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Strategic words are out. Personal search is in. This week, the Kauffman Foundation held a seminar on "Online Branding for Startups" with help from Mark Traphagen of Virante, a SEO marketing firm out of Durham, N.C. I learned a number of things in the hours we discussed branding with entrepreneurs and Kauffman associates, but here are my top four takeaways.
Today is a very exciting day for the 1 Million Cups program. We are three quarters of the way to our goal of twenty U.S. cities by then end of 2013. But more importantly, the debut launch of 1MC Orlando and San Diego demonstrates the power of collaboration at the grassroots level.
The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur provides insights into motivation, education and family history of startup founders. The research also shares views of those founders on determining success of new companies.
American tech entrepreneurs aren't all 20-somethings from elite universities. A Kauffman Foundation survey of U.S.-born CEOs from 500 engineering and technology companies revealed that today's American tech entrepreneurs are middle aged, well educated in business or technical disciplines, and hold degrees from an assortment of universities.
Jake Halpert, CEO of Lucidity Health, agrees with the conventional wisdom that the team is the most important aspect of an early-stage business. But, he added, an entrepreneur shouldn't wait for the perfect team to start his company.
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.
Who are the "players" in entrepreneurship?, a Kauffman Foundation white paper, offers insights on the universe of people a startup founder will need to work with in order for the company to be a success.
One of the questions I get asked the most is some version of "what do you think of crowdfunding?" I usually answer with some noncommittal answer about how it is going to be important, but no really knows how it will impact the trajectory and success of startup companies. After all, the notion of banding together through social media to fund the development of a prototype, documentary film or art project has been going on for many years now.
Adam Coomes is a prime example of an entrepreneur who has seen the best of times and the worst of times. He has been a part of several startups and has gone through the peaks and valleys of these experiences. They've consisted of fast-paced ventures and ventures that have been put on the backburner. He has never worked in the corporate world and never intends to. Adam will always be an entrepreneur.
"Raising capital in the Midwest is a lot different than raising on the coasts," said Kurt Brenkus, CEO of Wisconsin-based Aver Informatics. "We had to hit the streets making the rounds with angel investors."
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