This afternoon, EnterpriseCorp Executive Director Tendai Charasika sat down with Insider Louisville to break the news that he is stepping down from his position at GLI.
Charasika, who took over for previous executive director Bobby Ferreri in May 2013, has accepted the position of CEO at Louisville tech startup SuperfanU. Prior to being executive director of EnterpriseCorp, he was the director of the Innovation and Enterprise Center for the organization.
Charasika’s departure is scheduled for April 21. Chairman of the board of EnterpriseCorp, OPM CEO Kent Oyler, will lead a search for Charasika’s replacement effective immediately and will oversee the department on an interim basis until the position is filled.
When asked if his departure from EnterpriseCorp had anything to do with the recent upheavals at GLI, including the firing of CEO Craig Richard, he said he was approached with the SuperfanU opportunity “well before [Richard’s] departure.”
Charasika says he always imagined he would leave EnterpriseCorp one of three ways: by starting his own business, by acquiring another business, or by becoming the CEO of a startup.
During our interview, Charasika affirmed his commitment to Louisville’s startup scene, saying he now will be able to participate more organically. He plans to make himself available to EnterpriseCorp for entrepreneur mentorship and he will remain president-elect of Venture Connectors.
In discussing what qualities he’d like to see in his replacement, Charasika emphasized “they have to love people.” He concluded by saying he often felt like parts of his job weren’t really work at all, and he hoped his replacement would feel the same way.
In his brief tenure as executive director, Charasika helped facilitate some dramatic changes in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including the launch of a number of startup accelerators and historic partnerships with GE Appliance Park. He is widely regarded as one of the most respected and helpful resources in the Louisville entrepreneurship scene.
Insider Louisville will follow up with a more detailed post on SuperfanU and GLI’s efforts to replace Charasika.