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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

Smart Entrepreneurs Plan Ahead For A Startup Exit

(1) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 2:20 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 | 6:28 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 | 5:16 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 | 7:16 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 | 10:14 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 | 1:54 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 | 5:00 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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Entrepreneurs Today Don't Need a Big Budget to Start

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2014 | 8:06 PM

It wasn't so many years ago that starting a new e-commerce business on the Internet was a complex custom development project, usually costing a million dollars or more. Now you can do it for free, or a few hundred dollars, with one of the many web building tools available, like...

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Smart Entrepreneurs Know Customer Buying Moments

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 5:03 PM

Today's customers are much more in control of their buying decision, as they have more choices and more information than ever before. Almost instantly, via the Internet or on their smartphone in the store, they can find the lowest price alternative or their favorite features, without waiting for push marketing...

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How Great Entrepreneurs Really Listen To Customers

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 4:15 PM

Entrepreneurs and business executives seem to be even more focused on their technology than the rest of us, and less inclined to listen to the voice of the customer, even if they remember to ask. Real two-way conversations with real customers, including the all-important body language, are unheard-of these days....

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Entrepreneur Leadership Today Demands a Human Focus

(1) Comments | Posted July 4, 2014 | 7:47 PM

Most entrepreneurs assume that success is dependent on their product expertise, coupled with some knowledge of how to run a business. In fact, I have found from personal experience and mentoring that both of these are necessary, but not sufficient, for building a business. Successful entrepreneurs today must practice human-centered...

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5 Keys to Product Differentiation for Fun and Profit

(1) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 5:41 PM

Every entrepreneur believes that their product or service is different, and that every customer will quickly see the advantage over competitors. Yet true product differentiation in the eye of the customer is rarely achieved. According to a survey by Bain & Company a while back, 80 percent of businesses...

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Improve Your Future By Thinking Like An Entrepreneur

(1) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 6:57 AM

Maybe starting a new business isn't your passion, but in these days of rapid change, where everyone is dealing with uncertainty, I believe that thinking and acting like entrepreneurs will help you get ahead in any profession. In simple terms this means taking control of your life, going after something...

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Lessons for Entrepreneurs From the 'Art Of War'

(2) Comments | Posted June 14, 2014 | 6:37 PM

Winning customers as an entrepreneur in a startup has many parallels to a young army trying to penetrate some formidable new and unfamiliar territory. You need a strategy as well as a goal, and you need to pick your battles well. Even in this age of purpose before profits, a...

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Every Technical Startup Wishes for This Dream Team

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 8:39 PM

In my years of advising startups and occasional investing, I've seen many great ideas start and fail, but the right team always seems to make good things happen, even without the ultimate idea. That's why investors say they invest in people (bet on the jockey, not the horse), rather than...

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These 5 Decisions Define You as an Entrepreneur

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

Most aspiring entrepreneurs are convinced that the strength of their initial idea somehow defines them as a leader, as well as the success potential of their derivative business. In my experience, it's a lot more complicated than that. It takes leadership ability, as well as a good idea, to make...

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More Entrepreneurs Are Seeking Purpose in Business

(2) Comments | Posted May 25, 2014 | 6:02 PM

I may be a bit old-fashioned, but I have always looked at a business first for its potential ability to be self-sustaining, and provide reasonable profits to feed my family, my lifestyle, and my retirement. Then secondly, I look for it to be a business I can enjoy, with the...

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How Aspiring Entrepreneurs Can Stand Above the Crowd

(1) Comments | Posted May 17, 2014 | 3:21 PM

As a mentor to startups and new entrepreneurs, I continue to hear the refrain that business plans are no longer required for a new startup, since investors never read them anyway. People cite sources like this BusinessWeek story last year "Real Entrepreneurs Don't Write Business Plans," or even...

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Real Entrepreneurs Are Hunters Rather Than Farmers

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2014 | 8:55 PM

Most entrepreneurs believe they are "different," but they can't quite understand how. They usually explain it by insisting that they are driven to follow their passion, need to be their own boss, want to get rich quick, or want to change the world. I now believe that the roots of...

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Scarce Natural Resources Are Startup Idea Goldmines

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2014 | 6:13 PM

The cost of entry for an aspiring entrepreneur has never been lower, and the total wealth of opportunities has never been larger. You can start a new e-Commerce site on the Internet for as little as $100, with cheap smart phone apps, new technology innovations, or tapping the multitude of...

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