Today, Virgin America announced its newest Elevate partner – MOGL – and I couldn’t think of a better person to introduce it than their very own CEO, Jon Carder. To say that John is a serial entrepreneur would be an understatement. In college, he founded his first startup and quickly followed it up with 2 more multimillion-dollar companies by the time he was 30. Not content to stop there, Jon has started his latest venture, MOGL – a customer loyalty platform for restaurants.
Q: Tell us about MOGL.
A: MOGL is the fastest-growing restaurant loyalty program on the west coast that hooks you up with cash for dining out at your favorite restaurants and donates meals to people in need.
Q: What makes MOGL a game changer in the dining app space?
A: Three things. 1. The fact that it’s effortless—everything is tracked on your registered debit or credit card, eliminating the need for coupons, punch cards, check-ins or QR codes—you simply pay with the card you normally would and seamlessly earn rewards. 2. We’re leveraging game mechanics; there is a monthly competition at each restaurant for the top three spenders and they win cash jackpots. 3. Our Meal for a Meal program with Feeding America, which has the possibility to tackle hunger on a grand scale.
Q: The Meal for a Meal program is easily one of my favorite parts of the app. Each time a user spends over $20 at a MOGL restaurant, the company donates a meal to someone in need. Mind sharing how many meals have you been able to donate so far?
A: MOGL’s Meal for a Meal program has donated more than 230,000 meals to Feeding America so far. Our members love that we offer an easy way for them to make a positive impact when they dine out.
Q: I have to ask, who’s your French bulldog mascot?
A: That’s my dog, Mo. He’s my better half and the real brains behind MOGL.
Q: Any advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs?
A: Try to find a way to build a business that makes money, but also one that can change the world. I truly believe that this is the business model of the future. Know that because your goal will be that much bigger, you are going to have to work that much harder to make it successful. But don’t give up—it will all be worth it!
Also, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. It’s really easy for us entrepreneurs to focus on the destination, but the journey is where all of the joy and satisfaction comes from.
Q: What do you think is the best city for entrepreneurs to start a business?
A: Nowadays, you can start a business in any city in the world and be successful. Resources that used to be difficult to find are now so accessible that you can quickly be on the cutting edge of anything—and you can easily find anything you want to learn or anyone you want to talk to.
Q: Heard you met Virgin’s entrepreneur-in-chief Sir Richard Branson. What was that like?
A: For me, it was meeting my hero. I have so much respect for Richard, and think he’s one of the best—if not the best—entrepreneurs alive today. I read his book, “Losing my Virginity,” and was especially inspired by the hardships he faced before reaching his success. Meeting him was a dream come true—he’s incredibly humble, approachable, funny and charismatic. He also has amazing hair.
Q: What is your must-have in-flight amenity?
A: A really good book—I’m a fan of biographies. I recently read Steve Jobs’ biography and I’m just starting to dive into the book Abundance [by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler].
Q: I have a layover in San Diego coming up. What restaurant should I add to my list?
A: East Village Tavern and Bowl downtown—it’s not too far from the airport, they have great food and it’s a fun place to grab a beer and bowl a game if you need to kill some time.
For more information on MOGL and to find out how you can earn Elevate points just for grabbing a bite, visit here.