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This exceptional article offers insightful explanation and key details of how angel investors determine valuations, why entrepreneurs and investors often have different perspectives for angel returns, and what steps angels and entrepreneurs can take to quickly find common ground on this critical topic.
Investing in seed and startup companies is extremely risky: Angel investors typically realize about 85 percent of their total portfolio returns from 15 percent of their portfolio companies. Consequently, angels look only for companies that can grow rapidly. Entrepreneurs who pursue less aggressive growth are unlikely to attract angel investors.
At a time when branding is more important than ever for entrepreneurs, Lillian Vernon, the doyenne of direct-mail retailing, talks about branding herself to reach her customers. In the past half century, the strategy has enabled her company to get valuable publicity, as well as more easily extend its product line and weather times of crisis, the author writes.
Marketing creatively will enable entrepreneurial retailers to prosper in difficult or changing times, writes the founder of a venerable direct marketing company. The author offers examples of creative marketing from the company's half century in business.
The founders of a provider of outsourced information technology services advise that entrepreneurial companies maximize trust with vendors.
Market research results can help an entrepreneur change company behavior. To that end, this author recommends a ten-step plan for tapping the power of focus groups to conduct research that is immediately actionable.
Regularly reviewing your business plan ensures that you meet the needs of a growing enterprise. This allows you to identify key growth areas that you want to target.
A profile and a video tell the story of how entrepreneurship mentoring organizations have been a large factor in Peter Thomas' success, and how he in turn generously gives back his time and financial support.
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.
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