Finance

Best Business Plan Software

Best Business Plan Software   Best Business Plan Software: using the best software is a critical component of startup success. I have been practicing and teaching new business creation for 35 years and have tended to veer away from 'template' business plans for two reasons: first, they relieve you of thinking and questioning your own assumptions too hard, and second they encourage you to believe that there is a set formula. However, that was before I encountered LivePlan from Palo Alto Softwar...

Raising Capital with an Internet Go-Between

Raising Capital with an Internet Go-Between Entrepreneurs often come across finance brokers of various kinds, including many on the Internet, but I recently met Hall T Martin who founded TEN Capital in Texas. Hall T has created an organization that has been very successful in raising capital for new ventures in Texas. I forecast that we will see more of this kind of new Go-Between, elsewhere in the United States or across the globe, if TEN Capital doesn't get there first. What is special abo...

Entrepreneur Who Isn’t

Entrepreneur Who Isn't Lost City Beneath the Sod Stuart Wilson, 37, is a graduate archaeologist—and entrepreneur, though he might not classify himself as such. He was a toll collector when he invested in his passion: archaeological excavation. He followed a conviction that he was on the trail of a long lost major medieval city in Trellech, Wales. Whereas he might have put a deposit on a home, or bought a sports car, he actually bought a 4.6 acre field—for £32,000 (about $40,000 at current ...

Female Founders

Female Founders Female Founders is a new feature at Startup Owl. Among other things it lists over 30 sources of startup and early-stage funding that are specifically aimed at female founders. There is pointed advice from female founders for intending female entrepreneurs. The page is written by Will Keyser in conjunction with Danielle Tate, founder of misnowmrs.com and author of the Elegant Entrepreneur.  Why do I as a male think the issue of the low proportion of businesses that are created b...

Grassroots Entrepreneurship

Grassroots Entrepreneurship I have been invited to run a couple of Workshops on Grassroots Entrepreneurship at theAnnual Conference of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs. This came about because a while back I started writing about Community Supported Business on Startup Owl. Community Supported Business is a growing phenomenon, especially in rural Vermont, and it will be interesting to see how that state's experience will be picked up by others. Community Supported Business (CSB) is som...

10 New Conditions of Business

10 New Conditions of Business I have just published a set of 1o New Conditions of Business, to help entrepreneurs recognize some really important trends that are most likely affecting their startup whether they know it or not. They are all very important and complex. I don't begin to think that my introductions are the best in the world, nor is the list necessarily complete. I invite readers to review what I have written, comment, add, or suggest improvements to the set of ten topics, which a...

Startup Basics: a book for business owners

Startup Basics–a book for business owners The Mobile Boardroom: Top Tips for Business Success by Nik Askaroff & Julian Clay is a compact, no-frills guide that covers the main commercial areas of business. You can read the book in one, or maybe two, sittings and get a full picture of the things you need to cover in setting up and running a business. The book is one of the most down-to-earth and un-flashy guides I have come across. The simple model of how to create a business concept is a ve...

Startups Using Crowdfunding

Startups Using Crowdfunding Two friends have started businesses, one for profit and one a non-profit, that combine crowdfunding with other techniques. One in the US and one in Europe, and in totally unrelated fields. The first concerns nature conservation and the second concerns the maker movement. What is interesting is how both have used the process of social media and crowdfunding to go about changing the world in their separate spheres. Just like how manufacturers of wind turbines use sim...

$1.2 million a day

$1.2 million pledged daily at Kickstarter Entrepreneurs cannot avoid considering Kickstarter for startup funding, now that they pull in more than $1.2 million a day in pledges. This is especially true for small tech startups. Crowdfunder Kickstarter had 4,497 projects successfully reaching their funding goals from January through March, 2014.  One billion dollars have been pledged to Kickstarter projects, as of March 4. But they are not alone. Crowdfunding is now one of the most significant so...

Startup Funding is a Scary Business

Startup Funding is a Scary Business Startup Funding is a scary business. That's why many entrepreneurs shy away from introducing external capital, for fear of diluting their equity stake. Others go down that route and regret it. Some try to jump on the wrong source of funding at the wrong stage. To understand something is to render it less scary. Entrepreneurs who are passionate about their product or serving the needs they have identified know what they are doing in those domains, but once the...