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There is no shortage of well-educated people in academic environments. But the challenge is in turning the attention of those bright minds to entrepreneurship. Here are a few ideas on how to do it.
What's the most valuable aspect of your business? Is it the bricks and mortar? The equipment? Or is it something intangible? While you can't touch it, feel it or see it, intellectual property when defined as "knowledge" or "know how" is often times the real equity of a business, and if it's lost, it can bring that business to its knees.
Every Thursday evening in downtown Pittsburgh, something special happens at Little E's Jazz and Blues Club. During happy hour each week, entrepreneurs get together to tap into what's hot in the Pittsburgh start-up arena. Over drinks and cool jazz, they have the opportunity to interact and create relationships with potential financiers, university incubators, economic development thought leaders and other business stars.
Baby boomers are micromanagers, work hard, do not understand technology, are stubborn and want to destroy the planet. Millennials are lazy, entitled, tech savvy, want to save the world and don't know how to communicate in person. Although the generalizations of baby boomers and millennials vary, they do share one similar characteristic, they both share particular entrepreneurial characteristics. Millennials crave freedom and earning potential. Baby boomers have a desire to build something.
When one thinks of Mexico City, startup companies would not normally be at the top of anyone's mind. But, I had the chance to spend a few hours with some of the local entrepreneurial organizers there last week and was very impressed with what I saw.
Can you guess where the follow startups were founded-- GameStop, Woot, Words with Friends, SOFTLAYER? Probably Silicon Valley, right? No. How about Boston? Wrong again. I'll give you a hint: it's the fourth largest media market in the country, home to 18 Fortune 500 companies and boasts two major airports, serving as headquarters for two major airlines. Sounds like a pretty good place to start a company, right? Dallas, and the surrounding area called the "Metroplex", sure thinks so and it wants you to start thinking so as well. On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the emerging startup scene in Dallas. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found here.
Last night I had the privilege of watching the first ever Get in the Ring Competition in the United States. Though this competition is in its sixth year, this was the first year that the United States had participated. The process began in August with groups of judges sorting through about 300 applications from startups all across the country. After several rounds of judging, the final eight startups were invited to Kansas City to participate in the U.S. version of Get in the Ring, the American Startup Clash.
One of the questions I get asked the most is some version of "what do you think of crowdfunding?" I usually answer with some noncommittal answer about how it is going to be important, but no really knows how it will impact the trajectory and success of startup companies. After all, the notion of banding together through social media to fund the development of a prototype, documentary film or art project has been going on for many years now.
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