An Interview with Entrepreneur John Salzinger


John Salzinger was born and raised in Manhattan, New York City and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He studied Communications at Ithaca College and holds a degree in Sociology from Hofstra University with an additional emphasis in race relations. John has worked in numerous industries including finance, media, tech, entertainment and consumer packaged goods.He has become proficient in numerous skill sets from leadership to sales, marketing, strategy, product development and finance.

Additionally, John has founded and headed up his own businesses as well as consulted for many other SMBs.

His latest project allows him to take much of what he has learned along the way and apply it to a B Corp, the for-purpose project he aptly named MPOWERD. He founded this CPG company with a focus on delivering affordable and portable clean energy to those without regular access. The business model is simple. Through creating high volume developed world global sales, MPOWERD is positioned to reduce margins to those in emerging markets and aid situations. This scale enables reduced, affordable and sustainable price points for those in markets that need clean energy most.

John believes we are all a part of the whole – in other words, what we do impacts everyone and everything around us. He is driven by the inherent responsibility and opportunity to improve our society as well as our planet.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world’s leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.

In an exclusive interview with Devathon, MPOWERD Founder John traces his journey so far and his plans for the years ahead.

When did you first discover your entrepreneurial spirit and How is your entrepreneurial career developing so far?

I have always had the itch to help. I found my positions throughout my career did not allow for enough purpose so I decided to do it myself. I founded 3 companies and have worked in 5 startups. From finance to tech, the diversity of each of these opportunities has shaped a broader view of strategy and a stronger work ethic.

What has been the biggest success and biggest failure stories you went through?

Success only resides in the present as does my focus. Everything else is a learning experience or a strategic plan for the future. In other words, everything in the past is a success, even if it was a failure, as if the latter, it became a learning experience. As per my greatest learning experience, I would have to say, it has been in choosing the right people to work with. Because of past inconsistencies, I now look for four characteristics: intelligence, work ethic, loyalty and resilience.

How did you come up with the idea for mpowerd and how did it all start?

First and foremost, I see the world through the eyes of my parents’ teachings around people and planet as being all important. Like most successful companies, MPOWERD came out of a need. 3b people live without access to clean, reliable energy and the products on the market in 2012 were either, poorly thought out and / or of inferior quality. We aggregated existing technologies around solar, LEDs and battery technologies along with a more durable, portable form factor. We have added 35 patents to our portfolio to date.

Tell us something about mpowerd

Although I already have, there is one area I would like to speak to. To date, we have impacted 3 million lives and 500,000 US tons of CO2 have been averted in the process through deployments of our solar pico energy products through over 500 NGOs and in 90 countries. We have been able to do this in seven years and with an average of around 20 employees. I think it has been an important lesson learned, that a few can affect many if driven and focused. There are challenges, today more than ever, in our shared environment and human condition. That said, it behooves all of us to make a difference. I have found, through MPOWERD as a vehicle for good, that each of us has the power to positively impact many lives as well as help to solve global environmental challenges.

What are your growth plans for the near future?

MPOWERD grows through carefully selected and fostered partnerships, product innovation, resilience and hard work. We are looking to continually expand into new sectors with higher volumes and thus reduce economic barriers to entry to so many who still require just a little bit of help to increase their opportunity.

Looking back, what did you learn and what would you have done differently?

In focusing on the present, I look at all of my failures as lessons. I would not have done anything differently as that is not giving value to one’s life and experience. The challenges and decisions made around those we’re not perfect. Everything from sourcing to relationships to structure has given me insights on what not to do. To answer this question, I would simply say that eliminating mistaken methodologies from one’s history only leaves successful decisions as a path forward.

In your opinion, what are the hurdles that keep people away from starting an entrepreneurial career?

Generally, it is fear that prohibits all of us from doing anything that appears to be risky. Although cliché, rewarding experiences necessitate risk and effort but once you embark on them you are already rewarded – regardless of outcome

What advice would you give to the new entrepreneurs?

Find a problem. Look for an honest simple solution. Test your solution in the real world and if it works, keep going until you affect change.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world’s leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.


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