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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How I Got a Ridiculous Deal on a Car and Why Your Customers Have All the Power

When I walked into a local car dealership in Columbia, Mo. earlier this year, I knew which car I wanted and I had a plan to get it at a great price. Within thirty seconds of walking onto the showroom floor, a sales rep named Chad asked me to step into his cubicle with promises of "any soft drink flavor you can imagine" from the dealership's extravagant new vending machine. "Just water, Chad," I replied. I was here for business.

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Diana Kander
on December 15, 2014
Who Will Save the Economy? Scale-Ups or Startups

Last week, the Washington Post article, "More businesses are closing than starting. Can Congress help turn that around?" grabbed my attention. My response was whether or not all the startup support power laid in the hands of our nation's policy makers.

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Taylor Brown
on October 08, 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
How People-Problems Can Confound Early Stage Ventures

Some of the very first decisions founders must make early on in their ventures are crucially important to the future of the business. Many of these decisions concern the ubiquitous "people problems" that challenge even experienced entrepreneurs. When should I found? Should I co-found with someone? With whom? How should we split the equity? Bad or ill-informed choices at critical junctures could have significant consequences for startups. In fact, research has suggested that 65 percent of new firm failures were related to problems within the management team.

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Wendy Torrance
on December 13, 2013
Reverse Pitch Connects Corporations With Entrepreneurs

Something extraordinary happened in Kansas City last Thursday. For the second year in a row, some of Kansas City's largest organizations participated in a reverse pitch. KCNext, the host and organizer, brought in a capacity crowd of over 200 entrepreneurs and other Global Entrepreneurship Week event participants. There were 65 events in Kansas City spread across a week and a half. But this event was different. This one was special.

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Nathan Kurtz
on November 25, 2013
New Team Member Tackles Kansas City Portfolio

Hi, I'm Nathan Kurtz, and I'm really excited to join the Entrepreneurship team this month at the Kauffman Foundation. There are a few questions I love asking new people I meet. It allows me to understand a little bit about who she/he is as a person. By way of introduction, here are a couple of those questions, with my answers.

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Nathan Kurtz
on September 23, 2013
Lean Entrepreneur: How I Built My Startup in 48 Hours

As Kauffman Labs helps grow and educate the entrepreneurial community through programs, events and workshops, we came across an aspiring gentleman with an idea. Nodir Abdullayev (Bek) has just recently found out about the entrepreneurial community in Kansas City and has made strides to become engaged since finding his first event through Kauffman Labs. Learn how Bek's first experience made him go from an aspiring entrepreneur to lean entrepreneur.

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Jennifer Kearns
on August 23, 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
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