ACU Entrepreneur Bootcamp

21 Oct

ACU’s Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy is hosting a two-day, intensive training event just for you! The ACU Entrepreneur Bootcamp is an exciting new program for Big Country entrepreneurs.

The program is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs who:

  • Are still looking for the right idea
  • Have an idea and want help to increase their likelihood of success
  • Have recently launched a venture and need assistance with their new business
  • Presenters and Material

Presenters will include ACU faculty, successful entrepreneurs and expert professionals from the region.

The bootcamp will include hands-on training for those in attendance. Specific topics will include:

  • Attributes of Successful Entrepreneurs
  • Assessing Your Readiness to be an Entrepreneur
  • Recognizing and Evaluating Opportunities
  • Strategies for Your Business
  • Legal Concerns for Start-up Companies
  • Understanding Your Customers
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Tips for Success from Local Entrepreneurs and Investors
  • Knowing the Numbers
  • Finding Investors and Making the Pitch
  • Building the Right Team
  • Managing Change
  • Additional Benefits

Participants will also receive:

  • Free, individual consulting session following bootcamp to create an action plan for moving forward
  • Free entry to ACU’s 2012 Springboard Ideas Challenge
  • Eligibility to participate in new Mentor Program managed by the West Texas Innovation Network

Date and Time

  • Friday and Saturday, November 4-5, 2011
  • Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm

Location
Hunter Welcome Center on ACU’s campus.

Cost
Only $99 per person for individuals who register by November 1, 2011.
The registration fee following November 1, 2011 is $249.

Visit acu.edu/entrepreneur-bootcamp for more information and to register today! You can also visit the West Texas Innovation Network’s website for additional information.

Terry Johnson To Speak at ReInvent Abilene Tonight

20 Oct

Tonight, Terry Johnson, a local social entrepreneur, will be speaking about some cool new things he’s working at this month’s ReInvent Abilene. ReInvent Abilene is a free event that features local thought-leaders and people who are working on cool things. They usually provide food and cold beverages, so there’s no reason to not go, really. Read more about the speaker and this month’s event here: http://reinventabilene.posterous.com/reinvent-abilene-reminder-46743

Entrepreneurial Communities Must Be Led By Entrepreneurs

19 Oct

Since I’ve been in Abilene (going on 8 years), I’ve seen several changes in peoples’ attitudes towards technology startups. A lot of people would like to see Abilene have a stronger entrepreneurial community. Places like the Abilene Small Business Development Center, the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy, and the West Texas Innovation Network and events like ReInvent Abilene and Build Guild and others are all great and support the cause for strengthening the Abilene entrepreneurial community.

Brad Feld is a technology VC, a co-founder of TechStars and one of the catalysts responsible for developing Boulder, CO into the entrepreneurial hub it is today. On his blog, he posted some great notes and a video talking about the important pieces in creating entrepreneurial communities. I think this is a post that everyone who cares about the Abilene entrepreneurial community should read and watch. Read the full post here: http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2011/10/entrepreneurial-communities-must-be-led-by-entrepreneurs.html

Convertible Notes and Valuation Caps

13 Oct

I’m still really new to the raising money game. I’ve read and researched a lot about it, but just now getting into actually doing it. There’s so much to learn and know about it, it’s refreshing to run across blog posts that clearly explain the core pieces to some deals. Martin Kleppmann does exactly that with convertible notes and valuation caps here: http://martin.kleppmann.com/2010/05/05/valuation-caps-on-convertible-notes-explained-with-graphs.html

Great Tips for Your Web-based Startup

10 Oct

This video is nearly three years old, but it’s a classic. David Heinemeier Hansson, better known as DHH on the interwebs, is cofounder of 37 Signals, a very successful web-based company that sells productivity software. If you’re looking for project management software, I highly recommend Basecamp. Anyways… in this video, David talks about what they’ve learned taking 37 Signals from a small startup to a company that plays with some of the big dogs. It’s well worth the 30 minutes of your time it’ll take to watch it all.

Congrats to all ACU Elevator Pitch Competitors!

7 Oct

ACU recently hosted an elevator pitch competition for their students. For those of you who don’t know, an elevator pitch is when you have to quickly describe your company in just a couple minutes (or less). It’s good to have this little spill down so when the time comes and you pass by that investor, you’re ready to blow their mind.

During the competition, all of the elevator pitches were recorded and posted to youtube. Watch them all here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAAD28620530BEF3D

Link to the competition follow-up and winners: http://blogs.acu.edu/coba/2011/10/07/two-coba-students-win-1500-for-business-idea

A Better Way to Accept Payments

29 Sep

If you’re starting a web-based venture, in most cases, you’ll be looking to accept payments from  your users one way or another. There are many payment gateways and front-end tools to help facilitate this, each with their own pricing structure. In my experience, these services are all difficult to work with and take a lot of extra digging and prodding to figure out how to use the things.

Today, a new app launched to the public, Stripe. Their pricing structure is competitive with everything else out there, but the main strength is their focus on simplicity. Within 5 minutes, you can sign up and begin accepting payments. For you developers, they have great documentation on how to implement this into your apps.