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Chasing an entrepreneurial dream can be an all-consuming effort. Particularly in those crucial early days of a startup, founders seem to eat, sleep and breathe their businesses. This naturally occurring tunnel vision has a purpose, of course, allowing entrepreneurs to give their business babies the time and attention they need to mature. But this heads-down mode is not without its drawbacks, one of which is neglecting to stay up on current events--particularly the happenings that can impact the entrepreneurs who are inadvertently paying no attention to them.
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.
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.
Last Thursday, I joined 120 problem-solvers from around the Midwest at the iKC event at the H&R Block Headquarters. The event was an un-conference, meaning there were no pre-set rules or even an agenda. We came together to choose and vote on several topics of discussion we found interesting, and we then had four breakout sessions throughout the day to meet and discuss the 28 selected topics.
When considering the optimal number of founders for any new entrepreneurial adventure, the calculus extends well beyond simple formulas seemingly supported by observations of startup cohorts within specific industries. Famous technology twosomes that come to mind include David Packard and William Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, Paul Allen and Bill Gates of Microsoft, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. In these examples, it is widely observed that these buddy teams complemented each other well in the early formative years of their companies.
Startups are not just a risk for investors. They are also a risk for the attorneys and other service providers that choose to work with them. That's because there's no guarantee an early-stage company will be around to pay a law firm for all the work it's done - let alone become a long-term customer.
Hiring a team for your startup should begin with a core team of three people and build from there. Read more about a strategy for building your team.
What makes a great team? Hiring employees who are smart and capable isn't enough. Read more for tips on what to look for when hiring employees for your startup.
Finding a mentor for your new healthcare business can be important, but the wrong mentor could hurt your business. Read more for tips on identifying a bad mentor.
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