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Meet 18 Promising Entrepreneurs Rejected by Shark Tank - In Photos: Meet 18 Entrepreneurs On The Rise Rejected By Shark Tank

Meet 18 Promising Entrepreneurs Rejected by Shark Tank - In Photos: Meet 18 Entrepreneurs On The Rise Rejected By Shark Tank | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Only 104 entrepreneurs appeared on ABC's hit business reality show Shark Tank from a sea of 40,000 rejects in the 2015/2016 season, the show's seventh season. Meet 18 promising entrepreneurs -- some with millions in sales -- who tried out for Shark Tank and were thrown back into the water. They share their audition pitch, total sales and how they came up with the idea for their business.

See the slide show: click image or title.

 

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Entrepreneurs come up with amazing ideas.

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Find The Right Startup Idea - Foundr

Find The Right Startup Idea - Foundr | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Here's how to know if you have a great startup idea or not - Foundr

There are many steps that need to be taken in order to be a successful entrepreneur. Whether it’s learning how to keep a handle on your stress, or fear of failure, or even technical skills such as learning how to best utilize social media. Being an entrepreneur is a long and arduous journey.

And the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

For entrepreneurs, it’s all about creating change, and challenging the status quo. For entrepreneurs, that first step is coming up with that game-changing idea. And that’s where most of us get stuck.

At Foundr, we get hundreds of emails from loyal readers asking us the same thing, “How do I come up with the right startup idea?”

It’s a simple question, but it’s actually quite complex. Because not all ideas are the same.

Each idea is different whether it’s in size, shape, or scope, and great ideas strike us at different times. Sometimes they take years to form, other times they hit us when we least expect it. Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent article. Having an idea is just the start, but how do you go from there? And is this idea good enough to succeed and build  successful startup with? Including several TED talks and a chart from Y Combinator showing what kind of startups are needed. HIghly recommended.

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A Guide to Winning Support for Your New Idea or Project - Harvard Business Review

A Guide to Winning Support for Your New Idea or Project - Harvard Business Review | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Persistence is key.

You’ve got an idea for something that will improve your company’s bottom line or make it a better place to work. Nice going. Now for the hard part: How do you get people on board? How do you get funding? And what should you do if your idea doesn’t catch on?

What the Experts Say
In an ideal world, you’d come up with a genius new idea, tell your coworkers about it, and they’d immediately grasp its brilliance. Your boss would love it — and you! — and give you the resources you need to execute it. But that’s not reality. “It’s very hard to start a new initiative,” says John Butman, author of Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas. “It’s hard to get people to listen to your idea, to understand your idea, and to take action.” It may be difficult, but it’s also a vital skill to master. “Organizations need to keep changing, adapting, and innovating,” he says. “If they don’t, they stagnate and disappear.” But it’s not only the success of your company that’s at stake, says Susan Ashford, professor of management and organization at Michigan’s Ross School of Business. The ability to get new initiatives off the ground is also critical to your career. “You want to stand out, be visible, and get noticed as a leader,” she says. “And one of the ways to do this is by suggesting change ideas and implementing them.” Here are some pointers on how to get your idea moving. Read more: click image or title.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Coming up with new ideas or projects is challenging, especially when this entails to find funding for the idea. This article goes a little deeper in approaching how to proceed.

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3 Student Startups That Are Going the Distance

3 Student Startups That Are Going the Distance | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
They've all managed to make the tricky jump from great idea to great company.

Anyone who has made it through college knows that ideas are cheap. Every conversation in the classroom, on the quad or at the coffee shop is littered with them--some great, most awful. On occasion, the spitballing even spawns a bit of short-lived business action (witness all the broken links on any Best College Startups internet list from the past few years). o Clearly, it's not just an awesome idea that makes a college startup great. It takes follow-through, patience and business smarts to transform a dorm-room musing into a viable business. Here are some college startups that made the leap from good idea to great company.


The perfect fix

In 2012, Spencer Quinn was a junior at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, working a summer job at a company that sold athletic tape, when he heard about a doctor who used medical casting tape to fix an all-terrain vehicle. It was an "aha" moment for Quinn, a biotech major.

Along with his cousins Reed and Chris Quinn and brother-in-law Derek Rowley, Quinn attempted to repair household items using casting tape. "I thought maybe this stuff could fix more than bones, so we started putting it on broken tools, leaky pipes and other stuff," he recalls. "It was not a good solution

Those efforts didn't work, but the trio got to thinking about what elements would make a better repair tape. The product would have to go beyond duct tape to create a permanent bond, and it would need to be waterproof and able to withstand impact and heavy loads.

They worked with the BYU mechanical engineering lab to find a solution. Once they had a prototype, they took it to an adhesives manufacturer to work out the production process. The result was FiberFix, which, after being soaked in water and applied tightly, can permanently repair shovel handles, leaking pipes and just about any other broken object.

But creating FiberFix was just the first step. "I think so many products fail in the manufacturing and logistics stage," Quinn, now 25, explains. "You have to learn how to approach big retail buyers and know how to execute your product in such a way that you don't get chargebacks that kill the company. After that first sale, 99 percent of the work is still ahead of you."

The team worked trade shows, demonstrating their miracle product to hardware and construction experts, and entered their idea in competitions. They won events at BYU and placed second in the International Business Model Competition. But their biggest coup came in October 2013, when they were featured on TV's Shark Tank, where they convinced judge Lori Greiner to invest in their concept.

That led to multiple stints on QVC, where they sold 45,000 rolls of FiberFix in 10 minutes. The product is now carried at 10,000 retail locations, including Home Depot and Lowe's. More than 1.3 million rolls of FiberFix have been sold at $6 to $10 each.

Despite the success, Quinn and his business partners are dedicated to finishing their education, though on a more relaxed schedule.

"I was initially nervous that I wouldn't get enough support from my professors to do both things, but I haven't found a single one that wasn't excited about the opportunity and supported us," says Quinn, who hopes to expand the FiberFix product line over the next three to five years before selling the company. "BYU has lots of entrepreneurs and great talent. I think everyone here likes a good success story and wants to be a part of it in some way."


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Let's go to the tape

Lindsay Stewart was a TV news producer in Los Angeles before enrolling at the Wharton School's San Francisco campus in 2012. The idea was to get a few letters behind her name to help make her way up the ladder on the management side of the media business.

In one of her classes, students were asked to pitch a business idea. For several years, Stewart had been thinking about the inefficient ways news outlets acquire video footage. Deadline-focused assignment editors are often forced to buy tape sight-unseen from third-party stringers; at times they even contact people through YouTube. News stations go to air with whatever images they can find, good or bad. On the flip side, Stewart knew great photographers and videographers who missed out on work because they had no way to communicate directly with editors. And the payment process was equally slow and messy.

When she proposed her idea of an online exchange where editors could view and purchase news footage, and photographers (and the public) could show their work and find assignments, her classmates were intrigued. But it wasn't until fellow student Brian McNeill filled her Dropbox with plans and calculations that she realized her concept, which she dubbed Stringr, could be a viable business.


"It was having someone throwing their weight behind my idea that was the genesis of Stringr," Stewart says. "You can go to the best business-school program, but it's not so much about the academics as it is who sits next to you. Classmates helped write the business plan and build the tech stack. They gave me all that human capital for free, and that's what helped us launch Stringr."

Through the rest of their time at Wharton, Stewart and McNeill, both of whom graduated in May, refined their concept. They're now based at the San Francisco media accelerator Matter, where they have five engineers on contract. Stringr, which launched a three-month pilot in the San Diego news market in August, plans to roll out to several more pilot cities before expanding to newsrooms around the country.

Unlike other college entrepreneurs, who often have nothing to lose, Stewart, 34, and McNeill, 37, are taking big mid-career gambles with their startup. "I think doing something like this is totally different than when you're younger," Stewart says. "There are more risks--I sold my house to do this; I'm not taking a salary. But my contacts are wider and deeper; I'm able to navigate and sell to bigger companies. I'm not a 19-year-old selling a pipe dream."

McNeill, who tried to start a tech company during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, agrees that things are different this time around. "Without a network or capital to get you down those first 50 yards, starting a business is extremely difficult," he says. "At the same time, the opportunity loss is high. I walked away from a partner-track job at Ernst & Young. But leaving that behind has given me more confidence in what we're doing."

The founders agree that their entrepreneurship classes helped them clarify their once-hazy expectations. "One of our professors ended our class by giving us the stats on our education and experience," Stewart says. "He said less than 1 percent of the population was as prepared as [we were] to start a business, and he ended by saying he hoped we would try. That was very inspiring. This is not just an idea for me. I feel passionate about it."


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A global cure

For all the debate about healthcare in the U.S., it's easy to lose sight of the fundamental problems plaguing medical systems in other parts of the world. In developing countries, people often die from lack of basic medicines, blood or operable surgical equipment.

During one of her first classes at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, chemical engineering major Carolyn Yarina stumbled upon this reality. Assigned an open-ended engineering challenge, Yarina turned to a campus club that had recently surveyed rural health workers. One of the needs in Africa, the survey found, was a centrifuge that could run without electricity, allowing clinicians to diagnose and treat diseases in areas without power.

Yarina took on the challenge, and by the end of the semester she and a team of students created a human-powered centrifuge built from bicycle parts. It was a neat engineering feat, and Yarina didn't want the idea to die with the end of the class. So she created a student group called CentriCycle to continue work on the project. She also enrolled in entrepreneurship classes, including a practicum in social entrepreneurship, which convinced her to go to India for the first time.

"I learned a lot on that trip, which led to a lot of changes," she recalls. "I realized what they needed on the ground, and using a bicycle was not the best idea."


Returning to India over the next two summers, she refined her concept and developed contacts. After graduating in 2013, she worked on her centrifuge full time, eventually developing a portable machine dubbed (r)Evolve that can alternate between manual power and electricity. She also lined up engineering and manufacturing support in India.

But it dawned on Yarina that she needed to go further. "Once I created our student organization and started going to business classes, I had an epiphany," she says. "Open-source designs are not a viable option if you actually want to get your product out there. If it was just about creating a process to separate blood, we would have been done four years ago."

Early this year, she and CentriCycle member Katie Kirsch teamed up with another University of Michigan grad, Gillian Henker, who is developing Hemafuse, an auto-transfusion pump for blood. Together, they started Sisu Global Health, a socially conscious for-profit company, as a platform to deliver medical products designed specifically for the needs of developing countries. The centrifuge and auto-transfusion pump are their first two offerings.

"Eighty percent of medical products are designed for 10 percent of the world," Yarina explains. "Designing for that other 90 percent is what we want to do."

The 24-year-old says she never expected to be at the helm of a company, but she's glad her life has taken this turn. "During freshman orientation they took us on a tour of the Center for Entrepreneurship. I remember I couldn't wait to get out of there," she says. "I never thought I'd do anything with entrepreneurship. After learning how to turn this idea into something that could impact people's lives, I've realized entrepreneurship can be more about making an impact than making money."


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Three examples of great ideas with the right follow through.

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Shawn Nason, Executive Director, Xavier Center for Innovation's curator insight, October 5, 2014 9:20 PM

These are great stories about student start-ups. I look forward to the day when we are writing about Xavier's student start-ups. 

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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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StartupVitamins: Quotes for Startups

StartupVitamins: Quotes for Startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Startup Vitamins provides inspiration and motivation for startups - and supports them too!

Startup Vitamins is a recently launched project, which offers inspiring posters with sayings from industry leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Jason Fried, and more.

Profit from sold posters goes towards supporting various organizations, which develop and bring value to the startup community. Currently profits are split between StartupWeekend and Garage48, both of which help ideas come to life around the world.


See more Quotes? Want it in your office? Order a Poster, Canvas, Mug, Sticker or Framed Print from StartupVitamins . Click here, support Startups, motivate yourself.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

How many times do we have great ideas, start building, creating sketches, jotting down notes, dreaming, experimenting, being genius... until we jump on the next one? Finish what you started. Imagine Leonardo da Vinci not finishing what he started? He wouldn't have built the legacy he has left us. Be a successful startup and finish what you started.

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How These Entrepreneurs Found Success in an Industry They Knew Nothing About

How These Entrepreneurs Found Success in an Industry They Knew Nothing About | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
When launching their shoe startup BucketFeet, Raaja Nemani and Aaron Firestein had a great idea but no previous experience in manufacturing or inventory management.

It was January 2011 and Raaja Nemani and Aaron Firestein were waiting for 2,600 pairs of sneakers to be delivered to their home in Chicago, which was experiencing a massive snowstorm. When the shipment arrived, via a container on the back of a big rig freight truck, the friends realized they’d failed to think things through.

The driver wanted to know where the unloading dock was and who was going to unload the delivery. There was no unloading dock -- “we were like, ‘dude, this is a residential street,’” says Nemani  -- and the pair had planned on doing it themselves. That, they quickly realized, would take forever. So they called a few friends, paid the delivery guy $100 to help out and spent the next three hours unloading boxes of shoes in the snow. Read more: click image or title.



Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more:

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

From #greatideas to #startup lessons to #learningcurve and finally success. Great story.

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YC Fellowship

Ten years ago, Paul Graham said there could be ten times as many startups if more people realized they could try. Thanks to the work he, Jessica, Trevor and Robert helped do, that’s become true.

We think there is still room for another ten-fold increase in the number of (good) startups. But even now, a lot of good founders never get started because they can’t scrape together a relatively small sum of money at the idea stage.

So we’re going to try a new experiment, which we’re calling the YC Fellowship. This is targeted at teams that are very, very early. Read more: click title.





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"I wanted to take a moment to thank-you and your team for the incredible job on the Redux business plan. It was an absolute breeze to work with you and would look forward to working with you again in the future."
Hannah Kirby
Owner Redux Beverages, LLC

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another initiative to give the best ideas a chance to get started. Even though it's a small budget, it may make a huge difference for some startups to take off. Take a look for more information.

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9 Things to Know in Order to Turn Your Idea into a Business - PressFarm

9 Things to Know in Order to Turn Your Idea into a Business - PressFarm | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The tips to help you to turn your idea into a booming business worth millions of dollars.

At some point everybody gets ideas. In fact, we have all had ideas that we wished to turn into businesses. However, having an idea in itself while is still a great thing, it’s not a guarantee that a business can be made out of it. If a business can be made out of it, knowing how to go about it is quite a challenge for anyone who has not started a business before. As a beginning entrepreneur, how do you turn an idea into a booming business? These tips below should help you figure that out. Read more: click image or title.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Having an idea doesn't mean anything. Investors will not waste any time on you. It takes a lot more than that. This article will get you ready for the next step.

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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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Early Stage Valuation - Mark S. Newton

Early Stage Valuation - Mark S. Newton | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Early stage valuation is a critical step for startups. 

Early stage investors care about the market and the team.

There’s really not a lot else to go on (e.g., traction, metrics, business model, LTV, user acquisition costs, etc.) at an early stage. You can talk until you are blue in the face about how defensible the technology that you and another guy hacked together over a weekend is, but no one cares. If you can build it in a weekend, so can someone else. Save your breath and the investor’s time.

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



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

There you have it! It's not the big idea, it's 'Execution'.

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