ELC Entrepreneur Highlight: John J. Webb
ELC Member John J. Webb is the CEO and Managing Partner of Quantum Reach, a venture capital and strategic consulting firm for early stage companies , academic Institutions and large corporations.
Q: Why did you make the leap into entrepreneurship?
A: The corporation I worked for wanted to dismantle the growth division I had helped create. I had been chartered with starting new businesses internally and/or buying small companies to scale up and re-brand. Due to the economy and environmental landscape, they wanted to retreat versus grow. Therefore, since I was doing venture type work within the confines of a big company, I thought I could try doing it on the outside in the venture world.
Q: How did you get the idea or concept for your business?
A: I saw that a number of early stage companies needed “adult supervision”. Also, many of them were cash strapped and required capital. This was especially true of the minority owned firms. Therefore, I felt I could apply my expertise, creativity and extensive contacts to help. So, for those looking to make a “quantum leap” in their business sector, I created a company to bring their leap within reach. Hence, Quantum Reach was born.
Q: What has entrepreneurship taught you?
A: Four Main Drivers: 1) You must be willing to disrupt the status quo. Being a “me too” company doesn’t cut it. 2) Look to solve a market need or problem. In this regard, you have to create value and differentiation to make a difference. 3) Passion and Perseverance. You must be the biggest evangelist regarding your mission and have a can-do attitude in the face of adversity 4) Be a risk taker. You need to believe in yourself and your concept. Sometimes you need to take the leap…and the net will appear!
Q: Any tips for new business owners or struggling business owners?
A: Put a mirror up to your business premise. In other words, make sure you can distinguish between an idea versus a true opportunity. Also, do not try to eat the elephant in one bite. You should start small, validate your concept and adjust your assumptions accordingly. Then finally, ask for help. Leverage the knowledge of others. You do not need to make the journey alone.
The ELC Entrepreneur series highlights ELC Members who have been successful in starting businesses. Their stories will provide insights on what went into their decision and how they navigated some of their toughest obstacles. They will also provide tips for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to make the leap.