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

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Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

Venture capital certainly has its place within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Some of our nation's largest companies (and employers), like Apple, Google and FedEx, have secured this form of funding. But plenty of Kauffman Foundation research tells us that VC funding isn't as mainstream in startups as one would gather based on its common place in startup news. In fact, less than 20 percent of the fastest growing young companies ever take venture capital money.

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Thom Ruhe
on March 18, 2014
Three Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Attend SXSW 2015

People everywhere. Parties that seem to be on continuous loop all day. Vendors marketing new ideas, new startups or new swag everywhere you go. And then there's the conference with its many speakers presenting on topics ranging from anything to everything. With 30,000 people in attendance, the South By Southwest Interactive Conference can be overwhelming. So from a recent SXSW newbie to you, here are three questions to ask yourself when preparing to attend SXSW 2015.

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Nathan Kurtz
on March 18, 2014
A Little Jazz + A Little Networking = Big Things in Pittsburgh

Every Thursday evening in downtown Pittsburgh, something special happens at Little E's Jazz and Blues Club. During happy hour each week, entrepreneurs get together to tap into what's hot in the Pittsburgh start-up arena. Over drinks and cool jazz, they have the opportunity to interact and create relationships with potential financiers, university incubators, economic development thought leaders and other business stars.

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Annette Beck
on March 17, 2014
Startups: How to Build Something People Will Buy

"No business plan survives first contact with customers," Steve Blank says. What? Isn't the point of planning that you maximize the likelihood of success in the marketplace? Well yes, but perhaps not the kind of planning you might be thinking about. A business plan conceived on paper, powered by a great idea or invention, enhanced by research on the size of the market and a customer profile, has great potential. But it also has a crucial flaw.

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Wendy Torrance
on March 14, 2014
Out of Necessity: Coining Intrapreneurship

It was a thrill for me last summer when I had the chance to sit down with best-selling author, entrepreneur and teacher, Gifford Pinchot III. For someone like me who has been an entrepreneur and who now works at the foundation for entrepreneurs, to meet the legend who actually coined the term "intrapreneurship" was a real treat. During our visit, I had the chance to ask Gifford about the motivation that led to the publishing of his best-selling book, Intrapreneuring: Why You Don't Have to Leave the Corporation to Become an Entrepreneur, in 1985.

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Thom Ruhe
on March 11, 2014
Why Baby Boomers and Millennials Should Co-Found

Baby boomers are micromanagers, work hard, do not understand technology, are stubborn and want to destroy the planet. Millennials are lazy, entitled, tech savvy, want to save the world and don't know how to communicate in person. Although the generalizations of baby boomers and millennials vary, they do share one similar characteristic, they both share particular entrepreneurial characteristics. Millennials crave freedom and earning potential. Baby boomers have a desire to build something.

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Taylor Brown
on March 10, 2014
Handling the Stresses When Two Work, But Only One Earns

When a startup first begins, cash flow is non-existent. And it can often fall on the entrepreneur's spouse to help provide for the family while the startup gets on its feet. This can cause a number of challenges, as you can imagine. Recently, I revisited Meg Cadoux Hirshberg's Founders School series, looking to the module "When the Breadwinner Gets Crusty". Meg is an author featured regularly on Inc.com, whose writing focuses on the trials and tribulations a family encounters when one of the members jumps into founding a business.

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Annette Beck
on March 07, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

Having had my home city represent the bottom of its fair share of "Worst" lists (Hey there, Cleveland!), I meet the ever-popular lists and rankings with a healthy dose of skepticism. All certainly are not created equal and all do not have the best of intentions.

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Thom Ruhe
on March 05, 2014
Founders School: Surviving the Entrepreneurial Life

When I read Meg Hirshberg's book "For Better or for Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families" I knew instantly that I wanted Meg to join our slate of Founders School experts. The goal of Founders School is to provide entrepreneurs with crucial skills and knowledge, and to do so with an eye to topics that are important but rarely discussed in typical entrepreneurship education programs. The subject of Meg's book is just such a topic. We all know that entrepreneurs have to juggle a variety of considerations when founding a company: team building, assessment of product/market fit, intellectual property, and how to get that first important customer. What many entrepreneurs and, more importantly, their families, know is that there's a juggle on the family side of the equation as well, but it's one that many entrepreneurs may be reluctant to talk about.

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Wendy Torrance
on February 26, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

In perusing last week's headlines (and a few stragglers from the week prior), I realized I was drawn to numerous articles pertaining to entrepreneurial support beyond that in the United States. For those who don't know, my work at Kauffman allows me to travel a bit--about 100,000 miles a year to be exact.

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Thom Ruhe
on February 24, 2014

Twitter Updates

  • Internet of Things- still not sure what it is? See how it's affecting the tech world & could influence your everyday http://t.co/VA6zwq93xd
  • New @KauffmanFDN study shows public sector has little impact on startup creation rates - except in education http://t.co/xHVNgMSIiD
  • Has your startup experienced the Valley of Death? | Definition via @eMedcommunity http://t.co/2DvZSGRjGZ
  • RT @mashable: Report: Snapchat talking to Alibaba about raising funding at a $10 billion valuation http://t.co/q3fHcWXj8z
  • RT @neilpatel Do something today that your future will thank you for.