Start Up Missouri Connecting Entrepreneurs Across the State

Start Up Missouri is an effort being organized by a group of entrepreneurs and organizations supporting entrepreneurs from across the State.  The project leverages the infrastructure and resources of the Start Up America Partnership, a national effort to connect entrepreneurs to valuable resources, each other and create regional start-up ecosystems around the country.

The kick-off event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 31 at 611 Olive St. in downtown St. Louis and interested entrepreneurs can sign up at the Eventbrite page.  The agenda will focus on connecting entrepreneurs, sharing ideas how we can support entrepreneurs and developing goals for Start Up Missouri.

The event’s hosts include Barbara Brinkman of Innovate St. LouisJay DeLong of St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association; Chris Dornfeld of Dornfeld Management GroupTrey Goede of Affinity WindGreg Kratofil of Polsinelli Shughart, PCBrian Matthews of River City Internet Group and Judy Sindecuse of Capital Innovators.

Should be a great event and I hope you can join!

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Entrepreneurs Create Jobs, Not the Wealthy

Guest blogger today for Patch:

Driving home today I was listening to the radio and yet another discussion of the politics of the debt ceiling and financial challenges facing our country.  On more than one occasion I heard the comment “wealthy people create jobs” as an argument to against increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

The tax policy debate aside, the statement is just wrong.  Entrepreneurs create jobs, not the wealthy.

Read the entire post here.

83% of Startups Hiring in 2011

Silicon Valley Bank recently published “Startup Outlook 2011” with results from 375 interviews of private and VC backed hardware, software and clean-tech companies.  Across the board the startup companies are reporting better results than in the past with increases in expected hiring, economic perception, profitability and overall growth.

Startup Outlook on Business Conditions from SVB

Continue reading →

Don’t Lose Your Good Ideas

I met with a good friend this week over a glass of wine who is thinking about starting a new company.  The idea she has is pretty compelling, takes advantage of some larger macro trends and could really be big.   It was clear from our discussion that she had dozens of cool ideas that tied into the big idea.  I suggested she write down those other ideas on a piece of paper and pin them up on the wall someplace.  And the next day I received the following snapshot:

Creating an idea board (I just have a bunch of stuff on a wall with tape) or a place to keep those great big ideas is important for three reasons. Continue reading →

America’s Competitive Advantage

As an advocate for entrepreneurship, in late 2005 I was asked by a friend to write an article about my thoughts on entrepreneurship and immigration policy.  Researching that article I cam across some very interesting statistics on the productivity of foreign-born entrepreneurs, the United States dependence on foreign minds and the most surprising, that during the dot.com 1990s, more than 50% of start-up companies in silicon valley were started by foreign-born nationals.  In a nutshell, America’s competitive advantage is its ability to attract foreign entrepreneurs and innovators.

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Can Entrepreneurs Be Made?

A brief but interesting article in Tech Crunch today by Vivek Wadhwa, entrepreneur and Visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley that takes a look at the origin of entrepreneurs and attempts to dispel some commonly accepted myths perpetuated by the VC community.

Entrepreneurs aren’t born, they’re made. And they aren’t anything like you think they are. My team surveyed 549 successful entrepreneurs. We found that the majority didn’t have entrepreneurial parents. They didn’t even have entrepreneurial aspirations while going to school. They simply got tired of working for others, had a great idea they wanted to commercialize, or woke up one day with an urgent desire to build wealth before they retired. So they took the big leap.

It is clear from the research over the past decade that many of the assumptions regarding entrepreneurs, often perpetuated by the VC community and media are pretty flawed.  Entrepreneurs are more likely to be older than right out of college, foreign born, and not in Silicon Valley.