Q & A with Board Members
by Kara Reibel
View a complete list of our board of directors below.
What motivated you to become involved in the Entrepreneurial community?
“I’ve always enjoyed being a part of the ups and downs, it’s exciting to be a part of changing things. And there’s an element of slight brain damage. Your mindset need to be a little bit crazy to be involved.” – John Qualls, President of Eleven Fifty Academy
What has been your biggest life lesson as an entrepreneur?
“I have a tattoo that reads “OP” or “dO”, depending on the angel you view it. The first step taken after recognizing Opportunity is to Do something. Done starts with Do.” – John Qualls, President of Eleven Fifty Academy
“CEOs need to be able to communicate the good and the bad.” – Oscar Moralez, Managing Partner, VisionTech Angels
What is the best advice you wish someone would have shared with you – that you would liked to have listened to – when you started your business?
“Don’t grasp too tightly on to things. You still want to drive it but keep that separation. – I wish someone could have coached me on that.” – John Qualls, President of Eleven Fifty Academy
What do you feel are the strongest elements to a good pitch aside from the story?
“We have to be convinced that they are the right team and can execute on their plan. They also have to convince us that their plan is solid and has a reasonable chance for success. Of course, the company has to demonstrate that there is a big market opportunity and that their product is differentiated and/or disruptive and addresses a real problem. The team should cover all the elements of a strong business plan including customer validation and sales/marketing. Many teams often talk too much about their technology and not enough about the business.” – Oscar Moralez, Managing Partner, VisionTech Angels
What drives you? What are your passions?
“Education and linking people. I have the good fortune of a day job (actually more of a night, weekend, and day job) that provides me an opportunity to interact with a variety of fun, interesting, and smart people. If I can help educate them along their entrepreneurial journey, that is pretty rewarding. Of course mountain biking and windsurfing are pretty darn fun as well.” – IU Kelley School of Business MBA Professor Todd Saxton, Venture Club member for almost 20 years and a past President