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Candace Fleming’s résumé boasts a double major in industrial engineering and English from Stanford, an M.B.A. from Harvard, a management position at Hewlett-Packard and experience as president of a small software company.
But when she was raising money for Crimson Hexagon, a start-up company she co-founded in 2007, she recalls one venture capitalist telling her that it didn’t matter that she didn’t have business cards, because all they would say was “Mom.”
Another potential backer, reports Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times, invited her for a weekend yachting excursion by showing her a picture of himself on the boat — without clothes. When a third financier discovered that her husband was also a biking enthusiast, she says, he spent more time asking if riding affected her husband’s reproductive capabilities than he did focusing on her business plan. Ultimately, none of the 30 venture firms she pitched financed her company. She finally raised $1.8 million in March 2008 from angel investors including Golden Seeds, a fund that emphasizes investing in start-ups led by women.
SAN JOSE, California — Born of too much brainstorming or not enough sleep, the names come flying out of nowhere — Crocodoc, Yext, Nowmov. They turn nouns into adverbs (Answerly) or aspire to become brand-new verbs in true “I-just-googled-her” fashion.
And in the process, they drop vowels like a clumsy waiter (Flickr), spell perfectly good words backward (Xobni) and insert punctuation points where they have no business being (Center’d). It’s the Great Internet Branding Gold Rush. And with tech startups in Silicon Valley and beyond falling over themselves to create cool names with an AdMob’s swagger and a Twitter’s zip, the word-play is getting wild. To make matters worse, as the supply of good available names dries up, the envelope is being pushed right over the cliff of clever into the canyon of overly cute.
Based on 300,000 companies, most with annual sales under $10 million. One takeaway: Specialization pays off.
Spiking sales might make for good cocktail conversation, but if you don't turn a profit--and keep turning one--you won't be in business very long. With the help of Sageworks, a Raleigh, N.C.-based accounting consultancy and private-company data provider, Forbes assembled a list of the 20 most profitable businesses, on a pretax basis, that aspiring entrepreneurs might launch. At No. 1: offices of Certified Public Accountants, with an average pretax margin of 17.1%. Wired communication carriers (transmission-line operators and the like), which clock an average 10.1% margin, brought up the rear.
Two years ago I had an idea for a website. I decided to leave a well paying job, invest all of the money I made post college, and began to start the terrifying journey of building a company. Today, I want to share the ten most powerful things I learned about turning that idea into a business at a time when the economy was at its worst, and capital was scarce. Many of the tips I'm sharing with you were passed down from others who were kind enough to share their experiences and insight with me.
Some world-beaters start young. And they're thinking about more than lemonade stands.
In 1996 Apple celebrated its 20th anniversary, Mark Zuckerberg was in junior high and Jacob Cook--who owns a computer support company--was born.
No, your math is right: Cook is all of 13 years old.
Cook, who lives in Sacramento, Calif., has been an entrepreneur for three years. At age 10 he started buying books and other "low-end stuff" at garage sales and re-selling it on eBay. As he learned more about computers, he started creating video tutorials about fixing tech problems and broadcasting them on YouTube. After he was profiled in a local newspaper, people started contacting him with their own troubleshooting requests. Today he charges up to $30 an hour to help clients erase computer viruses and fix other problems.
Not so fast, Martha Stewart.
OK, you're special. You are talented and one of the best at what you do. But that doesn't mean that you're equipped to run your own business--even one within a field or industry you've been working in or following for years.
To wit: 627,200 new businesses opened in the U.S. in 2008--the same year 595,600 businesses shuttered and 43,546 filed for bankruptcy, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Likewise, 30% of small businesses fail within the first two years and half close shop within five years, according to the SBA.
The fact of the matter is that far too many people launch their own companies for all the wrong reasons and without the tools it takes to succeed. Before handing in your notice and signing a lease on an office, it's imperative you take a hard look at yourself in the salaried eye and ask yourself a few critical questions that could mean the difference between a fulfilling life as your own boss and speed-dialing a bankruptcy lawyer.
Some people are born rich, but it is the self-made billionaires who inspire people more than anybody else. While most entrepreneurs won’t end up in the 10-digit club, there are lessons to be taken from these elites.
Who is the real entrepreneur? What does it mean to be self-employed? Dane Stangler examines this question and what it means to be an entrepreneur during these tumultuous economic times.
At the University of Miami a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend an entrepreneurship class with roughly 40 students. Most of them were juniors and seniors, joined by a small number of law students. The course had so far covered the theoretical literature on entrepreneurship, but on this particular day all the students wanted to talk about was their own futures.
A startup energy company has received federal and state approval to install a device in the St. Clair River that will create electricity from the flow of water. Vortex Hydro Energy, which has exclusive rights to commercialize atechnology patented at the University of Michigan, will install the device in July. It will be north of the Blue Water Bridge on Dunn Paper's property at 218 Riverview St., Port Huron
It sounds like a privacy breach waiting to happen: Take some of your company's most classified information — employee records containing Social Security numbers, salaries — and put it on a bunch of remote servers that let you access the data via the public Internet.
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