Archive for November, 2012

Entrepreneurs and Effective Team Leadership…

Posted: November 18, 2012 by Chuck Matthews in Leadership, People, Planning, Startup

“Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Anonymous

The debate over whether leaders are born or bred continues unabated.  While social science research tends to dismiss the notion of trait based leadership, the allure of the prospect that leadership resides within the individual pulls the conversation back and forth. Indeed, the leadership conversation swirls around cognitive and applied aspects of effective leaders.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the leadership of teams and more critical than when those teams are engaged in the development, launch, success and survival of small, entrepreneurial, and family owned ventures.

While the debate continues, there is general agreement that leaders are key in the creation, development, and effective use of teams.  Entrepreneurs as leaders articulate a vision often born out of creativity, invention, and/or innovation that others don’t immediately see.  As a result, they must facilitate a shared understanding and often come to rely on a team to accomplish his or her goals. Let’s take a look at the importance of leadership in forming effective teams, three elements of effective team leadership and what it takes to lead a team to achieve uncommon results.

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SW Ohio Venture Capital Activity Up 34 Percent

Posted: November 14, 2012 by Carolyn Pione-Micheli in Money, Startup, Technology

Report shows reason for optimism about startup scene

Rodney Williams left Procter & Gamble in September when it looked like his startup technology company was really going to start up.

He didn’t tell his mother right away though. “I knew she’d be upset that I was giving up a great job at a big company to do something so risky.”

Williams had been working on his company, lisnr, since early this year. But it was only after he received an equity investment from CincyTech in August that he felt comfortable leaving his P&G job and leaping into entrepreneurship.

His company is creating a mobile technology that allows musicians and music labels to create exclusive content in order to turn listening into an interactive experience.

He and his two co-workers became the first tenants of the incubator at Cintrifuse, a nonprofit organization that is working to turn the region into a magnet for start-ups.

Williams’ story illustrates one way the region’s startup ecosystem can work: A corporate pillar company such as Procter attracts or retains talented people here, a local investor provides funding for an idea to grow, and a hub of educational and physical resources supports this growth.

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The Curse of Free

Posted: November 4, 2012 by Bob Gilbreath in Marketing, Startup, Technology

There are few words in our everyday lives that are more exciting than “free.” We love a free ride, free sandwich or free beer. A free sample is often the easiest way for an entrepreneur to attract new customers. But I have learned the hard way that “free” is a dangerous marketing strategy that feels good but can hurt you in the end.

A few months into launching my new research tool for startups, the Minimum Viable Concept Test, I decided that it would be a good idea to provide some free research to potential clients who could become repeat customers. I figured that a free sample would impress them and lead to ongoing business. After all, each of my other, paying clients loved the output.

My free tests produced happy customers, but none of them converted into a paying account. This was a mistake that cost significant time and money, both of which are precious for a new business.

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