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First-year undergrads at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. have come up with 16 new businesses as part of a management and entrepreneurship course. Each team was made up of approximately 30 students and the businesses vary from imitation sunglasses to wireless mice with 1GB USB storage to an accessory locating gadget.
The class, Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship is a seven-credit, year-long focus on the world of business where student teams invent, develop, launch, manage and liquidate a business. Students study entrepreneurship, marketing, accounting, organizational behavior, information systems and operations. Babson provides up to $3,000 as startup money for these student endeavors and the businesses will run throughout the spring semester. Any profits are donated to a local community service agency of the team’s choice.
With pink-slip taxes increasing, more small-business owners may be motivated to appeal claims for unemployment benefits filed by former employees who quit or were fired for cause—but such appeals can sometimes backfire.
U.S. employers are required to make regular tax contributions toward unemployment insurance. They're taxed at a rate that varies by state and the size of their payroll. That rate can increase as a business lays off more employees.
After the recent "48 Hour Launch" weekend that drew more than five dozen participants, eight new companies now dot the city's small-business landscape.
The third annual event, sponsored by LaunchMemphis, replaced the organization's former Startup Weekend program. Interest in the program easily surpassed previous incarnations, leaders said, and the number of viable companies was nearly triple that of last year.
The Goldman Sachs Foundation recently invited me to share some thoughts about leadership with a group of Chinese university students who had been named Goldman Sachs Young Leaders. As I prepared my remarks, I thought about the bosses, coaches, teachers and other people who had most inspired me in my life. Did they have common personality traits that made them great leaders? I thought about billionaires like Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, and Steve Jobs of Apple. Can we learn from them? Are they good leaders?
Richard Brauman always loved caviar. But for many years the former Federal Reserve employee found that, no matter how much he was willing to pay for quality, the goods often had a stale, fishy taste. He blamed it on the traditional practices of companies in caviar-producing countries like Russia and Iran, where fish eggs are harvested infrequently and may be heavily preserved with salt and borax.
While the rules of poker are simple and the game itself is quite accessible, success typically requires more skill than luck. There’s a wisdom there that we can take from the game and apply to the startup life.
Investors write checks because they hope to get a decent return on their money. The way venture capitalists reap those returns is by taking their companies public, or perhaps selling them to other companies. That's a tough game when demand for IPOs is anemic, as it was in 2009.
Demand hasn't been robust in 2010, but things are thawing. As of this writing, eight companies had done IPOs thus far this year--the same amount for all of last year, according to CB Insights, a Manhattan firm that tracks private-company funding trends (including venture capital, private equity and government-backed deals).
"The venture funding and M&A activity we've observed so far in 2010 suggests that this year's venture funding levels will be higher than last year, but still below those highs of a few years ago," says Anand Sanwal, a CB Insights founding partner.
Perhaps no other country celebrates innovation the way America does.
This passion for inventions started early in our history. Did you know that George Washington signed the First U.S. Patent Grant on July 31, 1790, and the patent examiner was none other than Thomas Jefferson? (Thank you, Google (GOOG)!) In America, we're reminded of the life-changing power of inventiveness every day. Some of the greatest inventors of yesterday spawned the greatest brands of today. What do the names Chrysler, Coleman, Goodyear (GT), Campbell (CPB), Colt, and Edison mean to you? Cars, tents, tires, soup, guns, and the electric lightbulb, of course.
More and more successful companies are taking a holistic approach to serve specific market niches or verticals. Instead of offering a broad-based horizontal solution that may service a larger market, but require more customization and will likely involve competition from larger players, these companies are finding success 'below the radar' by staying focused on a narrower segment.
With the recent opening of Ottawa’s newest co-working space, the city might be seeing an emerging trend towards shared offices.
Currently, there are two co-working spaces: Freedom Café, which opened last month, and the Code Factory, which opened in May 2008.
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