Innovators in the Making is back for the 2016-2017 school year with local Austin entrepreneur Thomas Maione about his life in and out of schools, and how he developed into an entrepreneur with over a dozen successful businesses. Thomas explains why he thinks that he is not creative, but how he has used this personal viewpoint to develop successful businesses over the year. As one of the only network installers in the eighties installing networks into law firms and small business, Thomas leveraged his technical knowledge into a power play to buy his first company out from the company that he was working for (A similar story line as the “Michael Scott Paper Company” story line from season 5 of the tv show “The Office.”). After selling his network company years later, Thomas leaned on his experience as a clown performing at birthday parties to help him structure his newest venture, a laser tag arena and video game arcade called “Blazer Tag”, a company that is a beloved institution in South Austin.
Thomas shared a lot of valuable advice to the entrepreneurial class, including that if you want to be successful and run a business, you should remember to “trust and verify” which might or might not include a “proverbial noogie.” Thomas also shares with the class that he believes people learn “by doing, and by failing” and that they should also try to learn not only from their mistakes but from others’ mistakes.