Coming up with an idea for a new company is easy. There are countless products to be made, services to be provided, processes to be made more efficient, and problems to be solved. And it turns out that Americans are particularly likely to perceive favorable circumstances for starting new businesses. In fact, Babson College found that 57 percent of Americans recognize opportunities around them to become entrepreneurs, whereas 41 percent of citizens in other “innovation-driven economies” do. The difficult part, of course, is bringing an idea to life.
How do emerging companies secure funding? What are the most favorable growing towns for startups? How does one build a pitch deck? What are some alternatives to pursuing an MBA? And what are the best college programs for prospective entrepreneurs?
These guides tackle some of the most common challenges for aspiring business-owners.
Bozeman appeared on the business map in a big way in 2011, when RightNow Technologies, a local company with 1,100 employees, was acquired by Oracle for $1.5 billion. What followed was a new class of Bozeman entrepreneurs, bolstered by a new startup incubator and national recognition.
With a small-town feel and plenty of heart, “the Classic City” is rooted in history while providing a thrilling place for new businesses to flourish. Ranked sixth in the nation for most jobs added (USA Today), Athens saw an increase of 4,632 jobs in 2017 alone.
In spite of its fame in tech circles, Idaho still has a national perception among some as nothing but a collection of remote, isolated frontier towns. But recent demographic information, especially Boise’s explosive growth, may tell a different story.
In addition to Provo being a downright happy, family-friendly place to live and play, it also has a variety of business opportunities. Provo is the home-base for a variety of national and international companies, everything from Ancestry.com to the security company Vivint.
Today, the Tulsa area is considered to be strong economically as well as culturally. It houses the national headquarters for the Williams Company and the QuikTrip convenience store chain and is the home of the largest maintenance facility for American Airlines—the city’s largest employer.
Grand Rapids continues to grow its reputation as a city that supports and encourages business ventures with ideas and infrastructure, including a variety of incubators, networking groups, angel investors, and easy access to interstates and railroads.
Recently, entrepreneurs have extended the franchise model to a broad range of eco-friendly businesses such as those which appear in the following profiles. The trend that’s driven these business concepts has been growing demand for eco-friendly products and services.
Investment from the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce and the Iowa Economic Development Authority have led to robust partnerships within the community that support and reward entrepreneurial innovation. As a result, recent startups in edtech, medtech, and agritech have won national acclaim, but still kept their roots and hearts in Iowa City.
St. Petersburg, FL remains a place where good ideas are encouraged to flourish thanks to a variety of business organizations that take great effort to stimulate growth, invite creativity, and connect different pieces of the business equation to encourage success.
As demand for entrepreneurship grows, so does the need for guidance for budding entrepreneurs. Many universities have noted this trend and established centers dedicated to entrepreneurship that provide a strong community, educational activities, and networking opportunities to startup founders.
Knoxville, TN focuses on cultivating independent businesses, from coffee shops to tech startups. It has several business incubators and research endeavors, and has been listed high on several national rankings for conditions friendly to economic development.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, NC has a long-held (and well-earned) reputation as a must-see destination. Business is booming in the city, which has become as much a go-to haven for startups as it is for wayfaring tourists and outdoor enthusiasts.
Bend has become a hotspot for young entrepreneurs seeking mentorship, investors, and a knowledgeable workforce. Unlike the Silicon Valley, however, Bend is a relatively small city that is replete with outdoor adventures and short on traffic crunches.
To be included on this list, towns needed to have an abundance of art galleries, at least one museum, and an organization (e.g., council, committee, etc.) actively working to support the arts.
For founders of a modern startup, securing access to venture capital is an increasingly important step, one with potentially life-changing ramifications. But accessing venture capital is still harder to do as a female or non-binary founder, with conscious and unconscious biases in the VC community acting as potential obstacles.
Data from the US Small Business Association (SBA) suggests that home-based businesses account for more than half of all businesses in the country (if businesses without employees are included). That share is likely to increase further in 2022, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the shift of many workers into the virtual and non-office realms.
For some, the thought of asking for a raise can produce levels of fear usually reserved for public speaking. Women, minorities, and younger professionals who have just earned their degrees may feel reticent to broach the subject, given the unconscious and conscious biases they are likely to face at the negotiation table.
The side hustle. The odd job. The gig. However you choose to identify it, freelance work has been a cornerstone of content-generating industries like entertainment, design, and copywriting for decades. A gig is a temporary position with a predetermined window of activity and expectations for which a freelance worker is paid. In some cases, it’s project-based work that continues until the client’s need is met, in either a full-time or part-time capacity.
In 2017, Worth Magazine named Steve Blank to the publication’s list of “The 25 Most Important Entrepreneurs of the Past 25 Years.” After dropping out of the University of Michigan and serving in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam, Blank went on to manage eight successful Silicon Valley startups as a senior executive or founder.
Coworking spaces are membership-based offices where groups of professionals work in a shared communal environment—and they have boomed over the last decade. There were nearly 15,000 coworking spaces around the world in 2017 and that number is expected to double by 2022.
If anybody could use a little inspiration to help them feel motivated, entrepreneurs could. The emotional roller coaster entrepreneurs hop on often feels like Ferrari World’s Formula Rossa—at a blazing 150 MPH, the world’s fastest thrill ride.
Explore how to create a business plan, paying thought to elements including the executive summary, the explanation of opportunities, the execution section, an overview of the executive team and company, and the financial plan and forecasting.
Starting a new business has always been a risky venture, but what are the common points of failure, and what are the common traits of success? Read on to learn how to set your business up to succeed.
Entrepreneurship is an exciting way to take control of one’s destiny and bring novel products or processes to customers in need. Just like any professional arena, the world of entrepreneurship comes with its unique language.
Entrepreneurs and the one-third of U.S. adults who work in online marketplaces may find that a slightly different interpretation of "business fundamentals" can help them much more than the traditional presentation taught in the core curriculum at business schools.
Entrepreneurs have always been known for their innovation and gumption, but a good idea and a dollop of confidence isn’t the recipe for success it once was. The business world today is so ingrained in technology, finance, and marketing that one needs to be well-educated in several vital areas to carry a concept into a product and business.
Startups are by definition untested, which makes them risky investments. To be successful, you have to show potential investors—venture capitalists, angel investors, and any other source of funding--that your idea is worth the risk.
Pitch decks are like new words: once you learn about them, they are everywhere. Some prospective startup leaders or innovators have never heard of these simple presentations, and yet they are virtually required for getting your project or business off the ground.