Darnell Kemp isn’t afraid to reinvent himself. He spent the first decade of his career as an engineer then switched to venture capital, becoming co-founder and president of an online angel capital platform while pursuing his MBA. But Kemp’s real professional passion, he’s discovered, is business development. He loves it all, from handling growth strategy to identifying target markets.
He’s currently leading business development and partnerships at Tundra.com, a commission-free, wholesale marketplace. “I love the diversity of the people, products, and projects and the accomplishment that follows often months of planning and negotiations,” Kemp says.
At Tundra, Kemp was introduced to the consumer packaged goods industry as he works with leading brands (like Burt’s Bees, Bounty, and Annie’s) to sell their products to smaller retailers. In just three years, he’s helped grow Tundra from a marketplace with 1,000 brands to one with over 12,000 brands and 2 million products.
Though business development is Kemp’s primary focus, he remains active in both the tech and investing worlds. He’s currently building a company that mentors Chinese national students as young as third grade to prepare them for careers in technology and finance, and he’s a member of multiple investment groups. Having an eye for the next great investment, he says, comes from his unique career path coupled with his time at Haas.
“My most valuable insights into startups came from helping build multiple early stage companies from within, initially as an engineer then later a co-founder,” says Kemp. “My Haas courses and network added a high-level perspective to my personal experience.”