Anthony Solazzo, C'01
Anthony Solazzo has no interest or desire in “finding his comfort zone” and remaining within it. “I don’t ever want to see myself getting risk-averse,” he says.
Since graduating from the Mount in 2001, Solazzo has worked for Corporate Finance Inc., a private equity firm based out of Bethesda, Md. In just five years, he has worked on 200 early-stage/start-up deals, covering a broad variety of industries including biotechnology, software, inventions and the wireless space. He is drawn by the allure of entrepreneurship—and the success that it might bring.
A student leader on campus, he was director of activities for the Student Government Association and was an RA for three years. Outside of school, he bartended to make extra money. And then he decided to go into business for himself. In 1999 he cofounded, with fellow classmate and best friend Matt O’Mara, the Mount Side Sports Lounge, a non-alcoholic sport bar located on the campus and still in existence today. “We built it from the ground up,” he says. “It’s our legacy to the school.”
Fluent in Italian, Solazzo, whose parents came to the United States from Italy and settled in Silver Spring, Md., majored in finance and Spanish. “I wanted to be more marketable,” he explains.
When he became aware of a job with Corporate Finance he didn’t hesitate. “I have a passion to work with entrepreneurs,” he notes. “You may be working with what will one day be the next great company.”
Solazzo’s duties involve originating and closing deals, coaching entrepreneurs with their pitch to investors, managing the drafting of private placement memorandums and corporate governance documents, developing the board of advisor groups, and dealing with investor relations. “I’ve gained an unbelievable amount of experience,” he says.
Of course, he has other plans, the five-, 10- and 20-year strategies. He admits that he would someday consider starting his own business. But, “I intend to make logical moves within my career. So far, I feel that I’ve connected the dots really well.”
In the meantime, for Solazzo, there is still much to experience and learn and more challenges to conquer. “I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t challenge myself,” he reflects. “I always need to be doing something, working at something, accomplishing something, or I don’t feel productive. That’s what I’m about.”