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In the two years I have been writing a column for Forbes, no piece has received more responses than the one published just prior to the last presidential election. In it, I made nine predictions regarding the impact an Obama administration would have on the legal landscape, especially with regard to small businesses.
Now that we are at the beginning of a new decade, as well as the president's second year, I thought it would be interesting to see how I did. For those keeping score, I nailed all but one.
I'll admit I like being right. Too bad prescience often comes with a price.
In the introduction, I noted that the triumvirate of President Obama, Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi would be "potentially one of the most liberal governments the country has had in decades." I was wrong: This government may be the most liberal in the history of the United States.
Under the Immigration Act of 1990, the U.S. Congress set aside 10,000 annual visas for foreign investors looking for opportunities in America. Those carrots are coming in handy during what remains a debilitating credit crunch for U.S. entrepreneurs. Rather than wait a year or longer for other immigrant visas, foreign investors--through the so-called EB-5 program--can snag a slice of equity and a quick-and-dirty U.S. visa in just three-to-six months; plus, unlike other immigrant visas that might expire in a few years, the EB-5 flavor offers permanent residency. EB-5 minimum requirements: a $1 million investment from a lawful source in a new or existing commercial enterprise that directly creates at least 10 U.S. jobs. Investors can put up as little as $500,000 if the company is in a rural area or in a county sporting 150% of the average national unemployment rate. (Canada has a similar program, called the Canadian Business Immigrant Investment Program, though it doesn't impose any job-creation requirements.)
Dr. John Adler, Jr. and John "Trip" Adler III discuss their entrepreneurial experience and evolution as a business leader: For Dr. Adler, he describes his bumpy course in developing his biotechnology company, Accuray Incorporated; for his son Trip, he emphasizes the persistence and luck in developing Scribd, a social publishing site. Despite building companies in different fields, the two offer the same central advice necessary in building a successful company: trust yourself, have common sense, and there are no rules.
David Heineimeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails and partner at 37signals in Chicago, says that planning is guessing, and for a start-up, the focus must be on today and not on tomorrow. He argues that constraints--fiscal, temporal, or otherwise--drive innovation and effective problem-solving. The most important thing, Hansson believes, is to make a dent in the universe with your company.
Don't set sail without thinking first: this sage advice sums up risk analysis for Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, department chair of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. She explains that risk assessment involves the study of scenarios, probabilities, and consequences. A risk analyst uses logic and statistics to makes sense of uncertainties and provides possible solutions to derail disaster. While some events force quick thinking, most can be avoided with a little forethought. After all, she simplifies: risk analysis isn't just nuclear reactors, it's also real life.
It's not just your strengths as a leader, it's your passion, says William Hagstrom, CEO of Crescendo Bioscence, in South San Francisco, CA. He strongly advises future entrepreneurs to think of your business as a worthy crusade. Giving example with his own career, he urges those starting a company to architect their venture deeply, form a culture of excellence, and think about risk early. The culmination of his experience has redefined the role of CEO for him as way to empower others.
Now that I have stopped writing 2009 on checks and other documents, I feel ready to reflect on the New Year, and new decade. Mercifully, the passing of last year capped a decade marked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, intelligence failings that led to an...
Six young Stanford grads and entrepreneurs -- Steven Garrity, Clara Shih, Kimber Lockhart, Jeff Seibert, Josh Reeves, and Tristan Harris -- share their experiences starting companies and raising capital. While being in their 20s may seem to be an obstacle to outsiders, they said they "flipped" this liability into an asset -- focusing instead on their raw ability to bring innovative ideas to life. They advise all young entrepreneurs to be persistent, opportunistic, and scrappy.
Amy Wilkinson discusses President Obama’s plans for small business that includes increased funding as well as tax incentives for small business. This could be the jump start that entrepreneurs are looking for.
Biz World takes a look at the rise of young generation entrepreneurs. The...
This week I am happy to introduce a new voice that will be contributing posts for e360; Gary Schoeniger, founder of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative. Gary has been a long-time advocate for entrepreneurs and educator of the youth in his community, that demonstrate an interest...
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