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Founder Insight

Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-05-18

How Effective Writing Can Increase Your Startup’s Success

Good writing is an important skill that is too often forgotten in the process of launching a tech company. In this blog post we outline the fundamentals you need to utilize writing to boost your company's chances of success.

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-05-14

Financial Tips For Avoiding Startup Failure

Too many budding entrepreneurs have endeavored to launch a successful startup only to meet failure, oftentimes before their project has even left the ground. With the nearly countless ways in which startups can acquire funding, it is also more important than ever that founders are aware of the financial fundamentals for their st... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-05-08

7 Keys to Pitching at a Competition, by Founder Showcase Champion, Branden Spikes

This guest post was written by Branden Spikes, Founder & CEO of Spikes, who won the Grand Prize at the 12th Founder Showcase. Spikes creates security software for large corporations that virtualizes the browser in the cloud - making getting hacked by browsing the web impossible. Shortly after winning the event, Spikes secu... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-05-04

To Create Startup Value, Channel Your Inner Luke Skywalker

This article, "Use the Force, Luke!", was written by Marcos Polanco, Kauffman Fellow and Co-Director of the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Founder Institute. It has been republished with permission below. Applications to the San Francisco Founder Institute are open now. To get help building your startup with great mentor... (more available)

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Posted by Travis Levell on 2015-05-03

What it Takes to be #1 in Your Industry

If you are a startup founder, chances are that you would like to raise significant funding, and become a successful company. But as you know, a very small percentage of companies get funded every year, and even fewer of those become successful. It is apparent that there is a large difference between companies like Facebook, Uber... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-04-28

4 Pitching Secrets from an Entrepreneur Whose Company Sold for $170M

Pitching your startup is both an art and a science: not only must it be tastefully presented, but it needs a structure that addresses the important aspects of your offering. However, with the multitude of resources available, it can be difficult to determine just what your startup pitch needs. To remedy this, we’ve compil... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-04-22

How To Win Over Angel Investors and Boost Your Brand Credibility With Just One Pitch

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

From telling a stranger on the bus to pitching in front of thousands at a major competition, each and every chance one gets to pitch is golden. Not long ago, Jilliene Helman (Founder, Realty Mogul) had her golden opportunity at the 13th Founder Showcase. Read on to hear what she learned from the experience and how her pitch earned her Investments from Angels and valuable brand credibility.

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-04-15

10 Experiments To Test Your Startup Hypothesis

The article, "Ten Experiments To Test Your Startup Hypothesis", was written by David Teten, a Mentor for the New York Founder Institute, as well as a Partner at ff Venture Capital. It has been republished with permission below. You know that a new idea has gained dominance when it becomes practically a cliché. ... (more available)

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Posted by Nailah Morgan on 2015-04-06

Crowdfunding Checklist: 10 Steps To Launching A Successful Campaign

The post was written by Seedkicks, a crowdfunding portal that helps entrepreneurs raise capital to fund their business.  Crowdfunding is a great way for entrepreneurs to access capital, gain social proof, and promote their brand. Traditionally to start a company you would need to pay for inventory out of pocket a... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-03-25

Customer Definition: Customers Are People Too

The article, "Customer Definition: Customers Are People Too", was written by Ben Larson, the Director of the Summer 2015 Semester of the San Francisco Founder Institute. It has been republished with permission below. One of the biggest and most common mistakes that I see early entrepreneurs make is a failure to properly define ... (more available)

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Posted by Travis Levell on 2015-03-24

Before You Create Your Product, Create Your Value Proposition: A Formula For Success

Your value proposition matters. It is the face of your product and how customers perceive your company. But most founders decide to create their value proposition after they create their product. Why is that? A few weeks ago, I wrote a post, "How to have your customers build your product for you," that covered a variety of top... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-03-11

Interviewing Customers is a Special Kind of Torture. Here’s How to Fix That.

In this post from the Customer Dev Labs blog, Founder Institute mentor, Justin Wilcox, shares the process of how he interviews customers to get insight on how to build great products.    "Interviewing Customers is a Special Kind of Torture. Talk to a stranger. Fun. That stranger is immensely busy…and hates... (more available)

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Posted by Nailah Morgan on 2015-03-08

How to Embrace Failure as You Transition from Employee to Entrepreneur

Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur isn’t an impossible feat, but it does come with its share of obstacles and failures. To fail, is to succeed at testing an assumption, and this notion is laughably demonstrated in the comic #entrepreneurfail. Due to personal experience, creators Kriti and Shivraj Vichare, underst... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-03-04

Why Most New Entrepreneurs are Not Ready to be Mentored

In this post from his Tropical Gringo blog, Alan Colmenares, Managing Partner at Socialatom Ventures and Director of the Bogota Founder Institute, shares his experience as a startup mentor in Colombia.  Below, an excerpt of How to find a good mentor for your startup has been republished with p... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-02-27

5 Tips to Improve Your Teachings as a Startup Mentor

This post was written by Jimmy Hendricks - CEO and Co-Founder of Deal Current, and top-rated mentor of the San Diego Founder Institute.  It was an honor this year to receive the highest rated global mentor award from Founder’s Institute. I always received feedback from our San Diego organizer, Jeanine Jacobson, that... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-02-27

Is Your Startup Fundable?

Have you ever wondered what qualities investors look for in a startup to consider it fundable? Benjamin Chong, a partner at Right Click Capital and a Co-Director of the Sydney Founder Institute, has created a three question test to help determine your answer in the article “Three ways to test if your startup is fundable,&r... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-02-26

Paying It Forward: How to Help New Startups Rise to the Top

We once asked Seattle Founder Institute mentor, Dan Shapiro why it's so important for experienced entrepreneurs to mentor new founders. To answer our question, Dan directed us to this gem of a blog post. Below, How to Help Startups, has been republished: "It’s been seven years since I started my first company. My su... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-02-22

To Grow Your Local Startup Community, First Map it Out. Introducing the Startup Ecosystem Canvas

If you ask a local startup leader what is holding back their community from growing, chances are the answer you will get is “a lack of capital”. However, in our experience working in nearly 100 markets across the globe, "lack of capital" is nowhere near being the biggest hindrance to startup community growth. In fac... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-02-20

The Lean Branding Approach to Business Naming

For most, if not all, entrepreneurs crafting the perfect name for a company is a daunting task. Not only must a business brand be memorable, but it must also encapsulate the values and mission of the business. Fortunately, Margot Bushnaq, founder of BrandBucket, has delineated a simple yet effective method for creatin... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-02-18

Where Do You Fit In? A Founder’s Guide to Startup Roles

For many people who are considering a jump into the startup industry, there is one often mysterious question they must answer: "Where do I fit in?" If not as the founder of your own company, which startup position should you take? As Jason Freedman says, "We startups are collectively still really bad at helping them break into o... (more available)

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Posted by Nailah Morgan on 2015-02-13

A Beginner’s Guide to Brand Storytelling

“Make sure your brand stories are page turners” ~ Susan Gunelius Storytelling is an irreplaceable component of our lives. We think, dream, and communicate through stories. Jeremy Hsu, a science and tech journalist based in NYC, found that "personal stories and gossip make up 65% of our conversations." Narratives app... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-02-11

An Expert Guide to Developing the Perfect Startup Idea

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” – Oscar Wilde For entrepreneurs, ideas that are deemed impossible by the masses are oftentimes the only ones worth pursuing. Yet how does one stumble upon those rare gems that lead to prosperity and recognition? True, many major companies we... (more available)

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Posted by Ezra Oyarce on 2015-02-10

Why These 3 CEOs Quit Their Day Jobs for their Startups

There’s a lot of debate over when and why entrepreneurs should quit their day jobs so that they can fully pursue their startup projects. Some say that entrepreneurs should keep their jobs so that they can keep a steady source of income, while others argue that once you quit your job will you put in the necessary effort int... (more available)

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Posted by Ezra Oyarce on 2015-02-04

What Investors Are Looking for in Your Startup

Getting funding for your startup company can be difficult, as most investors hear thousands of pitches and only have the time and money to give funding to a small number of entrepreneurs. As Tim Weingarten, a Venture Capitalist and CEO of The Hunt says, the first questions you must ask yourself before you go looking for funding... (more available)

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Posted by Ezra Oyarce on 2015-02-03

How You Can Build a Socially Impactful Company

In a recent VentureBeat article titled “How to Build a World-Saving Startup”, graduate of the Washington, D.C. Founder Institute and CEO of Causevox Rob Wu writes about how difficult it is to create a lasting company; especially one that has the intention of making a social impact. He says:   Social good sta... (more available)

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