In our last Youth Entrepreneurship blog post, we brought up several points to consider when mulling over whether enrolling in college or starting your own business is the right post-high school choice.
Of course, the end of high school isn’t the only time you’ll be presented with two roads diverging. For those of you who attend college, “What’s next?” resurfaces in four short years—or in just a few weeks for some of you. So the question is now, in LeBron James-speak, “Where should I take my talents after college?”
While most young entrepreneurs tend to think they should acquire some real-world experience at full-time jobs before embarking on their business ventures, we recently spoke to a young entrepreneur who might encourage you to reconsider the merits of obtaining that “real-world experience.”
David Comisford, 26, started buying back college textbooks from fellow undergrads at Capital University in winter 2006. Since then, he’s transformed his dorm-based business into Frewg, Inc., an online storefront where college students can buy, sell back and rent college books. And he did it all without any full-time work experience under his belt. (more…)
Funding sources are hard to find, and without capital businesses in the initial phases of development find it difficult to move past the idea stages. “While Americans currently have trillions of dollars sitting on the sidelines in money market accounts, countless brilliant ideas, technology, research and innovation have been squandered for lack of investment, with ongoing consequences for our health, our economy and our society.
We need to encourage investment in entrepreneurs and innovation in every way possible and provide a fast track system to launch viable new ventures.” I said this several years ago to many government officials and it looks like some of them are finally listening to all of us who have been fighting to get a crowdfunding bill passed.
You can learn more here at http://www.startupexemption.com — the creators of the framework for the bill that passed the house by 407 to 17. So as the senate moves toward (we hope) the passing of the Jobs Act, which also passed the house with overwhelming bipartisan support, (that has the Crowdfunding bill in it), one thing is certain: its passage will provide startups and early stage small businesses with expanded access to capital. (more…)
Last month I posed the question: Are Business Cards Passé? “Probably not” was my conclusion. In my opinion, they have limited value, but are certainly useful for basic non-consequential “casual encounters”. However, I recommended that if your strategy is optimizing your marketing/branding effectiveness, consider creating a Capability Statement. What’s the difference between the two? Space, for one thing, 3 ½” X 2” versus 8 ½” X 11”; making the buyer’s job easier and faster with useful information/lasting impressions.
I also had suggested some simple content (see last month’s article) that we will look at in series over the next several months. Keep in mind that the thoughts I share are my own based on my professional procurement experience. I hope you find them useful when building your capability statement, but I encourage you to explore your own creativity,. Before starting, let me just say that if business cards are “working” for you, that’s fine, stay the course! But if you are looking beyond status quo to improve your marketing visibility, consider a capability statement. Having said that, let’s begin creating our first series: Logo, Contact Info, and Capabilities Statement. (more…)
I recently had the honor of interviewing the Managing Director at one of the top entrepreneurship academic institutions in the world, and it inspired me to take a closer look at one of most controversial topics in entrepreneurial education: “Are entrepreneurs born or trained?”
Janet Strimaitis joined the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson in 2003, and before that she was an entrepreneur herself. Her personal business experience and involvement in detailed global entrepreneurial research programs led her to the following perspective, “Babson believes that entrepreneurship is a method that can be taught”, but she cautions, “Entrepreneurship is not formulaic. It is an interactive process informed by action learning and subsequent modification. It is a rich experience, and the entire field is now recognized in academia as something worth pursuing. It has gained credibility in the top academic institutions.”
The list of successful entrepreneurs in Babson’s “Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs” certainly supports this premise.
In a Bloomberg article by Karen E. Klein, entrepreneurial consultant John J. Rooney, stated “In my experience working with hundreds of entrepreneurs and teaching on the faculty at the University of Southern California’s entrepreneur program, it is clear that much of entrepreneurship can be successfully learned. However, it is also clear that people who take positive action and are focused and committed and continue on despite some negative feedback or setbacks have skill sets and personality traits that can be inborn or learned.” (more…)
Trying to decide which college acceptance letter to open first? We have an alternative idea: Tear them all up. Forget about college.
While we certainly think college has a place, the fact is higher ed isn’t for everyone. If you consider college the means to starting your business, answering these questions can shed a new light on your decision.
1. Can you learn your field only in college? If your entrepreneurial dream involves something like opening a cutting-edge surgery center—where you’ll personally be doing some of the cutting—our crystal ball shows college in your future.
If, however, your passion lies in running and not necessarily participating in your business, you can learn more about business doing business than studying it in college. Unfortunately, you may have difficulty entering the workforce without a degree, as many non-degree holders will affirm.
2. Do you already have a product or service you’d like to bring to market? Waiting at least four years before bringing your idea to market could be its death knell. After all, why wait when PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel may give you $100,000 to start your business if you skip college? (more…)