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Moe Vela, a judge with 360° vision

Moe Vela, a judge with 360° vision2 min read
  • 31 October 2022
  • by UH News

“Profit isn’t the only way to measure a business's worth.” This is a statement that Moe Vela makes to Rosie Ríos, another one of the members of the Circle of Money on Unicorn Hunters as they analyze the technology designed by Vastmindz , which uses the skin’s absorption of light to reveal key data about a person’s health. Although this is just one example, the phrase reveals the fully rounded focus that Vela applies when he evaluates the impact of the potential unicorns that appear on the show. As a “hunter” of startups that aspire to leave their mark through innovative enterprises, his questions are precise and wide ranging.

In the show’s first episode, Vela wanted to ask the creator of a powerful UV-based disinfectant whether the invention was going to be technically considered as a medical device or a consumer product. That’s no minor distinction when it comes to evaluating an innovation’s potential market.

The “3Ps” formula

Key to Vela’s 360-degree approach are the “3Ps”: people, profit, planet. These are the three indicators of impact that allow him to pose questions that go beyond the analysis of short-term business potential.

With his open and sensitive personality, Vela never hesitates to put his own experience on the table. “I lost my older sister to cancer, and I watched her suffer through all the side effects of all of the medications that were provided to her… Your product really gives me hope for people like her and the millions that will be afflicted by cancer in the future.

Because cancer doesn’t only affect the person who has cancer but also everyone who loves that person too,” he told Pedro Lichtinger, the CEO and founder of Starton Therapeutics , a biotech company that has developed a transdermal solution to improve the effects of cancer medication.

Experience and enthusiasm

Moises Vela graduated as a lawyer, but he has vast experience as an entrepreneur, author, conference speaker and consultant. His opinion is highly valued by many media outlets due to his impartial approach and his combined expertise in law, politics, business and finance. Vela was the first member of the Latin American LGBTIQ+ community to occupy two posts in the White House – for Al Gore and for Joe Biden when the latter was Barack Obama’s vice president.

And even with all of this experience, Vela often reveals his human side, a characteristic that makes him frank, approachable and ever optimistic. “For 20 years, I was told that I had gastrointestinal issues because of the stress of the White House. And the whole time, it was a gluten allergy! If I had had MyMee , I might have been able to find this out,” he said about Mymee, a virtual health solution for autoimmune diseases.

In the Circle of Money, Vela occupies the role of offering enthusiastic support and constructive questions, which are a breath of fresh air for the entrepreneurs that arrive at the show to present their projects. But he also speaks to viewers: “Perhaps many people have realized that this show is itself an investment,” he said in the episode in which Unicorn Hunters presented itself to the public.