In his role as mentor for the University of Iowa Venture School in Des Moines, Matt Moore is paying it forward. The Venture School is designed to accelerate the startup process while increasing new business success.
“Ventures don’t tend to fail from a lack of business planning, they tend to fail because of lack of customers,” says Moore. “As a mentor, I open up my rolodex to connect them with interview subjects, help the teams formulate their questions, and provide perspective on the answers they get.”
Moore is uniquely qualified to work with Venture students. In his role at Saturday Mfg. in Des Moines, he prospects for new clients who will be a good fit for the advertising agency’s creative talents. Through these efforts, Moore has developed relationships that have led directly to business for the agency. Saturday Mfg. has large clients, such as ARAG, the Principal Financial Group, and the Iowa Finance Authority, but also seeks to help develop small business and nonprofit agencies.
“Large contracts have given us the freedom to work with small businesses and startups like Thelma’s Treats where our package design has won awards and international recognition,” says Moore. “We also work with many nonprofits and have been involved with the Des Moines Music Coalition since their inception, providing the creative support for 80/35, a music festival set in downtown Des Moines.”
While Moore’s career success was satisfying, he had always hoped to complete his undergraduate degree from Iowa. “I left the University of Iowa in 1995 and started working, says Moore. “That bit of unfinished business bothered me, so when Iowa announced their partnership with DMACC, I jumped at it.”
Moore first completed his Associate of Arts (AA) from DMACC in 2010 and continued on through Distance and Online Education at Iowa completing his Bachelor of Applied Studies (BAS) in 2012. As with many distance students, the flexibility of the program was key since Moore was working full-time while pursuing his degree.
“The challenge was managing my time outside of work to complete course work and not become a stranger to my family and friends.”
The entrepreneurial courses Moore took were particularly useful in his role as manager of Business Development. Knowledge gained about communicating effectively to decision makers has helped him grow at work and in his mentoring role.
“Not only is it rewarding to help teams develop their business concept; I feel my education at the UI continues by being in the Venture School’s orbit.”