entrepreneurshipTop of Mind

Commentary & Insights on Entrepreneurship The Top of Mind blog brings an array of editorial views to current events shaping the world of entrepreneurship. Engage, exchange, and expand your own view of the world!

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Why A Startup Is Not A Big Company

Once you've heard the insight--that startups are different from big companies--it seems so obvious. Yet too often entrepreneurs, and those that teach them, approach the building of new companies with the same goals, staff structures and assumptions that motivate the management of large companies. Startup founders build teams to focus on engineering, and on the process of creating a product and bringing it to market.

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Posted by: Wendy Torrance
on January 22, 2014
How Your Children's Summer Camps Are Affecting Their Career Opportunities

As a father of three, I vividly remember those chilly, early-summer mornings of packing bags, loading up the car, and waving a sad goodbye as my children began their latest adventure at the summer camp of choosing. And there were plenty of those mornings over the course of 18 years. There was volleyball camp, and Science Olympiad clinics, and lacrosse camp.

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Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on January 17, 2014
The 5 Best Mistakes We Made in 2013 (and How We're Learning From Them)

With 1 Million Cups, as with any startup, our tendency is to put our best foot forward. We spend a lot of time talking about all of the great successes that we've had over the past year--and there have been many. But one of the things that makes our program special is that sense of having a safe space to share what you haven't done well and what you're struggling with on a day-to-day basis.

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Posted by: Nate Olson
on January 15, 2014
How People-Problems Can Confound Early Stage Ventures

Some of the very first decisions founders must make early on in their ventures are crucially important to the future of the business. Many of these decisions concern the ubiquitous "people problems" that challenge even experienced entrepreneurs. When should I found? Should I co-found with someone? With whom? How should we split the equity? Bad or ill-informed choices at critical junctures could have significant consequences for startups. In fact, research has suggested that 65 percent of new firm failures were related to problems within the management team.

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Posted by: Wendy Torrance
on December 13, 2013
A Lesson Learned in Travel

I spent much of Global Entrepreneurship Week traveling. It's one of the things I love most about my work at the Kauffman Foundation. And in that travel, I've learned that entrepreneurship transcends borders and languages-but it is deeply impacted by culture and policy.

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Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on December 10, 2013
Emerging Entrepreneurs in the Big D

Can you guess where the follow startups were founded-- GameStop, Woot, Words with Friends, SOFTLAYER? Probably Silicon Valley, right? No. How about Boston? Wrong again. I'll give you a hint: it's the fourth largest media market in the country, home to 18 Fortune 500 companies and boasts two major airports, serving as headquarters for two major airlines. Sounds like a pretty good place to start a company, right? Dallas, and the surrounding area called the "Metroplex", sure thinks so and it wants you to start thinking so as well. On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the emerging startup scene in Dallas. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found here.

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Posted by: Cameron Cushman
on December 06, 2013
Let's Shrink the Growing World of Entrepreneurship

Long understood to be the engine of the U.S. economy, the world is embracing entrepreneurship as one of the primary means of building a long-term recovery. Ironically, for this spreading global fervor to make a sustainable impact, the world of entrepreneurship must shrink.

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Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on November 26, 2013
Reverse Pitch Connects Corporations With Entrepreneurs

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.

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Posted by: Nathan Kurtz
on November 25, 2013
Ice House Sketchbook Dispels Myths of Entrepreneurship

The latest Kauffman Sketchbook illustrates how the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program develops the critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills that help any individual think like an entrepreneur.

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Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on November 22, 2013
Elite Startups Get in the Ring

Last night I had the privilege of watching the first ever Get in the Ring Competition in the United States. Though this competition is in its sixth year, this was the first year that the United States had participated. The process began in August with groups of judges sorting through about 300 applications from startups all across the country. After several rounds of judging, the final eight startups were invited to Kansas City to participate in the U.S. version of Get in the Ring,the American Startup Clash.

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Posted by: Cameron Cushman
on November 20, 2013

Twitter Updates

  • .@Virtual_EA's Lakeshia Grant encourages would-be entrepreneurs to incorporate core values into business http://t.co/tcuUOkTT7p @KhanAcademy
  • Getting caffeinated with coffee startup @Beander_ http://t.co/9p28IQegoR via @1MillionCups
  • Public Venture Funds -- and other tactics to avoid in "A Quick Guide to Smart Entrepreneurship Policymaking" http://t.co/wl3xSP0DHV
  • Why Startups Need a Narrow Focus to Successfully Scale http://t.co/TDhOZVXtJu via @eMedCommunity
  • Reinvent Incubators -- and other tips in "A Quick Guide to Smart Entrepreneurship Policymaking" http://t.co/z5AgoprXvA by @MarkMarich