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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 Reasons Startups Need PR That You're Not Thinking About

I'm an admirer of Mark Suster's blog, Both Sides of the Table. It's a Forbes Top Blogs for Entrepreneurs and has hundreds of thousands of followers--all for good reason. As his blog title denotes, Mark has done it all. He'ss a successful entrepreneur turned venture capital investor and a big advocate of marketing and PR. And he has got a way with words.

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Taylor Brown
on November 07, 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
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

How are company names chosen? The initial impression of a company is its name because that is how any conversation about the venture is started. Therefore, how do you get the name right? Oftentimes there's a story rooted somewhere in the company's history that explains how the business ended being called what it is. And I can imagine, if its importance was taken into consideration, choosing that name was a daunting task.

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Taylor Brown
on June 10, 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 in Entrepreneurship

Last week tax season finally ended, as I'm sure most of you are still trying to forget. I was pretty sure I couldn't stand the sight of any more numbers for the time being, but then I came across an article with numbers I actually cared to take note of--the amount of money an entrepreneur would have to earn to make the equivalent of someone working a job for someone else.

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Thom Ruhe
on April 22, 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
Founders School: Surviving the Entrepreneurial Life

When I read Meg Hirshberg's book "For Better or for Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families" I knew instantly that I wanted Meg to join our slate of Founders School experts. The goal of Founders School is to provide entrepreneurs with crucial skills and knowledge, and to do so with an eye to topics that are important but rarely discussed in typical entrepreneurship education programs. The subject of Meg's book is just such a topic. We all know that entrepreneurs have to juggle a variety of considerations when founding a company: team building, assessment of product/market fit, intellectual property, and how to get that first important customer. What many entrepreneurs and, more importantly, their families, know is that there's a juggle on the family side of the equation as well, but it's one that many entrepreneurs may be reluctant to talk about.

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Wendy Torrance
on February 26, 2014
Casting A Wider Net With Community Colleges

Innovation Fund America (IFA), our program delivering high-impact education, coaching and pre-seed funding to scalable, technology-based startups via community colleges around the country, has quietly been having a big couple of months. It's a complicated and demanding program to launch and it's taken nearly a year and a half to get to this point, but we're excited that IFA is now open for business in two communities--and we're really just getting started.

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Jonathan Robinson
on January 30, 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
Why Every Startup Should Hire A Millennial

Lately, there's been a lot of talk about these people we call millennials. Namely, the current generation, Generation Y, those "entitled, narcissists who still live with their parents", according to Keith Wagstaff. From complimentary to derisive, countless writers have deemed it their duty to predict exactly what this generation will add or (as most reports warn) detract from our current society. But the truth is, nothing has been said about the "Me, me, me generation" that hasn't been said about every generation before them.

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Amanda Schnieders
on October 30, 2013

Twitter Updates

  • An interview about @1millioncups with @PrentissEarl03 by @opportunistmag http://t.co/8CWXNgmJyp #1MC
  • New makerspaces have opened at several universities across the U.S. How is this spurring entrepreneurship? http://t.co/jOCCxnImDB
  • Can a New Type of Incubator Replace the Need for a College Education? http://t.co/lKt5SomemI #TopOfMind
  • How I Go a Ridiculous Deal on a Car and Why Your Customers Have All the Power by @dianakander http://t.co/cV4KiHG5xQ
  • 2014 trending topics via @KauffmanFDN: Entrepreneurship Education, Startup Ecosystems, Teacher Development & @Royals http://t.co/sOxdyTG62e

Kauffman Founders School
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1 Million Cups
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