John's Feed
May 9, 2012
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NPR looks at crowdfunded athletes

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The big business of sports may have a new challenger. Endorsement deals, giant salaries, big name sponsorships — this is what we’ve come to expect when we watch our favorite teams compete at their huge stadiums broadcast on major television networks. But what about the lesser-known, lesser-viewed sports? And the athletes who don’t have broad appeal and access to these sorts of lucrative deals? How do they support their athletic hopes?

That’s the subject of a Mike Pesca’s report on NPR’s Morning Edition: Olympic Runners Find Unique Ways To Raise Funds. A few athletes are changing the way they get paid to compete. For Anthony Famiglietti, a steeplechase runner, the reason for looking for alternative sponsorships was fairly simple. None of the shoes produced by shoe companies willing to sponsor him fit comfortably. He literally could not compete in their products. So he tapped into the crowd, raising smaller amounts of money and offering advertising space on his running uniform to bidders.

Apr 30, 2012
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Looking at the new crowdfunders and the JOBS Act

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The crowdsourcing site Kickstarter just turned three years old, and the New York Times has a nice profile that explores how the company has evolved and how its changed the way entrepreneurs, artists, and anyone else with an idea can raise capital online.

Much as the introduction of cheap Web services lowered the barrier to entry for people seeking to create a start-up, and as offshore manufacturing gave entrepreneurs a chance to make products without having to build a factory, Kickstarter offers budding entrepreneurs a way to float ideas and see if there’s a market for them before they trade ownership of their company for money from venture capitalists.

Apr 27, 2012
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Q & A with MycroBurst co-founder Joe Witte

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Joe Witte is the co-founder and Executive Vice President at MycroBurst, a crowdsourcing site for companies and individuals who want custom logos and designs. Reuters Small Business interviewed Witte about building a tech startup and how Mycroburst balances work with clients and designers.

First off, can you briefly describe MycroBurst? How it works, etc.

I’ve always described MycroBurst as an eBay for design services. We have a community of more than 35k designers representing more than 100 countries. They participate in design contests for our customers (aka Project Holders), who require anything from a brochure, postcard, website or logo design. What makes our marketplace so powerful, is that a Project Holder will typically receive dozens, and typically more than 100 design concepts from our design community to choose from. And that’s in one week. Our platform makes it easy to communicate with all the designers, and easy to review the concepts side by side.

Apr 20, 2012
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Q & A: Starting a Distillery

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Brothers Will and Dave Willis launched the Boston-based craft distillery Bully Boy in 2011. It’s the first distillery in Boston since prohibition and one of many new small batch distilleries that have sprang up across the U.S. in the last few years. Reuters Small Business interviewed Dave Willis over email about launching Bully Boy and what he’s learned along the way.

How long did it take to go from deciding to start a distillery and actually distilling? And what were the biggest obstacles? Funding? Licensing?

Apr 19, 2012
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How to avoid getting swindled under the JOBS Act

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The new JOBS Act was aimed at making it easier for start-ups to raise cash, but critics warn the legislation makes it easier for criminals to do the same. In this Reuters TV video, Fred Katayama explains how you can avoid getting ripped off.

Apr 17, 2012
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Study: Crisis in employee retirement planning

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A study from Nationwide Financial shows African American small business owners are worried about their employees’ retirement plans, but are increasingly optimistic about the economy and willing to invest more in employee benefits than other small business owners.

According to the study, small business owners say not enough of their employees have sufficiently planned for  retirement and the situation has reached  “crisis levels.”

Apr 10, 2012
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Looking at Greece’s entrepreneurs

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Maybe it’s Instagram-size payouts or maybe it’s just pure desperation and a lack of good opportunities that drives someone to start a business in the middle of a recession. Either way, instead of protesting or moving away in search of work, a group of entrepreneurs in Greece are tapping into that same spirit and defying the odds to launch their own startups, NPR reports.

The Athens entrepreneurs, based around an incubator called CoLab, include at least one tech startup, BugSense, that has already raised capital from Silicon Valley. So while many tech startups, including those in Greece and those that launch during a recession, will never turn a  profit, it’s worth noting that a more than few startups have successfully launched during a recession.

Feb 11, 2012
Feb 10, 2012
Feb 10, 2012