As 2015 gets underway there is no doubt that the startup sector is succeeding outside of Silicon Valley and the northeast region of the United States. Much of this growth and entrepreneur success is coming from the country's heartland.
Until late last year, people who wanted to participate in a forum at The City Club of Cleveland had to drive to 850 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, park the car, take the elevator to the second floor, sit down in a chair, and wait for the mike.
I asked former Shark Tank contestants to share their biggest lessons, they generously agreed and candidly shared these 15 valuable business lessons learned from bravely putting their businesses in front of "the sharks."
Some days it gets wearying to face the additional challenges it takes for a woman to make it in the world of tech, but on days when it feels like that to me, I pull out the photo of all of the women that attended our first bootcamp.
As an angel investor, September puts me in a "back to school" frame of mind. In preparation for training sessions, I am constantly looking for new resources, books, etc. to continue to enhance or improve our training materials. here are some resources that I have found to be helpful.
The world of angels and VCs is still a boy's club, and men apparently tend to invest in other men -- something investor Adam Quinton of Lucas Point Ventures (who actually does invest in women-led companies) calls "unconscious bias."
Where Los Angeles can be said to be about beauty and fame, or New York about ambition or talent, Northeast Ohio has a long history of manufacturing and celebrating the excellence and hard work required to make or do things well.
Earlier this year I reviewed submissions on more than 30 businesses for our angel investment group in two days. Yes, I was cramming! No, I didn't read the business plans, just the summaries. So here's what I saw about business plans, summaries, and angel investors.
We need to define "better." What makes someone's life "better?" The term can mean almost anything... more productive, happier, simpler, and so on. But at the end of the day, it will be your gut reaction. You'll know whether it actually makes someone's life better.
When you are starting a business, where you get your money from has mostly to do with who is willing to give it to you. Most entrepreneurs just want to get funded, and often don't think through the ramifications of their funding source.
The world of fundraising has been turned on its head. A decade ago, entrepreneurs had limited sources for capital -- angel investors, venture capital funds and rich Uncles. Today, entrepreneurs have a plethora of options.