It might be a surprise to hear business owners say out loud that they are not focused on profits, but the McIntosh family says it has a different model when it comes to its family-owned business.
“Do right by your customers, by your employees, by everybody, have a long-term approach to this and don’t focus on making profits. Focus on what’s the purpose of your company beyond making money,” said Kyle McIntosh, co-founder and “creative excitant” of MAC6. “By doing that you’ll make far more money in the long run.”
MAC6 is a business incubator in Tempe that works with selected start-ups for a year to help them achieve sustainability.
The company advocates what it calls “Conscious Capitalism,” which is a form of business that focuses on a company’s purpose, how it can positively impact society and the long-term growth of the company.
MAC6 selects start-up companies that practice Conscious Capitalism and are in the first phase of development. Once selected, MAC 6 works similarly to angel investors but are actively involved in the start-ups it invests in.
“We didn’t just want to put money into companies and say hopefully you’re successful, see you later,” Kyle McIntosh said.
Other family members who work in the company are McIntosh’s children, Kyle and Jessica, and his sister-in-law, Susan Andersen.
The startups, which MAC6 calls “incubees,” receive $50,000 plus space in a new, modern workplace equipped with conference room, a lecture room called the community engagement room, a workshop where people can build prototypes, a 3-D printer, and private modernized London style phone booths. The facility opened in November in Tempe, and startups can have up to 10 desks.
The startups also receive support and guidance from business and financial consultants, workshops, and the internal MAC6 team for one year.
The goal is for the new companies to become financially sustainable. In return for the initial investment and the year of support, MAC6 receives 10 percent of the startup’s equity once it leaves MAC6.
Five incubees are currently working out of the MAC6 office and three more have been selected to join.
One incubee called AlphaStripe is an online networking platform for military members, civilians, and humanitarian organizations to document war stories through video, pictures, and writing.
In December, the company held a contest to select four soldiers to bring home for the holidays. Soldiers upload a video or photo story about their homecoming and the four who received the most “salutes,” which is AlphaStripe’s equivalent to a Facebook “like,” received a round-trip ticket home. Two of the tickets are funded by AlphaStripe’s personal funds, and sponsors fund the other two.
Home for the Holidays came about because the company wanted to be able to give back right away.
“We don’t want to wait until a year from now to give back, we want to do it right now,” said Jason Brown, military relations officer and co-founder of AlphaStripe, during the contest. “It’s very important to us to give to that community.”
Added Eli Chmouni, executive officer and AlphaStripe co-founder: “It’s our first approach of giving back.”
Peter Seymour, founder of Seymour Innovative, also plans to give back to the community with his invention called Ella’s Monitor — a small and affordable device that aims to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
“The reason I’m doing this isn’t to make a giant amount of money, it isn’t even really to build a fabulously successful business,” Seymour said. “The reason I’m doing this is because I had a personal experience that I don’t want other people to go through.”
Seymour lost his daughter to SIDS and now is passionately working to save infants. He said the resources MAC6 provides are critical to moving his company forward.
“All the raw materials for success are here,” he said.
Tom McDermott, founder of Ignite International Corp., a company that focuses on matching a person’s talents to an ideal job position, said the support and resources MAC6 provides to startups are great and the company is also expanding its reach to the community.
“What’s really good is that they’re bringing in outside speakers; they’re really trying to create a community around it,” he said. “They are really trying to make a community and a movement with Conscious Capitalism within Arizona.”
Nikki Ripley, communication and media relations manager for the city of Tempe, said Tempe benefits from MAC6 because the new businesses it fosters will potentially stay in the city and add to the local economy.
The city of Tempe works to create “an environment that is very financially and environmentally sustainable and this company [MAC6] really does reflect that, so they’re a perfect business for Tempe,” Ripley said.
Founded: 2011; opened Tempe facility in November 2012
Location: 1430 W. Broadway Road
Space: 10,000 square feet of collaborative office space; 38,000 square feet of light industrial manufacturing space
Current and upcoming ‘incubees’: AlphaStripe, Ignite International Corp., KVZ Sports, Live 3V, Ella’s Monitor of Seymour Innovative, Late Living, reNature, Endless Entertainment
More information: www.mac6.com