John Salzinger – Co-Founder of MPOWERD

OCD, never giving up, seeing the world through the lens of others, always going (I am a native New Yorker), that’s four – I could keep going…


A native New Yorker and born entrepreneur, John Salzinger currently lives in Brooklyn. He studied Communications and holds a degree in Sociology with an emphasis in race relations. He has worked in numerous industries including finance, media, tech, entertainment and consumer packaged goods. He has become proficient in numerous skills from leadership to sales, marketing, strategy, product development and finance. Additionally, John founded and headed up his own businesses as well as consulted for many others. His latest project allows him to take much of what he has learned along the way and apply it to a B Corp, for purpose project he aptly named MPOWERD. The company he co-founded focuses on creating high volume production on a global scale to reduce cost of goods. This, in turn, enables reduced price points to markets that need clean energy most. He truly believes we are all a part of the whole – in other words, what we do impacts everyone and everything around us. He firmly believes we have an inherent responsibility and opportunity to improve our society as well as our planet. Outside the office, you’d most likely find him practicing his jump shot on the court or surfing waves.

Where did the idea for Clean personal energy and MPOWERD come from?

I co-Founded MPOWERD based off a strong upbringing and belief in helping others, a philosophy as being a part of the whole and a realization of the inequality and injustice much of the world faces. The idea was to create a sustainable business model that would allow for universal access to clean light and therefore even out the global business playing field.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Early rise, off to work, on to my calendar which basically rules my life. I try my best to minimize meetings and look to solve problems and create new opportunities. Much of what I do is on my laptop or cell and my day doesn’t really end. We have a global company and are still building out our team so multiple hats and multiple hours are the norm. I do find time to work out, do yoga or when I am lucky surf in the summer in order to keep a healthy work/life balance.

How do you bring ideas to life?

By listening to others needs and looking for problems to solve and then balancing opportunity with do-ability and paying attention to process. Many times ideas come to all of us in the forms of challenges – it is essential to pay attention and keep your glass 1/8 full at all times so that you remain open to solutions from within and from others. Generally, I prefer to take on larger scale macro issues that can positively impact many. I have personally found a collaborative approach with my team and network is essential to success. Another equally important rule of thumb on how to get things done is to figure out how versus why not.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

The combination of exponential technology growth along with a never seen before level global connectivity allows for adoption of essential technologies in places that really need them. Now content/information as well as essential services can be provided faster and less expensively than ever before.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

OCD, never giving up, seeing the world through the lens of others, always going (I am a native New Yorker), that’s four – I could keep going…

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I have literally had 30 jobs in my life from landscaping to financial services but waiting tables in a restaurant really made me humble. For some reason certain people go to restaurants and take their frustrations out – I think every person should have to be a waiter – forget serving in military service 🙂

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Nearly everything because I have learned as I have survived and thrived.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Work hard and hope for good luck. All of our accomplishments are not simply a result of how great we think we are or how hard we work. Humility along with persistence will generally result in success, if not right away likely over time.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

We are a for purpose, for profit company. Our mission, as morally appropriate, has allowed many to feel good about helping us help others and thereby allow us to engage with many talented and traditionally unreachable people.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Impatience. It is so important to realize that everything will not happen in one day and there are ebbs and flows to business just like life. A steadfast approach whereby challenges are turned into opportunities can be a recipe for success.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Crowd sourcing or sharing of transportation in the developing world where people are spread out away from basic necessities like good health care or food or clean energy.rural geographies. Think emerging market Uber.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I gave money to a friend who had a terrible car accident for his recovery and he recovered fully!

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

We use NetSuite for our CRM and Spotify for our website – I think that both are comprehensive and intuitive as well as expansive. Necessary for a startup or early stage company.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Just read, and read many different books from many different genres – and not necessarily how-to books – as an example, sometimes taking too many art classes you may lose your ability to create original work. Hope that makes sense.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Gandhi, Bob Marley, John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr.


John Salzinger on LinkedIn:
John Salzinger on Twitter: @johnsalzinger