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Evidence Based Entrepreneurship, De Constructing Colorado - The US 36 Corridor

Angel Capital Summit - November 26, 2010 - 2:55pm
Kevin Johansen

There are a few cities on the list that have a great ratio of Accredited Investors to new businesses in the past 12 months, and a number of factors affect these numbers. This is the first in a two-part post that will give readers an understanding of the space between Denver and Boulder and help layout who is in charge of what and a general lay of the land.

Click on the US 36 Grid Picture for some information about the cities...

I found the video linked below about FasTracks on the RTD website and it sure seems like a good idea for shuffling people to and from work, entertainment, and other various travel needs. There is a green element as well since we all know it is more eco-friendly to all pile into one vehicle than drive separately.

Click HERE for the FasTracks video...

All I am saying is that public transportation is in theory a good thing and many times in practice as well. The New York subway system is a beloved public transportation icon that everyone should experience at some point of their life. The Washington DC subway system is also pretty cool and the two experiences are night and day. Baltimore put in a Lightrail and some say it put elements of the city into the county creating bad juju.

We are in Colorado, a kinder gentler place than the east coast and public transportation is pretty cool out here. It has taken some time to catch up to other cities and in 2017 it looks like we should be where they were some time ago. Progress is progress though and I think the new guy in charge of the state is in it for the people and will hopefully keep Colorado the envy of the nation. That might be a little extreme but I think if you live here for a while, you know what I mean. If you have only lived in Colorado I urge you to try somewhere else to gain the appreciation that us transplants have for the state.

The Other Pictures are Maps of the Cities on the Grid... Stay Tuned...

There is more to come on these cities, I thought you might want to watch the videos and see the pictures first. You can draw whatever conclusions you'd like about starting businesses in this area and hopefully I have given you some research tools. It will be interesting to see how the RTD affects Economic Development in these areas. Boulder has always been a hot spot for technology in Colorado and the surrounding cities seem to be doing their part to help the state grow. The next post will include more in-depth information about these areas.

I am a Marketing guy so if you like to see things the way I do, click HERE for a much prettier version of this blog post.

Categories: Blog articles

“Experts” & “Gurus” Won't Help You Succeed

Angel Capital Summit - November 24, 2010 - 10:10am
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“Experts” & “Gurus” Won't Help You Succeed

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Charles H. Duell, commissioner, US Office of Patents. 1899

The problem with experts and gurus is they already know everything. If you ask them for help, you’ll often get stale, static advice based on a narrow view, bad assumptions and old ideas. How do you find good advice? Get an advisor, not an expert.

“The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo, 1876.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” Ken Olsen, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. 1977

Advisors vs. Experts/Gurus

An expert or guru already knows everything, which usually makes them a terrible place to find help. An advisor knows the only way to get to a good plan is to start with a bad plan and work constantly to make it better.

Never use an expert or a guru. Here’s some “advice” on how to find an advisor instead:

Look for an advisor who:

- Doesn’t have 12 easy steps to success. That expert/guru has no idea how to succeed.
- Sees possibilities, and understands that almost no new business is going to land on the product it will make money at right away. It takes 5-10 iterations to find the money-maker. An “expert” will tell you how bad your idea is. An advisor will help you get from your initial idea to the money-maker.
- Doesn’t start by seeing if the numbers work. The numbers almost NEVER work early on. It’s about resolve and commitment first, the numbers second.
- Helps you test your resolve to somehow make it work in the face of great odds and your mother’s voice in your head telling you not to take risks.
- Leads you to gain clarity about the end result you really want.
- Gives you tools to keep that end result directly in front of you at all times to effect every decision you make.
- Promotes a sane assessment of where you are right now – doesn’t blow smoke about the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
- Helps you define the next few steps to get from where you are to where you are going.
- Doesn’t confuse you with defining every single step between where you are and where you want to go. Don’t do a Business Plan – it’s a huge waste of time. Just know clearly the end result and the next few steps to get there.
- Keeps you focused on three simple things – 1) Where am I? 2) Where do I want to go? 3) What are the next few steps?
- Keeps you from doing useless and endless research about what could happen if you ever did something.
- Gets you MOVING and helps you plan as you go – *Implement now. Perfect as you go.* (not Implement now. Never perfect; or “Perfect now. Never implement).

I’m a big fan of Outside Eyes on your business. Get advice, just don’t get it from people who have it all figured out. Find somebody who says they’ve made a lot of mistakes and knows that life is more like a stream than a canal – it’s messy and flows all over the place on the way to the ocean. Business is the same – it’s messy and flows all over the place on the way to success.

People with easy answers haven’t faced the hard questions. Get an advisor, not an expert. You’ll be much more likely to get where you’re going.

Categories: Blog articles

Everyone is Our Customer! (And Why You're Wrong)

Angel Capital Summit - November 23, 2010 - 3:05pm
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Everyone is Our Customer! (And Why You're Wrong)

The best thing that ever happened to me was getting picked last for kickball. Not being nominated for the Homecoming or Prom Queen. Never being the captain of any sports team. Missing valedictorian by 8 slots in high school. It’s all an epic win for one reason: popularity doesn’t translate to success.

When launching and the subsequently growing and scaling a business, one of the worst mistakes I see is companies who try to bank on popular. Pleasing everyone, offending no one and walking the dashed yellow line on the divided highway of business. My publicist has a great quote (and I steal it often, and shamelessly) that she uses during media briefings: “The shoulders of the road – left or right – you’re safe there. That’s what happens when you take a stance. Where do you find road kill? The middle of the road.”

Do you want to end up as road kill on the thoroughfares of business? I’m going to offer up two key points today for getting on the shoulder (or at least staying in your lane), as everyone is not your target customer: audience identification and testing and market access. Both are critical for not only your potential investors but your marketing team (and if you’re starting a company without your marketing hat on, grab the hat – it’s cold out there).

Audience Identification & Testing

I’ll say this once: your customers are right in front of you. Stop waiting for permission to open a dialogue with them. Believe me – they want to talk to you and they’re more than happy to tell you what they think of your awesome concepts. You can’t build a company without first understanding who you serve. If you cast the net too wide, your business concept will be vague and you’ll find yourself floundering before you could even swim. There are some key benefits to not only identifying your audience, but also using them to refine your business model:

• The Horse’s Mouth: Your product or concept won’t do anyone any good if people don’t know or don’t get how to use it. Start asking the people whom you think comprise your target audience early on what they think. Funny thing is, you might find they’re not your target audience after all.

• New Markets: In every marketing strategy I’m involved with, we discover at least one untapped potential market for the client. At least one. The earlier you start asking people how they would use your product or service, they’ll start giving you ideas on how to improve, expand and yet refine your offering to meet their needs. That’s a pretty tasty cocktail: improvement + expansion + refinement.

• The Funnel: I’ll ask you to consider Facebook for a moment. No one can argue their widespread growth and adoption rates, but what one can argue is that they do not listen to their users and nor do they well serve their target demographic (advertisers). When you actually take the time to ask your audience what they want, they will tell you and you can drop that information into your business strategy funnel. Imagine how much more successful a behemoth like Facebook could be if they actually had a customer service department. Frankly, as a marketer, multiple account holder and advertiser, I don’t need a messaging platform. I need service. Facebook has ignored the funnel and gone off on some internal development mission to build what they want to build. Don’t sacrifice your funnel – it’s a key, low-cost resource to build the better mousetrap (or light it on fire).

Market Access

Young companies also bank on popular by overstating their market. If you tell me as a marketer (and I’ll bet the investors might side with me on this one) that your target market has a valuation of $300 million, it really means squat to me. It’s possible you’re telling the truth, but I need you to tell me why I should care about those numbers. Is your market that large because it’s a real resource for revenue…or is it so large because you think you can bank on popular? You can’t monetize what you don’t know how to access – popular only goes so far. There’s an inherent value in being able to tell not only your investors but your employees and target customers that you not only understand your market, but you know how to access them and monetize that access (profitably). As an added bonus, demonstrating that you have a plan for retaining them and servicing them on an ongoing basis after initial access…yeah. We’d like to see that.

Building a successful business is about understanding first whom you do not serve. Who will never like you, use you or think you’re clever. Once you’ve got that chunk out of the way, you can actually focus on the people whom you seek to serve. You can involve them. And while it might be a far more narrow demographic than your eyes might care to see, isn’t it better to serve a specific market or set of markets well and let them become your raving brand lunatics than pay marketers like me to sell your stuff to people who will never care about it (or help you improve it)? Not that I actually take business like that (because I know whom I serve), but as a young company, you might or might not be surprised how your business model, service model, marketing strategy and burn rate all coincide. Next post? I’ll discuss four ways to lessen your burn rate on marketing expenses. For now, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you will or have placed your customers into your funnel and let them become a prime source of information for your product and service refinement process.

Bio:

Erika Napoletano is the Head Redhead at RedheadWriting LLC, a Denver-based online strategies consultancy. Her blog, RedheadWriting, is a bastion for "unpopular thoughts and blunt advice - delivered" and consistently strives to say what others won't and don't (but should) about marketing, social media, business integrity and life in general. The recent recipient of Westword’s Best Facebook Pan Page to Promote a Personal Brand at their inaugural Web Awards, she's a guest blogger on such popular outlets as Copyblogger, one of the most widely read RSS feeds on the web. She was also named in Social Mouth's 7 Examples of Kick Ass Personal Branding. You can follow her on Twitter (if you dare), check out the hoopla on her Facebook Fan Page or discover what it's like to be Bitch Slapped (a recurring weekly feature on her blog) at www.redheadwriting.com.

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Don Van Gilder.

Angel Capital Summit - November 22, 2010 - 7:12am
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Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Don Van Gilder. Don Van Gilder has held a variety of management positions, over a wide range of industries. He started his professional career as a naval officer and aviator, leading a variety of divisions of up to 150 personnel and responsible for $2.5 billion in aircraft, armament and support equipment during several combat operations. Since leaving the military, he has proven himself, primarily in small companies, in a variety of operations, project management, finance, and business development roles in the commercial real estate, finance, and energy sectors.

Don earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and a Master of Business Administration from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. His interests are even more wide ranging than his professional background, and he can often be found in the outdoors or trying out some new sport or fitness activity, or continuing to teach part-time for Vail Snowboard School. His love for travel has taken him to over 40 countries, and 49 of the 50 U.S. states, culminating in a 6 month Virginia-Alaska-Colorado trip by camper van and more recently, a 17 month around the world trip, primarily by motorcycle.

Don continues to be involved with a variety of non-profits, including Project C.U.R.E., E.S.G.R. (Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, a DoD group) and the Clean Tech Open – Rocky Mountain.

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Steve Tonkin

Angel Capital Summit - November 22, 2010 - 6:55am
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Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Steve Tonkin. Steve Tonkin worked in national, regional and local levels of both large publicly traded corporations and small privately held business. He employed a strategic big picture perspective while maintaining attention to the
immediate objectives and goals of an organization. He has found that strength of an organization is in its people so he's invested heavily in staff management and development while overseeing the monthly financial reporting cycles. Significant experience includes: Refining the financial processes and improvements to assure efficiencies and accuracy; cash flow management; budgeting; forecasting; variance analysis; maintain communication and collaborative relationships including with operations,
maintenance, sales and marketing departments.

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Robert Volpe

Angel Capital Summit - November 22, 2010 - 6:46am
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Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Robert Volpe. Robert Volpe, Managing Directorof DTI Consulting, brings more than twenty years of experience in managing cross-functional teams combining strategy, business development, finance and commercialization. His experience includes the successful building and leading of start-up organizations in the renewable energy, technology, and health and wellness industries AT DTI, Robert has led international projects in the areas of software, internet/web, medical technology, renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart grid. His clients range from startup companies seeking the development and implementation of a strategic business plan to growth-stage companies seeking international business development and capital raising strategies.

Also as part of his practice, Robert has worked withinvestment firms requesting due diligence and opportunity analysis of a potential investment. Directly, Robert has worked with foreign governments and business leaders on projects in excess of $350 million. Prior to DTI Consulting, Robert was a director and partner for over 10 years at an enterprise technology solutions provider specializing in ERP, e-commerce and customer relationship management. His leadership role in the company encompassed development and implementation of strategic business plans, business development, marketing, product development, and operations.

His passion is to build successful companies through the development of innovative strategies, effective execution, and aggressive business development with a dedicated team that can have fun while overcoming challenges. Robert has an M.B.A.
from the University of Colorado and a B.S. from Boston University. Always looking to develop new skills and provide additional value to an organization, he continues to learn and is currently completing an M.S. degree in Finance.

Robert has led international projects in the areas of software, internet/web, medical technology, renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart grid. His leadership roles have included the areas of corporate and product strategies, business development, marketing and operations.

Software, internet or cleantech (renewables, energy efficiency and smart grid) are all of strong interest where Robert can apply his skills in business development, marketing, finance and technology commercialization.

Mr. Volpe can be reached in Boulder at:
Email: robertvolpe@hotmail.com
Phone: +1.303.351.1110
Web: www.dti-consulting.com

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Alesa Locklear

Angel Capital Summit - November 22, 2010 - 6:32am
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Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Alesa Locklear. Alesa Locklear is a retired, successful entrepreneur with specific experience in Marketing and Business Planning, primarily within the Software industry. She is also a Business Coach, CPA and Angel Investor.

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Stephen Miller

Angel Capital Summit - November 21, 2010 - 10:21pm
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Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach, Stephen Miller. Stephen Miller is President/CEO for CleanLaunch. Miller was formerly Executive Director of Denver Ventures at Stapleton (CTEK Stapleton), a business incubator for early stage technology companies founded in 2005. Prior to focusing solely on entrepreneurs and early stage companies, Stephen was the Vice President and Chief Economist of the Southeast Business Partnership, where he led economic development efforts for the south metro Denver region, representing clients including First Data Corporation, Echostar, CH2M Hill, Aspen Bio, Stryker Endoscopy, Charles Schwab, SkyRidge Medical Center, and Nordstrom. Stephen has also served as an economist for the Colorado Department of Labor, where he created the Job Vacancy Survey, for which he was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as one of Denver's Forty Under 40 business leaders.

Stephen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Denver, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado. He lives in the Stapleton community and spends most of his time outdoors skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving, playing (but not always enjoying) golf, and collecting wine (he always enjoys the wine) when he's not off searching for the next great technology entrepreneur.

Stephen serves on the Boards of the Colorado Business Incubator Association,the Colorado Energy Coalition, the Stapleton Development Corporation, and netFactor Corporation, and is the co-founder of the Clean Tech Open - Rocky Mountain.

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Brewster Boyd

Angel Capital Summit - November 21, 2010 - 10:11pm
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Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Brewster Boyd. Brewster Boyd has direct experience in the consulting and venture capital industries. As a consultant, advisor, or investor, he has worked in a number of fields related to energy or environmental technologies/services.

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Steve Sheafor

Angel Capital Summit - November 21, 2010 - 9:55pm
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Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Steve Sheafor. All of his direct experience has been in the technology area, primarily in semiconductors, hardware systems, networking and system software, and he has managed Engineering teams in all of those areas. He has had significant interactions with Marketing, Sales, Finance and Manufacturing, but has never actually worked in those areas. He have served on the Board of Directors of several companies, both public and private.

He will be most effective in the Pitch Practice with teams working in the high technology area, and generally developing hardware products or software for commercial applications rather than consumer or web software. He is most experienced in Engineering and Product Development, but has worked a lot on the Marketing and Finance functions. He has worked closely with a number of companies in the development of their business plans.

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit introduces Entrepreneur Coach Chris Noonan

Angel Capital Summit - November 21, 2010 - 9:38pm
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Angel Capital Summit introduces Entrepreneur Coach Chris Noonan. Chris Noonan is a Vistage CEO Group Chairman in Denver, Colorado. He is a strategic advisor to top management-a corporate motivator, tenacious and futuristically-driven toward organizations achieving their goals quickly and effectively.

Experience: Advisor and consultant to more than 100 clients worldwide, from start-ups to Fortune 100, in the private and public sector, with for-profits and not-for-profits, as well as privately-held organizations. Successfully managed multi-million dollar projects, domestically and internationally . Advisor on mergers, acquisitions and outsourcing. 40 years as an executive and consultant, using business insight and technology know-how.

Professional background: Chair, Vistage International . Executive Director, The Genessee Group, a management consulting firm, helping boards and executives to manage change, to position for growth and to think and plan strategically . Senior Vice President,Security Pacific Corporation-launched a new subsidiary, directed corporate development and oversaw a $60M multi-national technology operation. Senior Manager, Coopers & Lybrand, management consulting services-provided strategic and technology advice to boards and executives. Director, Continental Airlines-led this airline's computer operations in providing technology offerings to 75 airlines worldwide . CBIS-founded this software firm that developed and sold systems for training and fund raising, while attending Loyola University of Los Angeles.

Board and organizations: Generalist Mentor, CleanTech Open & Angel Capital Summit. Board Member, Novell CoolSolutions Advisory Board . Member, TBI Financial Services Technology Advisory Board. Former Director, Digital Imaging Services Corporation Board.

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Becky DeStigter

Angel Capital Summit - November 21, 2010 - 9:15pm
Angel Capital Summit 2010 introduces Entrepreneur Presentation Coach Becky DeStigter. Ms. DeStigter was a marketing strategist with her own company for six years. Before that, she worked in healthcare software. She knew B2B markets better than B2C. She was comfortable working with high-tech companies and professional service providers. In the past 5 years, she has been working towards an MBA and a separate Masters in International Business. If a presenting company has major international plans, she will evaluate the workability of such plans.

She can be reached at:
www.International-Entrepreneur.com
or on twitter at: IntlEntreprenr

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 correspondent Lynn Koves interviews Mark Forsyth of the Partner Group The @RMI2

Angel Capital Summit - November 21, 2010 - 8:52pm
Angel Capital Summit 2010 correspondent Lynn Koves interviews Mark Forsyth of the Partner Group The Rocky Mountain Innovation Initiative.

The Rocky Mountain Innovation Initiative, or RMI2, is an organization dedicated to accelerating the success of high impact clean energy, bioscience and technology startup companies in the Northern Colorado region. RMI2 promotes the regional innovation economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem, and provides a broad range of programs and services to assist entrepreneurs and accelerate formation of targeted industry clusters. The initiative also serves as a connecting platform between entrepreneurs, advisors, investors, talent and support organizations.

Mr. Forsyth can be reached at:
Email: mark.forsyth@rmi2.org
Website: http://www.rmi2.org
Telephone: 970-221-1301

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 correspondent Lynn Koves interviews Alex Sammoury of Longmont Entrepreneurial Network(LEN)

Angel Capital Summit - November 21, 2010 - 8:39pm
Angel Capital Summit 2010 correspondent Lynn Koves interviews Alex Sammoury of Longmont Entrepreneurial Network(LEN).


LEN is a 501(c)(6) not for profit organization fostering economic growth and vitality through the support of entrepreneurship, innovation and technology. Launched in 2002, LEN currently provides programs and services for entrepreneurs through its center in Longmont. LEN maintains a large network advisors who volunteer their time to help entrepreneurs by providing business expertise ranging from concept development and business planning to operations and management.

Mr. Sammoury can be reached at:
Email: Alex@leninc.com
Website: http://www.leninc.com/
Telephone: 303-678-8000

Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 reporter Lynn Koves interviews Pitch Practice Czar Steve Johnsen

Angel Capital Summit - November 21, 2010 - 8:27pm
Angel Capital Summit 2010 reporter Lynn Koves interviews Pitch Practice Czar Steve Johnsen. Mr. Johnsen is in charge of scheduling and monitoring the progress of the 2 day pitch practices for the 40 selected entrepreneurs.


He is also a professor at the University of Entrepreneur, as well as involved in his own business pursuits.


To contact Mr. Johnsen:
Email: steve@cumulus-consulting.com
Phone: (303) 335-0949
Catch him on twitter at MrMoxy
Categories: Blog articles

Angel Capital Summit 2010 Head Coach David Talon

Angel Capital Summit - November 21, 2010 - 8:08pm
Angel Capital Summit 2010 Head Coach David Talon is interviewed by reporter Lynn Koves. David plays a critical role in the success of the summit, as he interviews, "hires" the volunteer coaches that will be mentoring the 40 finalists.

Mr. Talon also plays an important role as one of the professors at the University of Entrepreneur. He is also actively engaged in his own business iGrowth Strategies.

You can contact him directly at:
Email: David@iGrowthStrategies.com
or by phone: 775-291-3417
or on twitter: DaveTalon

Categories: Blog articles

Is raising capital so different from sales / business development?

Angel Capital Summit - November 19, 2010 - 9:05am
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Is raising capital so different from sales / business development?

Does developing a qualified pipeline of prospective funders differ greatly from developing a qualified pipeline of prospective customers?

Granted there are different profiles, needs, methods of access and pricing. However, these are still the same 4 Ps an effective marketing / sales operation manages daily. A firm would have to address these very same issues if they were moving to a different product / service or territory.

In fact, the opposite may also be true - the more sales people saw business development as capital raising the more diligent they would be towards partnering with the most appropriate customers to grow their business.

In sales, we often say that it is easier to get new sales from existing customers than to attract new customers. Thus, it is also true that to attract capital it is easier to access people who you know and trust you, your services i.e. customers to become investors. We should all start with the premise that all qualified customers also have the potential to be investors.

This joint approach to raising capital and sales / business development may be the most sustainable strategy to meeting both goals.

For more information on targeting the right service for the right market please contact us or visit www.bb2e.com or www.beinventiv.com

Categories: Blog articles

Clipping Your Own Wings – Entrepreneurs Can Soar as Born-Global Companies

Angel Capital Summit - November 8, 2010 - 6:55am
Becky DeStigter International Business Consultant

Clipping Your Own Wings – Entrepreneurs Can Soar as Born-Global Companies

Last year when I attended the Angel Capital Summit in Denver, I heard many smart entrepreneurs presenting their companies and met many fine entrepreneurs and business advisors. But when I asked about international expansion plans, the answer accompanied by a vacant expression usually boiled down to:

“When my company grows up...”

I’m here to tell you that the business landscape has radically changed, making it not only possible to expand internationally in early company stages but also imperative to consider other parts of the world as potential markets. Let me tell you why:

Your “Tribe” is Not Likely Bound by National Borders*. This year’s Summit entrepreneurs come from the U.S., Israel and South America. NONE of these countries have a majority of world markets. The U.S. leads with only around 20%. That means that at least 80% of potential markets are elsewhere. Since most start-up companies serve a market niche, who wants to leave 80% of market potential on the table?

Costs of Marketing, Selling and Delivering Products Internationally have Plummeted. The Internet is probably the best thing that ever happened to entrepreneurs. It lowers the boundaries on communicating around the world. What’s more, trade barriers have been steadily dropping along with transportation costs. What used to be the domain of large multi-national corporations is now open to all companies. Excuses for delaying internationalization are dwindling by the day.

The Global Financial Crisis is a Distant Memory… At Least in Asia and South America. The U.S. and European markets remain slow and recession-like, but South America and Asia were barely affected by the Financial Crisis. These regions enjoy high growth rates sprinting at 5-10% year-on-year while the “developed” economies lumber along at 1-2% in a non-recession year. If your domestic market is contracting, you should be offsetting this effect in growth markets.

So this year if I happen to meet you at the Angel Capital Summit please know something about the global demand for your product. In this economy, entrepreneurs need to sharpen their competitive edge.

*“Tribe” as a term describing market niche was coined by Seth Godin.

Categories: Blog articles

Evidence Based Entrepreneurship, De Constructing Colorado - Fort Collins; Are You a Ram?

Angel Capital Summit - November 1, 2010 - 12:37pm
Fort Collins Zipcodes Fort Collins Boettcher

Fort Collins is a beautiful college town with everything an entrepreneur needs to be successful from what I see. There is a big state university with specialties, a plan, which is always important, and the Rocky Mountain Innovation Initiative. It sure seems that they are trying and fortunately, their planning and number of investors is extremely helpful when growing an economy. Also, Fort Collins is engage in Economic Gardening, which is another reason they have a good chance of doing things that affect the Colorado Economy.

Some facts from our data:

  • There are 247 Accredited Investors
  • 26 New Businesses started in the last 12 months
  • The ratio of Investors to New Business is 9.5, which seems like there is some investment opportunity. The state ration is 2.2 so the relative number of investors to new business looks good.
  • 

How big is Fort Collins?

The images above include a map of Fort Collins and a zip code map that includes zip codes that are fully or partly within the city. There is a large area that the post office considers Fort Collins and some is actually Boettcher Farms Estates, which is the third image. This little area within the zip code is tiny in comparison to the total area so there is no major effect now. Who know what will become of the area in the long-term, I just know that there are listings to sell land and Boettcher is on maps as a place that is a point on a road when you zoom in.

Does Geography Matter?

There is more than one answer to this question. What type of business are you starting, are you importing and exporting people and or parts for the manufacturing of the product. Are you providing a service and is there a good pool of possible clients? There are many good ideas and there needs to be a reason to be located where you decide to put a stake in the ground. If studies show that families with new children are moving into the area at an alarming rate, 25 different inflatable play areas might open just down the street. It is important to know the market and research your possibilities when opening or investing in a business.

There is a lot of real estate around Fort Collins and it is important to do your research to find out who you deal with when opening a business. It appears that green technology and the overall theme of innovation is present in Fort Collins. Do some research, click on some of the pictures and articles above and see what you think.

Feel free to link to the JWconsulting blog HERE for a version of this post with more pictures if you like pictures. There are also links to articles and website that focus on the economic impact of a college or university on a city.

Categories: Blog articles

Run for your lives from the SBA (The fox is in charge of the henhouse)

Angel Capital Summit - October 29, 2010 - 4:27pm
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The SBA constituency is any company with less than 500 employees - 99.7% of all businesses in America. It's no different than calling anyone under 7' tall "short" - a category so broad as to be meaningless. EXCEPT that it allows politicians to say "we help small business", when in fact they are helping mid to large sized businesses and completely ignoring the small ones.

The SBA says the #1 sector for job growth is companies with 1-10 employees and #2 is companies with 11-20. Yet very little they do helps businesses under 20 employees.

Nothing demonstrates how committed the SBA is to big business at the expense of small business then the leadership that politicians makes sure they have in there. Karen Mills, the chief administrator of the SBA grew up in the lap of big business luxury and is the heir to the Tootsie Roll fortune, with no small business experience. Marie Johns, the second in command, also never started, worked for, built or managed a small company in her life. Her last job was as CEO of Verizon's Washington D.C. division, a $21 billion company with 32,000 employees. These are our small business advocates??

Politicians would rightly never put a male of european-american descent in charge of figuring out how to help minority women - it would be an outrage. But filling the SBA with giant corporation fat cats who don't even know what a small business looks like is just standard practice. The henhouse is full of foxes and the government put them there on purpose. Really quite amazing.

In 2009 Australia passed the Fair Trade Act which formally defines "small business" as "under 15 employees". We need such a law, then we need a new SBA that will focus on stopping the big business favoritism that is so unhelpful to small business.

Karen, Marie - are you listening? Probably not - they're too busy meeting with "small " companies with 500 employees.

If you’re a small business, you’re the chicken. Run for your lives from the SBA.

Categories: Blog articles
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