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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Is There Only One Formula For Founding Team Success?

Building the right founding team is essential to a startup's success. Founder clashes can destroy young companies and mismatched key players can cloud a startup's direction and stall its growth. So you know you need to hire people you mesh with, especially given the long hours you'll all be putting in during the company's early days. But the first question you need to ask yourself is, "What roles are you trying to put those people you work well with into?"

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Taylor Brown
on October 31, 2014
Who Will Save the Economy? Scale-Ups or Startups

Last week, the Washington Post article, "More businesses are closing than starting. Can Congress help turn that around?" grabbed my attention. My response was whether or not all the startup support power laid in the hands of our nation's policy makers.

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Taylor Brown
on October 08, 2014
Why the Seven-Year-Itch Comes Even Sooner for Startups

In marriage, there's a so-called "seven-year itch" that takes the blame for so many doomed relationships. In entrepreneurship that same destiny occurs at year five. That's according to a research based infographic featured on Entrepreneur.com last week. The piece focused on the funding routes and failure rates of startups over the past few years. According to the data, most startups don't make it beyond five years, with only one third making it to ten years.

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Taylor Brown
on October 02, 2014
Increasing Popularity in Angel Funding Gets Help From New Educational Platform

It might not hit the national news like big venture capital deals or trendy crowdfunding, but good old fashioned angel investing is on the rise. These individual investors, who usually invest before a company is VC-ready, fund more than 67,000 startups every year and in 2012, their startup contributions reached nearly $23 billion. That amount represents a 36 percent increase compared to 2008.

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Taylor Brown
on September 11, 2014
Naps in the Workplace: Productivty or Slacking Off

Progressive work atmospheres are getting a lot of attention lately. From Daniel Pink's video on Founders School where he talks about motivating with autonomy, to the summertime buzz about the importance of extended vacations, it's on everyone's mind. Next subject: naps.

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Taylor Brown
on September 05, 2014
Women Outpace Men in Raising Money Online

The stats on women in entrepreneurship can be depressing. The Kauffman Foundation has done a lot of research on this topic. But simply put, women aren't starting many high tech companies and they aren't raising much venture capital. A recent Chicago Tribune article reiterated all this, despite any "lip service" to the contrary.

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Taylor Brown
on August 29, 2014
Top of Minds 5 Must Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

It looks like Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies is out to buy the next big thing in consumer health and wellness. Late last month, the $300 billion company announced its plans to partner with CircleUp, an equity-based crowdfunding platform. The news was all over the national entrepreneurship-focused media outlets. An article on Entrepreneur.com explained that the behemoth business made this move to get early access to the pipeline of emerging innovations in its market. Then it can acquire and add these products to its own product line.

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Taylor Brown
on August 08, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

The media seems to be a buzz with the nation's small business decline. From the increase in the number of startups failing, to the decrease in the number being started, this trend--not the reason for it, much to my disappointment--is being spun across the nation's news outlets. Entrepreneurship certainly ebbs and flows and while policymakers and entrepreneurial ecosystem members (hopefully) figure out what's causing the current ebb, I am encouraged to see another source stepping up to increase a form of entreprenruship: intrapreneurship.

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Thom Ruhe
on June 04, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

Angel funding hit the news last week in a big way with the Angel Capital Association launching its "Protect Angel Funding" campaign. This professional and trade association supports the success of angel investors in high-growth, early-stage companies. It launched the campaign in an effort to keep startups from losing this source of funding if the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) increases the financial qualifications for accredited investors.

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Thom Ruhe
on May 30, 2014
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

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