Posts Tagged ‘venture capital’

Start A Legitimate Company In One Weekend

Take a look at almost any tech blog today, and there is a high chance that you will notice a headline related to a startup incubator because of a company that is associated with one of the various entrepreneurial seed funds. These programs have attracted a lot of interest in the past couple years, as many people lost their jobs and are now interested in founding their own company. Programs such as TechStars, Y-Combinator, Dreamit Ventures, and the Founder Institute all have numerous portfolio companies that have graduated from their programs and have gone onto being highly successful companies. In fact, the jobs creation and local economic stimulation by these programs has garnered interest from New York City Mayor Bloomberg, who initiated a public fund for entrepreneurial pursuits in New York. In exchange for the seed funding, each of the programs typically takes a small share of the company. This way the programs can continue to fund more successful and not successful companies to their credit in the future.

Adeo Ressi, founder of the Founder Institute, has the most geographically diverse set of startup incubators in tech centers around the world. His mission is to found 1,000 companies per year through his semester long programs. People such as Adeo are bringing a vision to entrepreneurial communities across the world, showing them that they can be part of an accelerated startup if they posses the necessary characteristics to execute their ideas. I believe that the best part of these startup incubators is that they are instigating a wave of innovation that will ultimately improve the lives of others and make the world a better place.

Do you already have an idea that was scraped a few months back because of some common excuse? Follow Adeo Ressi as he guides you to making your idea happen for less that $2,000.
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09 2010

Tech Startups: “Not All Sunshine and Rainbows”

Recently the tech community has been endlessly trading opinions about the best place to start a business, which city offers the best quality of life for a startup employee, and various other aspects of the environment that a startup is based. Regardless of whether you’re a tech startup based in Silicon Valley (aka San Francisco-San Jose), Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin, Boulder, Boston, NYC, etc., each area has seen its good and bad days, and each area has benefits and turn offs. The reason for this heated discussion is primarily because many people believe that Silicon Valley is losing its edge and startups elsewhere around the world no longer need the competitive advantage of being based in the San Francisco area.

Take a look at some of the popular articles by mainstream media and bloggers alike:

Financial Times (UK) – Can VCs replicate the valley in Europe?

New York Times – Boulder Colo., a Magnet for High-Tech Startups

CNN – The next Silicon Valley? It may be New York

AdGrok – New York will always be a tech backwater, I don’t care what Chris Dixon or Ron Conway or Paul Graham say

Direct negation of AdGrok post: New York is the greatest city in the world…I don’t care what Antonio Garcia-Martinez says

Perhaps all of the Silicon Valley wannabe’s should just follow the advice of Paul Graham, as he describes the best way to emulate a Silicon Valley tech hub is not to pick a sunny spot on the map, but rather to attract the right people. (“How to be Silicon Valley“)

Whichever city you choose to base your startup in,  it will not be the sole supporting factor for your startup’s success or failure. (That is unless you decide to start your skiing business in Florida.) No matter which tech hub you are in, there will always be hurdles and challenges to overcome. To Silicon Valley’s credit, they still remain the most powerful tech hub*, but they area is “Not All Sunshine and Rainbows”. For example, take a look back at the tech bubble that burst in 2000. Yes, it’s true for both sides, more companies have succeeded and failed in Silicon Valley than anywhere else. However, as Rocky demonstrates in one of the most motivating movie scenes of all time: “It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward… how much you can take, and keep moving forward.” So far, Silicon Valley has survived as the most powerful tech center in two major economic collapses, so it’s safe to say they are the winners for now.

*The dominance of tech center is determined by the amount of venture capital funding invested in companies located in each city every year.


08 2010

Succeeding With Startup Incubators

The past two weeks have drawn much attention in the web startup industry to the upcoming deadlines for startup incubators. Thanks to an internet entrepreneur that is physically distant from the U.S. startup scene, but still very in touch with the funding opportunities, Juri Kaljundi of  Estonia has put together a comprehensive list of the startup accelerator programs currently accepting applications. Check it out here.

While I am not planning on applying to participate in these programs specifically designed to accelerate the startup process, I would like to offer advice to the applicants that are applying  now or in the future. These are a few quick notes from an entrepreneurial program I participated in at Drexel University’s Baiada center for entrepreneurship in the summer of 2009-

In order for a startup to be the most successful with their product or service, their offering must meet the following requirements:

1) Solves a current problem.

2) Perceived as being innovative. Even if its not; because of the way it is packaged or marketed.

3) Easy and inexpensive to install or integrate.

4) Low-tech, meaning that it is simple to operate.

Keep in mind that these guiding points are merely a starting point, and many other variables such as market size, existing competitors, etc. must be taken into account. Either way, this  should give you an idea if your startup business is on the right track, and hopefully make your idea stand out a bit more than others. Good luck on the applications!


02 2010