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By understanding customers' needs, a product can be developed to meet these needs. This author outlines three quick and inexpensive methods to help: Be Your Own Customer, Critically Observe the Customer, and Listen to the Voice of the Customer.
Understanding your industry, competitors, and customers is necessary for any entrepreneur. Primary research helps gather specific data, but secondary market research is also helpful. This article outlines fundamental, secondary research resources, which are either accessible online or at your local library.
Mike Maples, Jr. is the managing partner of Maples Investments, and is an entrepreneur in his own right. Before becoming a full-time investor, he worked in a variety of executive and management roles in high-growth
companies. His background spans a variety of markets including consumer technology, small business, and the enterprise, and he has served in various executive roles in product development, marketing, and corporate strategy. Mike began his
technology career in high school, when he started a software company that developed games and educational products for the original IBM PC. He has been passionate about the technology industry ever since. Most recently, Mike co-founded
Motive, Inc., the world's leading broadband software company in 1997 and played key roles in its growth from raw start-up through sales of $100 million. Motive was one of the only successful technology IPOs in 2004, and the most successful
infrastructure software IPO for the prior three years. At Motive, Mike was General Manager of Motive's Corporate Business Unit, as well as Chief Marketing and Strategy officer. Prior to Motive, Mike was responsible for worldwide product
marketing at Tivoli Systems, where he managed the company's product portfolio from its early-stage development through its 1995 IPO and growth to a $750M line of business within the IBM Software Group. Mike began his professional career at
Silicon Graphics, where he served in business development and product marketing roles. In his spare time Mike is an amateur artist, movie-maker, and calligrapher. He holds an Engineering degree from Stanford University, an MBA from Harvard
Business School, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a guest-lecturer on entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, Stanford University, Princeton University, and the University of Texas.
Tactics for selling services are offered by an entrepreneur whose consulting firm places temporary senior-level talent in finance, law, and other disciplines in early-stage and growth companies.
This veteran entrepreneur recommends a top-down approach to ensure a company's overall strategic goals drive the compensation plan. When clear objectives (including revenue targets) are defined for the business, entrepreneurs can better determine sales targets as well as how sales reps can help grow the company.
Robin Li is the Co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Baidu, Inc., and oversees the company's overall strategy and business operations. Since founding Baidu in January 2000, Li has turned the company into
the largest Chinese search engine, with over 70% market share, and the third largest independent search engine in the world. In 2005, Baidu completed its successful IPO on NASDAQ, and in 2007 it became the first Chinese company to be
included in the NASDAQ-100 Index. Prior to Baidu, Li was already regarded as one of the world's top search engine experts. His hyperlink analysis, patented in 1996, is among the inventions that shaped today's search engine technology. Li
worked as a staff engineer for Infoseek, a pioneer Internet search engine company, from July 1997 to December 1999, and as a senior consultant for IDD Information Services from May 1994 to June 1997. Robin Li received a Bachelor of Science
Degree in Information Management from Peking University in 1991, and a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1994.
Frank H. Levinson founded Finisar in April 1987 and has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 1988 and as our Chairman of the Board and Chief Technical Officer since August 1999. Mr. Levinson also
served as our Chief Executive Officer from February 1988 to August 1999. From September 1980 to December 1983, Mr. Levinson was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories. From January 1984 to July 1984, he was a Member of
Technical Staff at Bellcore, a provider of services and products to the communications industry. From April 1985 to December 1985, Mr. Levinson was the principal optical scientist at Raychem Corporation, and from January 1986 to February
1988, he was Optical Department Manager at Raynet, Inc., a fiber optic systems company. Mr. Levinson holds a B.S. in Mathematics/Physics from Butler University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of
This entrepreneur attributes his success to a philosophy built on persistence, creativity, and a penchant for asking, "Why not?" His path as an entrepreneur is rooted in creative, out-of-the-box market research capabilities.
Niche businesses either start with specific offerings for a discreet audience or carve out specialities within a broader base. Either way, entrepreneurs who operate niche companies must understand themselves, their goals, and their customers, in order to deliver marketing campaigns that are simple and effective.
People everywhere. Parties that seem to be on continuous loop all day. Vendors marketing new ideas, new startups or new swag everywhere you go. And then there's the conference with its many speakers presenting on topics ranging from anything to everything. With 30,000 people in attendance, the South By Southwest Interactive Conference can be overwhelming. So from a recent SXSW newbie to you, here are three questions to ask yourself when preparing to attend SXSW 2015.
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