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Business Mentors : Blog

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Lessons From Failure: Borrowing Tools From Your Neighbors
Diana Kander
8/12/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

Adam Berk had a vision of creating an online library where neighbors could borrow tools and electronics from one another. Why buy a fancy camera you only needed to use once for a big trip? Why invest the money in physical tools for a home remodeling project if you are never going to need them again? Adam and his best friend Dave spent 5 years creating this utopian community, neighborrow, powered by a new form of currency. Their business model was to eventually white label the product and sell it to large apartment buildings and others who wanted to facilitate a borrowing community. But they never achieved their vision. 

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Lean Entrepreneur: How I Built My Startup in 48 Hours
Jennifer Kearns
8/23/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

As Kauffman Labs helps grow and educate the entrepreneurial community through programs, events and workshops, we came across an aspiring gentleman with an idea. Nodir Abdullayev (Bek) has just recently found out about the entrepreneurial community in Kansas City and has made strides to become engaged since finding his first event through Kauffman Labs. Learn how Bek's first experience made him go from an aspiring entrepreneur to lean entrepreneur.

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Khan Academy Launches Entrepreneurship Series
Wendy Torrance
9/25/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

Our founder, Ewing Marion Kauffman, once said: "It's your right to be uncommon if you can. You seek opportunity to compete. You desire to take calculated risk, to dream, to build, yes, even to fail, and to succeed". He was talking to entrepreneurs: those people who create new ventures, building visions into reality. Indeed, entrepreneurs are uncommon in many ways. They create something from nothing. They see problems (and solutions) that others might not. They take personal and financial risks.

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Ice House: Facilitator Explains Reason For Choosing Program
Prentiss Earl III
11/1/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

Last week, we hosted Ice House Facilitator Training here at the Foundation. We had people come from across the country and the international community to be trained in how to facilitate an entrepreneurial mindset to members of their community. I had the chance to sit down with one of the facilitators, Rob Elwood, and learn about his reason for coming to this training, and how he sees it benefiting his community in Annapolis, Md.

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How "People-Problems" Can Confound Early Stage Ventures
Wendy Torrance
12/13/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

Some of the very first decisions founders must make early on in their ventures are crucially important to the future of the business. Many of these decisions concern the ubiquitous "people problems" that challenge even experienced entrepreneurs. When should I found? Should I co-found with someone? With whom? How should we split the equity? Bad or ill-informed choices at critical junctures could have significant consequences for startups. In fact, research has suggested that 65 percent of new firm failures were related to problems within the management team.

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Founders School: Surviving the Entrepreneurial Life
Wendy Torrance
2/26/2014
Blog Resource
Summary:

When I read Meg Hirshberg's book "For Better or for Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families" I knew instantly that I wanted Meg to join our slate of Founders School experts. The goal of Founders School is to provide entrepreneurs with crucial skills and knowledge, and to do so with an eye to topics that are important but rarely discussed in typical entrepreneurship education programs. The subject of Meg's book is just such a topic. We all know that entrepreneurs have to juggle a variety of considerations when founding a company: team building, assessment of product/market fit, intellectual property, and how to get that first important customer. What many entrepreneurs and, more importantly, their families, know is that there's a juggle on the family side of the equation as well, but it's one that many entrepreneurs may be reluctant to talk about.

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Founders School: 'Just in Time' Lessons for Entrepreneurs
Thom Ruhe
10/4/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

You don't need to spend countless hours in a classroom, or have an MBA to become a successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs often don't have the time or patience to sit through a semester long class or six-week course in order to retrieve the answer to a question they have now--today. They need help quickly and efficiently. And this is where our idea for Founders School started.

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Founders School Live Enhances Learning Through Real-Time Events
Amanda Schnieders
11/20/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

Even with the most intuitive educational material, sometimes the most important thing a students needs is the ability to ask questions. For entrepreneurs, who are often lifelong learners, this is essential to the application of the material to their business. While online learning can facilitate opportunities to learn lessons anytime, anywhere that might not otherwise be available, the opportunity to engage directly with experts creates important connections and discussions.

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Code2040 Inspires Top Minority Engineering Students
Prentiss Earl III
9/16/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

"CODE2040 is a unique and dynamic program that creates access, awareness and opportunities for top minority engineering students to ensure their participation and leadership in the innovation economy." CODE2040 places students in internships with top tech companies and provides them with mentorship, leadership training, and network development.

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Building An Online Brand For Your Startup
Amanda Schnieders
9/12/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

Strategic words are out. Personal search is in. This week, the Kauffman Foundation held a seminar on "Online Branding for Startups" with help from Mark Traphagen of Virante, a SEO marketing firm out of Durham, N.C. I learned a number of things in the hours we discussed branding with entrepreneurs and Kauffman associates, but here are my top four takeaways.

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