Entrepreneurial

Eight up-and-coming VCs worth knowing

– Mark Boslet is a senior editor for the Venture Capital Journal, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article appeared on PE Hub. –

Last week, Forbes published its Midas List of venture investors with Jim Breyer of Accel Partners edging out Sequoia’s Michael Moritz and Greylock’s Reid Hoffman for the top spot.

This closely followed list of VC moneymen has become something of a Who’s Who of the business. Its focus is the highest-profile GPs with the best track records.

What most readers didn’t notice, however, was a companion list of up and coming VCs published the same day by TrueBridge Capital Partners, a fund of funds that helped Forbes compile the Midas List. It features young VCs, many with a timely focus on the Internet and social media.

According to TrueBridge, the Midas List involved extensive data analysis along with countless discussions with industry experts. The up-and-comers’ list lacks the same rigor and instead relies on conversations with VCs, an examination of investment portfolios and an analysis of the venture business from a macro perspective, the firm said. Nevertheless, it offers insight on who may become Midas investors sometime in the future.

10 things every entrepreneur needs to try

– Neil Patel is a serial entrepreneur who blogs about business at Quick Sprout and is the co-founder of KISSmetrics. This article originally appeared here. The views expressed are his own. –

Being an entrepreneur obviously isn’t easy, which is why most people shy away from trying to be one. Before you throw out the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, make sure you check out the following free services and programs:

Microsoft Biz Spark

Whether you love or hate Microsoft, as an entrepreneur, you’ll need their software. For example, I always find myself using Excel, Word and PowerPoint. There really isn’t a day that goes by in which I’m not using one of those applications.

Pre-money valuations rose in 2010: report

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

Deal terms and valuations shifted in favor of entrepreneurs last year as onerous term sheets became less common and money flowed more freely.

These were the findings of a study by the law firm Cooley released this week. (The data comes from transactions in which Cooley served as counsel).

6 tips for startups to take advantage of the recovery

– Chris Lynch is vice president of economic development at the Irvine Chamber of Commerce. The views expressed are his own. –

With recent reports the economy is becoming stable and showing signs of upward growth, the question is what are entrepreneurs going to do about it?

The answer is simple, they can take advantage of the upbeat perception that the economy is in recovery and benefit from the opportunities they didn’t have before. The following are some tips on how entrepreneurs can take advantage of the recovery, based on years of experience coaching successful startups.

Treasury hosts conference to help startups find capital

Continuing its push to provide small companies with resources necessary for growth, the Obama Administration on Tuesday is hosting an all-day conference in Washington designed to decode the difficult process of raising capital.

Replete with heavy hitters, the speakers include Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; SBA Administrator Karen Mills; Scott Case, co-founder of Priceline and head of the government’s newly formed entrepreneurship advocacy group StartUp America Partnership; and Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric and chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

The conference — “Access to Capital: Fostering Growth and Innovation for Small Companies” — aims to explore methods of securing investment at each stage of expansion, from the early stages through IPO or buyout.

Into the future with the Kairos Society

Kairos Summit 2010 85This weekend a horde of entrepreneurs and business leaders will lay siege to New York’s financial district as part of the Kairos Global Summit.

Over the next 48 hours, 350 student entrepreneurs will mingle with high-profile mentors in their field at the New York Stock Exchange, the United Nations (both partners of the summit) and the Rockefeller Estate in upstate New York to brainstorm practical solutions for a better future.

The event is the brainchild of 20-year-old Ankur Jain, founder of the non-profit Kairos Society that organizes the summit. Jain, who graduates from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania this year, started the society when he was a freshman in college. The thrust of the Kairos Society is to create companies that build a sustainable and good future. (Kairos is an ancient Greek word that means the opportune moment.)

10 small business tax mistakes that will cost you

Donna Fenn has more than 20 years experience writing about entrepreneurship and small business trends. She is the author of “Upstarts: How Gen Y Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit From Their Success“. This article originally appeared on BNET. The views expressed are her own. –

There’s not an entrepreneur on the planet who likes thinking about taxes. I know, it’s only February, so you’re likely still in deep denial about April 15. But it’s time to get organized. Almost every aspect of your business has tax ramifications and if you don’t know what they are, you’re inviting trouble down the road (can you say “audit?”).

For tips, I recently spoke to Sandy Botkin, a CPA, attorney, former trainer of IRS attorneys, and the CEO of The Tax Reduction Institute in Germantown, Maryland. He’s also the author of “Lower Your Taxes — Big Time 2011-2012”. Botkin shared 10 common tax misconceptions that both fledgling and experienced small business owners are guilty of. How many of these phrases have you uttered?

Business tips from “The Demon” Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons – rocker, reality TV star and self-styled marketing genius – may be the shrewdest businessman to have donned face makeup and six-inch heels.

In the business world, as in music, Simmons boasts an impressive record. A classic immigrant rags-to-riches tale, he’s worked tirelessly over the last 36 years to turn the KISS brand into an empire. His former blood-spitting “Demon” alter ego now graces more than 2,500 different products such as ketchup, condoms, coffins and credit cards.

In addition to KISS album sales (over 100 million units sold), Simmons earns $100,000 per speaking engagement, and has more than half a dozen booked for 2011 already. Among his other non-musical ventures are estate planning (he is a co-founder of Cool Springs Life Equity Strategy), books, magazines and a handful of television projects.

Selling pickaxes during a gold rush

– 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. –

There is a saying in the startup world that “you can mine for gold or you can sell pickaxes.”

This is of course an allusion to the California Gold Rush where some of the most successful business people such as Levi Strauss and Samuel Brannan didn’t mine for gold themselves, but instead sold supplies to miners – wheelbarrows, tents, jeans, pickaxes etc. Mining for gold was the more glamorous path but actually turned out, in aggregate, to be a worse return on capital and labor than selling supplies.

Venture capitalists are not your friends

– Steve Blank is a teacher, writer, and serial entrepreneur. He teaches at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley’s Haas Business School and at Columbia. He is the author of “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” and “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost”. This article originally appeared on www.steveblank.com. The views expressed are his own. –

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is not understanding the relationship they have with their investors. At times they confuse venture capitalist’s with their friends.

At Rocket Science our video game company was struggling. Hubris, bad CEO decisions (mine) and a fundamental lack of understanding that we were in a “hits-based” entertainment business not in a Silicon Valley technology company were slowly killing us.

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