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Marc Andreessen: Spendthrift startups will "vaporize"

Marc Andreessen: Spendthrift startups will "vaporize" | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Prominent venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has a message for Silicon Valley startups: Get your spending under control now, or fail when the market inevitably turns.

Andreessen has long insisted that Silicon Valley's tech boom is not a bubble, but he is now worried that startups are spending too much cash on flashy offices or excessive numbers of employees.

Andreessen's comments, made on Twitter, make him the latest in a series of investors to warn about high "burn rates" at tech startups. Burn rate measures how quickly a company uses capital.

"When the market turns, and it will turn, we will find out who has been swimming without trunks on: many high burn rate [companies] will VAPORIZE," Andreessen said.

Related: The billionaire Silicon Valley exec with the shiniest toys

Andreessen is not the only worried investor. Bill Gurley, another venture capitalist, told the Wall Street Journal last week that "no one's fearful, everyone's greedy, and it will eventually end." Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures, is also sounding the alarm over high burn rates.

How to make it in Silicon Valley


Andreessen's 18 tweets on the topic warn that in the event of a downturn, companies will find it much harder to raise cash, merge or be acquired by a larger firm.

When that happens, startups will be forced to adapt quickly, and bloated firms will fail.

"When market turns, M&A mostly stops. Nobody will want to buy your cash-incinerating startup. There will be no Plan B. VAPORIZE," he said.

Andreessen said that while some companies with high burn rates will survive, they will be "few and far between."

Andreessen's conclusion? "Worry," he said.

To see a live video of Marc Andreessen covering this topic, go to the original article here: http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/25/investing/marc-andreessen-startup-warning/index.html


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Keep it lean, and survive.

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How to Create an Elevator Pitch That Will Get You Funded

How to Create an Elevator Pitch That Will Get You Funded | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

I was catching up over coffee and a muffin with a student I hadn’t seen for years who’s now CEO of his own struggling startup. As I listened to him present the problems of matching lithium-ion battery packs to EV powertrains and direct drive motors, I realized that he had built a product for a segment of the electric vehicle market that possibly could put his company on the right side of a major industry discontinuity.

But he was explaining it like it was his PhD dissertation defense.

Our product is really complicated
After hearing more details about the features of the product (I think he was heading to the level of Quantum electrodynamics) I asked if he could explain to me why I should care. His response was to describe even more features. When I called for a time-out the reaction was one I hear a lot. “Our product is really complicated I need to tell you all about it so you get it.”

I told him I disagreed and pointed out that anyone can make a complicated idea sound complicated. The art is making it sound simple, compelling and inevitable.

Turning on your Reality Distortion Field
The ability to deliver a persuasive elevator pitch and follow it up with a substantive presentation is the difference between a funded entrepreneur and those having coffee complaining that they’re out of cash. It’s a litmus test of how you will behave in front of customers, employees and investors.

30 seconds
The common wisdom is that you need to be able to describe your product/company in 30-seconds. The 30 second elevator pitch is such a common euphemism that people forget it's not about the time, it’s about the impact and the objective. The goal is not to pack in every technical detail about the product. You don’t even need to mention the product. The objective is to get the listener to stop whatever they had planned to do next and instead say, “Tell me more.”

How do you put together a 30-second pitch?

Envision how the world will be different five years after people started using your product. Tell me. Explain to me why it’s a logical conclusion. Quickly show me that it’s possible. And do this in less than 100 words.

The CEO's reaction over his half-finished muffin was, “An elevator pitch is hype. I’m not a sales guy I’m an engineer.”

The reality is that if you are going to be a founding CEO, investors want to understand that you have a vision big enough to address a major opportunity and an investment. Potential employees need to understand your vision of the future to decide whether, against all other choices, they will join you. Customers need to stop being satisfied with the status quo and queue up for whatever you are going to deliver. Your elevator pitch is a proxy for all of these things.

While my ex-student had been describing the detailed architecture of middleware of electric vehicles I realized what I wanted to understand was how this company was going to change the world.

All he had to say was, “The electric vehicle business is like the automobile business in 1898. We’re on the cusp of a major transformation. If you believe electric vehicles are going to have a significant share of the truck business in 10 years, we are going to be on the right side of the fault zone. The heart of these vehicles will be a powertrain controller and propulsion system. We’ve designed, built and installed them. Every electric truck will have to have a product like ours.”

75 words.

That would have been enough to have me say, “Tell me more.”

Lessons Learned

  • Complex products need a simple summary
  • Tell me why I should quit my job to join you
  • Tell me why I should invest in you rather than the line outside my door
  • Tell me why I should buy from you rather than the existing suppliers
  • Do it in 100 words or less


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Delvering a good pitch is essential in funding and sales. Read this article, it'll give you the basics.

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Leanometry's curator insight, September 26, 4:11 PM

Steve Blank talks about the importance of being able to present what you are working on clearly and concise. Even if a product is complex what its purpose is should be straightforward. To help with creating the perfect pitch we created Pitchgrub - http://pitchgrub.com

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20 Reasons to Start Your Own Business

20 Reasons to Start Your Own Business | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Start your own business today and learn how being an entrepreneur provides job security, prosperity, and changing the world. Use entrepreneurship to reinvent yourself.

If you’re an entrepreneur you have heard the million reasons not to go into business: It’s too risky, you might go into debt, you’ll probably lose sleep, your social life is kaput, and the list goes on. But even with all these uncertainties, people are still attracted to the startup world. There are just as many, if not more reasons to take the leap and go start your own business.  Here are just a few:

1. Spare time. This one can take some time.  Initially you’ll work longer hours for less pay.  But if you do it right, you could start to master your schedule and the freedom that being an entrepreneur provides is awesome. 

2. A story to tell. Whenever I tell someone I run my own business, they always want to know what I do, how I do it and how it’s going. I always am able to provide a tale or two, and the best part is that I get to determine the story's chapters. (When working for a corporation, people most likely have less input.)

3. Tax benefits. For entrepreneurs (freelancers included), they have the opportunity to take advantage of some nice tax perks. Many can write off expenses like travel, food, phone bills, portions of car payments, and the list goes on. Also, certain startups qualify for government incentives. Make sure to ask your accountant about what tax benefits you may be eligible for.

4. Pride. When you build something successful, it’s a great feeling. You had a vision, were able to execute it and not can reap the benefits of saying "I did this." On the other hand, it’s tough to be proud of the zillionth request for proposal you fill out for your employer.

5. Your posterity. If you’re a doctor, plumber or bus driver it’s hard to imagine you passing your career on to your loved ones. But if you own your own business, that’s something you can pass on to the next generation. And be proud of it, because you created it.

6. Job security. Have you ever been laid off, downsized, or fired?  If you have, you get this. With entrepreneurship the security lies in the fact you are your own boss. You run the show and don't have to worry about getting let go.

7. Networking. Entrepreneurs are communal creatures.  We love to meet each other, swap stories, and learn from each other’s experiences. Your circle of friends and acquaintances always grows when you become an entrepreneur, as many founders need others to lean on to survive and talk about the challenges only known to them.

8. Doing good. While this isn’t exclusive to entrepreneurs, it’s definitely a perk. You control where your company profits go and if you choose, you can give allocate your financial gains to others. You can sponsor a charity, a non-profit or just personally give back to the community.  This is quite honestly one of the best parts of being an entrepreneur.

9. Novelty. We, as humans, love new experiences but rarely can you experience a host of new things from inside your cubicle. This all changes when you are running the show. Starting your own business will ensure you’ll always be facing new challenge and experiencing something new.

10. Mentorship. Having had mentors and getting to be a mentor have been some of the best experiences of my life.  Learning from the masters and getting to help those less experienced than you gives you such a sense of satisfaction. From my experience (and other's stories) the entrepreneurial community is very willing to give back and lend a helping hand.

11. Becoming an expert. This point goes along with mentorship.  Regardless of what you do as an entrepreneur, if you stick with it, you’ll probably become very good at it. And this gives you a sort of soapbox, so use it. You'll have the chance to be interviewed for your expertise, write about it and get to spread your message.

12. Skills. People ask me how I learned about SEO, social media, pay-per-click, PR and all the other marketing techniques I utilize. I tell them that I was forced to learn them, otherwise I wouldn't survive.  The same way I was forced to learn how to build a spreadsheet, how to balance a budget, how to negotiate leases and countless other skills I picked up because I was the only resource I had. While developing new skills can be tough and takes times, it can pay off in spades.  These skills will be invaluable throughout your life.

13. Determination. Everything I’ve done as an entrepreneur has affected me in my personal life.  I used to be poor at committing to changes. But having been an entrepreneur for over a decade has forced me to become dedicated and determined to causes. (Now I can stick to an exercise plan much easier.)  I’m also better at being a father and husband because of that determination I learned.

14. Recognition. There are literally thousands of local, regional and national awards that recognize entrepreneurs in every field and industry. This shouldn’t be your only reason to start your business, but it certainly is a great feeling when you receive this recognition.

15. Financial independence. Let’s be honest, this is probably the biggest reason people get into business for themselves.  And that’s a good thing!  You should want financial independence.  However you define financial independence – retirement stockpile, unlimited cash potential or having the money to buy what you want --  entrepreneurship can allow you to achieve it. Trust me, money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does make finding happiness much easier.

16. Reinvention. I’ve started and sold several companies over my career.  And every time I sell a company, I’m presented with an opportunity to reinvent myself all over again. On the flip side, if I had received my law degree, I’d be a lawyer (not a lot of room to recreate myself). But as an entrepreneur, I get to be whatever I want to be.

17. Change the world. Everyone jokes that every entrepreneur says they’re going to change the world. It’s difficult to imagine how a cell phone accessory kiosk in the mall is going to change the world.  But there are those that do succeed.  Take a look at Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, and the countless other entrepreneurs who really have changed the world in some small (or major) way.

18. Create jobs. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of knowing you’re responsible for the success of your employees.  Your ideas provided them the opportunity to earn a living, provide for their family and fulfill their own dreams.

19. Your brand. Being known for something is awfully enjoyable.  People may start referring to you as the marketing guy, or the retail maven or the software guru.  Whatever it is you’re recognized as, it’s fun to build that brand and earn that recognition.

20. Your reason. I’ve given you a list of why I think you should get into business.  But all that really matters is your reason to start your own business.  So, what is it?  Tweet out this story and add your reason.  Comment below and share with us why you did it.  I know it will be a good one.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

I like just about every reason here. I'm glad I turned my back to being employed a long long time ago.

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Brand Value: a Look at Brand-Focused Startup Accelerators

Brand Value: a Look at Brand-Focused Startup Accelerators | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

If you’re a young startup with a gleam in your eye, a working prototype in your back pocket and very little else, then making the right first step will be crucial for success.

For founders with little-to-no previous startup experience,joining an accelerator makes a lot of sense. Even if you’re a seasoned pro with an exit or two under your belt,  a helping hand might still be useful.

Traditionally, accelerators provide a combination of things; primarily a small amount of funding, a space to work and access to mentors, industry bodies and individuals they would otherwise struggle to gain the attention of.

However, while many accelerators are open houses in terms of their focus, there’s been a growing trend of certain businesses to host their own in-house programs, or take part in accelerators that are designed to connect brands with tech startups.

So, how does a brand-focused accelerator – that is, one that promises startups an audience with relevant world-leading brands in their area of focus, or one focusing a specific segment of industry, differ from a more general approach? We spoke to Brandery, Collider, The Bakery London and Orange Fab to find out what they had to offer.

What do startups get out of brand accelerators?

So, what a startup gets out of a brand accelerator is pretty similar to other accelerators – although the specifics of the funding and other benefits often vary.

For example, Collider – a UK-based organization that works with more than 27 individual brands – gives startups a combination of oversight, cash and mentorship over a program lasting 13 weeks.

Each of the Collider startups this year will get up to £150,000 ($243,000) – increased from up to £70,000 – to help them bring a product to market, its co-founder Rose Lewis explained. However, it’s the focus on a specific vertical and the added exposure Collider gives the startups and brands that really makes the key difference, she argues.

 In the first four weeks of our accelerator, they meet with up to 12 brands – all giving their time to the startups, and all  [based] around the product marketing questions: are these businesses building stuff that William Hill, Unilever, Haymarket are going to buy?


Brandery‘s four-month long program is similar to Collider’s – it provides support for seed stage companies in the form of $25,000 in funding, mentoring and access to a host of discounted or free services (such as IT, HR, legal etc.). Brandery also provides one year of free office space for a year, general manager Mike Bott explained. Collider does not offer physical work space.

“Each startup is paired with a creative agency who has committed at least $25,000 in free work. Specifically, two intensive workshops are conducted during the program to get the startups off to a fast start, Brand in a Day and Growth Hack Day. During Brand in a Day, the startups and their creative agency partner develop core brand architecture: new names, logos, taglines, brand manifestos, visual identity and other core pieces of their brand.

Similarly, during Growth Hack Day, the startups, their creative agency partners, and brand managers from Procter & Gamble hammer out key parts of the startups’ marketing plans, including user acquisition strategies, go-to-market strategies, and other ‘growth hacks’ they can use to keep the startup growing and retaining users as quickly as possible.

One of the startups to come through Brandery’s program – and now a part of Disney’s accelerator is ChoreMonster. Chris Bergman, founder and CEO of the company told us that the experience was “incredible” for the company.

We were able to learn from top mentors in the branding space, specifically about what we should do to create a strong brand, how our technology could benefit their agencies, and how brands at Fortune 100 companies operate. I couldn’t imagine our company without the understanding that we gleaned from The Brandery.

Slightly differently, while Brandery and Collider tend to focus on seed stage startups looking to develop their business rapidly for the long-term, The Bakery London exists solely to accelerate ad-tech and marketing startups to a test market within eight weeks.

Its focus is increasing revenues, not scoring investment, its co-founder Alex Dunsdon explained to TNW.

We focus on markets (revenue) not investors (equity)..ie the objective is a trial market not investment in the company. We start with the problem, ie. what the market wants now. Many of the best businesses are able to carve out products that people can test now.

We find the right tech globally against problems. Think of it like flipping the way it normally works – telling the world of tech companies what the market is.

Dunsdon added that it takes very little time to accelerate a technology to trial stage, so the only real reason you’d perhaps want to look elsewhere is if you were looking for investment to get off the ground, rather than looking for a perfect market fit.

All [the companies attracted to our program] have a product and share a desire to scale. The big problem we solve is product / market fit and the ability to use a brands audience to scale.

For other startups, there are reasons to think twice about joining a specific brand’s accelerator program.


For example, if its technology isn’t particularly well aligned with the brand, or because the startup fears that association would jeapordize its independence. It might also make more sense for a startup to enter into an accelerator program based on a specific topic, rather than a specific brand, such as FinTech or health-oriented programs.

The funding aspect of brand accelerators like these are in contrast to the way in which Orange Fab operates: there’s no systematic cash support, although it does provide a convertible note option for interested startups – up to €15,000 in France and $20,000 in the US. Instead, at the end of the program, Orange’s VC division can choose whether or not to invest in the startups.

Douplitzky said that VC affiliates like Iris Capital tend to make minority investments in startups, but that the program launched too recently to provide details on the percentage that receive follow-on funding.

Ultimately, whichever accelerator a startup enters, they generally provide similar benefits on the surface, and an underlying promise of more closely connecting each startup to a brand, whether that’s a single one or mutliple. In some cases they also provide the potential to add legitimacy to startups simply through their association, which is a slightly less tangible benefit.


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Richard Branson on Finding Funding

Richard Branson on Finding Funding | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Editor's Note: Entrepreneur Richard Branson regularly shares his business experience and advice with readers. Ask him a question and your query might be the inspiration for a future column.

Q: I am a social entrepreneur, striving to develop a business in Africa that makes a difference, but my struggle is the same as that of millions of others: finding funding. I come from Denmark, and potential investors always tell me, “The idea is great, but please prove that your business model works first, and then come back.” Should I look abroad for funding instead? -- Christian Høegh-Guldberg Hoff, Nairobi, Kenya

More and more often I hear from people like you, who are in our field for the right reasons. It’s very encouraging to see enterprising social entrepreneurs prove that they want to help people and the planet by doing good business.

It can sometimes be more difficult for social entrepreneurs to secure funding than for those proposing to run purely commercial, profit-driven enterprises. Getting your message across to potential investors can be particularly challenging, since they may assume that because you intend to solve a problem or help people, you must be adopting the nonprofit model.

Your local community is often the best place to start when looking for funding opportunities, but if you can’t find anyone suitable to work with, the logical next step is to broaden your search to the national or even international level. And if you do have the option of bringing in foreign investors, this may be to your advantage in the long run. Your business could gain some important contacts, while their outsider perspectives on your business may offer some interesting insights. When you’re ready to expand the business internationally, the process will be a lot easier if you have contacts already in place.

There are many organizations aside from venture capital funds or banks that socially responsible startups can try in their search for funding. Virgin has been involved in the Dutch Postcode Lottery for years, and last year I chaired its sustainable competition jury, which provides a lot of funding to green businesses. Included in the prize are opportunities to work with a mentor, which are just as important as cash. On a similar theme, I was also on the jury for the $4 million Zayed Future Energy Prize, based in the United Arab Emirates, which encourages entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions “that will meet the challenges of climate change, energy security and the environment.”

Another option might be the Carbon War Room, which Virgin Unite incubated and which helps to accelerate businesses that aim to reduce carbon emissions and advance the low-carbon economy. While the Carbon War Room cannot directly fund businesses, working with them enables entrepreneurs like you to bring their ideas to thought leaders, industry experts and many more potential investors.

Whatever your business idea, if you look long and hard enough, more often than not you’ll be able to find someone with a shared vision who will want to help you on your way. Online communities and forums about issues in your sector can help you to contact those who will be interested in what you’re doing. Such people are all potential investors.

Another great way to generate excitement about your idea and raise funds is through crowdfunding, an option many startups are choosing. Thanks to websites like Kickstarter and EquityNet, it’s now easier than ever before to drum up interest around your new idea or innovation and find small loans and pledges that supply the money you need to take things forward.

There are other benefits to taking the crowdfunding route. Pitching an idea to a room full of investors can be tricky; while preparing a pitch for an online forum is not easy, it does require a different set of skills -- perhaps this is an area where you and your business idea shine. Gaining momentum is also very important: The crowdfunding process may create a buzz about your business as the money begins to roll in. If things go well, you could soon find people from all over the world hoping to buy your product or service --so make sure you’re ready to provide it.

Entrepreneurship isn’t just about selling things -- it’s also about finding ways to make a difference in people’s lives. Setting up a company explicitly to bring about positive change may be challenging, but keep in mind that enterprises that survive and thrive in the long run are ones that have won the trust and respect of their communities. If you build your mission into your business model, it’s likely you’ll lay the foundation for success. Good luck!.



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Incubated: Y Combinator's Approach To Finding And Helping Startups Become Big Winners

Incubated: Y Combinator's Approach To Finding And Helping Startups Become Big Winners | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Y Combinator is the most famous of all startup accelerators out there, thanks to success of companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe, all of which have gone through its program. YC co-founder Paul Graham once referred to the process of finding and nurturing those big hits as “Black Swan Farming.”

But how does YC do it? What sets it apart from some of the other accelerators out there, and why does it seem like its alumni companies are disproportionately successful? With the latest episode of Incubated, we set out to find out.

At first glance, Y Combinator doesn’t look that different from most accelerators in part because it defined the category. Founded in 2005, its success has inspired multiple other programs to copy its 12-week format of weekly meetings, partner office hours, and access to alumni and mentors from the tech world.

But one of the things that sets it apart from other accelerators is just the depth and breadth of knowledge that exists within its network. In part, that stems from running for so long — there are about 1,500 YC alums available to learn from. And many of those alumni end up becoming the first partners or customers for startups in a current class.

While startups are expected to have their own space, Y Combinator companies meet weekly on Tuesdays to catch up, discuss their progress, and learn from famous entrepreneurs who are invited to talk about their own challenges in scaling up their businesses. It also hosts a series of other events, like Y Combinator Startup School, that are open to entrepreneurs who wish to attend.

One other thing that sets it apart is the selection process: YC takes online applications to help screen applicants, but bases its decision mostly on one 10-minute interview with the accelerator’s partners. It looks for founders who have deep domain expertise, and companies that can be big outliers in different technology.

Y Combinator just opened applications for its winter class this week.


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Y Combinator has pioneered this approach and keeps on creating success stories.

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What is a Startup...?: 5 startups that show that the future has already arrived

What is a Startup...?: 5 startups that show that the future has already arrived | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
startups that show that the future has already arrived
Hello all Entrepreneurs! How are you?

Today I have selected 5 startups that make us feel (at least they make me feel...!) like the future has already arrived. Please check them out and feel free to comment below.

***

1- AIRWARE: "Hardware, Software and Cloud Services for Commercial Drones".

I have a personal fascination for drones (wow, we are in 2014 and they are already here!), so everything that has to do with drones calls my attention. Well, this startup doesn't need a lot of explanation, they sell hardware, software and cloud (!) for drones. The age of the flying robots is coming, hey!

2- ZUTA LABS: "Pocket Printer"

You type and the small device prints for you. I loved that and I would one in my purse right now! The format remembers me those child stamps and child paper push that we had in our childhood and that seem to be fashionable until now (or maybe children prefer i-Pads, I can't say)!

3- NEW MATTER: "Simple. Affordable. 3D Printing" - MOD-t

Everybody got very excited with the 3D printers, what was missing was something a-f-f-o-r-d-a-b-l-e. This seems to be New Matter's goal (thanks for that!). The device costs 279 US$ and you can already pre-order that. I found it chic!

4- AIQ SMART CLOTHING:

Wearables, the new "must" in tech. This business has wearables useful for heating, lighting, bio-monitoring, anti-radiation, conductive gloves (those I have... I call them social media gloves because they allow me to blog and post on winter time!). On their website It seems that you have to send a personal email and ask for the product (I didn't find a normal "e-commerce" screen). I want a heating shirt for winter!

5- EKSOBIONICS: exoskeleton

The first image from the homepage can speak alone. Super exoskeleton technology made for people with some forms of paralysis. Absolutely amazing. I think that the medical sector has thousands, if not millions, of possibilities in terms of innovations, new technologies, new facilities, new ways to perform the same activity with less pain, less wait, less nuisance and thus helping many people.

***

It's in the hands of the entrepreneurs - brave explorers - to bring to the present what our imagination sometimes puts in a distant future...!

I would like to remember all of you that the technology giants of our time (Google, Amazon, Microsoft) are also developing amazing and world changing technologies (such as Amazon's dronesGoogle's self-driven car etc), but the main goal here is to focus on Startups.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Luiza S. Rezende, Edouard Estour
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Need ideas for startups? Yes indeed, the future is here.

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Luiza S. Rezende's curator insight, August 22, 5:14 AM

I love thinking about the future... Don't miss these 5 startups!

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Top 3 Tips To Cut Your Startup Expenses

Top 3 Tips To Cut Your Startup Expenses | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Never Spend Your Money Before You Have Earned It
I think the most wonderful thing that I started thinking when I started up or which I keep hearing from startups who are in the seed stages isI need funds to spend.

What I learned instead which I now keep telling the startup founders is

Earn money and push it back into your venture, Save, Repeat

An age old saying of money saved is money earned is not wrong. I feel many startups fail to understand that finding smart ways to save money and work is always a better option specially when you are bootstrapped or still better when you have acquired funding.

I threw open this question in Startup Specialist Group on LinkedIn.

What are the 3 tips to cut startup expenses

An amazing entrepreneur Peter Johnston says in the discussion thread:

Generally startups don't need anything near the costs most people allocate to them.
Ask yourself what the funding is for. Do you really need it?
Take the biggest expense and ask "why is it so high"?

You'll almost certainly find you can reduce it by 50%.
It isn't the largest any more.

Next week do the same exercise on what is now the largest.
In a few weeks you have your costs down to manageable levels.

So here are the list of top 3 tips that can help startups to cut their costs:

  1. Rework the expenses. Calculate them again and ask yourself why are the expenses so high, rework them again and try working with your team if you can reduce them by a sizeable margin. Ask this question "Whether you really need that cost " Why Do you need that cost now ? As Peter Johnston says in the thread " You'll know by your pre-orders how many to make - indeed you'll probably have funded production
  2. Hire Human Capital When The Product Market Fit is Validated. Dont jump the gun in hiring human capital even if you have funds. Test the market, customers, TA even if you have funds in place and when the market is established get the critical manpower in place to get into the market.
  3. Outsource & Prioritize : Besides the critical functions focus on your core competence functions. If you are tech guy and and you need HR or legal support, get a cloud HR software to run your system or a legal attorney to create your legal formalities instead of hiring these manpower on rolls. Focus on building your MVP and going to the right customers and getting revenues asap.

What are your thoughts and insights on the same ?

Are there some other critical tips that can help startups ?

I invite you to share your thoughts and feel free to share this thread with someone who may share insights or for whom this thread could be useful.

Bon Voyage.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

That's how to do it. Don't think that the big money will create and fund your startup. Your product will eventually have to pay for all of the expenses.

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Change Impetus's curator insight, August 19, 3:27 PM

I agree 100%

 

Developing the MVP doesn't mean "build the app" and hire developers. Get a mock up and find out what it might cost if a customer were to sign up in the near future.

 

Don't hire a tech wizard, there are cloud based tools that can be utilized until scale or a specialized feature/ function requirement surfaces.

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The Entrepreneur Handbook: 120 Awesome Resources for Every Entrepreneur | Alltopstartups.com

The Entrepreneur Handbook: 120 Awesome Resources for Every Entrepreneur | Alltopstartups.com | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Whether you are starting a new business or scaling your business to new heights, these are some of the most useful entrepreneur resources you will ever need.

ByThomas Oppong. Published on May 6, 2014.

Whether you are starting a new business or scaling your business to new heights, these are some of the most useful  entrepreneur resources you will ever need. My hope is that this post will be a great resource list for all your entrepreneurial needs. This is a huge list of blogs, tools and general resources I think could be useful for every entrepreneur.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Great business blogs and resource sites

1. Inc. Start-up – Advice for founders of start-ups and start-up entrepreneurs on writing a business plan, running a home-based business, naming a start-up business, how to incorporate, financing a start-up, buying a small business, and starting a franchise.

2. OnStartups – Run by HubSpot cofounder Dharmesh Shah, On Startups offers advice and insights for entrepreneurs.

3. For Entrepreneurs—A blog for startups and entrepreneurs, written by David Skok, a five time serial entrepreneur turned VC (now at Matrix. Partners)

4. Startup Lawyer — Ryan Roberts’Startup Lawyer breaks down the legal issues of startups.

5. Mashable on Small Business – Essential business advice for starting and growing small businesses.

6. About.com for Entrepreneurs – Help and advice for going from the idea stage to business plan to the marketplace and beyond.

7. Mixergy – Successful CEOs share their experiences with the masses.

8. Small Business Administration. Find information, links and resources to help you start and grow your business, including SBA-guaranteed loans.

9.  Accounting Coach – Accounting coach will introduce you to some basic accounting principles, accounting concepts, and accounting terminology.

10. NYT Small Business – Find breaking news & money news on mortgage rates, mutual funds, the stock market, bonds & notes, company research, earnings reports and market insight.

11. Chris Dixon — A General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. He is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch.  A seed investor turned VC, Dixon takes a macro view, considering industry-wide trends.

12. Quora (Startup Founders and Entrepreneurs page) — Quora’s question-answering website has some fantastic responses from establish entrepreneurs and investors for entrepreneurs.

13. Wall Street Journal’s Small Business How To Guide – WSJ small business guide covering how to start, fund, run and manage your small business.

14.  Forbes on Entrepreneurs — Forbes entrepreneur section, specifically on how entrepreneurs are running businesses and advice from entrepreneurs.

15. First Round Review — A compilation of startup-centric content. Case studies on the experiences of individual entrepreneurs and companies.

16. The Funded – An online community of entrepreneurs to research, rate, and review funding sources worldwide.

17. Paul Graham – Super awesome timeless essays about venture capital and entrepreneurship.

18. Springwise – Your essential fix of entrepreneurial ideas.

19.  Big Think – Blogs, articles and videos from the world’s top leaders and thinkers.

20. PSFK – A go-to source for ideas and inspiration.

21. StartupDigest - Free weekly email to help you meet people and learn more.

22. The Startup Toolkit – Tools and guidance for all startup founders.

23. Both Sides of The Table – Upfront Ventures partner Mark Suster’s blog runs the gamut from sales strategies to fundraising and startup culture.

24.  Chic-ceo – Slick site for women with the entrepreneur bug, but its downloadable tools makes this a must-visit for all.

25. How-to Guides on Entrepreneur.com — How-to resources for kick starting  your new business.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Tools and apps exclusively for startups

Use these startups resources (mostly free) to launch your idea, gather feedback and grow your new business. Whether you are wondering about how to put your idea out there, how to make a good presentation or learn from the best you will find some of these resources useful.

1.GroupTalent – Top teams of developers and designers, on-demand.

2. Docstoc – Discover the best professional documents and content resources to help start and grow your business

3.  CustomerSure – Simple, web-based customer feedback software.

4. Crowdvi.be – Get instant answers from over 50 million people.

5.  AYTM (Ask Your Target Market) – Market research has never been this easy.

6.  Term Sheet Generator – Generate a venture financing term sheet.

7.  Cofounda - App platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors.

8.  Feedbackify – Simple, private website feedback.

9.  Appfigures – mobile analytics and sales data.

10. Mopapp – mobile analytics, sales data, rankings.

11.  UserTesting.com – Low-cost website usability testing.

12.  Prezi - The zooming presentation editor.

13.  CircleUp - Like AngelList with a crowdfunding twist.

14.  AngelList - A platform for startups. Standardizing the pitch deck.

15.  Idea Flight - Get your ideas off the ground.

16.  CapLinked - Making private investment easy, secure and social.

17.  Go BIG Network – Helps entrepreneurs find funding.

18.  Intern Avenue - Find interns. Intern directory.

19.  A VC – Musings of a VC in NYC.

20.  Startup Weekend - Global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs.

21.  LiquidSpace - Airbnb for workspaces. Book last minute or plan ahead.

22.  OpenDesks – Find and share places to meet and work.

23.  Founders Den - Invite-only shared workspace and private club in SoMa neighborhood.

24.  TechHub – A physical space for tech startups in London.

25.  Prosper–  Prosper can help you get the seed funding you need to launch your own online business.

26.  Unbounce – Easy landing page creator and tester.

27.  Mobile Roadie - Full CMS, no coding app builder for iOS and Android.

28.  Chupa - The marketplace for buying/selling mobile app components.

29.  Grow VC - Get visibility with the right investing audience.

30. Appbackr - Crowdfunding for mobile apps.

31.  LaunchRock - Setup a “Launching Soon” page in minutes.

32.  LegalZoom: An inexpensive, fast, and easy to use online legal document service that can help you file the appropriate paperwork for your startup.

33.  VCgate - Venture capital firms, angel investors and private equity firms directory.

34.  Envestors - Pay-to-pitch investor network.

35.  Startup Compass - Benchmark your startup’s KPIs against more than 10k internet startups.

36.  Startup Tools-Complete list of startup tools by Steve Blank

37. KickoffLabs – Find new customers with a viral landing page in less than 60 seconds.

38. RocketHub - Launch, fund and fly.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Mobile app development tools

These are some of the best mobile app development resources out there that guarantees stunning app for mobile devices.  These tools offer drag-and-drop interfaces, fast and easy mobile prototyping with support for designing some of the best Android, iOS and Windows mobile apps.

1. Ooomf – Create a beautiful landing page for your iPhone app in minutes.

2. Appcelerator – Mobile app platform for building on Android, iOS and mobile web.

3. GameSalad Creator – Create, test and publish your own game. Drag and drop.

4.  Parse – Add a powerful and scalable backend to your app in minutes.

5.  Mobile Roadie - Full CMS, no coding app builder for iOS and Android.

6.  Proto.io – Silly-fast mobile prototyping.

7.  StackOverflow - Question and answer site for programmers.

8.  Kendo UI Mobile – Build HTML5 apps that look native on any device.

9.  Tiggzi – Cloud-based mobile app builder.

10. Verious - A mobile app component marketplace.

11. justinmind – Rich interactive wireframes to define mobile apps.

12. UXPin – User experience design tools for professionals.

13. Chupa – The marketplace for buying/selling mobile app components.

14. Distimo - Providing valuable insight into the app store marketplace.

15. App Annie - App store analytics and market intelligence.

16. Kontagent - User analytics for the mobile web.

17. Applingua - iOS app localization (translation) service.

18. AppMakr – Point and click solution for building rich content based apps.

19. Flurry - Analytics, traffic acquisition and monetization.

20. Crittercism – Gives you real-time, actionable crash reports for mobile apps.

21. PhoneGap - Easily create apps using well known web technologies.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Incubators & Accelerators

Incubators and accelerators can be a great option for any young company or even idea to get off the ground. These programs offer everything from funding, connections with top investors and mentors and collaborative work environments.

1. Y Combinator – Has funded over 380 startups (3 months).

2. TechStars - Mentorship-driven seed-stage investment program (3 months).

3. The Brandery - Accelerating startups by building powerful brands (14 weeks).

4. KickLabs – Ready to start acquiring customers? (3-6 months).

5. i/o Ventures – Early-stage startup program focused on mentorship (3 months).

6. Capital Factory – Entrepreneurs like entrepreneurs (10 weeks).

7. NYC SeedStart – Focused on advertising, ecommerce, digital and mobile (12 weeks).

8. Tech Wildcatters – Mentor-driven and led by entrepreneurs (12 weeks).

9. Seedcamp - Early stage mentoring and investment program (1 year).

10. Excelerate Labs – Amazing mentors, Chicago resources, high-profile demo (3 months).

11. Springboard - Mentorship-led accelerator program (13 weeks).

12. Dreamit Ventures – Helping build great companies.

13. The ARK – Mentorship-driven tech startup accelerator (3 months).

14. Betaspring – Mentorship-driven accelerator focused on tech and design (12 weeks).

15. InnoSpring - Start in Silicon Valley, grow in the US and China.

16. BizSpark - Microsoft accelerator for Windows Azure (3 months).

15. Media Camp - Startup academy camp for media innovations (12 weeks).

18. Founder Institute - Helping founders to build great companies (4 weeks).

19. AlphaLab – Funding, mentorship, education and more (20 weeks).

20. 500 Startups –Provides early-stage companies with up to $250K in funding.

21. Startup Chile –Apply from anywhere in the world, start in Chile. $40k grant per project (24 weeks).

22. MEST – Entrepreneurial program designed to foster the growth of tech companies in Africa (24 weeks).



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Crowdfunding resources

If you can’t find funding from angels, how about seeking help from the crowd.

1. Seedrs - Equity-based crowdfunding platform.

2. Crowdfunder - Equity crowdfunding for your business.

3. CircleUp - Like AngelList with a crowdfunding twist.

4. Grow VC - Get visibility with the right investing audience.

5. appbackr - Crowdfunding for mobile apps.

6. Kickstarter - World’s largest funding platform for creative projects.

7. Indiegogo - Fund your passion.

8. Crowdtilt - Group fund anything.

9. Invested.in - Raise money, reach goals, build community.

10. Funding Circle - Online marketplace where people lend to businesses.

11. Sponsume - Fund your project through social networks.

12. RocketHub - Launch, fund and fly.

13. SellAnApp - Make app ideas happen.

14. Petridish - Crowdfunding for science startups.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Via marcduke
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great set of resources. Use them.

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Rhonda Hunter's curator insight, August 21, 4:21 PM

In need of customized services, check out LEGG Lincoln Entrepreneur Growth Group at www.lincolneda.org under the Entrepreneur tab.  While you are there don't forget to check out "Tools for Business" it is a wealth of local Lincoln County information that will help you start or grow your business.

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How to start a startup?

How to start a startup? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

"Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it." (Sam Ewing) 

Why startup?

Not every new business is a startup. A newly opened café isn’t a startup, at least we don’t call it that way. Startups are usually dynamically developing companies all over the world with a high growth potential. Many think that mostly internet-related or technological developments fill this category, though there are innovative businesses working in the field of education, biotechnology, robotics, fashion, environmental management, energetics, renewable energy, green technologies, and manufacturing and packaging technologies too.

According to the basic definition, it’s a quickly developing business, based on a
good idea, usually younger than two years, in which the main value is represented by the innovative approach, the big idea or the technological innovation.

The innovation strategy planned until 2020 is separately dealing with the startups and the startup ecosystem growing from them, since the quickly growing starting businesses will be a significant part of the future’s economy.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




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Via Tamás Turcsán
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

What makes you a start up? This brief article provides a good definition.

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3 Things You Can Change to Go From Startup to Grown Up

3 Things You Can Change to Go From Startup to Grown Up | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

There are few things in life as rewarding as creating a business out of nothing. If you have any love of enterprise, it is hard not to be enamored with the excitement around tech startups.

It would be nice to see a few more startups stick around, so here are my three suggestions for how you can significantly improve your chances of success. Not asking much!

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great article. Stop defining yourself in a limiting way. Create value, make a great company. I would say: must-read for every 'start up'!

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9 Ways Virtual Reality Will Affect the Startup Scene

9 Ways Virtual Reality Will Affect the Startup Scene | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

t sounds like science fiction, but virtual reality technology is taking off. Not even the sky’s the limit for imagining what could be done with this technology. Just ask Google I/O 2014 attendees and their cardboard VR systems.With applications ranging across the board, the potential for startups to capitalize is huge. With this in mind, I asked 12 entrepreneurs from YEC the following question:Facebook recently acquired Oculus VR. Practically speaking, how do you think that virtual reality technology will affect the startup space in the next five years?Here are the responses:

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Sci-fi is becoming reality quickly. More and more amazing new stuff is being developed.

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GoPro founder Nick Woodman: The fabulous life and career of a surfer-turned-billionaire

GoPro founder Nick Woodman: The fabulous life and career of a surfer-turned-billionaire | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Nicholas Woodman, 38, is a self-made billionaire.

He created Woodman Labs, the maker of GoPro cameras, in 2002. Now the company has more than 500 employees and it generated US$986 million in 2013.

It started trading on public markets on Thursday. It’s currently valued at US$2.6 billion.

Woodman married his college sweetheart and has two children. He’s also an adrenaline junkie.

Here’s the fabulous life and career of Woodman, the surfer-dude-turned-billionaire.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




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Via Justin Jones
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Fabulous story. Want to be there too? Act, draw up your business plan and start your own company.

Growing too fast? Get some funding.

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com has a lot of ideas.

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6 Crucial Steps for Making Sure Your Startup Succeeds - iMedia Connection (blog)

6 Crucial Steps for Making Sure Your Startup Succeeds - iMedia Connection (blog) | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Launching a startup takes a great deal of courage. Some initially successful entrepreneurs don’t fully grasp the proper strategies for sustaining their efforts.

Startup success depends on taking risks, having faith, and being patient and persistent. Without these qualities, the smartest businessman will be unable to sustain the enterprise.

Personal resilience is a large part of the equation, certainly, but startups also require calculated business moves to ensure long-term success. If you follow the six guidelines below, you’ll have a better shot at achieving long-term success.

1. Set goals

To endure the inevitable growing pains that will occur if your startup manages to last beyond a successful launch, you have to set both short- and long-term goals. Every business needs to dream big, but it must also pay attention to the details and identify the practical steps necessary to reach more elaborate goals.

Some long-term goals would be extremely practical, however. When Adventure Life’s founder, Brian Morgan, started his business in 1998, he spent a total of $45,000 on advertising in 1999-2000.

Many people might find this too big a risk, but by 2008 Morgan’s company was bringing in $11 million in revenue. His short-term choices led to a long-term achievement.

2. Invest in business consulting

One of the smartest things a new startup can do is spend a little money on business consulting.

According to CSG International, a combination of innovation, goal setting, and balancing of resources is important to realize growth.

Since business is constantly evolving, you can find it a challenge to stay up to date on the latest trends in technology, marketing, content strategies, and more. Startups need to know how to utilize every dollar their company starts with and generates to create some form of return on investment.

Learning how to match technology with practical business strategies will lead to more success across multiple channels. Expanding this area of your business will open unexpected doors to special niche markets that are possibly unnoticed and untouched by competitors.

Finding your unique role can be a big part of success, and a sharp business consultant can help you uncover new areas of potential.

3. Don’t be afraid of unconventional strategies

Don’t get in the habit of making up excuses. Businessmen and women who are afraid to take risks won’t achieve much.

Risk-taking is a part of any thriving business, and learning to trust your instincts and move away from traditional business models will set you apart from your competition.

Apple’s founder Steve Jobs once said: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way that I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” Jobs’s work is a testament to the practice of taking risks.

From the company’s launch to becoming a competitive cell phone provider, Apple has constantly taken alternative routes to place itself at least two steps ahead of the competition.

4. Fill in where competitors don’t

Watch how your competitors operate and observe the more established members of your industry closely to discern the places where they might not be meeting all needs and expectations. Identify their weak spots, and learn how to focus your business on addressing those neglected areas.

This demonstrates your value to the consumers, and they will recognize your effort to offer an alternative to traditional providers.

5. Keep changing

The business arena never stops transforming. Especially given the large role technology plays, companies have to think quickly to keep up with trends, new competitors, and new markets.

Startups play a unique role because they often threaten to destabilize the norms of the existing industry. Capitalize on this! Watch trends and stay current, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

6. Work toward growth

Growth doesn’t happen automatically. It requires discipline, consistency, and persistent efforts to sustain performance by a startup.

Think about the essential elements required to propel your startup toward its goals, and develop practical strategies for obtaining the growth you desire. Pinpoint which type of people you need to hire, which functions are most vital for success, and how you can cultivate a sustainable business model.

With enough creativity, determination, and courage, any startup can grow into an established industry member. Building a well-oiled machine takes time and risks, but the right balance of non-traditional business ideas combined with practical tactics of execution can evolve a powerful business force ready to withstand any competition.


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Via Raj Nadar
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Get your startup up and running before applying for funding. It'll be much more likely to catch the investors' eyes.

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How quitting my corporate job for my startup dream f*cked my life up

How quitting my corporate job for my startup dream f*cked my life up | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Finally the SMS arrived:

“Tomorrow morning 5am, flight number AZ610 from Rome to NewYork.”

An SMS hitting my BlackBerry on Sunday evenings used to decide my destination and client for the coming week.

I was working for one of the top three global strategy consulting firms.

A life packed in a suitcase. A consulting life where you miss out on everything and everyone in life, except Excel spreadsheets. A fancy business life we are taught to be ideal slaves of, at top business schools whose degrees we are proud to hold.

After few hours of sleep, the private driver was taking me to the Rome Fiumicino airport so I could take my fancy business-class flight to NYC. Upon arrival, I was checking in to a fancy five-star hotel and heading to my client’s office afterwards.

The salary? It was fancy, too. The company was proud to be among the top payers of the industry.

Parents

There was something wrong with this consulting life, though. I couldn’t stand this bullsh*t any longer and one day I called my parents:

“Dad, mom, I just quit my job. I want to start my own startup.”

My mom almost had a heart attack. It wasn’t the first thing a perfectionist mother wanted to hear after encouraging me to graduate from the world’s top business schools with top grades.

I tried to ease her distress. No chance.

“Mom, I hate it. All these consultants are pretending to be happy and they are taking happiness pills. I get to sleep only 3–4 hours a day. All those benefits the company promised don’t exist. Remember the fancy five-star hotel? I am working almost 20 hours a day and I don’t even enjoy it. Fancy breakfast? We never have time to have that. Fancy lunch, dinner? It’s just a sandwich in front of our Excel spreadsheets.


Oh, by the way, instead of enjoying a champagne, I stare at spreadsheets during my entire business class flights, too. The fancy salary? I never have time to spend a single penny of it.

I hate my life, Mom, it’s such a loser life. I don’t even see my girlfriend. I can’t fake it anymore. I want to start my own business.”


My parents had retired after years of a 9–5 working routine at their secure and boring government jobs.

I knew that coming from a family with no entrepreneurial background, it would be difficult to explain my situation to them, but I didn’t expect the call next morning.

It was my mom on the phone:

“Sooooooooo, how is your business doing?! Is it growing?!”

No matter what I said, I couldn’t explain to her that a business needs more than one day to grow.

Girlfriend, Friends & Social Circle

Having had the most supportive girlfriend ever, it was now time I shared the news with my friends who were busy climbing the fancy career steps in the fancy corporate world.

I told everyone that I just quit my job to follow my startup dream. Some of my friends gradually stopped seeing me, probably because they thought there was something wrong with me since it was the second “fancy” job I had quit in a short period of time.

While the rest of my friends were supportive, there was, however, still something wrong with my relationship with them:

I soon realized I was starting to pull myself away from social gatherings.


Every time I met with those friends, I didn’t have many updates to give them in response to their repeated questions, such as, “So, how is your startup going? You are going to be the next Zuckerberg, right?” “Oh man, we are so proud of you and we are so sure you will soon receive a huge round of investment.”

Doing a startup was a long journey and I was putting myself under so much pressure by giving such a f*ck about what other people think.

Day by day, I was getting lonelier and more depressive as I avoided social occasions. My startup progress was not as fast as my social circle imagined it to be and I was fed up with telling people it took years for startups like Facebook and Twitter to arrive at where they are now.

The only comfortable place was next to my few entrepreneur friends. It was true, only an entrepreneur could understand an entrepreneur.

Cash, cash, cash.

As if the social pressure and loneliness were not enough, I was meeting the mother of all stresses: running out of cash much faster than I had imagined.

This was killing my productivity and ability to make proper decisions. I was panicking and rushing to be successful and to make money.

One day, I even found myself asking my girlfriend for a few cents because I had no money to buy bottled water. I didn’t know it was just the beginning of such a difficult life full of ups and downs…


Today.

Enough with the drama: more than two years have passed since those days. I am now writing this blog post in a beautiful resort in Phuket, Thailand, while enjoying my mojito.



Wait, I am not selling a dream. No, I haven’t become a millionaire startup founder.

However, my business has a constant stream of cash that allows me to travel the world and to work from wherever there is WiFi.

There are, however, five things I wish I had asked myself before starting this painful journey. Five questions I believe every future entrepreneur should ask himself before taking the first step to entrepreneurship:

1. Are you ready for the social pressure?

If you have friends and family who are not entrepreneurs, they won’t truly understand what you are trying to achieve and the public pressure will be even higher.

I cared so much about what other people think of me– so much that it ruined my life.

I was so hard on myself and punished myself with even more work so I could announce my success as soon as possible. That is, until the day I realized no one gave a f*ck about me, so why would I?

You are no more than a few seconds of attention other people give to a Facebook status. In 2014, no one has time to care about others in such a crowded, noisy world.

If you care so much about what others think, you will waste your time trying to prove that you are successful instead of focusing on your startup.

Get a life. I got mine quite late.

2. Are you single or do you have an extremely supportive partner?

As we grow up, we share more of our life with our partners than with our friends or family. While I was lucky to have such an amazing girl, it was so sad to see many of my entrepreneur friends breaking up with their girlfriends along the way.

Doing your own business is tough – way tougher than I could have ever imagined. Your mind is constantly f*cked up with a million things going on inside and no other person, including your girlfriend, has a single clue what is going on in there.

If you are not single, make sure your partner understands it’s sometimes normal not to have a mindset even for a simple kiss.

Yes, for a simple proper French kiss.

3. Do you have enough cash to last at least a year?

Good, then multiply that amount at least by three because you will be running out of your savings way faster than you ever imagined. Along the way, there will be so many hidden costs, accountant fees, lawyer needs, broken iPhones or PCs, etc.

Get ready for a smaller apartment, smaller food portions, or counting your cents, which you never cared about in your life previously.

The last few months before you totally run out of your cash will be especially difficult and the pressure will grow so exponentially that you won’t be able to sleep properly.

Success will come slowly, and cash will burn fast. Be smart – plan from day one.

4. Are you ready to sleep only few hours a day?

Having escaped from the corporate consulting world, I was thinking I was finally going to live the dream by working whenever I wanted to work – until I read Lori Greiner’s following quote:

“Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.”



It all started by little wake-ups in the middle of the night. At the beginning, it was because I was too excited about my ideas and I had so many of them. I simply couldn’t wait for the morning to arrive so that I could start working again.

Then came the exaggeration phase. I was working too much because I never had enough of working for my idea and I wanted to do more. However, the more I worked and the later I went to bed, the more difficult it was to fall asleep and the lower the quality of my sleep became.

As a result, at least two or three days of every week I was having days with almost no productivity.

Don’t be fooled by my fancy Instagram picture above. Don’t be fooled by over-hyped funding news about startup founders becoming millionaires.

The stories behind the scenes have so many painful days, sleepless nights, and continuous rejections and failures.

The journey to success is long. Very long. Very often, too long.

5. How do you define success?

Each of us has a different priority list in life. For most people, money is the number one priority on the list, while work-life balance ranks higher for others. Consequently, people define success differently.

Depending on your definition of success, the difficulty of your entrepreneurial journey will differ, too. If money and public success are what matters to you the most, you are likely to have a hard time along your journey.

Remember Hemingway’s wise words:

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

Successful entrepreneurs are not necessarily those who raise millions of investment rounds. Don’t forget, they are one in a million.

There are, however, thousands of dreamers out there who manage to bootstrap their startups or live so well off on their own, but even they do not make it to the top of tech news.

No matter how much your journey f*cks up your life or how difficult it will be, enjoy the ride and keep following your passion. As Tony Gaskin puts it perfectly:

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.”



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Here is a fun article with some wise conclusions. Valuable warnings before starting the 'startup' life.

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Rise of Female Angel Investors Fuels Women-Run Companies

Rise of Female Angel Investors Fuels Women-Run Companies | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Women make up about 20 percent of both the entrepreneurs and investors involved in angel investment deals, up from single digits a decade ago

In 2009, when Amy Norman and Stella Ma started pitching investors on their San Francisco-based startup, Little Passports, both had young children and Norman was pregnant. The overwhelming majority of the investors they met with were men who wanted to know “if we were running this as a ‘lifestyle company,’” Ma recalls. Investors passed and word got around Silicon Valley that “there’s no way women like this could grow a company fast enough” to satisfy venture capitalists, Norman says.

Yet grow it did, to $5 million in revenue five years later. Norman and Ma eventually raised nearly $2 million for their education business, which sells monthly subscription packages to help kids learn about geography. Much of the funding came from a female investor group that saw in the idea potential that eluded many men.

With ‘brogrammer’ culture spreading through the male-dominated world of tech, Little Passports’ experience reflects a contrasting trend: Women are running an increasing number of America’s startups, and they make up a growing share of the angel investors funding them. Today women make up about 20 percent of both the entrepreneurs and investors involved in angel deals, up from single-digits a decade ago, according to the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research (PDF).
 

Women made up 23 percent of all entrepreneurs seeking angel capital in 2013, up from 9 percent in 2005. There were fewer than 20,000 female angel investors in 2005, but that number increased to nearly 58,000 by last year.

The group that funded Little Passports, Golden Seeds, was founded nine years ago, making it an early female investor group. Managing director Jo Ann Corkran says the group has 300 investors, 72 percent of them women. They are committed to investing in companies that have in top executive positions at least one woman who holds significant equity and decision-making power.

All together, members from chapters in New York, Boston, Silicon Valley, and Texas have invested $50 million in 61 companies, Corkran says. The group also holds regular open office hours, giving company founders a chance to meet informally with experienced investors.

There’s no mystery about why women are underrepresented in the investor community, Corkran says. “If you make 77¢ on the dollar and you compound that over a lifetime, you end up with women having a lot less free cash flow.” Corkran is aware of the perception that women aren’t as comfortable with risk, but she doesn’t buy it. “They are as thoughtful and as willing to take a knowledgeable, considered risk as anybody else,” she says.

Natalia Oberti Noguera, founder and chief executive of Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing boot camp for women, agrees. Since its April 2011 launch, her program has trained more than 80 women, who have committed over $400,000 in investment. Having started in New York, the group has expanded to Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.

The idea came about after Oberti Noguera attended a gathering of nearly two dozen investors as one of two women in the room. “These people were deciding whether or not to invest and they went around the room saying, ‘Well, my wife and her friends say this,’ or ‘My girlfriend says that.’ I realized then and there that women do not have a seat at the table.”

A Silicon Valley pitch-fest at which her all-female team presented to an all-male investor panel provided a further vivid lesson. “We were told, ‘The fact that you’re an all-woman team is too distracting.’ I came out of that realizing that we weren’t taken seriously,” she says.

If women are becoming increasingly influential as angel investors, however, they still have a way to go in the venture capital world. Alyse Killeen is an associate at March Capital Partners in Los Angeles, specializing in the fields of health and life science. Last year, she founded a networking and professional development group called Women In Venture. The group has about 18 members, but only two—herself and one other woman—currently hold jobs at venture capital firms.

The group’s goal is to provide encouragement and professional development that will help keep women in the field and advance them. Women now make up just 4 percent of venture capital partners. “We want to make it at least 20 percent women,” Killeen says.

She feels that along with her efforts, entrepreneurs themselves are pushing advancement for women. Both male and female founders are actively looking for diversity in their investment teams and on their boards and management teams, she says.

“We have had a few competitive deals come in because entrepreneurs who could have chosen from between 20 to 30 firms chose us because they wanted to work with a woman investor. It’s like, ‘Listen, all of our engineers look essentially the same, but we believe you can help us recruit women, and that will give us an edge,’” Kileen says.

Oberti Noguera is also hopeful, but says she won’t back off any time soon. “I tell people, don’t complain,” she says. “Just raise awareness of the issues and disrupt within the system, while creating our own systems. That’s the way we’re going to make progress.”



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Women bring a whole new perspective in funding. They work with different kinds of startups and bring in different criteria, balancing out the male dominated world of funding.

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Deliver a Great Business Pitch with These 5 Tips

Deliver a Great Business Pitch with These 5 Tips | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Need some tips to improve your elevator pitch? Hopefully these expert suggestions will point you in the right direction.

1. Know your audience and how much time you’ll have

Make every pitch specific to the person or group you are speaking to. Highlight how your business will match their needs and interests.
It’s also crucial to know how much time you will have to deliver your pitch. Here are some guidelines for what should be included in different pitch lengths: – A 30-second pitch should convey enough information to grab their attention.

  • A two-minute pitch peaks their interest and tells a longer story.
  • A five-minute pitch gives a rough outline of your business idea and implementation.
  • An hour-long pitch gets into the finer details of your business concept and team.
2. Keep it simple, stupid

The widely hailed acronym K.I.S.S. (“keep it simple, stupid,” not the band) is a great motto to follow when you’re drafting business pitches. Don’t get technical or go on tangents: it’s critical to keep on point or else you’ll bore your audience.
If you can address the following elements in 30 seconds, you’re well on your way!

  • In two sentences, describe the problem that exists and the solution you’re proposing.
  • Next, explain your business’s potential for growth, and why you are the one to lead it.
3. Tell a story

It’s essential to weave a story into your pitch, no matter the length. People, even numbers-oriented business folks, connect to stories more than facts and figures. The art of writing a great pitch is telling a captivating story while sprinkling in relevant data.
As the late Maya Angelou famously said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Stories make an emotional imprint: they’re crucial to your pitch.

4. Know your metrics

That being said, you must demonstrate that you understand the metrics of your business and market to convince anyone to support your venture. Here are some metrics you should have an expert understanding of before drafting a pitch:

  • Give best, moderate, and worse case financial scenarios.
  • Be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-related) with your budget goals.
  • Describe your competition and explain how your idea is different and advantageous.
5. Listen to the questions you receive after the pitch

Make sure to write down the questions you receive after your pitch. Usually these questions ask for clarification on something that was not well understood during the presentation. If you make sure to revise your pitch to make these points easier to comprehend, you will get fewer questions after your next presentation and your audience will probably be more excited by your ideas. Score!


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Good tips for a good pitch.

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5 Ways for Bootstrapped Startups to Get Through the First Year - Entrepreneur (blog)

5 Ways for Bootstrapped Startups to Get Through the First Year - Entrepreneur (blog) | Pitch it! | Scoop.it


In the eyes of an investor, a bootstrapped startup that has proven stable and successful within the first year is powerful.


 It not only raises confidence in the product and the leadership behind it, but also indicates that any invested money will likely not be thrown away.

Ultimately, when it comes to working with investors, it’s important to prove that a startup and the people behind it not only know how to spend money, but know how to bring in additional money.

To successfully bootstrap a company in its first year, it’s important to consider a few things:

1. Cut the nonessentials and focus on immediate needs. There is nothing more important to startup success than the talent that makes it all possible. Avoid any unnecessary expenses, such as office overhead or “frills,” to free up money to invest in better talent.

Virtual offices will allow team members to work together from anywhere in the world and are extremely cost-effective. Ultimately, cutting costs wherever possible will more likely enable worthwhile investment in a larger team, which will be the catalyst to growth for the company.

2. Focus on two types of talent: engineering and marketing. An innovative and savvy engineer knows the ins and outs of mobile apps and understands what users truly want and need. An intelligent and driven marketing professional understands the market and how to reach the desired target audience.

With these two power talents working side by side, any product has a good chance to be successful.

3. Don’t cut corners. Investors need to know the business and its leadership are stable and legit, so do everything by the book. Once they get involved, investors will want to see paperwork, as well as profits and losses and balance sheet reports right off the bat. This should be a priority from day one.

Find an accountant and purchase good accounting software to ensure that records are clear and corners are not cut. This will also allow for extra time to tend to other important matters within the startup.

4. Cover the legalities before it’s too late. It’s critical to ensure the product or app is covered and that there are no loopholes that would allow someone to steal its name or intellectual property once it takes off.

During the planning phases, when speaking to potential investors, partners, or developers, it’s also wise to use a confidentiality agreement to ensure everything stays within the four walls. Additionally, copyright any sketches, mockups or documentation of the product during development stages.

5. Utilize freelance consultants. Skilled freelance consultants offer additional niche talent only when it’s needed. Build and keep a solid list of trusted and intelligent freelancers who can be utilized when the time is right. With the extra cash flow freelancers provide, startups have more ability to hire the best full-time staff needed for success.

It’s no secret that the first year for a bootstrapped startup will have many highs and lows. Despite the uncertainty and exhilaration that comes with those highs and lows, it’s important to stay focused on what’s needed to get to the next step.

Eventually, those steps will likely lead to talking with investors to get the startup to the next level. Cutting no corners from the very first day, bringing on the best talent and preparing for failure and success will prove to an investor that the product and those behind it have what it takes to succeed.



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This Guy Is Launching 12 Startups in 12 Months | Business | WIRED

This Guy Is Launching 12 Startups in 12 Months | Business | WIRED | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Can’t get enough of that animated GIF where Oprah unleashes a swarm of bees on her studio audience? Or the one where some guy gets hit in the face by a trashcan? You’re in luck. Soon, a new startup called Gifbook will sell you some flip books that recreate your favorite animated GIFs, so that you can enjoy them even when away from your computer. Three books will set you back just $25.

That may sound like a gag from Silicon Valley, the spot-on TV parody of the tech world, but Gifbook is a honest-to-goodness internet service. It was founded by Pieter Levels—a 28-year-old Dutch programmer, designer, and entrepreneur—and it’s just one of several unexpected online services Levels has unleashed on the world.

Levels is on a quest to launch 12 “startups” in just 12 months, and he’s a third of the way home now. One, called Play My Inbox, gathers all the music it finds in your e-mail inbox into a single playlist. Another, called Go Fucking Do It, gives you a new way to set personal goals. Basically, if you don’t reach your goal, you have to cough up some cash to Levels. Gifbook, due to launch by the end of the month, is his fifth creation.

Levels represents everything that’s right about the state of the technology industry—or everything that’s wrong.

Launching one product a month would be a major endeavor for anyone, but Levels has ramped up the degree of difficulty. For one, he’s building all this stuff while traveling the world. He has no fixed address. Instead, he lives out of a single backpack and works from coffee shops and co-working spaces. And two, each of these “startups” is a one-man operation. “I do everything,” he tells WIRED from his current home, The Philippines. “I’m sort of a control freak.”

Depending on who you ask, Levels represents either everything that’s right about the state of the technology industry or everything that’s wrong. He’s self-motivated, ambitious, and resourceful, building each of these projects without any outside investment. But on the flip side, he’s yet another young white male making products that solve what many people see as trivial problems for an already privileged subset of the population, while ignoring larger issues like global warming and wealth disparity.

Worse, as a “digital nomad” who has left to West to create new tech gizmos in places like Thailand and Indonesia, some argue that he’s exploiting wealth disparity to his own benefit. But Levels no fool. He’s deeply aware of the contradictions in his work, and he’s trying hard to sort through them. He may or may not succeed.

Levels launched his first business entirely by accident. Five years ago, while studying at Rotterdam School of Management, he started uploading his own electronic music mixes to YouTube. His channel—called Panda Mix Show—did surprisingly well, and soon, other DJs were asking to upload their mixes too.

By the time he graduated in 2012, he was earning enough money from YouTube advertising to support himself. But he didn’t like being tied to some other company’s service—Google’s YouTube machine—and he wanted to build something more ambitious. And he was tired of his home town. So, when a friend pointed out that he could work from anywhere, he left.

In April 2013, Levels sold most of his possessions—everything that couldn’t fit into a single carry-on—and booked a flight to Thailand. It took him awhile to get any real work done. Several ideas fell by the wayside. “I’d work on them for a long time, trying to get them perfect, then I’d move on to the next thing,” he says. “I was always scared to launch.” He settled on the 12 Startups in 12 Days gimmick so that he would actually see his ideas through. This past March, he launched his first service, Play My Inbox.

Levels is a bona fide “digital nomad,” part of a growing community of professionals who travel from country to country, staying for about a month in each—depending on how long their visas last—while working for U.S. companies or running their own online businesses.

This movement was largely inspired by self-help author Tim Ferris and his book The Four Hour Work Week. Ferris encouraged Westerners to quit their day jobs and start online businesses while living in foreign countries where their dollars or euros would stretch further, and many followed his advice.

According to an Associated Press analysis of government data, 53 percent of recent college graduates in the U.S. were either unemployed or working jobs that didn’t require a degree. The situation in most European countries is at least as bad, and even as all these young people struggle to find a footing in the West, the cost of living in major cities is skyrocketing. It’s little wonder that some are seeking cheaper rents in foreign cities, where they can stretch their earnings from the gig economy further.

But some question whether this is a good thing. Though blogger Duff McDuffee, a frequent critic of Ferris and the “personal development” movement as a whole, says there’s nothing inherently wrong with travel, or trying to live cheaply, he argues that nomads like Levels should consider the bigger picture. “There’s sort of a colonial aspect to taking advantage of cheap labor and currency discrepancies,” he says.

Levels has friends who call him “neocolonialist.” And he sees their point. He worries that even though he spends money locally, he’s taking advantage of local infrastructure and government services—such as the protection of local police—without giving much back in the way of taxes.

The Good With the Scammy

Amarit Charoenphan, the founder of the Bangkok co-working space HUBBA, where about half the occupants are digital nomads, says these traveling entrepreneurs are pretty good for the local economy. And more importantly, he believes, they’re helping Bangkok grow its own tech startup community.

“They have the skills and the fortitude and the assets necessary to become a good startup founder or co-founder,” he explains. “They know what they’re doing. They can make money.”

He acknowledges, however, that some digital nomads, particularly those influenced by Ferris, aren’t running legitimate tech businesses. Instead, he says, they’re promoting scammy multi-level marketing schemes and e-books on how to make money online by, of course, selling e-books on how to make money online.

Levels says he has met many nomads that are part of this racket, but he says things are getting better. Many serious startups, such as live translation service Babelverse and link sharing service Buffer were founded by nomads, he points out, and many other travelers work as freelance designers or programmers and have skills they can share.

Minimum Viable Products

How much value are his “startups” are creating? That’s another open question. After all, Levels isn’t really creating 12 different companies. He’s building what people in tech land call “minimum viable products”—simple prototypes that can be used to gauge the level of interest in your idea.

The problem is that these rapid prototypes created by 20-something year old software developers tend to only address the needs of a small group of people—namely other 20-something year-old software developers with money to burn. What we end up with is an endless procession of apps and services with pitches like “Uber for laundry.”

Levels ideas tend to fit this mold. One of his startups is called NomadList, a leaderboard of the cheapest cities to work from for one month. In other words, it’s a site for people just like him. It’s hard to imagine the next General Electric emerging from this bootstrapped approach to building companies—let alone something that solves global issues like hunger or poverty.

But for Levels, this is about learning and experimentation. And it’s working out—at least for him. Just Fucking Do It has attracted acquisition offers and inquiries from investors. NomadList, his most successful product to date, was profitable on the first day, even though he didn’t even know what the business model would be until after launched it. As turns out, people wanted to advertise jobs on the service.

He hopes that, eventually, he can do something that would have a far bigger impact, and perhaps his travels will help him figure out what. “You have to start somewhere,” he says. “I’d love to create more meaningful products that have a significant impact on the world, but how can I if I can’t afford to pay my own rent first?”



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great story of a digital nomad who is teaching people around him how to get profitable very quickly and pay for his expenses while seeing the world. At the same time he learns about business and finding products that are worth being marketed.

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What is a Startup...?: Why has my startup not taken off yet?

What is a Startup...?: Why has my startup not taken off yet? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Why has my startup not taken off yet?
Many startups fail. Many entrepreneurs start with a lot of energy (and anxiety), build expectations around the business they are building, launch it, are for a while very happy with it, and after a period of gradual decay, after 6 months or 1 year there is nothing more of them and the members returned to "safe" jobs. But why? What was missing for that startup to become a success? 

*** 

In order not to frustrate expectations: the aim of this paper is not to present micro-economic data, statistics or research on why startups fail. The aim of this paper is to show my opinion on the topic, based on what I see and read every day. 

*** 

As many of you may have already read, failing is part of the innovation and self-discovery process, and it's something totally linked to entrepreneurship. Starting a new business is venturing into the unknown: you can do many previous researches and studies, but there are variables that will be not well measured in advance. Sometimes you will need to launch your startup first and then see what happens when it's running.

Maybe your calculations were sufficiently well-aimed, you have studied the market and the competitors, you had luck and the necessary preparation, you did all on the "right time" and "the right way" and your startup is suddenly a success. Maybe you realize that important variables were ignored in the business plan and things did not evolve as planned. It's normal: making mistakes is human. Making mistakes, in the context of entrepreneurship, is fully part of the learning process. 

The way you go on after a mistake is the key and how you behave makes ALL the difference: you need to continue, understand it is a chapter, not the end of your story as an entrepreneur. Everything depends on how you will assimilate this mistake and go on with your business, with your dream. 

Many entrepreneurs are at this moment launching a business that will need some adjust to be a success (success here has the meaning of being well received by the public and generating sustainable income). Others will launch something that needs to be completely redesigned to be a success. Others will launch something that the market is not yet "ready" to accept or use, and they will have to invest in marketing, partnerships, sponsoring, endorsement and will have to convince the public they are good enough. That means a lot of time and persistence. Everyday believing and acting. For each person and for each business there is a needed time for development/maturation. It's necessary to try, believe, strive, pivot, adapt, follow. You should not be discouraged by an error, failure, or a broken company. 

You tried that way, it did not work. There are others. If you truly believe in your business, you need to continue with it, ask new opinions, study more, seek further advice and seek new paths to follow. 

There is a path to success, a straight shot. But it's not always there, on the first attempt. Sometimes you will need to improve more to reach it. Sometimes you will need to really conquer success, be ready to manage it and make it something sustainable. And that is actually good, that will make you grow. 

Success (and here I am talking about entrepreneurial success) will come, but each one has a journey, each one has a necessary way to go (a way that will enable each person to learn and grow). Do not give up. If you truly believe in your business, it will someday happen, maybe not exactly as you imagined, but it will happen and you will be much stronger when it happens.

You may need to re-create it completely. You may need to study more and harder, listen to other opinions, change partners, change partnerships, teams, sources, resources. If you are really proactive and seek people to help you, if you do not let your pessimistic thoughts or people who do not believe in you convince you, certainly your journey will be successful. 

It may be that the final result has nothing to do with your original plan. It may be that you end up getting involved in an area that has nothing to do with what you initially envisioned. You may conclude that being an entrepreneur is not for you. But certainly this journey of mistakes, successes, attempts (and courage!) will be very positive and will bring you closer to who you really are and what you really believe. 

See you soon!

Luiza



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9 startup companies perfect for your family

9 startup companies perfect for your family | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

It’s a new age for startup companies, and your family may reap some benefits from them.

Right now, the United States is adding 20 million new businesses every year, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. And, according to The New York Times, many of these startups — between 25 and possibly even 40 of them — are worth more than $1 billion. So, yeah, they're big.

Which of these startups are the most relevant to your family? Here’s a list of nine startup companies that your family might find helpful:

Pley
For Pley, everything is awesome. The California-based startup company rents Lego sets out to families for minimum prices — ranging between $15 and $40 a month, according to Entrepreneur — giving kids a chance to test out their desired Lego set before making the full commitment with a purchase.

Hubert
This French-Romanian startup is all about helping families interact. Called Hubert, the company helps the elderly connect with their families from across the world, according to expatica.com. This is help for the 37 percent of people over the age of 80 who go online, as the Pew Research Center noted.

Frameri
Frameri is as startup as they come. It began as a Kickstarter campaign, but soon grew with the help of the co-founder of AOL. Now, the company is helping people swap their eyeglasses, according to The Cincinnati Business Courier. You change the frames, and they change the lenses. Simple.

ULTRA Testing
Though ULTRA Testing isn’t exactly helpful because it just tests software, it does accommodate families by hiring those with autism. Business Insider recently ran a rather popular piece about how the company hires employees who have autistic characteristics, since they have natural capabilities and aptitudes that others don't.

Automatic
Want to get rid of that weird sound in your car or figure out when you’ll need gas? The startup Automatic, based out of San Francisco, is helping people do just that. Fox News Business reported this month on how the app helps people save the $3,000 they spend annually on their cars just by informing them of their gas usage, braking and speeding habits.

Jibo
Jibo is just what your family needs to see those old photos or help out around the house. Deseret News National reported earlier this month about the robot that can help you tuck your kids in at night or even help you wash your clothes — perfect for any working parent.

KNO Clothing
KNO Clothing is good for families for two reasons. The first reason: It can get you the clothes you need. The other? Its aim is to help end homelessness. With each purchase, the company donates to a number of organizations that aid homeless people across the country. For the 75 percent of people who are donating, this startup makes giving all the easier.

Kurbo Health
Want to help your child fight obesity? Kurbo Health may be the key. This app helps kids keep track of the food they're snacking on by engaging them with fun and interactive games. This may be a good app for some families whose kids aren’t aware they’re actually overweight — which is a common trend, according to the Centers for Disease Control — and for those who are a part of the ongoing rise in obesity.

Dealflicks
Think movie theater prices are a drag? Well, instead of trying to save on snacks, you many want to try Dealflicks, which offers both tickets and concessions online for lesser prices. The company offers coupons and myriad offers to help you save at the box office.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Startups don't always have to be tech companies. Here are some great ideas for products/services for families.

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The Aha Moment - How Entrepreneurs Realized What To Do In Life

The Aha Moment - How Entrepreneurs Realized What To Do In Life | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Before any entrepreneur became successful there was a time they did not know what to do. And then the aha moment happened. How?


About 2200 years ago Archimedes stepped into his bath and exclaimed, “Eureka!”

 

It was a moment of sudden discovery. The eureka effect. A moment of deep insight. It’s an epiphany which translates as “striking appearance.” In that moment a previously unsolvable problem becomes suddenly clear and obvious.


Before The Aha Moment

Life can be divided into two periods. Before you know why you are alive and after. In between there is just a single moment – the Aha! moment. One brainwave that turns a person into a person on a mission.

Here we show the moments that turned famous people onto their missions. Even though for them it was a process to get to that moment, there was a catalyst that one day made them say, “Aha!”

What Makes Us Aha

What brings the Aha moment?

Inconvenience. GoPro founder who struggled to take a picture of himself while surfing.

Limited resources. Ikea founder could not fit a table in his small car, so he thought to take off the legs.

Pain and tragedy. Samuel Morse received a letter about his wife’s illness after she was already buried. Letters took a long time back then. He raced to see her, but it was too late. Grief-stricken, he decided to forever change how people talk to each other and invented the telegraph.

The aha moment comes at different ages. Here are a few examples. Is it ever too late to have the aha moment? Some entrepreneurs had them well into their fifties. Were they thinking it was never too late?




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Via Justin Jones
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Nice chart and some interesting facts.

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Change Impetus's curator insight, August 1, 8:51 AM

With all of the resources available today, I believe more entrepreneurs  can pursue their AHA life forms than ever.

Barbara Alevras, PMP's curator insight, August 1, 9:40 AM

I think this is kinda fascinating. Have you had your "Eureka Moment" or are you still waiting? 

M. Philip Oliver's curator insight, August 1, 5:14 PM

Thanks to Justin Jones

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4 Things Remarkable Startups Have In Common

4 Things Remarkable Startups Have In Common | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Why do some startups succeed and others don't? Here's a hint: It doesn't have to do with if an idea is good or bad. Indeed, the successful entrepreneurs are able to run with amazing concepts and pivot otherw when needing. There are a few more tried and true principles that can contribute to the success of your new company.

Among other things, these are four things remarkable startups have in common.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




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Four good reasons.

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Take This Final Exam to See If You Are Ready to Launch Your Startup

Take This Final Exam to See If You Are Ready to Launch Your Startup | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

An entrepreneur devoted to a good idea is more likely to succeed than a hesitant entrepreneur with a great idea.

 

If you don’t feel comfortable enough to leave your “day job” to work on your own idea, you don’t really believe in it. To succeed, a new venture requires your full time effort. If you are unwilling, you don’t have enough faith in the concept or you don’t know enough about the concept to actually contribute to the success.


I teach entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering at Villanova University. We make the entrepreneurial learning experience as real life as possible but, at the end of each semester, the “real world” illusion ends with a final exam.   

Outside of the classroom, folks ask me for advice about product design and new venture creation, so I made up a “final exam” with an answer key to give my opinion on the readiness of your idea as a new venture. Don't bother to sharpen your pencils, though. At least from my viewpoint, all of the “correct” answers are TRUE. Read on to learn why.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




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Via Justin Jones
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Nice article and test.

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Are we beginning to over-indulge, over-romanticise and over-glamorise failure? | ventureburn

Are we beginning to over-indulge, over-romanticise and over-glamorise failure? | ventureburn | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
This week, I read a very insightful piece in the Guardian about failure and the culture of failure that currently exists in Silicon Valley. In the startup
This week, I read a very insightful piece in the Guardian about failure and the culture of failure that currently exists in Silicon Valley. In the startup community, the concept of failure has both positive and negative connotations depending on what continent or country you are in.The Guardian’s piece talks about Silicon Valley’s need to not just invoke failure but celebrate it as well. The oft repeated phrase most entrepreneurs have begun to live by is: “Fail fast, fail often.”To read the full article, click on the title or image.Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km
Marc Kneepkens's insight:
Failure is ok, for the right reasons. But making it into a culture creates a lot of questions.
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