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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.
Being a graduate finance student, sometimes it's a steep challenge to look outside the fish bowl and get an opportunity to see business outside the confined bounds of dollars, cents, and financial statements. As part of the Association of Loyola Entrepreneurs, a student interest group, I decided to gain a broader perspective on starting my own business by inviting three Chicago entrepreneurs to address the future business leaders of Loyola University and give us a real world look at how they decided to take charge of their lives and became their own boss.
David Zapata of Zapwater Communications launched his own public relations and marketing firm after being worn down from working for a boss he couldn't stand. Justin Jacobson of Platinum Events scraped his way through the nightclub scene, eventually acquiring a Bar Mitzvah company and turning it around into a successful event management company serving big corporate clients. Kyle McHugh's journey took him from pushing papers at Georgetown into his very own specialty wine and spirits shop in the heart of downtown Chicago. Together, they shared their insights from the trial and tribulations that come with starting their own business and passed on their unique blend of wisdom.
Charles Henagan loved his new job as a vice-president of marketing at a major beverage company. His challenge was to reinvigorate a legendary brand of vodka and he embraced the adrenaline rush of travel, meetings and strategy sessions. Approaching 50, he was the oldest employee in his division, but made an effort to bond with younger colleagues over cocktails after work. Top management embraced his initiatives and he was feeling great about his work.
Social media tools have many important business uses. One of the most powerful is the ability to foster innovation. With social media, businesses can tap into the needs, desires and opinions of a wide audience — and connect with a highly targeted group that is directly relevant to their businesses. These connections can be invaluable sources for new ideas and alternative ways of thinking.
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.
Yahoo! and Egypt-based NGO Nahdet El Mahrousa have launched a campaign called ‘Social Innovation Starts with YOU' that hopes to inspire and motivate young Egyptians to be social entrepreneurs.
The campaign is in line with the U.S. Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship that will take place on April 26 - 27, 2010 in Washington D.C., where Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang will deliver a keynote speech on how the Internet can positively transform lives, societies, and economies in Arab communities.
Why should any organization adopt collaboration? There's only one reason—value creation. After all, if we're not creating value, what's the point? With a growing consciousness for collaboration, many companies are investing in collaboration tools and technologies. These range from enterprise instant messaging and unified communications, wikis, and enterprise social media to virtual worlds, Web conferencing, and telepresence.
In a typical scenario, the months fly by after the collaboration tools are implemented. As the seasons change, decision-makers anticipate reaping the benefits of collaboration. And perhaps they can even point to successes within particular business units or functions. Often, though, it's the same old story. The company remains for the most part internally competitive, hierarchical, and command-and-control driven. The tools alone have failed to make the company collaborative. Worse yet, the tools may have created no real value, and the decision-makers who had pinned such high hopes on these tools are surprised.
Candace Fleming’s résumé boasts a double major in industrial engineering and English from Stanford, an M.B.A. from Harvard, a management position at Hewlett-Packard and experience as president of a small software company.
But when she was raising money for Crimson Hexagon, a start-up company she co-founded in 2007, she recalls one venture capitalist telling her that it didn’t matter that she didn’t have business cards, because all they would say was “Mom.”
Another potential backer, reports Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times, invited her for a weekend yachting excursion by showing her a picture of himself on the boat — without clothes. When a third financier discovered that her husband was also a biking enthusiast, she says, he spent more time asking if riding affected her husband’s reproductive capabilities than he did focusing on her business plan. Ultimately, none of the 30 venture firms she pitched financed her company. She finally raised $1.8 million in March 2008 from angel investors including Golden Seeds, a fund that emphasizes investing in start-ups led by women.
SAN JOSE, California — Born of too much brainstorming or not enough sleep, the names come flying out of nowhere — Crocodoc, Yext, Nowmov. They turn nouns into adverbs (Answerly) or aspire to become brand-new verbs in true “I-just-googled-her” fashion.
And in the process, they drop vowels like a clumsy waiter (Flickr), spell perfectly good words backward (Xobni) and insert punctuation points where they have no business being (Center’d). It’s the Great Internet Branding Gold Rush. And with tech startups in Silicon Valley and beyond falling over themselves to create cool names with an AdMob’s swagger and a Twitter’s zip, the word-play is getting wild. To make matters worse, as the supply of good available names dries up, the envelope is being pushed right over the cliff of clever into the canyon of overly cute.
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