Shulman Rogers
Shulman Rogers, a full service law firm with nearly 100 attorneys, provides corporate services including business planning, mergers and acquisitions, securities, employment, intellectual property, immigration, government contracting, tax, telecommunications, cybersecurity, corporate governance, as well as other areas. In addition, the firm has vast experience in real estate transactions, both commercial and residential closings, leasing, landlord-tenant, commercial development, acquisition, sales and related matters. Our litigators offer extensive experience in complex litigation, and all methods of dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration. Personal legal services include trust and estate planning, family law, real estate settlements, medical malpractice and personal injury.

Startup Our Vets

 

Through the Startup Our Veterans Fellowship, any U.S. veteran or service member who wants to start a technology company can apply to a U.S. Founder Institute chapter for free, and the best overall applicant from Washington DC will be invited to participate in the Founder Institute's step-by-step startup launch program for free as well.


Veterans and active service members possess the work ethic, high character, and strong leadership skills needed to launch meaningful and enduring technology companies. To inspire and enable the military community to build technology companies, the Founder Institute has partnered with Vet-Tech, the nation's leading startup accelerator for military veterans, to offer the "Startup Our Veterans" Fellowship.

Through this Fellowship, any U.S. veteran or service member who wants to start a technology company can apply to a U.S. Founder Institute chapter for free, and the best overall applicant from will be invited to participate in the Founder Institute's step-by-step startup launch program for free as well.

Learn more about the program at FI.co/vets.


Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the Startup Our Veterans Fellowship for the Washington DC Spring 2016 Semester, you must complete your application and admissions test by Saturday, April 30, 2016, using this link.


Grant: The recipient of the Startup Our Veterans Fellowship will be awarded within 5 days after the deadline.


Click here to apply for the Startup Our Veterans Fellowship.


Planning Solutions Group
Planning Solutions Group is a financial planning firm that specializes in developing innovative concepts for wealth creation and preservation. PSG is comprised of 3 partners with over 60 years of combined industry experience, a team of associate planners, and a dedicated support staff which includes two an attorney who provides advanced estate and tax planning solutions, and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) for the development of creative investment strategies.

CONNECTPreneur

 

The CONNECTPreneur Fellowship is awarded to the most extraordinary applicant from the  CONNECTPreneur Community, giving them the opportunity to enroll in the Washington DC Founder Institute for free. The recipient will be recognized as somebody with the utmost potential to become a successful technology entrepreneur.


The Washington DC Founder Institute is excited to partner with an organization that shares our goal of fostering a strong local startup ecosystem: CONNECTPreneur, a quarterly forum of 350+ top IT entrepreneurs and investors in greater Washington DC region. Through the CONNECTPreneur Fellowship, everyone from the CONNECTPreneur community is invited to apply to the Washington DC Founder Institute for free, and the best overall applicant from the community will receive a Fellowship to participate in the program for free as well ($1,650 value).


Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the CONNECTPreneur Fellowship for the Washington DC Spring 2016 Semester, you must complete your application and admissions test by April 3, 2016, using this link.


Grant: The recipient of the CONNECTPreneur Fellowship will be awarded within 5 days after the deadline.


Click here to apply for the CONNECTPreneur Fellowship.


How to Make Better Decisions, Faster

Posted by Adeo Ressi on 2015-12-03

This post was written by Adeo Ressi - Founder & CEO of the Founder Institute and TheFunded.com, and board member of the X PRIZE Foundation.

When you ask a successful entrepreneur how they did it, you are almost guaranteed to hear them cite “luck” as a prominent factor.

Why? Because most major decisions in a startup are "life or death," and to succeed you need to make the correct call on many of these decisions. In such a context, survival and success appear lucky.

Well... it's not.

With startups, being fast is actually better than being right.

A founder needs to make hundreds of critical decisions, and any indecision can literally grind all progress to a halt. Hesitating, over-analyzing, or 'waiting to see what happens' are all forms of indecision, and when you are indecisive you let the world decide the outcome for you. Indecision leaves the outcome to chance, and your chances as a startup are bad to begin with.

Making decisions that are both fast and correct is no small feat, and is a skill that will develop over time, but here is a simple decision-making framework that I use to make decisions quickly; 

 

1. Boil it down to a binary decision.

The first thing to do is boil your decision down to a simple binary statement.

For example, if your development is slow, there may be seemingly hundreds of options - but you need to simplify it. You can choose to (1) replace or (2) fix your development organization. Hoping the problem will go away is not a decision. Any complex problem, decision or opportunity can be boiled down to a binary statement.

Try it with a tough decision that you are facing now… 

 

2. Make the decision quickly.

Next, just pick. Flip a coin. Throw a dart. Whatever. Just pick, and pick quickly. If you're lucky, when you pick you'll feel a sigh of relief that indicates you picked the one your "gut" likes. Whatever you do, don’t hesitate.

Not too long ago I was running a fast growing business and we acquired a foreign subsidiary that took over technology development. When product releases began to slow dramatically, I had a simple decision to make: (1) replace them or (2) fix them. Instead, I was indecisive and waited to see what would happen, hoping the problem would fix itself. When that didn’t happen, I ultimately was forced to sell the business for less than I felt it was worth. Meanwhile, better organized competitors launched multi-billion dollar businesses.

I hesitated, and it cost me. It will cost you too.

 

3. Execute and Observe.

Now execute. Immediately. Just do it. You'll know very quickly if it's the wrong decision.

You should have all of your sensors on high alert to look for clues to whether you were right or not. A lot of decisions are so hard that they will feel wrong, but look for empirical clues to measure the success of the decision. You may even want to try and outline a couple conditionals up front, which we'll cover in a moment. 

 

4. Adjust if necessary.

The moment there is clear evidence that you are wrong, whether it be a bad hire or a poor product release, drop everything and fix it. In at least half of the cases, you will be able to recover.

So effectively, even when you make a life or death decision quickly, your odds of survival are in excess of 75% if your sensors are up and you are ready to adjust. 

 

For the toughest decisions, introduce conditionals...

Now, some decisions are really brutal, such as the need to cut significant staff, take a pay cut, or sell your home. This is the life of a founder.

When things get really tough, I personally use conditionals to help with the decision making process. Conditionals are simple if / then statements that help to take the sting off the toughest decisions. Here's an example;

Back in the 90's I was running a fast growing business that had cash-flow issues. A major customer owed us nearly a million dollars, and we had a couple weeks of payroll in the bank. My binary decision was to (1) cut staff and survive until we were paid, or to (2) win some new business to cover the period until we could collect. So, I introduced a conditional: if I could not get two months of cash-flow from new business within two weeks, then I would cut the staff as needed. 

If I failed to get new business, then I would have to cut much deeper than if I cut right away. However, the identification of a conditional trigger point for the tough decision acted both as a motivator and as a calming agent. I had a target to shoot for, which we eventually hit. That business sold for approximately $100 MM.

There you have it: a simple decision-making framework for startups. (1) Boil it down to a binary decision. (2) Make the decision quickly. (3) Observe the outcome. (4) Adjust if necessary. And, introduce a conditional for the toughest decisions.

Whatever you do, don't hesitate. 

Good luck!


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How to Make Better Decisions, Faster

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