and solve them. I do what I do to help a client solve a problem quickly and correctly. Since first learning about radioactive waste site cleanup as a law clerk, I’ve been interested in supporting public health and the environment. But, it’s not all toxic – I do other stuff too.

I’ve discovered that the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur can’t be taught. It’s not something you learn in engineering school, law school, or business school. Like many professionals in D.C., I have an undergraduate degree in political science. I also have my law degree, so gravitating towards D.C. was natural. However, over the years I’ve found that it can be difficult to navigate through certain federal government stovepipes. Although my environmental cleanups are considered to be pretty complex, I crave alternative creative outlets and projects, such as my new website and mobile app.

That said, I think D.C. could take notes from innovation-economies. I’m originally from Ohio, birthplace of inventions such as the airplane, the cash register, chewing gum, and Skyline Chili. D.C. needs some of this (Although I’m sure Ben’s Chili Bowl would say that we’re doing just fine in the chili dog department). This is why I’m energized by the opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded people and to present the government a potential solution that blends classic project management, graphic design, information management, and technology.

I’d like to work for myself (soon) and satisfy my entrepreneurial bug. Benjamin Hoff’s writing has been a big source of inspiration for me. He says, “We don’t need to shift our responsibilities onto the shoulders of some deified Spiritual Superman, or sit around and wait for Fate to come knocking at the door. We simply need to believe in the power that’s within us, and use it. When we do that, and stop imitating others and competing against them, things begin to work for us.”

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