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A new program within UT’s Office of Technology Commercialization will increase the number of startup companies the University produces, despite the fact that UT-Austin already generates more ventures than any other institution in the UT System.
May 05, 2010 -
Think of yourself as a bottle of Gatorade®. Why? Because when sales of the neon-colored beverage went flat last year, Gatorade’s marketing team rebranded the drink by touting it as a health-oriented, before, during and after sports drink. Although the ingredients are probably the same, the pitch changed.
It’s a great strategy to mimic if you’re looking for a new job or seeking investors to support an entrepreneurial venture, especially if you’ve been demoralized by losing a corporate job.
“Remember, you are not a job title,” said Diane DiResta, a speaking strategist and author of Knockout Presentations. “You have to look at yourself as a package of skills and strengths.”
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.
It's become a classic business mantra: you learn more from your failures than from your successes. But what if that idea is all wrong? Alex Bogusky, co-chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, believes it is--and recent MIT research showing that we learn more from success backs him up.
Picnik's Jonathan Sposato helped orchestrate one of the Seattle tech community's highest profile M&amp;A deals of the year when he sold the online photo editing service to Google. The feat was even more impressive given that it marked the second time that the 43-year-old Internet entrepreneur had sold a company to the search giant. And Sposato did it all without taking a dime of venture capital.
So, how did he pull it off? Sposato offered his thoughts on bootstrapping as well as his tips for selling companies in a talk at Seattle Lunch 2.0 last Friday. We were there, taking notes and shooting video. Here are some of the highlights, including Sposato telling the crowd that he and co-founders Mike Harrington and Darrin Massena didn't take venture capital money because they were "greedy."
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.
You may find this hard to believe, but there's some evidence that venture capital is facing the same kinds of threats that the big music labels found themselves struggling with just a few years ago.
It seems that VC's, and the things they bring to entrepreneurs, just aren't as important as they once were. And there is new competition making it harder to build and run a successful VC firm.
Who's raising the alarm about the future of venture? Well, it seems, the venture capitalists themselves.
How should a government promote entrepreneurship? This column argues that providing support programs for targeted sectors or companies is akin to "picking winners ex ante." A far better approach is to encourage competition in the financial sector that facilitates experimentation in the real economy. Governments should forget about picking winners and focus on picking the right system.
Dave Waldman, CEO and Founder of Los Angeles-based Bccthis, a startup looking to add additional functionality and private messaging into both corporate emails and Twitter messages. Bccthis just announced a version of their product which plugs into Gmail. Dave discusses how and why he and his co-founders--both previously executives at Twistbox--decided to start their own startup, specifically outside of the mobile industry, and a bit about the product.
DURHAM, N.C. - Hardly a day goes by when I don’t have a rookie entrepreneur ask for advice on raising money from VCs.
They usually have a fancy-looking business plan with detailed spreadsheets showing how their company will be worth billions by capturing just 1 percent of a market. All they need is some financing, and they’ll take the world by storm.
My advice is always the same: ditch the business plan, and buy a lottery ticket. Your odds are better, and you’ll suffer less stress.
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