Tag Archives: startups

CEOs AND SALES

Why Startup CEOs Still Have to Make Sales Calls

by Howard Tullman

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It’s not your strength, or maybe not even what you enjoy doing. But being there to close the deal isn’t something you can simply hand off to the sales team.

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5 STARTUPS WE LOVED FROM TECHWEEK

Chicago’s Launch Competition

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by Jeff Segal

Why does a B2B digital marketing agency that works with some of the biggest and best-known companies in America send a team to a startup competition?

Because marketing and startups actually have a lot in common.

  • Marketing is about problem solving, and startups are founded to solve problems.
  • Marketing is about storytelling, and every startup has a story.
  • Finally, a great marketing campaign and a successful startup both make people say, Wow, I wish I’d thought of that!

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TOO MANY FOUNDERS

1989400_orig2 TSeth Temko

A new company is always short on cash and long on tasks. Right from the start an excited pot of people gather together and someone puts a stake in the ground “We’re doing this”.  From that point forward a business entity is formed and shares are issued.  From this, founders are born.

I’ve come across a number of startups with 3, 4, 5 and even 7 founders involved in various startups over the past year. It’s always debatable about the right number of founders but there definitely can be too many.  Too many founders significantly affects the success of the company, the happiness of the founders and the financial results the founders may achieve personally.

​How so? Read on! Continue reading

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WHIZ KIDS

You Don't Want to Compete with this Kidby John Jonelis

You don’t want to compete with this kid. Believe me. Just watch his intensity as he pitches his business to some of the private equity luminaries in the city. I’m a judge at this event and try not to show my feelings of awe as he answers all the tough questions in a pressure-cooker environment without so much as a flinch. There’s an intimidating team behind him too. They’re all in middle school. Middle school! Continue reading

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THE QUICK NO

DSC01291e2TAdapted from the Journal of the Heartland Angels

By: Douglas Yau, PhD

When asked for funding, one of the most frustrating things investors do to a startup company is give them the “Slow No.” What I mean by this is dragging on the process of evaluating, requesting more information, and setting up teleconferences for weeks or months without a clear process for making the decision to invest. Continue reading

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THE ANGEL EDGE

PB&J T-JAJAdapted from the Journal of the Heartland Angels

Part 1 – by John Jonelis

Is an Angel a fool?

In the world of private equity investing, the order of funding is supposed to go like this:

  • Seed Round—that’s friends, family, and fools.
  • Angel Round—that’s funding the big initial spurt of growth.
  • Venture Round—that’s big funding for massive scaling.

Compare that stack-of-three (above) to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Notice that Angels make up the good stuff in the middle.  And yes—according to studies by the Kauffman Foundation—Angels make the best money. Continue reading

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WHAT MAKES IT GOOD

Techweek Part 4 –

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by storied business consultant, Joe Perogi,

as told to John Jonelis –

Been hearin’ complaints ‘n’ controversy about Techweek this year. People gripe so you figure there’s gotta be a good reason, right? Yeah, I hear you. Yer sayin’, where there’s smoke there’s fire. But all them critics completely miss THE HIDDEN ROOM that you and me stumple upon—the hidden room that makes this thing truly amazing. Now the dust is settled, lemme take you on a tour o’ what I seen. Continue reading

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TAKING IT APART

clockwork TMichael Pollack of Rocket Fuel Labs

Verbatim, Part 3 – John Jonelis

I’m continuing a conversation with Michael Pollack, CEO of Rocket Fuel Labs at the huge 1871 space here in Chicago. We’ve covered a lot of ground and I think it’s time to get down to the business itself. Continue reading

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FASCINATION OF A THOUGHT LEADER

rocket-fuel-labs-launches 2Michael Pollack of Rocket Fuel Labs

Verbatim – John Jonelis

I always enjoy the scenic water taxi ride to the Chicago Merchandise Mart where the huge high-tech incubator known as 1871 lives and breathes like a sleeping dragon in a cave full of gold. Continue reading

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THE TWO LAWS

IMSA Kids at MIT Enterprise Forum

John Jonelis

From a special correspondent – Mark T. Wayne:

Mark T Wayne Frankly sir, I am flabbergasted! This is something beyond my experience! Think of it. High school students turned serious entrepreneurs. These are children in suit and tie—teams of them politely waiting to speak in turn without interrupting the others. Not so much as a spit wad—do you hear me? Not one! That in itself is cause for more than casual interest. And no fluff here, sir! These kids seek equity funding without so much as a blush. And they do it with such aplomb. Continue reading

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