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Blog

Founders University: Class is in session!

 

Welcome to Founders University, our core curriculum designed to provide start-up company founders with the basics they’ll need to get their company off the ground.

 

For our first session of Founders University, we share an overview of incorporating provided by partner Dave Cappillo. In this course, Dave highlights the basic differences between a C corporation and an S corporation.

 

Sharpen your pencils, let’s begin!

Founders Flash

 

“Instead of Kool-Aid, try a bite of dog food. Become an actual customer of your company.” – Eat Your Own Dog Food, Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid, Erik Sherman, Inc.

 

“Leadership, not management, is the key to success.” – Failure is good, but here are 10 mistakes your startup should never make, Tom Hogan and Carol Broadbent, VentureBeat

 

“The common misconception is that you can plan your company to the Nth degree, but the true fact is that all good entrepreneurs always have a number of exit strategies and opportunities in front of them at any given time.” – Exit Strategy 101: When Is The Right Time To Sell Your Startup?, Tom Taulli, Forbes

Top 5 Reasons for Start-up Failure

 

The Founders Workbench team spends time talking to a lot of entrepreneurs who have plans to start their own business. Some of these are “career entrepreneurs” with experience that can involve several start-up ventures, while others are younger entrepreneurs who may not have any familiarity with what’s required to build a successful business.

 

Regardless of how far along they are in their career path, founders of start-up companies will benefit from avoiding the common pitfalls that most often doom new ventures. Avoiding these mistakes will allow founders to spend less time addressing legal and organizational obstacles and more time developing their products and their businesses. We identified five common missteps that cause start-ups to fail in hopes that founders will avoid them.

Founders Flash

 

Our favorite articles from the week discuss how various companies are capitalizing on health and fitness data apps. Read more about:

 

-Facebook’s entrance into the health space and how it plans to create online support groups based on health status updates

 

-Apple’s partnership with Humana to create incentive programs that will drive down insurance costs

 

-How big data is changing the scale and scope of how doctors care for patients

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