5 Questions With John Machacek: QED Embedded

Written by: John Machacek

John Machacek, Chief Innovation Officer for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, has worked with countless startups throughout our community over the past seven years. He knows their ups, their downs, but most of all, he knows the questions to ask them.

Here is John Machacek’s 5 questions for QED Embedded, a company making waves in tech. 

1. Tell us your QED Embedded elevator pitch 
QED Embedded is a software company that specializes in electronics. The business started in 2013 as a pure consulting business, but over the years we have shifted to focusing on strategic partnerships with other companies that have a need for custom electronics and software for their projects. We have also recently expanded our capabilities for web, database, and mobile software. 

2. Your business is built around providing services for other companies and their projects. As a “behind the scenes” company, how do you connect with others who might benefit from your expertise?
Word of mouth and relationship building have been key to our success. All of our projects and partnerships can be traced back to a conversation that we had. Marketing materials and advertisements are great, but they can’t replace human encounters. Whether it is at a networking event, Founder’s Drinks, 1 Million Cups, or a meeting at the Prairie Den, these events are where the connections have been made that have turned into successful partnerships. 

3. In addition to your service offerings, you have been developing a line of products for your new company, Signum, LLC. How do you balance the needs of your existing business with your goals for the future?
The vision of Signum aligns really well with the goals of QED Embedded. It is my hope that Signum will become our largest customer. I try to focus on whether I am acting as the customer or as the vendor at any given time. Sometimes it is one or the other, and sometimes it is both. Signum’s success is our success so blurring the line is okay. Side
Signum is a one-stop shop for Internet of Things (IoT). We provide custom data collection devices, cellular and satellite data plans, and web-based data analytics and visualization software.

4. If you could go back in time to Ed from a few years ago, what hindsight advice would you give yourself?
If I could go back a few years, I would encourage myself to get out and meet people, and to tell the story of the company to anyone and everyone. Even if the person you are talking to doesn’t have an immediate need for your product or service, they may tell a friend or help you by making a connection to someone else who does.

5. What can we do as a community to help QED Embedded succeed?
We really enjoy talking about technology in any form – especially if it is something you can hold in your hands. If there are entrepreneurs at any stage out there with an idea, let’s talk about how to make it a reality.

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