‘Crunch’ Time: From Startup To VC

Aspen Crunch products. Courtesy photo.

Aspen Crunch products. Courtesy photo

The second Aspen Crunch mission, which Paley considers its main mission, is to inspire young entrepreneurs — those like Paley himself. Each summer, young locals, usually high schoolers, are invited to help out at Aspen Crunch, immersing themselves in an entrepreneurial environment for the summer and learning about sales.

Paley and his father, Douglas, who helped him found Aspen Crunch, co-authored a book in 2013 titled “Aspen Crunch: One Bite at a Time.” It’s about their own story: a teenage son and his father connecting through entrepreneurship, written from both their perspectives. It’s meant, Jack says, to inspire other young people.


Jack Paley’s interest in working with entrepreneurs is also growing outside of the Aspen Crunch context. This summer he participated in the Taglit Birthright Excel Fellowship program, which sponsors students to travel to and live in Tel Aviv for 10 weeks. While there, Paley interned at a venture capital company called Innovation Endeavors.

“They look for technology that’s going to have a large, impactful presence in the world,” he says. “It was an amazing opportunity to work in that firm, and I have to say, taking my education in finance from Kenan-Flagler and my experience running Aspen Crunch, and bringing them together in venture capital was really a dream come true.”

Looking forward, Paley knows he wants to keep working with entrepreneurs and startups, and he thinks he wants to do it through venture capital. For now, he’s back in Colorado working the Aspen Saturday Market, and he says he plans to continue running Aspen Crunch for the foreseeable future.

“I’m extremely interested in working at a startup or venture capital firm,” he says. “But I have loved the experience of Aspen Crunch, and I hope to grow it, in whatever way suits the company.”