Founders Flash


Founders Flash


Our favorite articles from the week address what tech companies are doing to mitigate the Shellshock flaw, discuss Marc Andreessen’s “tweetstorm” on start-ups burning through money, recommend five strategies for big-picture thinking, and offer a glimpse into the future of retail.


Happy reading!

Supreme Court Ruling in Alice Case Undercuts Software Patents


In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on the patentability of software in the Alice v. CLS Bank case, significantly narrowing the patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions. At the time of the June 19 decision, IP litigators with Goodwin Procter – which filed an amicus brief in the case – examined the Alice ruling in an IP Client Alert.


Noting the significantly narrowed eligibility of computer-implemented inventions, we also pointed out that the ruling did not specifically clarify the substantial role a computer must play to be patentable.

Founders Flash

Accelerators v. Venture Capital in Early Stage Funding


Accelerators have turned traditional early stage financing on its head by decreasing the costs of starting a new technology business and offering more than just financial support.  In exchange for equity in your business, an accelerator offers not only seed funding, but connections, mentoring, and exposure to a huge number of investors. This shift has given start-ups more power when negotiating with venture capitalists. When an accelerator sends its company to a demo-day, dozens of investors show up to bid, creating an auction-like environment that gives the upper hand to the start-ups.


Read more from “ How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding”  (Slate).

Infographic: Five Tips for Undergraduate Entrepreneurs


At Founders Workbench, we talk to a lot of entrepreneurs who have plans to start their own business. Many of these are “career entrepreneurs” with experience that can involve several start-up ventures. Undergraduate entrepreneurs may not have the same familiarity with the necessary steps required to make the appropriate legal arrangements and explore available finance options.


Like any start-up founders, undergraduate entrepreneurs want to spend their valuable time on their top business priority: building their product. By providing the following five pieces of advice, we hope we can reduce the amount of time they spend addressing legal and organizational obstacles in a straight-forward, accurate and professional way.

Founders Flash

Some highlights from this week’s articles:


“The company might have a great product. But buying is an emotional business, not a rational one.”  – 5 Tips to Rehab Your Pitch, Renee Warre, Entrepreneur


“When the opportunity to get acquired comes up, hire the right help.” – 5 Ways To Get Your Company Acquired, From An Entrepreneur Who Did It By 25, Gwen Elliot, The Elite Daily


“Teaching what you know how to do is a powerful way to go beyond trust to closing more deals.” – Why Teaching Is Such a Sexy Way to Sell, John Jantsch, Inc.

Founders Flash


Evaluating Social Media


Our favorite articles from the week discuss the value of various social media platforms. Read more about:


-Changes to Twitter and Facebook that are limiting user-autonomy


-Whether or not it’s time to quit Facebook


-Which social media platforms are best suited for your business

Founders Flash


Our favorite articles from the week offer tips on attracting top-notch talent without paying top-dollar, explain how an entrepreneur’s passion can destroy a start-up, suggest how and when to start thinking globally, and explain why location doesn’t matter in 2014.


Happy reading!

Founders Workbench Team Shares Start-up Thoughts with the Comcast Business Community


One highlight of the Founders Workbench experience is the chance to engage directly with entrepreneurs and other members of the small business community. The positive feedback we get from our blog posts and other content often includes invitations to share particular thoughts about the start-up and innovation technology marketplace. Even if we can’t always say yes, we welcome these exciting opportunities for fresh dialogue and problem-solving.


Recently, Comcast Corporation invited us to be a regular contributor to their new online forum, the Comcast Business Community. Designed to help small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups use technology to achieve business success, the Comcast Business Community offers us a new platform to talk about the legal and other issues our clients face when starting new business ventures.

Founders Flash


Emotion-driven marketing


Successful marketing for start-ups is as much about story-telling as it is about metrics and growth hacking. Customers are more experience-driven than ever, so it’s important to map out what creates a connection between you and your customer at an early stage. Try thinking beyond the ‘what’ and advocate the ‘why’ with a compelling story that will solicit an emotional response. This approach creates an urgency to purchase your product, and in the long term, results in brand loyalty.


Read more from “Startup Marketing And How Emotion Drives Customer Action” (Tech Crunch)

Consider All Angles of Your Business When Building A Patent Portfolio


Patents provide maximum value to a manufacturer when the claims cover the products the company makes and sells from a variety of perspectives. Surprisingly, not all manufacturers fully exploit this opportunity when developing patent portfolios.


For example, when we started working with a manufacturer of 3D printing equipment twelve years ago, the company already had an established patent portfolio covering a variety of 3D printing methods and systems. The company, however, had not pursued protection for its powder compositions, even though selling powder to its customers is an important revenue stream.