When Vincenzo Landino helped create Can’t Stop Columbus, he went into it with the mindset that defines all of his entrepreneurial ventures: How can I help?
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge economic impact on many businesses, forcing a massive uptick in online innovation and spurring financial complications. While small businesses struggled to stay afloat amid social distancing guidelines, Landino and other entrepreneurs searched for a solution to the confusion and disruption.
Their idea? Can’t Stop Columbus, a Twitter campaign created in March by the Columbus technology and business community. Can’t Stop Columbus aims to bring central Ohio denizens of all kinds together to combine their individual knowledge toward viable solutions to the economic effects of COVID-19.
What started out as a simple tweet challenging different technology companies to address and manage COVID-19 policies grew into a movement that gained momentum rapidly as many companies went fully online. The hashtag #CantStopCbus—now trending across the Twitter accounts of Columbus businesspeople, technology companies and more—encapsulates the energy and desire to overcome the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
As social distancing became an increasingly enforced norm for citizens and business alike, Landino saw the opportunity to contribute to the Can’t Stop Columbus effort to circumvent new boundaries while also promoting inventiveness.
“I think that’s been the biggest driver of success for me in my career is the fact that I’ve always approached it from, ‘I want to help. I want to provide,’” said Landino, 34. “I always enter a conversation that’s from the perspective of, ‘How can I help you or … your business?’ ”
Landino’s experience in marketing and technology services made him a valuable asset to the formation of Can’t Stop Columbus, and he helped to spearhead several of the movement’s campaigns, such as Columbus Eats and Curbside Concerts.
Columbus Eats, one of Can’t Stop Columbus’ first community projects, is an online restaurant finder that helps customers find local restaurants and businesses to order from. Curbside Concerts similarly showcases a diverse selection of local musicians, with the goal of keeping the Columbus community, particularly those who are stuck alone in quarantine, connected and entertained.
Landino’s intense focus on Columbus has attracted the attention of his colleagues, leading Derek DeHart, co-organizer and supporter of Can’t Stop Columbus, to nominate Landino for the Everyday Heroes program.
“Vincenzo just has this really unique, ambitious orientation that I really respect,” said DeHart. “As soon as he saw that there were going to be problems, he was immediately just pounding on a keyboard, trying to make the world a better place, which was awesome to witness.”
Landino’s propensity and passion for problem-solving stem from his upbringing. A third generation entrepreneur, Landino was exposed to the creative, enterprising side of business from a young age. He strove to use that same energy to form a response to COVID-19 restrictions, by advertising and marketing small businesses and restaurants through social media.
“I would say that my becoming an entrepreneur was more influenced from family,” said Landino, who is a first-generation Italian-American. “A lot of my family … came to this country, and they started their own businesses.”
As Columbus adjusts to the now-prevalent age of online communication and trade, Can’t Stop Columbus—and Landino—continues to be on standby for progress and support, for both small business and the movement’s goals in the future.
“I saw a need, and I just want to help,” said Landino. He believes that Can’t Stop Columbus could, in time, become more than just a single cry for action, evolving into a more permanent fixture of service.