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June 20, 2016

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CloudOne, John McDonald

CloudOne, based in Fishers, Indiana, is proud to be the world leader in IoT managed services.
We help the world’s best companies make their things for the Internet of Things. CloudOne brings enterprise applications to the cloud, enabling global collaborative development, production and analysis of software and products in real time on individual, secure, private hybrid cloud environments. Trusted by leading brands, CloudOne’s scalable technology is supported by a team of experts and partners who share a passion for making it easier, faster and more economical to make things for the Internet of Things.

What was the greatest hurdle to overcome?
The original business model failed. We had to pivot and refocus our direction after mistaken assumptions were made based on what customers might want. We had to allocate the company’s effort around anew go to market model while keeping the company intact and afloat. Lesson is to always look down the road at what can be the next disrupter.

JohnMcDonald-CloudOneWhat was the most important thing you have learned?
Everything you create, in 1 years’ time it could be utterly useless and obsolete. You have to constantly be active in the reinvention cycle.
Ideas are free, it’s the execution that costs money. It makes the difference between just a good idea and a company. Make sure you focus a lot of time and attention on finances how to build a business around the idea in order to be successful.

Where were you when you pitched, and where are you today?
When we first pitched in 2011 we were just getting started. The company was founded in 2010, funded by angel investments and hot on the heels of Elevate Ventures. We were looking for financing, looking to make relationships with VC companies. Since then, we have grown tremendously 100% year over year. We were lauded as the fastest growing IT company in Indiana by Inc. magazine in 2015.

What has surprised you the most about your entrepreneurial journey?
What I have learned in being the CEO of a company like this, is that I really only have 3 jobs as a leader

  1. Raise money
  2. Find people who are better than me at everything
  3. Keep them

One leads to the next, and it all starts with having the resources.
I also learned how important the first step is, I didn’t appreciate how hard time and consuming, but also rewarding, fundraising for building a startup company can be.

What advice would you give to others who are considering pitching to the Venture Club.
The Venture Club is by nature a group of people who are united in their interest in new ventures. This is what unites them, whether they are services providers, angel investors, advisors and other entrepreneurs. Make sure you know who you are presenting to and precisely what about so that you can be direct and intentional.

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