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The Entrepreneur

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TechTown's New $5M Fund Only a Baby Step for FastTrac Entrepreneurs
Lovy Howard
4/23/2010
Article Resource
Summary:

Don’t get Randal Charlton wrong. The executive director at the TechTown business incubator in Detroit is thankful for a recent announcement of $5 million coming his way to help graduates of his FastTrac business training program launch their companies. But, he says, look at it this way: The money, granted by the New Economy Initiative, a Detroit-area philanthropic partnership, is not being thrown at comfortable entrepreneurs. This is, essentially, aid to the unemployed. And, as such, $5 million barely scratches the surface.

Many of the entrepreneurs to be helped by the First Step Fund, the entity created by NEI’s $5 million investment, are not launching startups because it seems like a promising thing to do. They have nowhere else to go, Charlton says. Their former jobs in the auto industry are gone, never to return. Their choices are to leave the state or try to create their own jobs in Michigan.

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His Name is Earl
Ruhe Thom
4/22/2010
Blog Resource
Summary:

As readers of e360 may know, I travel a bit – about 100,000 miles a year to be specific. In traveling this much, I have learned the survival skill of going on what I call “autopilot” mode. I can do the flight check-in, security screening,...

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The Ebb and Flow of Clean Tech and Entrepreneurs
Perea Carlos
4/21/2010
Audio Resource
Summary:

Twenty percent of the world's population do not have access to clean drinking water, says Miox CEO Carlos Perea. What's an entrepreneur to do? Ideally, find a way to clean and reuse the global water supply that's, "twice as good at half the cost" of conventional chlorine decontamination. In this lecture, Perea demonstrates his company's abilities and explains the benefits and challenges of being an entrepreneur in clean technology.

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VCs Invest in Fewer Startups
Cook Jon
4/21/2010
Article Resource
Summary:

So far this year both the number and size of deals by venture capitalists are down over the final quarter of 2009.

A total of 681 deals for $4.7 billion were completed by VCs in the first quarter of 2010, according to a MoneyTree Report released by the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers. That dollar amount is down about 10 percent over Q4 2009, but up nearly 40 percent over the same period last year.

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Yahoo! Invests $500k in Egyptian Innovation Campaign
Menon Vineetha
4/21/2010
Article Resource
Summary:

Yahoo! and Egypt-based NGO Nahdet El Mahrousa have launched a campaign called ‘Social Innovation Starts with YOU' that hopes to inspire and motivate young Egyptians to be social entrepreneurs.

The campaign is in line with the U.S. Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship that will take place on April 26 - 27, 2010 in Washington D.C., where Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang will deliver a keynote speech on how the Internet can positively transform lives, societies, and economies in Arab communities.

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Creating Collaboration Takes More Than Technology
Rosen Evan
4/20/2010
Article Resource
Summary:

Why should any organization adopt collaboration? There's only one reason—value creation. After all, if we're not creating value, what's the point? With a growing consciousness for collaboration, many companies are investing in collaboration tools and technologies. These range from enterprise instant messaging and unified communications, wikis, and enterprise social media to virtual worlds, Web conferencing, and telepresence.

In a typical scenario, the months fly by after the collaboration tools are implemented. As the seasons change, decision-makers anticipate reaping the benefits of collaboration. And perhaps they can even point to successes within particular business units or functions. Often, though, it's the same old story. The company remains for the most part internally competitive, hierarchical, and command-and-control driven. The tools alone have failed to make the company collaborative. Worse yet, the tools may have created no real value, and the decision-makers who had pinned such high hopes on these tools are surprised.

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Out of the Loop in Silicon Valley
The New York Times
4/19/2010
Article Resource
Summary:

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.

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Entrepreneurship News Roundup: Week of 4/16/2010
Ruhe Thom
4/16/2010
Blog Resource
Summary:

In SoHo this week, first-time entrepreneurs figured out how to pitch investors their startup ideas, all within 15 seconds.

The global competition regarding innovation and the future of business is about to change.  Emerging countries are starting to lead global innovation that will turn the...

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Are Entrepreneurs Really Predators?
Schoeniger Gary
4/15/2010
Blog Resource
Summary:

As entrepreneurship has emerged as a global phenomenon, it is apparent that many popular entrepreneur myths remain. Among them, none is perhaps more common (and potentially devastating) than that of the entrepreneur as a bold risk taker, the flamboyant gambler who bets it all and...

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The Most Profitable Small Businesses
Nelson Brett Farrell Maureen
4/15/2010
Article Resource
Summary:

Based on 300,000 companies, most with annual sales under $10 million. One takeaway: Specialization pays off.

Spiking sales might make for good cocktail conversation, but if you don't turn a profit--and keep turning one--you won't be in business very long. With the help of Sageworks, a Raleigh, N.C.-based accounting consultancy and private-company data provider, Forbes assembled a list of the 20 most profitable businesses, on a pretax basis, that aspiring entrepreneurs might launch. At No. 1: offices of Certified Public Accountants, with an average pretax margin of 17.1%. Wired communication carriers (transmission-line operators and the like), which clock an average 10.1% margin, brought up the rear.

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