Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

HOW LEADERS SHOULD NAVIGATE LONG-TERM UNCERTAINTY

Entrepreneurs and change managers may ultimately be selling a dream, but that’s not what stakeholders are buying. To obtain the money to build their dreams, founders must solicit the very people who can least afford the luxury of dreaming: high-stakes investors. Investors are not the sole stakeholders who require continual convincing. Founders must repeatedly replenish their employees’ faith in the future value of stock options or risk losing top talent to competitors offering more money and job security. In new ventures, the general psychological tendency toward emotional contagion does not apply. Founders may believe they are selling a dream, but that’s not what their investors are buying. Ultimately, these patterns of behavior serve as a self-reinforcing positive feedback loop. Innovative managers use emotional self-regulation to curate their attention and maintain emotional equanimity. As a result, they won points for being, “very, very tough in business dealings”.  Read More >>

3 WAYS YOU’RE MESSING UP YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH

A great elevator pitch can go a long way, but many people make common mistakes. Elevator pitches last about ten seconds, and it is crucial to make a good impression. The first mistake people make is that their elevator pitch is too vague. Adding compelling adjectives can make the pitch more engaging. The second mistake is that people tend to focus on themselves instead of how they can help a client. Potential clients care about what someone can do for them to help them achieve their goals. It is important during an elevator pitch to share what can benefit the client, to give one the best choice of gaining their business. The third mistake people make is that they make their elevator pitch too long. It is important to leave the listener wanting to hear more.  Read More >>

Ready For Meat Grown From Animal Cells? A Startup Plans A Pilot Facility

Memphis Meats, a California based company, plans to build a pilot production facility to grow meat from animal cells. They have funds raised from high-profile investors including Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Kimbal Musk, as well as two giant players in the animal protein and feed space: Cargill and Tyson Foods. The company says its latest funding round has brought in $161 million in new investment. Memphis Meats is still technically made from animals, but helps fight against the environmental impact of livestock agriculture. Read More >>

5 Tips for Pitching Your Startup to Investors

Venture capitalists sit through hundreds of pitches a year. Entrepreneurs can make the most out of the opportunity by having their pitch stand out and have enough information to be taken seriously. If executed properly, entrepreneurs can obtain enough capital to jump-start their businesses. By cutting to the chase, investors can lean-in and gain interest right away. Having a specific potential market will increase the venture capitalists’ confidence in the company. Endorsements from fellow team-members in the company is endearing, and something investors like to hear. Automating demonstrations can prevent awkward glitches that can arise. The secret to funding is to have a buffer: ask for double the amount needed.  Read More >>

How To Measure The Performance Of Your Remote Startup Team

Hiring remote workers gives access to talent and cost savings. Remote workers tend to accomplish more in less time, experience lower levels of stress, feel more connected with their colleagues, and are less likely to quit their job. Today, no matter the location, budget or the skills needed, as long as there is an internet connection, a team can be built and managed. Remote employees can come with challenges as well. Without proper management, transparency, low reliability, poor communication, low productivity, and security issues can arise. Drawbacks can be avoided by hiring to delegate, having expectations quantified and qualified, and by shortening evaluation cycles. Read More >>

Start-ups: The Founding Team Is a Real Magic Bullet

The majority of new ventures fail prematurely.  A lot of this failure is due to a lack of collaboration within founding teams.  Important, early decisions are prone to conflict. Examples of these decisions include funding, development, etc.  Because tensions are so high, investors often look at the team-dynamic as much as the start-up product itself. Strong teams can overcome and navigate turbulence, leading them to success.  Founders of start-ups are in a unique situation, as they can build and craft their whole team from the ground-up. Teams should be made of both unique skills, and people with interpersonal skills.  The culture that the originating team sets usually lasts long after the staff rotates out.  Read More >>

Deciding How Much Equity to Give your Key Employees

The new trend within tech start-ups is giving offering potential talent equity shares.  Giving worthy job candidates a share of equity could be the difference of them picking your company over someone else’s.  This also motivates workers, and decreases employee turnover. Equity encourages employees to stay long-term, because they are motivated by the idea of the company enters the public stock-market, or if it is sold in the future.  Equity acts as a foreign currency, and the amount depends on timing, need, and expertise. It is also very good for attracting potential advisors to the company. Advisors can triple the value of a company, so the equity would eventually pay for itself.  Read More >>

Deep learning for Internet of things

Deep learning is a type of machine learning that leverages multi-layered neural networks that are capable of transforming high-dimensional inputs into an output. Preferred Networks (PFN) a Tokyo-based start-up has been increasingly exploring the concepts of AI in order to reshape IoT ever since they moved on from being a search engine to a deep learning-based company in 2014, The founders of PFN started as a Japanese search engine in the early 2000s and later on as deep learning sectors boomed they readily cashed in their opportunity to integrate IoT and the robust manufacturing sectors of Japan.PFN has a wide range of services that they cater ranging from medical diagnostics to self-driving cars. But their early partnership with Fanuc a large Japanese robotics firm led to one of the biggest breakthroughs of the company in the field of bin picking. Although it is a low-skilled, tedious yet necessary task for the manufacturing sector, machine learning has made it possible to automate these tasks using robotic arms.PFN developed a vision-based solution enabling bin-picking bots to learn quickly from each fumbled attempt and achieved a 90% success rate after 8 hours of work. Recently PFN partnered with Toyota to develop Toyota’s Human Support Robot Platform that aims at making robots that are capable of carrying out mundane tasks autonomously. Read More>>

Can Calculations help build a profitable startup?

 Entrepreneurs must perform certain calculations in order to evaluate their ideas against those characteristics, vision, and goals before proceeding further because every idea has different viability, validity, feasibility, capital requirement, and potential characteristics. Irrespective of the bussiness model whether it is on-demand, SaaS, e-commerce, the marketplace, subscription or others, the two most important key metrics in a startup are customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value. Without a product, it is hard to obtain all the numbers necessary to perform calculations to validate the revenue model thus it is advisable to use figures from benchmark companies to understand the fixed costs, variable costs, how much it cost them to acquire the customers and a customers lifetime value. All these values help the founders to deduce the breakeven point after which the company will be profitable. This gives the founders an understanding of their big vision and helps them plan in advance without having much to lose. In conclusion, the objective is to estimate the viability and feasibility of the idea given your goals and resources. Better know this sooner than later in order to change execution strategy, market or idea.Read More>>

Need for challenging colleagues

As an entrepreneur sometimes you are forced to work alongside people who are really difficult to handle although this could have been avoided if they are not the boss of the company. Often the challenging or difficult people are mistaken to the bad ones, The challenging ones are those passionate and committed ones who stand up against the crowd and voice out their opinion showing a certain level of abrasion occasionally. But on the contrary, the bad ones are those who hinder the growth of the company and also lower the morale of co-workers and serve no good to the company. Although it is difficult initially to distinguish between the two, it is the role of a good supervisor to weed out the bad ones and let the challenging one’s voice out more. Not only does this ensure everyone’s opinions are heard but also ensures that there is a new perspective to a given problem and also eliminates the error that might have occurred if the whole team was too harmonious and everyone considered going with the group’s view imperial over raising concerns. Read More>>