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Startup CEOs wear many hats. None, perhaps, is more important than that of "company pitchman."
An old friend used to write on his easel the words "Innovate, Emigrate or Evaporate." It was his shorthand way of saying that to compete in a globalized market, Innovation was essential.
If you're thinking about entrepreneurship, you've probably heard that you should start your business before you quit your day job. It's good advise, but not always practical.
In the depths of the credit crunch, community lenders become a popular financing source for Main Street. But small-business owners may need to work harder to get support from local banks these days.
L.P.I. Consumer Products makes and distributes patented ShaveMate all-in-one razors that feature shaving cream dispensed from the handle.
In times of crisis people always look for inspirational leaders. What makes for inspiration is subjective, but there is one common element when speaking about leaders who inspire: they have a strong leadership presence.
By presence we mean "earned authority." That is, people follow your leadership because you are a proven quantity, whose credibility rests on your having gotten things done. Every leader must aspire to demonstrate presence in order to inspire; this is a theme explored in a new book, 12 Steps to Power Presence: How Leaders Assert their Authority to Lead.
With the market for early-stage capital beginning to bounce back, I'm once again fielding calls from entrepreneurs wanting to know how much of their company to give away to investors to raise the money they need to launch their businesses or take them to the next level.
Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to this question. An established business with sales, profits and cash flow may sell for five to 10 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. But it's a lot harder to put a price tag on an early-stage venture that consists of a business plan, a web site and the founder's hopes and dreams. As a result, negotiations between start-ups and prospective investors often turn into angry arm-wrestling matches that end with both sides walking away empty-handed.
April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Lobbyists for startup investors say they are close to a deal with Senate staff and state regulators to remove curbs on angel investing from the Senate’s financial reform bill.
The possible compromise would require angel investors, who buy stakes in startups in private offerings, to have a net worth of $1 million, instead of $2.3 million as proposed by the Senate bill, said Marianne Hudson, executive director of the Angel Capital Association in Overland Park, Kansas. It would also scale back plans to let states regulate angel deals, she said.
“We’re close to amendments that are good for entrepreneurs,” said Hudson.
Don’t get Randal Charlton wrong. The executive director at the TechTown business incubator in Detroit is thankful for a recent announcement of $5 million coming his way to help graduates of his FastTrac business training program launch their companies. But, he says, look at it this way: The money, granted by the New Economy Initiative, a Detroit-area philanthropic partnership, is not being thrown at comfortable entrepreneurs. This is, essentially, aid to the unemployed. And, as such, $5 million barely scratches the surface.
Many of the entrepreneurs to be helped by the First Step Fund, the entity created by NEI’s $5 million investment, are not launching startups because it seems like a promising thing to do. They have nowhere else to go, Charlton says. Their former jobs in the auto industry are gone, never to return. Their choices are to leave the state or try to create their own jobs in Michigan.
So far this year both the number and size of deals by venture capitalists are down over the final quarter of 2009.
A total of 681 deals for $4.7 billion were completed by VCs in the first quarter of 2010, according to a MoneyTree Report released by the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers. That dollar amount is down about 10 percent over Q4 2009, but up nearly 40 percent over the same period last year.
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