entrepreneurshipTop of Mind

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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Entrepreneurship Hits Stride on College Campuses

In a matter of weeks colleges and universities across the country will be teeming with students. A new school year will bring the excitement of new discovery, opportunities to meet new people, and the anticipation of learning. On these campuses students will also find a vast array of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship.

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Posted by: Wendy Torrance
on August 01, 2013
The Sowing of a Startup Community

All it takes for a startup community to take root and thrive are the right seeds and soil. I recently saw this first hand in a seemingly off-the-beaten-path city – Telluride, Colo.

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Posted by: Lesa Mitchell
on July 31, 2013
Two's (a) Company, Three's a Crowd?

When considering the optimal number of founders for any new entrepreneurial adventure, the calculus extends well beyond simple formulas seemingly supported by observations of startup cohorts within specific industries. Famous technology twosomes that come to mind include David Packard and William Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, Paul Allen and Bill Gates of Microsoft, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. In these examples, it is widely observed that these buddy teams complemented each other well in the early formative years of their companies.

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Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on July 30, 2013
Do You Have the 'Saving Gene'?

SavingsWould you rather buy the new Apple product or save that money in an interest bearing account? When is the right time for a person to start saving? I was lucky enough to have great parents that instilled the importance of saving in my brain. But I also had a different "saving gene" than my three older sisters who tended to and still do spend more than me.

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Posted by: Taylor Brown
on July 26, 2013
Lessons from Failure: Renting High-end Jewelry

At age 25, Laura Sanko was a founding member of a startup that raised $3.5 Million from some world-famous investors and the Founder’s Fund.  The business model was simple: a website that rented high-end jewelry for special occasions for a fraction of the retail value of each piece.  Three years later, the investment money was all gone and while the site continued to operate, it had failed to meet the investors’ expectations.  I sat down with Laura to figure out what went wrong.

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Posted by: Diana Kander
on July 25, 2013
Feeding the Entrepreneur in the Workplace

Most people know the benefits of healthy eating. We know the obesity statistics in America, and the age old saying that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" Even with all this knowledge, most days I’m lucky if I make it out the door with some sort of breakfast in one hand, and a cup of coffee in another. 

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Posted by: Kaitlin Long
on July 18, 2013
'Dream Big America' Increases Startup Exposure

Last week we launched a brand new program for startup companies who had previously presented at 1 Million Cups, the Kauffman Foundation's weekly educational program that features two local startups presenting to the community over coffee. This new effort, launched with the folks at Dream Big America, will continue to put a spotlight on startup companies from throughout the country.

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Posted by: Nate Olson
on July 17, 2013
Teaching an Entrepreneurial Mindset: Inside the Ice House Program

As an entrepreneur in residence, I'm responsible for a wide variety of projects ranging from program management and storytelling to mentoring and teaching, the latter being the main focus of this and future blog posts.

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Posted by: Prentiss Earl III
on July 16, 2013
Balancing the Other Side of the Life Equation: Relationships

When we think about the startup life we're often occupied with visions of long days and late nights in the office and the all consuming passion that overtakes a life as someone takes a vision and turns it into reality. An entrepreneur certainly has many things that can easily engulf his or her life as they balance product creation, customer development, hiring, sales and financing, to name but a few. But what about the other side of the life equation? Entrepreneurs have families, friends, spouses, and partners who play an important role.

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Posted by: Wendy Torrance
on July 12, 2013
Acquisition: Mission Failed or Dream Salvaged?

"If you truly believe in the potential of your company to change the world for the better, there’s no excuse for settling for an acquisition."

I was reading through this month's Inc. magazine earlier when this quote caught my eye. My first thought was to challenge the notion. There are specific occasions when an acquisition is exactly what a company needs to move forward or to move on. This is just how things work, but the bold words sparked my interest enough to turn the page. I flipped to Issie Lapowsky’s feature with Vimeo founder Jake Lodwick. Lodwick was fired a year and a half after selling Connected Ventures, the parent company of Vimeo and College Humor, to InterActive Corp, an Internet company that owns the likes of match.com, Urbanspoon, and dictionary.com. 

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Posted by: Amanda Schnieders
on July 11, 2013

Twitter Updates

  • .@TheRoasterie's Danny O'Neil talks about differentiating himself in the coffee market http://t.co/I1itBj3OeA in @KhanAcademy series.
  • 24 of top 50 venture-backed companies in America in 2011 had at least one foreign-born founder http://t.co/R8xeEEoQ3A
  • RT @kauffmanfs Stretch your literary legs - See "Who's Doing the Learning?" & other readings 4 Building Your Startup http://t.co/RH9PClBLqt
  • .@Virtual_EA's Lakeshia Grant encourages would-be entrepreneurs to incorporate core values into business http://t.co/tcuUOkTT7p @KhanAcademy
  • Getting caffeinated with coffee startup @Beander_ http://t.co/9p28IQegoR via @1MillionCups