entrepreneurshipTop of Mind

Commentary & Insights on Entrepreneurship The Top of Mind blog brings an array of editorial views to current events shaping the world of entrepreneurship. Engage, exchange, and expand your own view of the world!

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Balancing the Other Side of the Life Equation: Relationships

When we think about the startup life we're often occupied with visions of long days and late nights in the office and the all consuming passion that overtakes a life as someone takes a vision and turns it into reality. An entrepreneur certainly has many things that can easily engulf his or her life as they balance product creation, customer development, hiring, sales and financing, to name but a few. But what about the other side of the life equation? Entrepreneurs have families, friends, spouses, and partners who play an important role.

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Posted by: Wendy Torrance
on July 12, 2013
Acquisition: Mission Failed or Dream Salvaged?

"If you truly believe in the potential of your company to change the world for the better, there’s no excuse for settling for an acquisition."

I was reading through this month's Inc. magazine earlier when this quote caught my eye. My first thought was to challenge the notion. There are specific occasions when an acquisition is exactly what a company needs to move forward or to move on. This is just how things work, but the bold words sparked my interest enough to turn the page. I flipped to Issie Lapowsky’s feature with Vimeo founder Jake Lodwick. Lodwick was fired a year and a half after selling Connected Ventures, the parent company of Vimeo and College Humor, to InterActive Corp, an Internet company that owns the likes of match.com, Urbanspoon, and dictionary.com. 

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Posted by: Amanda Schnieders
on July 11, 2013
The Most Pervasive, Pernicious Offense
I was having a beer with a friend the other night when he mentioned a startup in our community that had recently announced a “pivot” in its business model. He said that it was now pursuing a different “value proposition” in an effort to “monetize its client base.” I nearly showered him with beer while admonishing him for being a bad cliché of Valley speak. [More]
Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on July 11, 2013
My Entrepreneurial Utopia
I was in my element last weekend at the Kansas City Maker Faire. This "Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth” celebrates the things people create and the people who create them. [More]
Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on July 3, 2013
Three Things Mad Men Can Teach Your Startup

As the sixth season of one of my favorite shows came to a close last weekend, I realized you can actually extract a few important lessons out of the drama of one of television's best shows. And, since we watched the fictitious Sterling Cooper advertising agency grow from a small, boutique firm to a top 30 Madison Avenue agency this season, I thought I would make a few observations about what Mad Men can teach startups.

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Posted by: Cameron Cushman
on July 02, 2013
Entrepreneurship Hits Global Stage in UN General Assembly

Yesterday, entrepreneurship was given a spotlight panel at the United Nations General Assembly. This was a great sign of the growing belief that entrepreneurship provides a path to economic growth and a decrease in poverty levels around the world. Our VP of Entrepreneurship, Thom Ruhe, was asked to speak on a panel to discuss entrepreneurship education - an exciting opportunity for the Foundation to continue our mission of advancing entrepreneurship on a global scale.

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Posted by: Amanda Schnieders
on June 28, 2013
Getting Out of the Building

The room was busy, but certainly not crowded. There were enough gaps in between the groups of people that I knew if I stood there in the doorway much longer, people would surely realize I had no one to talk to, that I didn’t know anyone. That fear set in. The paralyzing gut-clench signifying I was in the self-conscious beginnings of an embarrassing moment.

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Posted by: Amanda Schnieders
on June 25, 2013
Global Scholars Graduate

What do financial planning, synthetic crude oil, and campaign building have in common? They’re the focus of three entrepreneurs who have recently graduated from the Kauffman Global Scholars Program.

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Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on June 18, 2013
An Educated Choice
As high school graduates across the country grappled with post secondary education options, I acknowledge some truths in the decision making process--thoughts that helped my son make the best choice for him. Here are my commencement speech-like thoughts...applicable to any high school graduate, and especially those toying with the idea of entrepreneurship as a career path. [More]
Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on June 10, 2013
A Stroll through Startup Village
A lone startup that had set up shop in a house on a nondescript Kansas City block has some new neighbors. In less than one year—with the recent installation of Google Fiber serving as a potential catalyst—that same block is now home to a dense pocket of startup activity and has been duly dubbed the Kansas City Startup Village. [More]
Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on May 20, 2013

Twitter Updates

  • Immigrant founders from top venture-backed firms have created avg of approx 150 jobs/company in US http://t.co/DxUBG0zQlr
  • RT @bfeld Feld Thoughts: Empirical Support for the Boulder Thesis http://t.co/NLUj6UmcZh
  • "I learned to provide value rather than thinking what about me." @IceHouseEP alum Jairo Fernandez on new #TopOfMind http://t.co/AhnJwuSddo
  • Empirical Support for the Boulder Thesis by @bfeld http://t.co/xP4vk9uOAQ
  • .@IceHouseEP gives teen entrepreneurial mindset & new perspective on future goals | new #TopOfMind ft @PrentissEarl03 http://t.co/4qKqrwuRef