From Starter to Startup: Justin Kershaw

Justin Kershaw was a three-year starter between 2004-2008 for MSU football and finished out his senior year as captain of the team. Today, the Innovate State speaker series welcomes him as a startup extraordinaire.


Kershaw is the founder and owner of two companies, including Venia Medical (2011) and Hanga (2016). Prior to starting his own companies, Kershaw worked for Fortune 500 companies 3M and Stryker.

His talk, Kershaw Hints, will be a dual reflection of his time with the MSU football program, where he played alongside current NFL quarterback Kirk Cousins and the lessons he learned at MSU that empowered him to enter into the entrepreneurial sphere full-stride. He will also touch on complicated subjects like crowdfunding, as he utilized Kickstarter to get his product Hanga off the ground.

But Kershaw said his main focus for his talk is about being a leader in business, and how to lead a business well.


“It’s good to want to be an entrepreneur,” Kershaw said. “But a lot of times we’re just concerned about the bottom line, like marketing and accounting. But we don’t talk about integrity and love, and that can end up in scandal and greed and selfish ambition. I want to say that entrepreneurs have a responsibility.”


Kershaw presently lives with his wife, Chaquerra, and their two beautiful children in Columbus, Ohio (which he said: “can be awful. Buckeyes everywhere.”)


“I think everybody should come out,” Kershaw said, with a laugh. “I’m excited to be there.”