Entrepreneurial

Startup banks on TV show tweets

– By Alastair Goldfisher. This article initially appeared on PE Hub. –

At the NewTeeVee Conference in San Francisco earlier this month, a Twitter executive noted more people are using Twitter while they watch TV to comment on programs and interact with others doing the same.

That observation is good news for TVmoment, a San Francisco-based startup (located in the pariSoma loft) that is aiming to launch soon. TVmoment, started earlier this year by co-founders Frederik Fleck and Gaylord Zach, is currently in testing mode, but the service allows users to chat online with others about their favorite shows and movies while watching TV.

In some ways, TVmoment is similar to others in the crowded TV social space, such as GetGlue, Miso, Philo and Tunerfish. TVmoment provides chat rooms, social functions and check-ins. But TVmoment has also developed server technology to sync your Internet with your TV, so when you change what channel you’re watching, the audio receiver on your laptop will recognize what show you changed to, and then those in your social network on TVmoment will be notified of the switch, assuming you opted-in to that choice. A video demo is posted below.

“There are all kinds of possibilities with TV and social interaction,” Fleck said. “The early first step was sites that told other users what you were watching. We want to take that a step further.”

What entrepreneurs can learn from Taylor Swift

– Ashley Bodi is the founder of Business Beware. This article originally appeared on Under30CEO. The views expressed are her own. –

When Taylor Swift was 11 she would go up and down Music Row knocking on producers’ doors telling them “Hi, I’m Taylor and you should listen to me sing. Call me!” And of course nobody ever did. Without getting discouraged she used that rejection as rocket fuel and was determined to turn some heads.

Starting out you have to know that you are going to get rejected by some or maybe everyone but don’t think for a second that it means you don’t have something that’s worth taking a look at. Just imagine how many of those people that turned her down are now thinking to themselves “why did I not give her the time of day?”

from Reuters Money:

3 ways to cope with year-end tax uncertainty

USA-TAXES/The end of the year is in sight. But with taxes still in flux, it’s easy to succumb to your own worst instincts and just block out all the noise: After all, how can you even think about your own year-end tax planning when you don’t know what the rules are, and may not know till after the end of the year?

“People can get paralyzed, and not take any action,” says Rich Kohan, principal of personal financial services at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

With December rapidly approaching, there’s very little time for Congress to act on the Bush tax cuts, which are slated to expire at year-end, increasing the risk that nothing will happen before that date. Democrats would like to see the tax cuts extended for couples who make less than $250,000 (or $200,000 for singles), while Republicans want them kept in place for everyone, including the richest Americans.

The entrepreneurial stress test

– Neil Patel is a serial entrepreneur that blogs about business at Quick Sprout and is the co-founder of KISSmetrics. The views expressed are his own. –

It’s been roughly 10 years since I started my entrepreneurial journey. There were definitely good times as well as times where I felt like ripping my hair out. However, looking back to when I first started, even though I made a ton of mistakes, for some reason they always led me in the right direction.

Now, you could say that it’s because I am persistent, but I wouldn’t agree to that being the reason. Scrappiness is another quality that people believe I have, but again I don’t think that’s what got me to where I am either.

How to deliver a killer elevator pitch

– The following article originally appeared on Under30CEO.com. The views expressed are their own. –

The elevator pitch is one of the most important elements in starting your business successfully. Picture this: you are searching for funding for your new business, taking an elevator from a big meeting when in walks Donald Trump. What do you do? Do you freeze up when he asks you what you are doing here or do you nail him with a perfect pitch, snag his business card and score a meeting?

Here is a guide to the several core elements of the elevator pitch. This is not your “commercial” and is not a sales pitch. That can be crafted from this, but this serves as a professional pitch with the purpose of raising investment for your business. This is a pitch for your company, not what you are selling. Tell them why your business will be successful.

TechStars’ founder predicts accelerator implosion

Less than two months from launching its New York program, TechStars co-founder David Cohen is already anticipating a critical mass being achieved in the startup-mentoring space within the next five years.

Cohen said that when he and two friends first launched TechStars in Boulder, Colorado four years ago there were just a handful of these accelerator programs. Now he said there are upwards of 60 across the country and he expects that to triple before the bubble bursts.

“There will be a run up to a couple hundred and then we’ll probably see a run down to 10 would be my guess over the next five years,” said Cohen, who has expanded TechStars to Boston and Seattle in recent years and has invested in more than 70 startups since launching the program. “There will certainly be a little mini accelerator bubble.”

Invest in lines, not dots

– Mark Suster is a former serial entrepreneur and a partner at Los Angeles-based venture capital firm GRP Partners. This article originally appeared on his blog “Both Sides of the Table”. The views expressed are his own. –

Everyone seems to be in such a rush to get shacked up these days.

In normal times investors will look for “traction” before investing. We want to make sure we’re in love. This sometimes frustrates entrepreneurs who just want to “get back to running the business.” But if you understand it you’ll see that it’s perfectly rational and it should also influence how you form relationships with investors. And remember, if we get married you’re stuck with us, too.

The first time I meet you, you are a single data point. A dot. I have no reference point from which to judge whether you were higher on the y-axis three months ago, or lower. Because I have no observation points from the past, I have no sense for where you will be in the future. Thus, it’s very hard to make a commitment to fund you.

from MediaFile:

The return of the Internet-bubble phantom

Oh, man. Not another Internet bubble scare. They just won't go away.

The first Internet bubble—the so-called dot-com boom and bust—was a decade ago. Since then, the Internet sector has been a hotbed of tiny startups experimenting with new wrinkles in the web's evolution: social graphs, smartphones, local technology, augmented reality, etc. Some of the ideas are good, some startups become superstars like Facebook, drawing in more capital to similar companies.

And when it happens, someone—usually a prominent VC—blogs about how it feels like an Internet bubble, spawning a news meme. The talk fades after the bubble never really emerges. Look at Google trends for “Internet bubble” and the news volume (the smaller graph at the bottom) shows a spike about every year or so.

The latest scare started, innocently enough, with a blog post last week by Fred Wilson, an influential VC at Union Square Ventures.

Timing your startup

– Chris Dixon is co-founder of Hunch and founder of Founder Collective, and an investor in many early-stage companies like Skype and Foursquare. Previously he co-founded Siteadvisor, which was acquired by McAfee. This blog originally appeared on cdixon.org. The views expressed are his own. –

I never had the opportunity to invest in YouTube but I have to admit that if I did I probably would have passed (which of course would have been a huge mistake). I’d been around the Web long enough to remember the dozens of companies before YouTube that tried to create crowdsourced video sites and failed. Based on “pattern recognition” (a dangerous thing to rely on), I was deeply skeptical of the space.

What I failed to appreciate was that the prior crowdsourced video sites were ahead of their time. YouTube built a great product, but, more importantly, got the market timing just right. By 2005, all the pieces were in place to enable crowdsourced video – the proliferation of home broadband, digital camcorders, a version of Flash where videos “just worked,” copyrighted Web content that could be exported to YouTube, and blogs that wanted to embed videos.

Why America isn’t lending to small businesses

– Jeff Stibel is the chairman and CEO of small business credit rating agency Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. The views expressed are his own. –

The “Great Recession” – the longest since World War Two – will have an even more prolonged effect on the economy if one trend continues: small businesses are unable to secure capital.

Despite significant government stimulus to banks and lending institutions, small business lending is actually down over the past few years. So why isn’t the banking industry lending to small businesses during a period in our history when it’s absolutely essential? The answer has a lot to do with credit-worthiness.

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