to page content
to site navigation
Explore the Entrepreneurship.org Resource Center to find resources. Designed with entrepreneurs in mind, our resource center allows you to find materials to grow great ideas.
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.
Candace Fleming’s résumé boasts a double major in industrial engineering and English from Stanford, an M.B.A. from Harvard, a management position at Hewlett-Packard and experience as president of a small software company.
But when she was raising money for Crimson Hexagon, a start-up company she co-founded in 2007, she recalls one venture capitalist telling her that it didn’t matter that she didn’t have business cards, because all they would say was “Mom.”
Another potential backer, reports Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times, invited her for a weekend yachting excursion by showing her a picture of himself on the boat — without clothes. When a third financier discovered that her husband was also a biking enthusiast, she says, he spent more time asking if riding affected her husband’s reproductive capabilities than he did focusing on her business plan. Ultimately, none of the 30 venture firms she pitched financed her company. She finally raised $1.8 million in March 2008 from angel investors including Golden Seeds, a fund that emphasizes investing in start-ups led by women.
A culture of fun and respect for customers and employees pervades this family-owned furniture business that has been sold to legendary investor Warren E. Buffett, writes the author. Culture is what can't be taken away, even after a company is sold, as both the author and his brother are still actively involved, he notes.
Entrepreneurs confronting the unhappy task of having to downsize when business conditions change need to execute in a way that preserves the dignity of, and, ultimately, the relationship with, the employees, says an entrepreneur who laid off her entire staff in the wake of the dot-com crash. Downsizing well involves throwing away the rulebook and dealing with people on a personal level, she writes.
Instagram Co-Founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger challenge many of the myths surrounding startups and the lives of entrepreneurs. Both former Mayfield Fellows with the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Systrom and Krieger share their first-hand experiences of the entrepreneurial process, including identifying good problems to solve and the value in building simple solutions and minimum viable products. Systrom and Krieger also discuss aspects of their co-founder working relationship and their efforts to maintain a balance between work and life.
Entrepreneurship is an emotional and economic roller coaster, says venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Mark Suster. In this candid and informative lecture, Suster defies some of Silicon Valley's conventional wisdom. Based on his extensive experience with multiple companies, Suster shares his thoughts on the real day-to-day life of startups, smart ways to raise the right kind of funds, and offers honest advice in making your way as an entrepreneur.
As the Co-Founder and CTO of Bespoke Innovations, Scott Summit leads a continuing effort to create products that radically change lives. In this lecture, Summit shares insights from creating customized prosthetic devices using new technologies in nascent markets. He also discusses some of the challenges his company faced in discovering a working business model and developing customers.
Combining the allure and fun of an Australian theme with savvy advertising and PR, plus sports-related sponsorships led Outback Steakhouse to the top slotted brand in the steakhouse business, with over 700 locations globally.
A formal business plan, often considered an anathema to entrepreneurs who fancy themselves "do-ers" rather than thinkers, enables clear thinking, clarity of purpose and a benchmark against which ventures can measure success. Included are a list of do's and don'ts for entrepreneurs new to (or bewildered by) the essential planning process.
While you're Dilberting away in your cubicle, there are people taking conference calls in broad shorts and flip-flops. While you're saving your two weeks of vacation to hit the sand, they're getting paid to be there.
Want to get connected? Sign up to receive regular news, polls and updates from The Kauffman Foundation.
A robust online curriculum for entrepreneurs.
Explore Founders School >
A network of U.S. cities facilitating a weekly entrepreneur education program. Go to 1 Million Cups >
Whether you are starting or growing a company, FastTrac will help you live your dream at each stage.
Get started with FastTrac >