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Being a graduate finance student, sometimes it's a steep challenge to look outside the fish bowl and get an opportunity to see business outside the confined bounds of dollars, cents, and financial statements. As part of the Association of Loyola Entrepreneurs, a student interest group, I decided to gain a broader perspective on starting my own business by inviting three Chicago entrepreneurs to address the future business leaders of Loyola University and give us a real world look at how they decided to take charge of their lives and became their own boss.
David Zapata of Zapwater Communications launched his own public relations and marketing firm after being worn down from working for a boss he couldn't stand. Justin Jacobson of Platinum Events scraped his way through the nightclub scene, eventually acquiring a Bar Mitzvah company and turning it around into a successful event management company serving big corporate clients. Kyle McHugh's journey took him from pushing papers at Georgetown into his very own specialty wine and spirits shop in the heart of downtown Chicago. Together, they shared their insights from the trial and tribulations that come with starting their own business and passed on their unique blend of wisdom.
You may find this hard to believe, but there's some evidence that venture capital is facing the same kinds of threats that the big music labels found themselves struggling with just a few years ago.
It seems that VC's, and the things they bring to entrepreneurs, just aren't as important as they once were. And there is new competition making it harder to build and run a successful VC firm.
Who's raising the alarm about the future of venture? Well, it seems, the venture capitalists themselves.
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.
An entrepreneurial company in its second year confronts challenges more
The founder of an Internet-services provider ignores the mantra of the boom years of the late 1990s that fast growth would equal fast profit and opted instead for what he calls a "sensible" approach to building a company. That is a business model based on the need to turn a profit and tactics for doing so, the author writes.
The recurring question I hear from so many people in business is: “Why aren’t more startups generated by the university system?” It’s not an easy question, certainly not one to be solved in a single blog post. As I considered the many facets of academia that influence the actions of its researchers such as government policies, university culture, funding agency metrics and so forth, I realized that the obstacles and challenges faced by professors are similar to those of most any startup.
It's become a classic business mantra: you learn more from your failures than from your successes. But what if that idea is all wrong? Alex Bogusky, co-chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, believes it is--and recent MIT research showing that we learn more from success backs him up.
Too many people become entrepreneurs with the wrong expectations, in my ebook I create real...
Karen Richardson's contributions are helping to make sure Stanford engineering students learn about being entrepreneurs.
Nancy Richards could have taken an easier route with her business, but instead chooses to help small, talented companies get established by creating partnerships with them.
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