As part of the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, Sorenson Impact Center’s greatest impact is through empowering tomorrow’s leaders with transformative, experiential learning, real-world training, and mentorship. This series revisits Sorenson Impact Center alumni who are leading successful careers in impact.
Devon Gethers is a force to be reckoned with in the realm of venture capital. Today he is a Co-Founder & Managing Partner at SectionX Capital, a Utah-based seed-stage venture fund that invests in impact tech entrepreneurs. Long before the board meetings, Devon was an investment analyst at the Sorenson Impact Center.
After graduating from the University of Utah, he began his career as an investment professional at Mercato Partners, supporting the senior investment team with asset valuation, portfolio construction, fundraising, deal sourcing, and diligence. Simultaneously, Devon launched an EdTech startup called EarlyAdmit, focused on helping underrepresented minority college students receive admission to the world’s elite Deferred MBA programs, Investment Banking, PE/VC, and Management Consulting positions. EarlyAdmit was recently acquired by Private Equity in 2023.
In addition to launching SectionX Capital this year, Devon is also a first-year MBA Candidate at the Harvard Business School Class of 2025. Here, Devon reflects on his career — from intern to founder — and shares what motivates him and advice for the next generation of impact leaders.
What is the greatest takeaway from your internship with the Sorenson Impact Center?
The Sorenson Impact Center helped me realize that one can return capital to its investors while also doing social good in the world. My time at the Center provided the best education and preparation for real-world application. As an intern, I was engaged in all aspects of deal underwriting and acquired fundamental financial and problem-solving skills such as asset valuation, cap table construction, question formation to executive level leadership, and term sheet overview. With this knowledge, I was able to break into buy-side PE right out of college. The work that I perform in my current role is nearly identical to the work that I performed as an intern.
What project are you working on right now that you are most excited about?
The most recent project I have been engaged in is raising capital for SectionX Capital’s Fund I. For every fund, the pulse is predicated on one’s ability to raise enough capital to support investments and operations. When starting this company, I was particularly excited to enter into an environment that would challenge every aspect of my character, ability, execution, and leadership.
With two emerging managers in their mid-20s without a formal track record and raising capital in one of the most challenging fundraising environments for early-stage VC in history, my partner and I have worked hard and are proud to have achieved our goal.
What keeps you inspired in your work?
I’m inspired by the opportunity I have to leverage my background and upbringing to empower billions of people. I grew up from humble beginnings and I realize there are so many others like me who were unable to make it out of difficult circumstances. I have a rare opportunity to use my platform and voice to uplift my family and others and make the world a better place.
What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in impact?
Your work has purpose. You will frequently encounter temptations and people in your life who may not understand all of the good you are providing to the world. Believe in yourself and follow your passion. Don’t measure your impact by how others perceive you, but rather the lives you were able to positively transform and your internal compass of happiness. Impact is a very broad term, so I would advise anyone going into this field to gain a level of specificity to a vertical they are most excited about.
What is one pressing issue that you hope to see solved within the course of your career? How can the impact field come together to solve this issue at scale?
One pressing issue that I hope to see solved is access to high-quality educators in low-income residential areas. A high-quality education has the power to truly reform inequalities in the economic system in America; many high-potential children never receive the opportunity to gain this education, which has a positive correlation to monetary outcomes in the United States.
I believe that the impact field can help by increasing investment in education technology companies, financial technology companies, and generating awareness of higher education opportunities, rebuilding communities, and funding opportunities for lower-income candidates.
Interested in learning more about the Sorenson Impact Center’s student program? Explore internships and opportunities here.