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Funding Update

November 18, 2009 by Akira Hirai


Funding update

The MoneyTree report of U.S. venture capital activity for the third quarter was just released by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. The $4.8 billion invested in Q3 is a significant jump from the $4.1 billion in Q2 and $3.3 billion in Q1, but still well off of the $7.1 billion invested during Q3 of last year. The number of deals has remained in the 600 to 700 range each quarter this year, compared to 900 to 1,100 per quarter last year. Clean Tech experienced an 89% increase in [Read More]

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It’s Never Too Early to Plan Your Exit

November 18, 2009 by Rick Tifone


It’s Never Too Early to Plan Your Exit

Most entrepreneurs are so excited about starting and growing their businesses, they often forget the end game until it’s too late. Proper exit planning can help maximize the value of your venture, minimize the tax consequences of the transition and allow the business owner to control the process. Here’s a sad but all-too-common story about a hypothetical business – Stevenson Consulting – to illustrate our point: Mike and Bill Stevenson were two owners of a thriving IT Consulting company. What began as a business planning meeting quickly turned into a [Read More]

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Greenbuild Shows Entrepreneurial Spirit is Alive and Well

November 13, 2009 by Paul Sereiko


Greenbuild Shows Entrepreneurial Spirit is Alive and Well

Eco-conscious product suppliers and their prospective customers descended en masse this week on Phoenix for the annual Greenbuild convention. It is quite an event with over 1,800 exhibitors, several full days of educational conferences, and headline ‘bring on the crowd’ brand names offering inspiration and entertainment. To wit, last night’s marquee event was held at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and included a speech from Al Gore, and a concert by Sheryl Crow! Beyond the headliners I was really impressed with the level of entrepreneurship on display at [Read More]

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Starting & Running a Business During Recessions: 9 Great Resources

September 15, 2009 by Akira Hirai


Starting & Running a Business During Recessions 9 Great Resources

Summer is winding down and Labor Day is behind us. Although the recession technically started in December 2007, many of us did not feel the full effects of the financial crisis until the sudden collapse of 158-year-old Lehman Brothers one year ago today. This has been a year that none of us will soon forget. The outlook remains uncertain, but the future seems brighter than our immediate past. Many economists are seeing signs of a so-called jobless recovery. A jobless recovery is a situation where the economy resumes growth, but [Read More]

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The Entrepreneur

July 26, 2009 by Akira Hirai


The Entrepreneur

On July 24th, SnagFilms released The Entrepreneur, a documentary film about a driven auto industry entrepreneur named Malcolm Bricklin. Bricklin is a fiery, temperamental entrepreneur with a flair for brinkmanship. He has a storied past, having introduced the Subaru and Yugo automotive brands into the United States, and having developed the Bricklin SV-1 gull-wing sports car in the mid-1970s. This film follows Bricklin for five years as he strives to build a new car company, Visionary Vehicles. He scours the planet for an unknown manufacturer whose vehicles he can import [Read More]

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The Age of Entrepreneurship

June 25, 2009 by Akira Hirai


The Age of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship. It conjures images of twenty-something graduate students hacking code in a Silicon Valley dorm room, fueled by a steady supply of Red Bull and Ramen. Starting a tech company requires youthful vigor, endurance, freedom from obligations like mortgages, imagination, and an intimate understanding of what’s trendy and hip. Right? To be sure, a number of tech titans started more-or-less this way: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Hewlett-Packard, to name a few. However, a new study published last week by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation – the group devoted to [Read More]

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Do You Have a Venture Value Scorecard?

June 22, 2009 by Akira Hirai


Do You Have a Venture Value Scorecard?

We can measure success in many ways. In business, one important measure is the value of the company. That’s because a company’s value is a composite of all of the quantitative and qualitative factors that comprise a company: revenues, expenses, risks, growth prospects, quality of the management team, competitive advantages, strength of the intellectual property, and so forth. In general, we want to do the things that increase the value of the business, and we want to avoid doing the things that reduce it. The problem is that we often [Read More]

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New Entrepreneur Reality TV Show: Shark Tank

June 20, 2009 by Akira Hirai


New Entrepreneur Reality TV Show Shark Tank

ABC and Mark Burnett Productions are developing a new reality program putting entrepreneurs through the fundraising hoops. There’s still time to make the casting call if you’re interested in applying. Here’s what they have to say: The producers of the new ABC reality series Shark Tank are on a nationwide search to discover the next successful – and possibly wealthy – entrepreneurs, inventors, businesspersons, dreamers, promoters, creators and innovators. In each episode, budding entrepreneurs are given the unprecedented chance to make their business ideas come true. If you feel you [Read More]

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What Kills Startups?

April 1, 2009 by Akira Hirai


What Kills Startups

Entrepreneurs are, by definition, risk takers. Thus, strong risk management is an important source of competitive advantage. Although over half of all startups fail within their first five years, you can beat the odds and build a thriving and rewarding venture by learning to recognize and manage risks. “What Kills Startups” provides a framework for identifying, thinking about, and mitigating the biggest risks ahead of you. So roll up your sleeves and dig in! Read the HTML version of “What Kills Startups?” Read the PDF Version of “What Kills Startups?” [Read More]

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The Angel Investor Market

April 1, 2009 by Akira Hirai


The Angel Investor Market

The Center for Venture Research has published their 2008 report of angel investor activity in the U.S. The report contains both good news and bad news. The Good News:  The number of active angel investors in 2008 and the number of deals they invested in remained comparable to 2007. In 2008, a total of 55,480 ventures received angel investment, down only 2.9% from the previous year. The number of active individual angel investors remained steady at 260,500. The Bad News:  The total dollars invested in 2008 fell 26.2% to $19.2 [Read More]

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