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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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
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
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
Casting A Wider Net With Community Colleges

Innovation Fund America (IFA), our program delivering high-impact education, coaching and pre-seed funding to scalable, technology-based startups via community colleges around the country, has quietly been having a big couple of months. It's a complicated and demanding program to launch and it's taken nearly a year and a half to get to this point, but we're excited that IFA is now open for business in two communities--and we're really just getting started.

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Posted by: Jonathan Robinson
on January 30, 2014
What Arbys Can Teach Startups About Digital Marketing

Last night, I sat down to watch the Grammys--remote in one hand, phone in the other. As is typical these days, a primetime award show, sporting event or political presser isn't quite complete without the added noise of what the rest of the world thinks about what's going on in front of us onscreen. But as luck would have it, this occasion provided me with an important and far-more-lasting lesson in the power of digital media than the reasoning behind Lorde's black fingertips. And it was all thanks to Pharrell Williams' hat.

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Posted by: Amanda Schnieders
on January 27, 2014
Reverse Pitch Connects Corporations With Entrepreneurs

Something extraordinary happened in Kansas City last Thursday. For the second year in a row, some of Kansas City's largest organizations participated in a reverse pitch. KCNext, the host and organizer, brought in a capacity crowd of over 200 entrepreneurs and other Global Entrepreneurship Week event participants. There were 65 events in Kansas City spread across a week and a half. But this event was different. This one was special.

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Posted by: Nathan Kurtz
on November 25, 2013

Twitter Updates

  • RT @atsoukalidis: Very interesting: "A Quick Guide to Smart #Entrepreneurship Policymaking" via @eshiporg http://t.co/whgzIq8Slv
  • What are some best practices for hiring team members? http://t.co/VX7O0rjTtH via @eMedCommunity
  • .@IceHouseEP gives teen entrepreneurial mindset & new perspective on future goals | new #TopOfMind ft @PrentissEarl03 http://t.co/74zxKCbWjx
  • "I Have No Idea What Your Company Does!" Five Steps To Clearly Explain Your Startup Idea http://t.co/pQzsxPO3yL by @DianaKander via @Forbes
  • SKETCHBOOK - @Alicia_Robb discusses challenges women entrepreneurs face funding their ventures http://t.co/5E6d2D7IgD via @KauffmanFDN