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These are the top 10 corporate venture firms that could invest in your startup
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These are the top 10 corporate venture firms that could invest in your startup

Last year, venture capital funding hit its highest level since 2000, coming in at $47.3 billion, according to CB Insights, a startup that keeps tabs on private companies. And more than a quarter of that money came from companies’ venture arms.

4 Feb
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9 Decisions That Shaped Elon Musk’s Extraordinary Career
BJR

9 Decisions That Shaped Elon Musk’s Extraordinary Career

There’s a name for the feeling that it all turned out like it should have: narrative bias. But the thing about charting a career – especially one as remarkable as that of Elon Musk – is that you can never know the results of a decision before you make it. That’s why we thought it would be useful to pinpoint the moments when the billionaire found himself at a crossroads and see which path he chose. Here are nine of those critical turning points. 1988: Moving from South Africa to North America for college. Musk grew up Pretoria, a city in South Africa. He stayed there until he was 17, when he was faced with the decision of whether to attend compulsory military service. He chose to leave, heading to Canada to attend Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. “I think South Africa is a great country,” he says of his homeland. However, “if you wanted to be close to the cutting edge, particularly in technology, you came to North America.” From there he got even closer to the center of business, transferring to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, earning degrees in physics and business. 1995: Dropping out […]

23 Oct
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Why My Digital Health Startup Failed
BJR

Why My Digital Health Startup Failed

Jeff Novich provides a rare and honest introspective look into why his digital health startup Patient Communicator, a patient portal CRM for doctors ultimately failed. My father is a primary care doctor. In 2009 he asked me to help build a product that would enable his patients to access him online rather than through the phone. Patient Communicator was basically a patient portal + CRM for doctors + practice management system and it completely transformed my father’s practice. (Read his profile in Forbes.) Then in January 2012, I was part of the first class at Blueprint Health, a healthcare tech incubator that was part of the Techstars network, and my co-founder Larry Cobrin and I spend the next 3 months trying to commercialize the product. The sum total of our efforts – which included hundreds of cold-calls, tens of thousands of emails (I was invited to a “top 20 customers” dinner with TK from Tout), seminars, an appearance on FOX News Live, ads, reaching out to our personal networks as well as the Blueprint Health mentor network – was one paying doctor (who later went out of business) and a handshake deal to partner with a small 20-year-old EMR. Read […]

18 Oct
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793
The 6 Waves to Watch in the World of Crowdfunding
BJR

The 6 Waves to Watch in the World of Crowdfunding

One of the outcomes of the 2008 global financial crisis was the “funding gap”. Banks were less willing to provide loans and investors moved capital into more stable platforms. In general, the market tolerated less risk. In this new environment, raising capital became the greatest challenge for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). They needed new platforms. Enter crowdfunding. While some players have been around since 2008, the huge crowdfunding wave crashed onto the market between 2012 and 2013, particularly in Europe and the U.S. As of April 2012, there were more than 450 crowdfunding websites worldwide. Given the relatively recent arrival of the crowdfunding wave to the market, its future iterations will be interesting to follow. Here are six waves to watch in crowdfunding. 1. Crowdfunding will continue to grow. Online crowdfunding platforms raised $2.7 billion in capital in 2012 with expectations that the number would reach $5 billion by 2013, according to a study from crowdfunding-focused research firm Massolution. And these figures will likely continue to rise. The World Bank commissioned a study and estimated that by 2025, the global crowdfunding market potential could be between $90 billion and $96 billion. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237789

26 Sep
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How To Launch Start-Ups Within a Big Company
BJR

How To Launch Start-Ups Within a Big Company

“The best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch.” – Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder and co-editor If you’re an innovator or Entrepreneur, you don’t have to quite your day job. You can innovate inside of a big corporation, too. The question is, how can you launch a successful startup within an established business? When most people think of start-ups, they think they have to launch startups outside of a big corporation or outside of an established business. And for good reason. Start-Ups Don’t Have to Die Inside of a Big Company As a pattern, start-ups tend to die inside of a big corporation. The existing businesses tend to kill them off because they treat the start-up like a foreign body. But that does not need to be the case. In fact, start-ups and new business ventures are a necessary part of business growth. The trick is to know how to survive and thrive as a startup inside of a big or established business. In the book The Future of Management, Gary Hamel shares how IBM learned how to launch new business ventures and create new start-ups from the inside out . The Story of IBM and How […]

21 Sep
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25 Reasons I Will Not Invest in Your Startup
BJR

25 Reasons I Will Not Invest in Your Startup

25 Reasons I Will Not Invest in Your Startup Every investor wants to bet on a winning horse. I mean what’s the point in losing money on purpose? But that’s the risk taken on a gamble. And the same can be said about investing in startups. Over the past month I’ve been putting together pitch decks for my next startup, a free web-hosting company. This got me thinking about the hundreds of startup founders who have approached me and some of the things they did that really ticked me off. (I’ve invested in 16 different startups over the past four to five years.) No matter what stage your startup is in, you’re probably going to need some investment dollars. So to save everyone a lot of time, here are 25 reasons I personally would not invest in a startup. Review and address these points for smoother sailing when trying to secure funding from an investor like me and others: Related: Want Angel Investors? Here’s What You Need to Know Right Now. (Infographic) 1. Proof of your potential success is missing. There’s no evidence that there’s interest in your startup or that it has some traction. Have you sold anything yet? […]

18 Sep
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992
50 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs
BJR

50 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs

There are many websites out there which can help entrepreneurs grow a bigger, better business–but there are millions more of time suck websites. How can you tell the difference between the two? By depending on a cheat sheet for the best websites for entrepreneurs. Here, a cheat sheet of 50 to get you started: 1. ForEntrepreneurs.com The name says it all: This website is the result of David Skok’s years of experience at Matrix Partners. With an MBA to complement his background, Skok’s approach to startup techniques and financial modeling is user friendly, though strongly technical, rich in charts and equations. 2. OneVest.com One of the most reputable of crowdfunding sites, this is where you can raise a maximum of $5 million from investors with a proven background. If crowdfunding is part of your startup strategy, head to the site with a reputation in the field for making it easy. 3. AudienceBloom.com You’re an entrepreneur, not an SEO guru, so leave the technical aspects of your online presence to the pros. Plus, check out the blog to get the latest updates in laymen’s terms on internet marketing, SEO, mobile readiness, and the like. 4. Dutiee.com The go-to site for social […]

17 Sep
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Smart Entrepreneurs Plan Ahead For A Startup Exit
BJR

Smart Entrepreneurs Plan Ahead For A Startup Exit

The last thing a new entrepreneur wants to think about for a new startup is how it will end. Yet one of the first things a potential equity investor asks about is your exit strategy. The answer you give can make or break your ability to get an investment, so you need to have the right answer ready before anyone asks. Here are three important reasons for the question: Good investment paybacks normally require an exit event. Equity investments are not loans, so there is no loan payback period or interest payments. Equity is stock, but private company stock has no market value until the company goes public or is sold or merged with another company. These events may take three to five years at a minimum. Startups with no exit planned will minimize investor returns. If the entrepreneur plans to grow the company into a family business, or keep it private, they will either never be interested in buying out investors, or will certainly not be motivated to provide the 10x return that investors are looking for. Investors hesitate to invest under these conditions. Most entrepreneurs like the startup role, but not the big-company role. Investors know that the […]

12 Sep
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The moment of truth for online advertising
BJR

The moment of truth for online advertising

One of the biggest threats to companies dependent on online advertising -  although one rarely discussed -  is ad filters or ad blockers. The latest data shows that 144 million people worldwide now use these applications installed on their toolbars to prevent advertisements from appearing on the websites they use. Between June 2013 and the same month this year, there has been a 70 percent increase in their use. I wrote about this a few months ago, but the availability of new information prompts me to do so again. A survey by PageFair and Adobe about the use of ad-blocking (see pdf), referred by an article in British daily The Guardian, proves what many of us have been saying for some time: this is the moment of truth for online advertising, however, the industry has dug its heels in and is refusing to embrace change, instead choosing to lie to itself. It’s not easy to find hard facts about the extent of ad-blocking: most online publications don’t talk about it, hoping that by keeping quiet, fewer of us will learn about it. But what the figures show is that in some countries, up to a quarter of the online population, reaching 40 […]

11 Sep
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943
Game On! Why Microsoft’s $2.5 Billion Minecraft Deal Could Be a Steal
BJR

Game On! Why Microsoft’s $2.5 Billion Minecraft Deal Could Be a Steal

What is Minecraft, and why is Microsoft getting ready to pay as much as $2.5 billion for it? The first answer is easy: Minecraft is a wildly popular computer game – think virtual Legos – that generates real money – both revenue and profits – for its owner, Stockholm-based developer Mojang AB. The second part is a little harder to answer, since up until now Microsoft has not been in the business of buying big gaming companies, profitable or not. And since we’re asking questions, we might as well wonder why other potential acquirers – both traditional gaming companies like Electronic Arts and Activision, as well as big Web players with logical ties to Minecraft, like Google/YouTube and Amazon – didn’t end up with the company. For now, here’s what we do know: The acquisition, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, appears to be in its final stages. A person familiar with the negotiations says Microsoft could end up paying up to $2.5 billion, including earnouts and other bonuses, for Mojang. That sum will get Microsoft a very small company – Mojang has a mere 28 employees – but a very profitable one. Last year the company reported profits […]

10 Sep
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