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Pittsburg, Kansas and Pittsburg State University benefit from the broad generosity of Gene Bicknell, who gives because "it's the right thing to do."
Are today's newly wealthy entrepreneurs robber barons or 21st-century heroes? Those who profit from the process of wealth creation are under increasing pressure to apply their skills and business experience to philanthropic ventures.
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.
When cash flow turned positive and profits started coming in, the co-founder of an Internet start-up sought his advisory board's approval for new expenses. What he got was a barrage of questions: "Where are next year's projections? What's your mission statement?" As the business grew, the board made sure it stayed on track financially, raising prices as well as morale. And when the company was acquired, everybody cashed in.
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.
Clean tech is the topic discussed between Steve Perricone, CEO of waste management and energy company BioFuelBox, and one of his investors, DFJ veteran VC Jennifer Scott Fonstad. In addition to discussing the company's technology, structure, and applications, they also expound on current stimulus dollars for alternative energy systems.
Three dogs, two guys, and one 59-cent biscuit cutter add up to powerful national public relations: A high-brow bakery for dogs becomes the toast of prestigious publications and broadcast outlets (The Wall Street Journal, the cover of Forbes, People magazine and The Oprah Winfrey Show). In this engaging article, its co-founder serves up tips that are as tough as the business is winsome for your doing the same. Among the suggestions: massage that rookie from the local weekly.
In this Collection overview article, this entrepreneur and director argues boards of directors are critical success factors in fast-growing companies. This expert debunks a set of common misconceptions many entrepreneurs have about boards and outlines why an entrepreneur should build one.
Jensen Huang, co-founder and CEO of NVidia, discusses the importance of having a big vision when starting a new venture. He says that you should not be daunted when others, including early customers, don't share your vision because they don't share your world view. Huang's vision for NVidia involves building a culture of innovation, with the conviction that if you aren't reinventing yourself then you are slowly dying. This culture cultivates risk-taking and, therefore, fosters a tolerance for failure.
Rick Wallace, recently appointed CEO of KLA-Tencor, shares his management philosophy and the key to the company's success over the last 30 years. He stresses the importance of having a clear vision, distinct values and a well defined strategy to take care of his key constituencies: employees, customers and shareholders.
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