Learn more about Mike Moradi on our mentor page.
What was the most important thing a mentor ever did for you?
Many people equate working and focusing on the business 24/7 with success. My mentor told me to turn off the computer, walk away, go exercise and take a break every once in a while. I am glad that I learned that lesson early on before I burned myself out.
What do you think an accelerator can do for Oklahoma?
The most important thing an accelerator can do for Oklahoma is help the state to become a nexus of activity for entrepreneurs and investors. There are a few models around right now for business development, but Oklahoma had yet to really nail down a group of entrepreneurs that have been vetted; that have mentors and resources available quite like VentureSpur. The chemistry here is unique; it is a model that has worked in other geographies quite well and I think it can work here. In an accelerator, you get a first-hand experience that you can never pick up in a university classroom or even just starting out on your own.
What do you think a mentor can do for a startup? How can a mentor help?
Mentors provide guidance and new entrepreneurs can learn from people who have already made mistakes in business. Having people available when questions come up is important. I have always had good mentors; people who have helped me out. Mentors can help even with little things like how to present yourself at a conference or how to approach investors. There is not one specific thing but rather the totality of helping build an entire business from nothing.
What kind of technologies and companies do you currently find interesting?
As a mentor, I’m the odd man out… I have keen interest in pharmaceuticals and medical devices; some nano-technology and clean energy but I have a broad array of interests.
What is the most important part of a company’s application when applying to an accelerator? I
It is really important to have some type of traction. Traction can mean different things depending on the business. What I mean is at least a functional or working prototype no matter your industry. Having something you can show to people and get feedback from potential buyers and users. Leave the office, get out from behind your desk, and see if someone will pay for it. There are ways to get meaningful feedback from people who would be customers and/or acquirers.