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Kogod Alum Credits Incubator Program with Career’s Beginnings

Metaintro cofounder Lacey Kaelani discusses how the Kogod School of Business prepared her for a career as an entrepreneur.

Lacey Kaelani

Kogod School of Business MBA alumna Lacey Kaelani.


It’s safe to say that Lacey Kaelani has stayed busy since her days at AU. Only a few years removed from her time on campus, the Kogod School of Business alumna recently found herself listed among Forbes’ “30 Under 30,” recognized for her strides in consumer technology.

The accolades are well deserved. After all, Kaelani is already building her second human resources technology startup from the ground up.

Metaintro, the digital professional resume wallet service designed for the growing Web3 technology sector, has received $5.6 million to date in venture capital investments.

This success, Kaelani says, is only possible thanks to lessons she learned in her first go-around as a startup cofounder, not to mention practical, hands-on lessons she learned during her time at Kogod.

And her future aspirations go well beyond her own company’s successes.

AU’s Incubator Served as a Catalyst

“I knew nothing about the back end of running a business.”

It’s an admission Kaelani now makes about the infancy of her first startup, an online casting service designed to connect job seekers with gigs at the likes of Top Chef, American Idol, and other major television programs.

Kaelani had two proverbial feathers in her cap as she pitched Casting Depot.

For starters, she was, at the time, pursuing her MBA at Kogod. That meant she had access to the Veloric Center for Entrepreneurship (formerly AUCI) Incubator, the program that assists graduate, undergraduate students, and recent alums in building successful, sustainable entrepreneurial ventures.

We like to call ourselves experiential learning to the max.”

Tommy White Purple

Tommy White

Director, Veloric Center for Entrepreneurship

“She was obviously an expert in the casting field,” the center’s director Thomas White explained, noting an additional attribute about Kaelani that instantly stood out as she got involved with the program.

In his eyes—and Kaelani’s—that expertise in the subject matter gave her a leg-up over other entrepreneurs. Incorporating lessons learned through the incubator program on pitching investors and designing marketing plans, Casting Depot grew to some 800,000 subscribers.

The site was an undeniable success, transforming the casting process by assisting cast members end-to-end; from application to payment, Kaelani said.

Ultimately, she and her team eventually decided to sell the company, facing lofty fundraising benchmarks required to trigger further investments in Casting Depot.

But even as the sale went through, it was clear Kaelani had amassed plenty of experience needed to make an even more significant mark in her second act.

Diversifying a Growing Workforce

Asked about the bigger-picture aim of her newest venture—one, she says, has already been “a ton more successful,”—Kaelani responded with a simple, rhetorical question:

“When’s the last time you went through a hiring process?”

Citing an average of 45 days for job seekers to be hired, Metaintro, she said, is all about shortening that timeline for candidates and employers for jobs related to web3—the decentralized, new-era worldwide web platform relying on technology like blockchain to securely store and transfer data across computer networks.

The company’s verified digital resume provides Web3 hiring managers instant proof of an applicant’s employment, education, and skills. Confirming these details has historically required hours of human resources labor, delaying onboard processes.

On Metaintro’s website, a statement reads, “Over time, we aim to make the PDF obsolete.”

“Imagine an engineer can get hired at JP Morgan in two weeks,” Kaelani explained. “This saves a lot of time and costs for both sides.”

Kaelani is doing more than just overseeing Metaintro’s growth, though.

She’s taking an active role in growing and diversifying the talent pool her company —and others—will have to work with in the future.

Alongside its digital wallet, Metaintro operates a sizeable online channel for Web3-related jobs on the social platform Discord. With roughly 15,000 members, it’s almost like an Indeed.com specific to this highly specialized field—one seen by many as a major frontier in the tech world.

Much of that community recently came together at the International Women in Blockchain Conference. Kaelani, and Metaintro, helped host in March in the DC region’s National Harbor, centered around the theme, “Building a Diverse Future.”

Helping more females and diverse candidates educate themselves about Web3 and the potential of working in Web3 is important as a core value.”

Lacey Kaelani

Lacey Kaelani

Founder, Metraintro

A key part of that initiative: a panel discussion focused on transitioning to a career in Web3. Along with Kaelani, Kogod professor Robert Sicina joined in the discussion. A professional lecturer in the management department, Sicina helps spearhead the university’s Blockchain Hub, which pairs research and coursework with an annual Web3 Summit focused on a decentralized, permissionless internet’s future.

“Lacey and her colleagues are leapfrogging the STEM problem in their jump to Web3,” Sicina said. “It was a delight to be a part of such a vibrant group.”

For Kaelani, it was a fitting intersection with her alma mater: a discussion about breaking into a field in which she’s a leader, thanks to a career she launched with the help of the Veloric Center's Incubator she labels a “highlight” of her time at Kogod.

Metaintro conference setup

Metaintro's setup display at the International Women in Blockchain Conference.

As White sees it, her career path indicates the type of success the Incubator program—and Kogod more broadly—hopes to facilitate in budding entrepreneurs…whatever the sector.

“To me, there’s not a better way to understand business than trying to launch your own company,” White said. “It’s the best experiential learning you could ever get.”

Kaelani concurred, reflecting on what she learned from building two companies.

“You won’t know how to build a startup until you build your first startup,” she said. “And then you look back on it, and you’re like, ‘Oh, this is how you build a startup.”