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.
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.
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.
Jim Breyer, a partner at Accel Investments, interviews Chris Larsen, the founder and CEO of Prosper - America's first people-to-people lending marketplace. Ranging from regulation to global financial markets, Larsen shares a wide variety of experiences in founding both e-Loan.com and Prosper.
Not so fast, Martha Stewart.
OK, you're special. You are talented and one of the best at what you do. But that doesn't mean that you're equipped to run your own business--even one within a field or industry you've been working in or following for years.
To wit: 627,200 new businesses opened in the U.S. in 2008--the same year 595,600 businesses shuttered and 43,546 filed for bankruptcy, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Likewise, 30% of small businesses fail within the first two years and half close shop within five years, according to the SBA.
The fact of the matter is that far too many people launch their own companies for all the wrong reasons and without the tools it takes to succeed. Before handing in your notice and signing a lease on an office, it's imperative you take a hard look at yourself in the salaried eye and ask yourself a few critical questions that could mean the difference between a fulfilling life as your own boss and speed-dialing a bankruptcy lawyer.
Entrepreneurs benefit from knowledgeable third-party advice provided by advisors, writes the former chairman of a family-owned diamond business. The author describes his own dealings with informal mentors and the members of his formal advisory board.
Durability requires planning, says a seasoned entrepreneur who has founded his own companies and is helping others start theirs. Market conditions, management skills and smart money must be factored into the equation. Even with everything going for you, be prepared for a steep staircase and more than one ceiling to crash as your company climbs toward a successful future.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of TheFacebook, is interviewed by VC, Jim Breyer, Managing Partner of Accel. Mark describes what it was like to leave Harvard to venture into a business to build a social utility tool for college students around the world.
Richard Jarman sees entrepreneurship as the backbone of the American economy, and he's doing his part to help by mentoring up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
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.
Donna Novitsky, CEO of Big Tent Design and a former venture capitalist at Mohr Davidow Ventures contrasts her experiences as an executive in a start-up, a venture capitalist and as an entrepreneur. Novitsky addresses the role of risk mitigation in investing in new ventures and the importance of having a singular focus, aligning company goals with funding requirements and team work in an entrepreneurial environment. Her motto, "Go big or don't go!" has driven her endeavors from her first job to her new venture.
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 >