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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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The New Standards of a Startup Board

Long gone are the days of lazy, corporate board luncheons. At least that's what David Beatty, Conway Chair of the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics and Board Effectiveness at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, says. According to Beatty, today's boards are "smaller, harder working, and more expert" and have to "commit the time to do their work."

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Taylor Brown
on November 20, 2014
Why the Seven-Year-Itch Comes Even Sooner for Startups

In marriage, there's a so-called "seven-year itch" that takes the blame for so many doomed relationships. In entrepreneurship that same destiny occurs at year five. That's according to a research based infographic featured on Entrepreneur.com last week. The piece focused on the funding routes and failure rates of startups over the past few years. According to the data, most startups don't make it beyond five years, with only one third making it to ten years.

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Taylor Brown
on October 02, 2014
What's More Important to an Investor? The Company or The Founder

You've probably heard the age-old startup investing debate that pits the horse against the jockey. Basically, when VCs and angel investors evaluate a young company's potential, do they place more weight on the horse (the company) or the jockey (its founder)?

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Taylor Brown
on September 18, 2014
Increasing Popularity in Angel Funding Gets Help From New Educational Platform

It might not hit the national news like big venture capital deals or trendy crowdfunding, but good old fashioned angel investing is on the rise. These individual investors, who usually invest before a company is VC-ready, fund more than 67,000 startups every year and in 2012, their startup contributions reached nearly $23 billion. That amount represents a 36 percent increase compared to 2008.

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Taylor Brown
on September 11, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

Just a couple months ago, I'll bet 95 percent of the U.S. population hadn't even heard of the Internet of Things. All that's changed as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes the next high-tech household term. If it hasn't yet entered your household, I found the best (and least jargon-y)definition from Cisco: It's "the network of physical objects accessed through the Internet, as defined by technology analysts and visionaries. These objects contain embedded technology to interact with internal states or the external environment. In other words, when objects can sense and communicate, it changes how and where decisions are made, and who makes them."

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Taylor Brown
on July 30, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

The media seems to be a buzz with the nation's small business decline. From the increase in the number of startups failing, to the decrease in the number being started, this trend--not the reason for it, much to my disappointment--is being spun across the nation's news outlets. Entrepreneurship certainly ebbs and flows and while policymakers and entrepreneurial ecosystem members (hopefully) figure out what's causing the current ebb, I am encouraged to see another source stepping up to increase a form of entreprenruship: intrapreneurship.

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Thom Ruhe
on June 04, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

Angel funding hit the news last week in a big way with the Angel Capital Association launching its "Protect Angel Funding" campaign. This professional and trade association supports the success of angel investors in high-growth, early-stage companies. It launched the campaign in an effort to keep startups from losing this source of funding if the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) increases the financial qualifications for accredited investors.

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Thom Ruhe
on May 30, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles of Entrepreneurship

To think that what used to be used primarily to create boxes, action figures and King Kong heads is now being used to create prosthetic limbs, lungs and hearts both excites and scares me a bit. Several weeks ago, Mark Marich highlighted an article on its amazing abilities on our Policy Forum blog. 3D printing has been around for nearly 30 years, but just in the past couple years has caught the mainstream media's attention as its capabilities and accessibility grow.

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Thom Ruhe
on April 11, 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
Six Things Your Startup Needs To Know About Crowdfunding

On Aug. 27, we are welcoming Slava Rubin, the CEO of Indiegogo, one of the most-successful and most-recognized crowdfunding platforms, to the Kauffman Foundation. We expect a full crowd for this event, but we also will be showing his presentation entitled “How to Raise $1Million in 30 Days or Less” on a live stream that can be found here.

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Cameron Cushman
on August 26, 2013

Twitter Updates

  • US Government & @KauffmanFDN to invest in opportunities for women and young entrepreneurs abroad http://t.co/tafh24Vm9t
  • Read ideas & discoveries made by @KauffmanFDN leaders/partners/experts in education & entrepreneurship http://t.co/Gvk4uJGAwP #Thoughtbook
  • What are the critical activities of your biz? Organize you income statement's operating expenses according to these. http://t.co/sgz0NLybC9
  • "Smaller, harder working and more expert." | The New Standards of a Board http://t.co/A20Sg7eT5D
  • What motivates you? The answer may change your career http://t.co/xwe4FXJ9IB via @FastCompany

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