Tag Archives: Entrepreneur

Three university presidents, one shared entrepreneurial vision

Earlier this year I had the occasion to attend the AshokaU Exchange being held on the sunny Arizona State University campus in Tempe. The day and a half of packed conference schedule culminated in a dinner panel of three university presidents, each a giant in his field.

The dinner panel brought into sharp focus the challenges facing our higher education system and the three different but equally innovative approaches taken by each of the colleges. Continue reading

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Eight things I learnt from a 20 year old – My Startup Life

I finally got around to attacking the pile of books in the ‘must read’ pile on my desk. I picked up “My Startup Life” by Ben Casnocha first. Not many times you get to read about a 12 year old who started a company and is still around running it. 

The book was a relatively easy read, something you can knock off in an evening. It provides a refreshing young perspective on growing an idea into a real organization. There were times when I wished the author would have shared some of the inner workings of his company and how they tackled some of the challenges they faced. However I think it is a ‘must read’ for any aspiring entrepreneur in high school or college and speaks to the issues that you face balancing the routines of everyday life with the tug of the crazy startup ideas in your head. Continue reading

Chuck Lacy speaks about Raising Venture Capital for Socially Responsible Businesses

Earlier last month, I was fortunate to attend a lecture by Chuck Lacy former President of Ben & Jerry’s and currently President of Barred Rock Fund. He was a guest of the Legatum Center at MIT and spoke about raising funds as a social business.  It was interesting hearing him speak since he really did not focus on the fund raising part as much as some basic precepts that most entrepreneurs should keep in mind – whether you are growing a socially responsible business or a plain old fashioned technology startup.

I thought I would try to distill the essence of what he said as I think it is very relevant especially in these tougher economic times.

  • Don’t raise money. Sounds counterintuitive but it makes sense. You should run as long as you can on your own money. You should think about working part time and keeping 100% of your company instead of working 100% and giving up 50% of the company to raise cash. Raising money means you are giving your company away. There are many ways to raise money without diluting your stake in the company – Grants, state funds, PRI funds. Continue reading

Entrepreneur’s Notebook

I have spent the past several years counseling a number of startups and emerging social entrepreneurs. As I have gone over numerous business plans, ideas strategies, I have been trying to distill some of the learnings from the growing pains of these various nascent enterprises. I hope very soon to write about this on this blog. Continue reading