Entrepreneurial

Ping Fu’s dramatic journey from captivity to computer entrepreneur

Ping Fu, co-founder of Geomagic, shares her harrowing personal story with Reuters Editor-at-Large Sir Harold Evans. Fu, author of “Bend, Don’t Break,” talks about growing up during China’s Cultural Revolution and how she came to the United States with next to nothing and managed to build her own software company. YouTube Preview Image

Image: REUTERS/Screengrab

Entrepreneur, VC offers shortcuts to help startups be more successful

Image courtesy of Mark Hopkins.

Suggesting there are shortcuts entrepreneurs can take to improve their chances of success would appear to refute Malcolm Gladwell’s popular “10,000 hours” theory.

But instead of picking a fight with the “Outliers” author, entrepreneur and fund manager Mark Hopkins is just trying to be provocative to get people to pick up his own book: “Shortcut to Prosperity: 10 Entrepreneurial Habits and a Roadmap For An Exceptional Career”.

“I’m not at all refuting Gladwell’s 10,000 hours,” confessed Hopkins, 53, who actually references Gladwell in the book. “The shortcut is really a way to get people to pick up the book and for me to say: ’If you do these things then you have a good shot at it, but it’s going to be a lot of work.’”

Q & A: Uncovering the hidden agenda

According to Kevin Allen, we pitch business ideas every day. But how do we ensure our pitches will be successful? Allen’s forthcoming book, The Hidden Agenda, teaches readers how to connect to their audience on an emotional level in order to win pitches. Entrepreneurial spoke with Allen about how to find and connect to what he calls the hidden agenda.

You write in your book that each of us makes a pitch every day. What do you mean by that?

Whether you’re trying to get a group of people to follow you for the first time who you’ve hired or you’re running a small company, at the end of the day there’s an organization you’re trying to reach and connect with. In business (that’s) an audience that you’re trying to get to do what you want them to do and to buy your product. So the notion of pitching, that is reaching someone and connecting with them so they will follow you is a universal thing in business we do each and every day.

2012: The year of the artist-entrepreneur

(This article by Michael Wolf originally appeared in GigaOm.)

(GigaOm) – While 2011 was a big year for political unrest, another uprising was afoot in the world of content creators and artists. Everywhere you look, artists are taking more control over their own economic well being, in large part because the Internet has enabled them to do so. You see it in all forms of content, from books, to video to music.

A few examples from this year:

e-books: Probably the most active area in large part because there is huge shifts taking place in digital publishing. From former mid-list writers like Barry Eisler to superstars like JK Rowling, writers are increasingly making waves in digital publishing.

Video: The story of the year for artists-as-entrepreneur came at the tail-end, with Louis CK saying no thank you to corporate middlemen and putting his new concert video online for $5 a pop.

Coaching program aims to empower female entrepreneurs

Dr. Mary Jo Gorman decided to help patients in intensive care units five years ago when she saw a problem brewing in hospitals.

“There’s a crisis in the intensive care units today based on the shortage of specialists taking care of patients in ICU combined with the aging population,” says the founder of Advanced ICU Care.

Gorman’s company uses telemedicine to allow communication between doctors, patients and their families. “Our physicians and staff are watching and interacting with patients 24 hours a day from our central office in St.Louis, Missouri,” says Gorman.

11 business lessons Steve Jobs taught me

– 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. –

Steve Jobs will be remembered as one of the greatest visionaries ever. What he did for the technological as well as entrepreneurial world, will never be forgotten.

Although I’m young and haven’t been following Jobs’s career as intently as others, he has taught me a lot about business in the last five years. Here are 11 things I’ll never forget that Steve Jobs taught me:

Manning up in Silicon Valley

– Connie Loizos is a contributor for PE Hub, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. The views expressed are her own. –

This week, Marc Andreessen announced that Ning, the social networking platform company he co-founded in 2004 and that went on to raise nearly $120 million, had “agreed to merge” with the lifestyle blog network Glam Media. Yet few believe it will be a marriage of equals.

“Merger” was almost uniformly put in wink-wink quotations in press accounts of the deal. Outside investors didn’t buy it, either. “My guess is that Glam thinks it is gaining some credibility by adding Andreessen to its board, and in return Glam is putting Ning out of its misery,” said one VC who asked not to be named.

Are patent reforms good for small businesses?

– Cynthia Hsu is a contributor to FindLaw’s Free Enterprise blog. FindLaw is a Thomson Reuters publication. –

President Obama recently signed into law the America Invents Act, a patent reform legislation that does away with the old “first to invent” rule. What does the patent reform mean for small businesses?

Most notably, the new legislation pushes Americans toward a “first to file” system, meaning that those who file for a patent first will get awarded the rights.

Vodafone opens Silicon Valley startup accelerator

– Mark Boslet is a contributor to PE Hub, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. –

Everyone these days seems to be getting into the startup accelerator business. Why not an international mobile phone giant?

Why not, indeed. Vodafone is the latest institution to open a Silicon Valley accelerator with the aim of sparking innovation, and, according to a press release, providing “potential financial assistance.”

Sittercity founder to launch “social recommendation engine”

– Connie Loizos is a contributor for PE Hub, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. –

Genevieve Thiers is not a household name in Silicon Valley, but many Chicagoans know her as the founder of Chicago-based Sittercity, a 10-year-old online subscription-service that marries families to caregivers around the country for help with their children, pets, and aging parents.

Thiers is also among a small, but growing number of second-time entrepreneurs beginning to emerge from Chicago’s young, but maturing tech scene. Next month, Thiers officially launches her newest startup, Contact Karma, with co-founder Maureen Wozniak (no relation to Apple co-founder Steve).

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