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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Failure: Another Stepping Stone in Entrepreneurship

Adam Coomes is a prime example of an entrepreneur who has seen the best of times and the worst of times. He has been a part of several startups and has gone through the peaks and valleys of these experiences. They've consisted of fast-paced ventures and ventures that have been put on the backburner. He has never worked in the corporate world and never intends to. Adam will always be an entrepreneur.

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Taylor Brown
on August 14, 2013
Lessons From Failure: Borrowing Tools From Your Neighbors

Adam Berk had a vision of creating an online library where neighbors could borrow tools and electronics from one another. Why buy a fancy camera you only needed to use once for a big trip? Why invest the money in physical tools for a home remodeling project if you are never going to need them again? Adam and his best friend Dave spent 5 years creating this utopian community, neighborrow, powered by a new form of currency. Their business model was to eventually white label the product and sell it to large apartment buildings and others who wanted to facilitate a borrowing community. But they never achieved their vision. 

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Diana Kander
on August 12, 2013
Students Engage in Entrepreneurship Beyond the Classroom

The Kauffman Foundation recently released a set of papers reflecting on the entrepreneurship activities taking place on campuses around the country. One of the things we have learned from the Kauffman Campuses, a program that encouraged interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education programs to discuss common practices and challenges, and from a group of experts we convened from entrepreneurial campuses around the country is that students are taking the initiative on campuses across the country, creating opportunities for themselves, and others, to engage in entrepreneurial opportunities.

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Wendy Torrance
on August 09, 2013
Ice House: Students Take Experiential Learning Out to the Ballgame

Kauffman Labs is not your typical classroom, but then again, Nancie and I are not your typical instructors. In fact we do little in the way of instruction in the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (IHEP) and focus more of our energy towards facilitation. Students are encouraged to explore, experiment, solve problems and learn from one another. It's not what they're used to, but I think they liked it. It gave them the opportunity to expand their idea of education beyond the confines of absorption and regurgitation. It's about learning from the experiences they have with each other.

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Prentiss Earl III
on August 06, 2013
Campuses: Creating Entrepreneurship Opportunity

Entrepreneurship is flourishing on campuses around the country. In classrooms and through co-curricular programs and competitions, students on diverse campuses, at universities large and small, representing disciplines across the spectrum, have the opportunity to understand the role of entrepreneurship in the economy, explore innovation, test their own ideas, and learn what they need to know to be entrepreneurs.

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Wendy Torrance
on August 05, 2013
Entrepreneurship Hits Stride on College Campuses

In a matter of weeks colleges and universities across the country will be teeming with students. A new school year will bring the excitement of new discovery, opportunities to meet new people, and the anticipation of learning. On these campuses students will also find a vast array of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship.

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Wendy Torrance
on August 01, 2013
The Sowing of a Startup Community

All it takes for a startup community to take root and thrive are the right seeds and soil. I recently saw this first hand in a seemingly off-the-beaten-path city – Telluride, Colo.

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Lesa Mitchell
on July 31, 2013
Two's (a) Company, Three's a Crowd?

When considering the optimal number of founders for any new entrepreneurial adventure, the calculus extends well beyond simple formulas seemingly supported by observations of startup cohorts within specific industries. Famous technology twosomes that come to mind include David Packard and William Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, Paul Allen and Bill Gates of Microsoft, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. In these examples, it is widely observed that these buddy teams complemented each other well in the early formative years of their companies.

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Thom Ruhe
on July 30, 2013
Do You Have the 'Saving Gene'?

SavingsWould you rather buy the new Apple product or save that money in an interest bearing account? When is the right time for a person to start saving? I was lucky enough to have great parents that instilled the importance of saving in my brain. But I also had a different "saving gene" than my three older sisters who tended to and still do spend more than me.

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Taylor Brown
on July 26, 2013
Lessons from Failure: Renting High-end Jewelry

At age 25, Laura Sanko was a founding member of a startup that raised $3.5 Million from some world-famous investors and the Founder’s Fund.  The business model was simple: a website that rented high-end jewelry for special occasions for a fraction of the retail value of each piece.  Three years later, the investment money was all gone and while the site continued to operate, it had failed to meet the investors’ expectations.  I sat down with Laura to figure out what went wrong.

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Diana Kander
on July 25, 2013

Twitter Updates

  • What's More Important to an Investor? The Company or the Founder http://t.co/w6ZHIyQNRl #TopOfMind
  • 5 Key Insights into How Investors Think by @dianakander http://t.co/n56ENCEEYP cc @KauffmanFDN
  • "Most research shows that incubators are not effective at all for actually producing companies” @danestangler http://t.co/kqWmVyxg7A
  • "Connecting small biz owners to support organizations" & 3 other key elements in a successful startup ecosystem http://t.co/owidWks9uG
  • KCSourceLink Report Examines Entrepreneurship in Kansas City http://t.co/s7bsvFiEON #startupcommunities