News, trends and advice for people starting companies or those who want to work for them.

Why Starting a Company is Like Falling off a Cliff

Warning Unprotected Edge
Does the call of entrepreneurship make your current job seem boring? Are you looking for adventure? Do you seek IPO riches? Are you looking for an escape? Don’t be too quick to make the leap, warns Robert P. Strauss, professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He says today’s economy isn’t friendly to typical small businesses and the employment situation is worse. “Starting a business is a young person’s game,” Strauss believes. Mid-career workers who quit their… continue…

Your New Hires Should Be Your Best Recruiters

Posted In People, Startups
Team Recruitment
When you’re looking to draw talent into your company, one thing to consider is whether the people you hire can attract others from their network. Especially when you’re hiring managers or executives, an inability to bring in known quantities is a red flag for you to think about, says venture capitalist Hunter Walk. Investing in an incoming executive with personal agency can have significant returns, especially when compared to someone with great references but no former teammates willing to work… continue…

6 Steps to Successful Crowdfunding

Posted In Money, Startups
Entrepreneurs thinking about raising money through crowdfunding should think carefully about what their business needs not just financially, but in terms of expertise, and then consider whether this type of fundraising will provide it. On top of that, says Jeff Sohl, director of the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, they should think about how crowdfunding could affect subsequent investment rounds, since some angel groups will walk away from a business whose first round was obtained… continue…

Startup Hiring Expected to Grow, Funding Crunch Overblown

Posted In Business, Startups
We Want You
Despite expectations that a tsunami-like wave of angel funded startups would be stranded last year due to a Series A funding crunch, that massive crunch never materialized, says Adley Bowden, senior director of analysis for PitchBook.  “There was a sky is falling attitude, but it did not happen,” Bowden says. startupAnd in 2014, there is talk that this funding crunch will migrate to companies who are seeking their Series B funding. But Bowden is discounting those fears too. “VCs have… continue…

Y Combinator Garners Increasing Global Attention

Posted In Business, Startups
Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator is gaining global interest among entrepreneurs, says its co-founder Paul Graham. Bloomberg reports that the organization is expected to admit about 70 startups from 22 countries, including such places as Croatia, Denmark, Israel, South Korea, Switzerland and Turkey. “The thing we noticed about this batch was that the startups are from farther afield,” Graham wrote in an e-mail. “Although we’ve had lots of foreign founders in the past, most have been from countries like Canada,… continue…

For Funding, VCs May Not Be Your Best Choice

According to one of their own, the problem with venture capitalists is their “never-ending search for the next-big thing.” In baseball terms, instead of going for singles and doubles, many VCs seek nothing but home runs. Sadly, what VCs identify as the next big thing rarely is. They often reflect either investments they have already made and want to pump up, or areas they don’t normally invest in but want to see overfunded to diminish a competing firms’ assets. Machiavellian… continue…

How to Cut Your Engineering Recruitment Time in Half

Posted In People, Startups
Candidate Selection
Looking to hire an engineer? Aren’t we all. That’s the problem to the supply and demand equation, which is creating the engineering shortage. But Bret Reckard, a technical recruiting manager at Sequoia Capital, recently offered up some sage advice on how to cut the recruitment time in half. It comes down to employee referrals, according to a TechCrunch post by his colleague Bryan Schreier. He notes Reckard estimates that a company looking for a dozen engineers will spend roughly 1,200… continue…

3 Things to Remember When Selling Your Tech Company

Posted In Money, Startups
Sold Sign
You might imagine that every tech entrepreneur is just waiting for the moment when they can cash out of their company. But if you’re selling – rather than going for the vaunted IPO – doing the deal can be a complicated process, not to mention an emotional journey. For starters, there’s setting a fair price for the venture. And, if you’ve spent years building the technology behind the company, as well as handling the nuts and bolts of running the… continue…

VC Funding Barrier Eases for Women

Woman Peeking Over the Fence
Although women stand a greater chance of getting venture funding than they did a decade ago, they’re by no means on equal footing with men when it comes to financing their startups, according to researchers and venture capitalists. The percentage of U.S. venture backing for startups with at least one woman founder reached 13 percent in 2013, dramatically higher than 2004’s 4 percent. Those numbers come from the private equity and venture capital researcher PitchBook. While the number of women… continue…

4 Weird Ways to Get Attention for Your Company

Bunny Car
How can your startup get attention when people are so inundated with pitches that it’s nigh impossible to penetrate? Considering what SEO consultants can cost, investing in guerrilla marketing shenanigans may be a great way for you to get some significant attention. Here are a few ideas that worked: Prank the Competition WePay made quite a statement in 2010 when it dropped a 600-pound block of ice in front of a conference by competitor PayPal at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.… continue…