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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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What Happens After You Become An Overnight Success?

For years, Dave Felker created equipment for one of the world's leading golf companies, Calloway Golf. There he designed golf balls and clubs for the game's best golfers. Then, Dave left Calloway. Throwing the USGA rules out the window and using the laws of physics instead, Dave created the Polara golf ball, which would help correct an average golfer's hook or slice.

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Annette Beck
on March 25, 2014
Creating Your IP Strategy: Employee Policies

What's the most valuable aspect of your business? Is it the bricks and mortar? The equipment? Or is it something intangible? While you can't touch it, feel it or see it, intellectual property when defined as "knowledge" or "know how" is often times the real equity of a business, and if it's lost, it can bring that business to its knees.

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Annette Beck
on March 19, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

Venture capital certainly has its place within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Some of our nation's largest companies (and employers), like Apple, Google and FedEx, have secured this form of funding. But plenty of Kauffman Foundation research tells us that VC funding isn't as mainstream in startups as one would gather based on its common place in startup news. In fact, less than 20 percent of the fastest growing young companies ever take venture capital money.

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Thom Ruhe
on March 18, 2014
Three Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Attend SXSW 2015

People everywhere. Parties that seem to be on continuous loop all day. Vendors marketing new ideas, new startups or new swag everywhere you go. And then there's the conference with its many speakers presenting on topics ranging from anything to everything. With 30,000 people in attendance, the South By Southwest Interactive Conference can be overwhelming. So from a recent SXSW newbie to you, here are three questions to ask yourself when preparing to attend SXSW 2015.

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Nathan Kurtz
on March 18, 2014
A Little Jazz + A Little Networking = Big Things in Pittsburgh

Every Thursday evening in downtown Pittsburgh, something special happens at Little E's Jazz and Blues Club. During happy hour each week, entrepreneurs get together to tap into what's hot in the Pittsburgh start-up arena. Over drinks and cool jazz, they have the opportunity to interact and create relationships with potential financiers, university incubators, economic development thought leaders and other business stars.

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Annette Beck
on March 17, 2014
Startups: How to Build Something People Will Buy

"No business plan survives first contact with customers," Steve Blank says. What? Isn't the point of planning that you maximize the likelihood of success in the marketplace? Well yes, but perhaps not the kind of planning you might be thinking about. A business plan conceived on paper, powered by a great idea or invention, enhanced by research on the size of the market and a customer profile, has great potential. But it also has a crucial flaw.

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Wendy Torrance
on March 14, 2014
Out of Necessity: Coining Intrapreneurship

It was a thrill for me last summer when I had the chance to sit down with best-selling author, entrepreneur and teacher, Gifford Pinchot III. For someone like me who has been an entrepreneur and who now works at the foundation for entrepreneurs, to meet the legend who actually coined the term "intrapreneurship" was a real treat. During our visit, I had the chance to ask Gifford about the motivation that led to the publishing of his best-selling book, Intrapreneuring: Why You Don't Have to Leave the Corporation to Become an Entrepreneur, in 1985.

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Thom Ruhe
on March 11, 2014
Why Baby Boomers and Millennials Should Co-Found

Baby boomers are micromanagers, work hard, do not understand technology, are stubborn and want to destroy the planet. Millennials are lazy, entitled, tech savvy, want to save the world and don't know how to communicate in person. Although the generalizations of baby boomers and millennials vary, they do share one similar characteristic, they both share particular entrepreneurial characteristics. Millennials crave freedom and earning potential. Baby boomers have a desire to build something.

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Taylor Brown
on March 10, 2014
Handling the Stresses When Two Work, But Only One Earns

When a startup first begins, cash flow is non-existent. And it can often fall on the entrepreneur's spouse to help provide for the family while the startup gets on its feet. This can cause a number of challenges, as you can imagine. Recently, I revisited Meg Cadoux Hirshberg's Founders School series, looking to the module "When the Breadwinner Gets Crusty". Meg is an author featured regularly on Inc.com, whose writing focuses on the trials and tribulations a family encounters when one of the members jumps into founding a business.

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Annette Beck
on March 07, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

Having had my home city represent the bottom of its fair share of "Worst" lists (Hey there, Cleveland!), I meet the ever-popular lists and rankings with a healthy dose of skepticism. All certainly are not created equal and all do not have the best of intentions.

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Thom Ruhe
on March 05, 2014

Twitter Updates

  • RT @absolut_zer0 celebrates one-year anniversary, creates growing community for local entrepreneurs. http://t.co/UlvJz9a5D2
  • Finance and #'s aren't just for bookkeepers. What you should know about your biz finances. New @KauffmanFS series http://t.co/yTV0jqfecn
  • How Higher Education is Killing Entrepreneurial Thinking by @dianakander http://t.co/vKl33KS5bJ
  • Did you hear? @KauffmanFS released a new series!The Art of Startup Finance is all about getting your #'s right http://t.co/r18nk9qZrN
  • Why co-founders need to ignore inconsequential problems http://t.co/qDnDwiPkCE