Archive for September, 2013

Developing Startup Leaders

Posted: September 29, 2013 by Jessica Reading in Culture, Ecosystem, HIgher Education, Leadership, People, Startup

jessica reading miamiThis summer, college students interned in our region’s startups and entrepreneurial companies.  Recently I met with several of them as they reflected on their experiences.  Or more accurately, raved about their summer:

  • “There’s nothing like going to work in the morning knowing it will be nothing less than an adventure”
  • “I learned how entrepreneurship can manifest in so many ways”
  • “My supervisor taught me to embrace being outside my comfort zone, and never doubt myself”
  • “I couldn’t replace what I gained this summer with any life experience”

These reflections are the wish list of what any educator wants every student to say after completing a course and often only result from the most empowering of teachers.  This summer, our region’s startups educated our students, teaching ‘real-world’.


Overcoming Obstacles

Posted: September 22, 2013 by Chuck Matthews in Uncategorized

Nothing is an obstacle unless you say it is.

UC Chuck Matthews

             — Wally “Famous” Amos, Cookie and Literacy Entrepreneur

Starting a business can be more than a little daunting. While it is easy to say all great new ventures start with an idea, it is quite another to nurture that idea into a concept with some substance, formulate a plan to bring it to reality, and ultimately launch the venture.  Entrepreneurs are particularly adept at overcoming obstacles, staying the course, and pursuing their passion when others are skeptical at best and downright negative at worst.

Wally “Famous” Amos knows a thing or two about overcoming obstacles. Beginning in 1975, he established one of the most recognizable brands of his day, Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Against the odds, he achieved success building the first stand-alone retail cookie chain in the U.S.  Vision, passion, and a gift for promotion were the ingredients in his recipe for making his dream a reality and overcoming obstacles that came his way. Even when one of his key investors pulled out right before his grand opening, Amos didn’t panic, but persevered.

Here are some of the key lessons that I have learned over the years that can guide you on the path to turn an idea into a venture.  Let’s get STARTed. (more…)

Roadmap to Startup Investment

Posted: September 15, 2013 by Avi Ram in Leadership, Legal, Marketing, Operations, Planning, Startup


There is more investment capital available for start-ups then there are fundable start-ups to invest in. The key word is “fundable.” In this case the word fundable means that there is a 50+% chance that the start-up business will meet their business plan milestones.


Today’s Sophisticated Investors Don’t Invest In:

  • Ideas
  • Technology
  • Business Plans
  • Hype
  • New paradigms

Today’s sophisticated investors do invest in a solution to a well-defined business problem that will generate revenue when executed by a highly motivated team of entrepreneurs possessing an “unfair advantage”.


How to Use a Crystal Ball

Posted: September 2, 2013 by Bill Cunningham in Legal, Money, Startup

Bill Cunningham Bio“I’m 100% positive that I can meet my sales forecast, I just can’t tell you when.”

–       VP of Sales at a Startup

Last year I wrote a column on “Leveraging the Power of the Press” in response to an entrepreneur getting more than their fair share of ink and airtime for something that he said. This could become an annual opportunity for teachable moments with the recent coverage of another startup that received a LOT of coverage for her public statements.

Without going into the specifics of this situation, the future revenue forecasts presented to the audiences and published in the media sounded out of this world. That’s what startups do – they create huge opportunities to make the world a better place.  I’d like you to consider the art and science of forecasting as it relates to your startup.