John McDonald
Managing Entrepreneur / NEXT Studios

John McDonald has over 25 years of experience as a corporate executive and startup leader. He began his professional career as a leader and executive at IBM in New York, where he developed and opened a network of IBM customer briefing centers, launched the Software Architect profession at the company, and led technical sales for IBM’s brand of engineering software development tools. He then founded and was the CEO of a technology startup originally based in Chicago and Indianapolis that specialized in cloud-delivered secure embedded software development environments and Internet of Things data collection and analytics. That company, CloudOne, was the fastest-growing technology company in the state for five years in a row, according to Inc. Magazine, and was named the most entrepreneurial company in Indiana for two years in a row by Entrepreneur Magazine.

John co-founded NEXT Studios in 2020 as the first Benefit Corporation venture studio. He co-teaches the capstone course for Purdue’s Certificate in Entrepreneurship program. He’s also a leader in the technology community in Indiana through Board positions at the Indiana Technology and Innovation Association (which he helped found), the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indy Chamber, the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, among others. He holds a degree in Computer Information Technology with concentrations in Computer Science and Business Management from Purdue University in West Lafayette.