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Marty Zwilling
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Marty Zwilling‘s passion is nurturing the development of entrepreneurs by providing first-hand mentoring, funding assistance, and business plan development. He is the Founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, a company that provides products and services to startup founders and small business owners.

He writes a daily blog for entrepreneurs, and dispenses advice on the subject of startups to a large online audience of over 225,000 Twitter followers. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, and other business information sites. He recently released his first book titled “Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur?”

He has a 30-year track record of demonstrated results as an executive in general management, computer software development, product management, and marketing, as well as in leading technical business transformations, conducting due diligence for investors, mentoring new technical executives, and overseeing business development, customer service, and outsourcing both onshore and offshore.

Marty began his career with IBM, holding an array of positions including executive roles in software development and professional services. Prior to launching on his professional path, Marty’s education included the attainment of Bachelor of Science Degrees in Accounting and Computer Science from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

A resident of Fountain Hills, Arizona, Marty is a Board Member at Callaman Ventures, on the startup selection committee of the Arizona Angels Venture Group Inc., an advisor to the Arizona State University Technopolis program, Executive in Residence at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and member of the Advisory Boards for several startups in the area.

Entries by Marty Zwilling

7 Ways to Feed the Growth Beast in Every Business

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 9:44 PM

"If you build it, they will come." It's a line from an old movie "Field of Dreams" which is still leading to the demise of too many startups, led by entrepreneurs who really started their business to build an exciting new product or service. Most struggle with the idea and...

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7 Ways A Business Message Gets Lost In The Process

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 11:16 AM

Most business mentors tell me that the single biggest problem they have to deal with in small companies is the lack of open, honest, and effective communication, both from the top down and from the bottom up. Some entrepreneurs forget that talking is not communicating. Fortunately these skills can be...

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6 Marketing 101 Tips for Technology Entrepreneurs

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 3:34 PM

Marketing is everything these days. You can have the best technology, but if customers don't know you exist, or they don't know how your technology solves a real problem for them, your startup will fail. Yet I see many technology entrepreneurs that focus on the basics of marketing too little...

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Focus On Profits Is Not Enough For A Great Business

(1) Comments | Posted November 28, 2014 | 10:19 AM

It's always been tough to start a new business, even when the bottom line was just making a profit to stay alive. A few years ago, a second focus of sustainability ("green") was added as a requirement for respectability. Now I often hear a third mandate of social responsibility. Entrepreneurs...

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10 Trust Secrets You Need to Practice in Business

(3) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 12:34 PM

One of the first harsh realities that every entrepreneur has to learn is that most of the things that are critical to startup success are outside of their direct control. Just because you dream it and build it, doesn't mean they will come -- that encompasses not only customers, but...

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Every Business Leader Shows Imperfections To Avoid

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 11:22 PM

Does it really take a few flaws to make a great entrepreneur, or are the rest of us just confused about what a perfect business person is all about? In the past I've written about the positive attributes of great entrepreneurs, so this time I thought I would focus...

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A Perspective on When a Business Plan Adds Value

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 12:42 PM

As a startup mentor and investor, I am approached regularly by aspiring entrepreneurs who assert that business plans are a waste of time. They cite sources like the BusinessWeek story, "Real Entrepreneurs Don't Write Business Plans" and this Forbes article. From my perspective, much of this...

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Escape From Corporate America -- Be an Entrepreneur

(1) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 3:18 PM

According to several recent reports, job satisfaction for employees is at an all-time low. An online survey published earlier this year found that nearly two-thirds of the respondents were not happy at work. One obvious alternative is to become an entrepreneur. As a mentor to many aspiring entrepreneurs,...

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Ten Rules for Business Success Survive a Century

(1) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 9:57 AM

In this world of constant change, new technologies, and a thousand cultures, it's evident and somehow comforting to me that the basic rules for business prosperity really haven't changed in the last hundred years. Business success is still more about the people than the technology or idea involved. As an...

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Founders Finding Funding From Friends May Be Fools

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 5:15 PM

In their passion to succeed, too many entrepreneurs treat friends and family investments as "low-hanging" fruit, only to find out later, after a stumble, that the pain of lost relationships is greater than the loss of their beloved startup. Other entrepreneurs never start their adventure, because they can't face the...

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Check Your Motivation for the Entrepreneur Lifestyle

(5) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 4:54 PM

As a startup advisor, I see many aspiring entrepreneurs whose primary motivation seems to be to work part time, or get rich quick, or avoid anyone else telling them what to do. Let me assure you, from personal experience, and from helping many successful as well as struggling entrepreneurs, that...

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Is Your Business Ready for Curves in the Road Ahead?

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 12:56 PM

Every entrepreneur thinks he can relax a bit after his business model is proven, funding is in place, and revenues are scaling as projected up that hockey-stick curve. Unfortunately, the market is changing so fast these days that any upward climb can level off quickly, as the core business growth...

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How to Pick a Lifestyle Consistent with Your Passion

(2) Comments | Posted September 21, 2014 | 12:32 AM

Too many people, young and older, let their career and their lifestyle happen to them, rather than proactively making things happen based on their personal passions, skills, and interests. Others make decisions based on someone else's interests, such as the father who wants his son to take over the family...

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Smart Entrepreneurs Plan Ahead For A Startup Exit

(2) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 3:20 PM

The last thing a new entrepreneur wants to think about for a new startup is how it will end. Yet one of the first things a potential equity investor asks about is your exit strategy. The answer you give can make or break your ability to get an investment, so...

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Entrepreneurs Need To Bridge The Knowing-Doing Gap

(2) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 7:28 PM

These days, with the many Internet articles and new courses available, most new entrepreneurs readily cross the gap from lack of business knowledge to knowing, but many never make it over the knowing versus doing gap. Investors I know highlight this problem with the mantra that they fund founders and...

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Will A Business Incubator Help Hatch Your Startup?

(1) Comments | Posted August 31, 2014 | 6:16 PM

One of the reasons that now is the time to be an entrepreneur is the explosion of startup assistance organizations, usually called incubators or accelerators. According to the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA), there are over 7,000 of these locations worldwide, and even new online versions like Pitchswag springing up...

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How Entrepreneurs Must Reinvent Themselves to Thrive

(2) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 8:16 PM

Sometimes entrepreneurs are so focused on making change happen for others, that they forget that continually changing themselves and their company is equally important. Some get stuck in a rut and get run over by competitors with new technology, like Eastman Kodak, and others get pushed into a crisis, like...

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Savvy Entrepreneurs Plan Both Business And Product

(0) Comments | Posted August 17, 2014 | 11:14 PM

Most technical entrepreneurs I know demand the discipline of a product specification or plan, and then assume that their great product will drive a great business. Serious investors, on the other hand, look for a professional business plan or summary first, and hardly ever look at the product plan. Is...

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Entrepreneurs Must Start Selling And Listening Early

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 2:54 PM

Savvy entrepreneurs start testing their ideas on potential customers even before the concept is fully cooked. They have enough confidence in their ability to deliver that they don't worry about someone stealing the idea to get there first, and they don't forget to listen carefully to critical feedback. They become...

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How Smart Entrepreneurs Select VC / Angel Investors

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 6:00 PM

Too many entrepreneurs tell me they are looking for an investor, and can't differentiate between venture capital (VC) investors versus accredited Angel investors. They argue that the color of the money is the same from either source. They fail to realize that the considerations are quite different for each, which...

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