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Month: June 2018

How to Know If You Have the Entrepreneur Gene (If it Even Exists)

Is entrepreneurship caused by nature or nurture? Not that it makes much difference once the bug bites. Source: New feed

When Burnout on the Job Occurs, This Travel Company Turns Its Employees Into Entrepreneurs

G Adventures provides low-interest loans to its employees to start tourism-related businesses that provide a win-win for everyone. Source: New feed

7 Steps To Building A Highly Engaged New Venture Team

Entrepreneurs need to be effective team leaders, since no one can transform an idea into a product and a business without some help. Unfortunately many founders I work with as a mentor are experts on the technical side, but have no insight into leading a team. But fortunately, team building is a skill that can be learned and practiced, for those willing to put in some effort. The only real alternative is to find a co-founder who can build and lead the team, while you focus on the product. Otherwise, in my experience, the startup will fail. The importance and the specifics of practical team leadership were re-confirmed to me recently in the classic book, “Unlocked,” by Robert S. Murray, who is a recognized expert in the field of business leadership. I recommend his checklist as a starting p...

Make Your Total Customer Experience Your Winning Edge

Through the Internet today, it’s easy to find and compare the technical specifications for every solution in the world that claims to solve your problem, and there will be many. Most often the differentiators go beyond the product, into the ease of ordering, delivery, customer reviews, and finding your options. Your overall customer experience will trump product features every time. For example, Zappos has been winning customers for years with their ease of product selection, shipping speeds, and personalized customer service. People post reviews talking about their delightful experiences, more than the perfect product. Zappos is recognized as a winner in the design of the whole customer experience, more so than the design of their shoes and clothing. Thus every entrepreneur and inventor n...

5 Rules For Market-Focused Versus Technology Solution

Technical entrepreneurs love their technology, and often are driven to launch a startup on the assumption that everyone will buy any solution which highlights this technology. Instead, they need to validate a customer problem and real market need first. Don’t create solutions looking for a problem, since investors ignore these, and customers other than early adopters will be hard to find. Exciting new technologies these days range from the easier to use social media software platforms I see almost every week, to new transportation models, like consumer space travel and hydrogen fuel autos. These founders all seem to be pushing their technology, rather than highlighting their solution to a painful need. Customers buy solutions, not technology. In fact, outside of those few early adopters, t...

5 Reasons Most New Venture Creators Need A Co-Founder

It seems like every entrepreneur I meet these days is quick to proclaim themselves a visionary, expecting that will give more credibility to their startup idea, and improve their odds with investors. In reality, I’m one of the majority of investors who believe that startup success is more about the execution than the idea. Thus, unless the visionary highlights a cofounder who can take the vision and execute, I assume the worst. It’s true that gifted visionaries bring many good things to an organization, including big picture ideas, seeing around corners, and a hunter mentality. Yet they also come with a set of shortcomings. These were outlined well, with some good recommendations for overcoming them, in the classic book, “Rocket Fuel,” by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, both with a wealt...

7 Ways To Position Competitors Without Any Negativity

Most entrepreneurs spend far too much time thinking negatively about competitors, and can’t resist making derogatory statements to their own team, to investors, and even to customers. This approach only makes these important constituents question your integrity, intelligence, and your understanding of business basics. Pointing out flaws in others does not give you strength. As an investor, I always listen carefully to what an entrepreneur says, and does not say, about competition. Every business area has competition and every customer has alternatives, so a smart entrepreneur needs to acknowledge these as a positive in defining a big market, and position the features of a new solution in this context. Here are seven key ways to do this: Frame the competition as manageable. Investors want t...

The future will be challenging for UK tech, but this is how the sector can succeed

From London Tech Week 2018, Russ Shaw shares his key takeaways from the festival and what the future looks like for Britain’s tech businesses…… In Russ Shaw Source: Startups

Bridging the technology skills gap: How London can gain one million tech workers by 2023

In his next blog for London Tech Week 2018, TLA founder Russ Shaw explains how the UK tech sector can attract talent and increase its diversity… In Russ Shaw Source: Startups

Saving the UK high street: It’s time to embrace the retailtech revolution

Blogging from London Tech Week 2018, Russ Shaw says tech is “the solution that will reinvigorate UK retail” after House of Fraser announces 31 closures… In Russ Shaw Source: Startups

London Tech Week 2018: How the UK’s booming tech sector can prosper post-Brexit

Blogging daily from London Tech Week 2018, Tech London Advocates founder Russ Shaw talks visas, global technology hubs and collaborating with China…… In Russ Shaw Source: Startups

There are new conditions for SEIS and EIS advance assurance applications

Start-ups now have to prove to HMRC they are already in investment talks to be eligible for advance assurance… In Matthew Cushen Source: Startups

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