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Business Mentors : Blog

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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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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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Microsoft Ventures: The Original Startup Goes Back To Its Roots
Nathan Kurtz
2/14/2014
Blog Resource
Summary:

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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Reverse Pitch Connects Corporations With Entrepreneurs
Nathan Kurtz
11/25/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

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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StartX: Training ground for Stanford's best and brightest
OConnell Brian
10/28/2011
Blog Resource
Summary:

Academia is getting ever more aggressive about helping entrepreneurs get a running start. An emerging crown jewel could well be Stanford University's brand new StartX.

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Startups: How to Build Something People Will Buy
Wendy Torrance
3/14/2014
Blog Resource
Summary:

"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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Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship
Thom Ruhe
3/18/2014
Blog Resource
Summary:

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.

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Two's (a) Company, Three's a Crowd?
Thom Ruhe
7/30/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

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.

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What Your Business Can Learn About Disaster Readiness from Waffle House
OConnell Brian
7/13/2011
Blog Resource
Summary:

Business owners could learn a lot about disaster readiness from Waffle House. Yes, Waffle House.

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What is Crowdfunding?
Cameron Cushman
8/20/2013
Blog Resource
Summary:

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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