When John D’Orazio, a 2011 graduate, reflects on his experiences at Xavier, he highlights two major factors that continue to drive his professional career. “I chose Xavier for the strong business program, but the ethical Jesuit foundation has become even more important,” he says. It’s in this spirit that D’Orazio, who graduated cum laude with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Management / Entrepreneurial Studies, has “set the world on fire” with an impressive array of projects and companies.
Here’s just a partial list: founder and executive partner at Proton Enterprises, a business incubator and non-traditional venture capital firm that focuses on disruptive technologies to empower entrepreneurship; managing partner of Ikove Venture Partners, a “startup nursery” focused on identifying and commercializing high-potential “concept” technologies currently in development at leading universities and institutions in the United States; and managing partner of Sitwayen Development Group, focused on social business development in Haiti.
The wide range of products, services and technologies of his ventures share common themes of passion, drive and integrity that D’Orazio looks for in all his enterprises. “You have to love and believe in what you’re doing and do it in a manner that you can be proud of,” he says.
D’Orazio acquired his love for hard work at an early age on his family’s farm in Ligonier, PA. When the family moved to Naples, FL, he partnered with his cousin, James Murphy, in a weather-proofing and carpentry business in the summer of 2009. Their partnership continues today in numerous projects including in Haiti where they are focused on business incubation, commercialization, innovation, tech and development.
When he came to Xavier, D’Orazio discovered the power of service through volunteering at the Little Sisters of the Poor Nursing Home in Cincinnati. After graduation, D’Orazio went to Haiti where he continued his volunteer work with LEVE Foundation, whose flagship program is to provide safer, affordable homes for the Haitian people. “I really fell in love with the place and the people,” he says. “I saw a lot of devastation and a lot of opportunities to make some impact there.”
It’s that Xavier ideal of being of service to others that continues to drive D’Orazio’s belief that entrepreneurship should strive for a return on investment that goes beyond money. “Social business is something I’ve become passionate about. The ideal of combining a for-profit mindset for sustainability with giving back — a triple bottom line — investing in people, the economy and a deeper mission that’s bigger than profit for shareholders.”
The Magis award recognizes a young alumnus who, within 15 years of graduation, has achieved a high degree of excellence and embodies Jesuit morals and ethical values. For his entrepreneurship and commitment to improving the world for others, Xavier is proud to present this year’s Magis award to John T. D’Orazio.