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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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From Concept to 34 Cities in 24 Months

Recently, we celebrated the two-year anniversary of the launch of 1 Million Cups. We never try to hide the fact that 1 Million Cups was/is still a large experiment in how to build grassroots entrepreneurial communities. When we look back in two years, there are a few things that we are very proud of and want to highlight.

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Posted by: Nate Olson
on April 17, 2014
Can Startups Save A City?

Anyone interested in entrepreneurship who has been to Pittsburgh has likely seen the renaissance in the city's East Liberty neighborhood. Known as Bakery Square, the area was once home to a large Nabisco factory and now offices some of the best and the brightest who work for the high-tech behemoth known as Google.

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Posted by: Amanda Schnieders
on April 16, 2014
Startup Genome: A Grassroots Effort For Helping Startups

When you hear the term "genome," it might take you back to your high school biology class, where your teacher talked about the many zillions of pieces of data that are contained in DNA. You can think of a Startup Genome a bit the same way.

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Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on April 03, 2014
5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

I was disappointed to have been unable to make the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Congress last week in Moscow. It's a historic event, in its fifth year, that gathers startup champions from around the world--entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, thought leaders and policymakers--to work together to help bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. This kind of annual assembly has contributed to the expansion of a global entrepreneurial ecosystem by connecting experts and entrepreneurs across borders and sectors to unleash their ideas and transform innovation into reality.

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Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on March 26, 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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Posted by: Wendy Torrance
on March 14, 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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Posted by: Annette Beck
on March 07, 2014
Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

Chasing an entrepreneurial dream can be an all-consuming effort. Particularly in those crucial early days of a startup, founders seem to eat, sleep and breathe their businesses. This naturally occurring tunnel vision has a purpose, of course, allowing entrepreneurs to give their business babies the time and attention they need to mature. But this heads-down mode is not without its drawbacks, one of which is neglecting to stay up on current events--particularly the happenings that can impact the entrepreneurs who are inadvertently paying no attention to them.

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Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on February 18, 2014
Staying Current

Chasing an entrepreneurial dream can be an all-consuming effort. Particularly in those crucial early days of a startup, founders seem to eat, sleep and breathe their businesses. But this heads-down mode is not without its drawbacks, one of which is neglecting to stay up on current events particularly the happenings that can impact the entrepreneurs who are inadvertently paying no attention to them.

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Posted by: Thom Ruhe
on February 18, 2014
Microsoft Ventures: The Original Startup Goes Back To Its Roots

Rahul Sood, General Manager of Microsoft Ventures, is changing how we help startups accelerate. Targeting markets across the globe, Microsoft Ventures is bringing entrepreneurial mentoring, backed by Microsoft's products and support, to give their accelerator companies an unfair advantage in the market.

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Posted by: Nathan Kurtz
on February 14, 2014
How Co-Working Spaces Lost Their Buzz

There's been a growing resurgence of working areas of long tables with copious amounts of white boards. They call them co-working spaces. Since the coining of the phrase in early 2000s, they've grown into warehouse size places with cubical conference rooms and modern furniture, becoming a hip thing for entrepreneurial ecosystems and startups across the globe. But recently, I've come to a realization: Co-working spaces are lame.

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Posted by: Amanda Schnieders
on February 06, 2014

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