Entrepreneurial

Entrepreneur’s tweet sparks fight with angels

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

Last month, entrepreneur Matt Mireles published a tweet, asking: “Why is TechStars NYC run by a non-entrepreneur?”

The “non-entrepreneur” in question is 29-year-old David Tisch, whose grandfather built Loews into a Fortune 100 company that operates hotel chains, and whose family’s largess has helped bankroll numerous institutions, including the Tisch Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Since 2007, the young Tisch has been seed-funding startups with his brothers. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has also started two Internet companies, both of which were shuttered in less than a year’s time.

Surely, Mireles isn’t the first to wonder whether someone with Tisch’s background can fully appreciate the challenges that struggling entrepreneurs face. But the New York angel community’s reaction to Mireles’s apparently sincere question was surprisingly harsh. “I would recommend reserving judgment until you meet and know someone before you insult them publicly and passive-aggressively,” tweeted Chris Paik of Thrive Capital, a seed-fund in New York. Josh Stylman, an entrepreneur and seed investor who has stakes in Betaworks and GroupMe among other startups, called Mireles a “judgmental d**chebag” on Twitter.

Other comments were milder although somewhat defensive. “David is one of the good guys,” tweeted Hunch co-founder Chris Dixon, who is also a member of the seed-stage investment group Founder Collective. (Tisch smartly declined to weigh in, at least publicly.)

Startup sees boost after Japan quake

A heat map displaying downloads of MiserWare software in Japan since the earthquake hit on March 11, 2011. Graphic shows downloads as of April 7, 2011. REUTERS/HO/MiserWare

A heat map displaying downloads of MiserWare software in Japan since the earthquake hit on March 11, 2011. Graphic shows downloads as of April 7, 2011. REUTERS/HO/MiserWare

Blacksburg, Virginia is far from the epicenter of the earthquakes that have rocked Japan over the last six weeks, but resident Kirk Cameron has felt the virtual aftershocks.

Days after the magnitude 9.0 shaker hit, Cameron’s startup MiserWare tripled the number of downloads for its proprietary Granola energy-saving software.

From a notebook to launching a startup

shane mac– Shane Mac is the co-founder of online job recruitment startup Hello There. He is also the director of marketing at Zaarly and formerly spearheaded marketing at Gist (acquired by RIM). This is an edited version of the original article that appeared on Quick Sprout. The views expressed are his own. –

About a year ago, I sat in a coffee shop pitching a new idea to one of the founders of Startup Weekend, Clint Nelson. Never would I have predicted that this one meeting would have such an impact on the next year of my life.

The entire concept was all on one page of my notebook: sketches, pricing models, tag lines and even people I should sell it to. I’ve put every idea from notes, books, speeches, and product sketches in an indexed notebook since I read a post by Tim Ferriss two years ago.

Common budget mistakes for tech startups

A call centre personnel uses a calculator as she answers a call from a investor at an online brokerage company in Tokyo October 23, 2008. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

A call center employee uses a calculator in Tokyo. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

– Ed Buchholz is the co-founder and CEO of 60mo, a cloud-based financial services company catering to small business owners. The views expressed are his own. –

Most everyone is familiar with the cliché: more money, more problems. But what if the problem is money?

Keeping your tech startup solvent requires the avoidance of several common budget mistakes. A budget or lack thereof can make or break a startup. Keep your overhead intact by doing the following:

Blippy co-founder contemplates next move

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

As a little boy, Philip Kaplan, the serial entrepreneur long known as Pud, was “force fed” Ritalin. Kaplan says this with a laugh, but even today, the 35-year-old admits to having trouble focusing for too long on any one thing. “My wife says I’m like a kitten with a ball of yarn,” he shrugs.

Kaplan’s attraction to the next shiny new thing has led him to start dozens of companies in his lifetime, including F*ckedCompany, which famously chronicled dot.com busts and saw 5 million monthly unique visitors at its peak a decade ago; AdBrite, the advertising sales and services network; and Blippy, a controversial social network that asks users to share their credit card and online purchases.

An entrepreneur’s view of the Japan quake

– Matthew Romaine is Co-Founder and CTO of myGengo, a crowd-sourced translation platform launched from Tokyo, Japan. Born in Boston to an American father and Japanese mother, Matt has lived in Tokyo for a total of 17 years. The views expressed are his own. –

As I write this entry traveling 200 kilometers per hour (124 miles per hour) on a bullet train bound for Tokyo, I’m anxiously curious to catch up with my colleagues in person. One returns from Hong Kong today, another from Taiwan. A third is returning from a remote island south of Kobe, and three are making plans to return from Melbourne. Just last week we were all in the same room focused – or at least attempting to focus – on growing our crowd-sourced translation platform myGengo, from Tokyo.

We are a startup that gathers translators from around the world, qualifies them, then unleashes a sea of bite-size content – from emails, tweets, and iPhone app descriptions – for translators to work through. Users enjoy the convenience; translators like the work-flexibility. Our team is small and international, representing 8 nationalities, and our system relies on a stellar 2,000-member strong translator pool from every timezone.

What entrepreneurs can learn from Justin Bieber

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

I know what you’re thinking – link bait title, right? Wrong. I stand 100 percent behind my assertions in this post: Justin Bieber is unbelievably entrepreneurial and most of you will never know it, because he serves a target demographic that doesn’t include you.

I promise you can learn from him. I’m also betting that in 10 years he’ll be a mainstream talent rather than a pre-teen girl wonder.

PixSpree lets you dress like a Kardashian

When Joshua Lopour’s girlfriend spent an hour online searching for a dress she saw worn by a celebrity, he thought there had to be an easier way.

“That was our ‘a-ha’ moment; that’s when we said people need this,” said Lopour, who created Orange County, California-based PixSpree, a software tool that allows users to scroll over a photo of a star and instantly find out what they’re wearing, how much it costs and where to buy it. “It’s basically a roadmap of saying you can go find this here, you can go buy this here. You don’t have to sit there and spend an hour of your valuable time trying to find something; why don’t we just tell you where to get it.”

Lopour is not a programmer, but spent 10 years working in entertainment news, predominantly as a television producer for CBS where he worked closely with a number of celebrity bloggers and photographers. After enlisting friends to design the code, something Lopour said took a couple months to complete, PixSpree struck deals with a handfull of popular Hollywood bloggers, including Perez Hilton, and photo agencies such as Fame Pictures and Pacific Coast News, among others.

Entrepreneur creates green bed bug spray

bed bug magic

Fred Feldman likes to show how safe his bed bug treatment, Bed Bug Magic, is by spraying it on his hand and then licking it off.

“Most people go ‘eww,’ but I do it 90 percent of the time,” said Feldman, who sells the bug treatment as part of a line of environmentally-friendly cleaning products offered by his company Green Blaster. “(It shows that) it’s non-toxic, you can drink it and not have to have your stomach pumped.”

Feldman realized during the development of his other cleaning products that bed bugs are an epidemic and a solution was needed that was safe for kids (he has five grandchildren) and pets.

Entrepreneur says youth must create their own jobs

When Brown University student Walker Williams had difficulty finding part-time job listings, his response was to launch his own job-search website, Jobzle.com. But a crucial factor in transforming the website from a hobby to a business was the funding it got through startup accelerator Betaspring.

“It gave us the money, the offices, resource space and mentorship to focus on the product 100 percent,” the 22-year-old Williams said.

The Young Entrepreneur Council is one organization that aims to support entrepreneurs through ways such as education. Given the high youth unemployment rate – more than half of Americans aged 16 to 24 were unemployed according to a July 2010 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – founder Scott Gerber is a firm believer that youth must create their own jobs.

  •