I remember when I started my second company many years ago. It was a dog food manufacturing business. I developed a recipe after my dog became very ill and no veterinarian could figure out what was wrong. My last option was exploratory surgery. I took a gamble and developed a food after researching what an optimal diet should look like for dogs with similar symptoms. I watched anxiously to see how my dog reacted. When my dog not only started eating again, but her energy increased and her coat looked fabulous, I figured it was time to go into business.
Running With My Assumptions
I’m going to rush to the heart of the matter, but I will tell you, I did my dog food homework and researched heavily what was important for a dog’s health. I learned all about the dog food regulations. I had the licenses. I had the equipment I needed. I even had some money to get going. Yet, just like many other companies I work with, I did not go and talk to the people who might buy my product. I didn’t find out if they really wanted another food or even if they liked to change their dog’s food. I assumed that my product was great based on comments from my friends and family and my dog’s experience and I thought it would be flying off of the shelves and that the favorable comments would spread like a haboob. So, again, like many entrepreneurs, I jumped in with both feet and a heap of my own money.
The Greening of Things
Written By Tom Zender
Phoenix-area interest and activity is increasing in the Greening of Things. Clean energy, food, technologies, equipment, supplies, ecology, and more are fueling our local economy. We are now part of the growing clean, green economy.
Within the scope of social entrepreneurship, there are some notable trends with green innovation and startup businesses – particularly those focused on solving major, global environmental concerns. Both consumers and investors are interested in this expanding marketplace.
This is the first article in a series focused on building a great pitch deck, and if you are an entrepreneur and you need funding, at some point, you have to get out there and pitch. Yup, it is inevitable. And, it isn’t entirely enough to talk a good talk. If you have a shot at delivering an outstanding presentation, then your pitch deck design must stand out as well. There are a lot of businesses looking for money. Design can be the deciding factor for getting major funding, attracting key media, and landing big customers. A winning pitch deck is a mixture of great design and focused, clear content. It also has to fit into a time structure. Are you overwhelmed just thinking about how to do this? Let’s break down the design portion.
Design is the other half of the equation to a great pitch. The best presentation design is visually appealing, simple and today’s “fashion” is to not use standard bullet points. Think imagery. Think simple. Why? When a slide has a lot happening, your audience is not paying attention to you, they are figuring out your slide. You’ve LOST them. Here are the dirty dozen:
CEI was please to participate in the very exciting Rise of the Rest event sponsored by AOL founder and entrepreneurial investor, Steve Case. His U.S. bus tour is promoting the acceleration of entrepreneurship and innovation in cities beyond the startup strongholds of Silicon Valley, Boston, Austin, and New York.
The summer is upon us here in Arizona. With record-high temperatures hitting us this past weekend - including the earliest date in our state's history for 115-degrees - the heat is definitely on. But it’s also a chance for you to make moves for your business if you choose.
Right now, the Phoenix entrepreneurial ecosystem is coalescing with the momentum of a cheetah running in an open field, and every entrepreneur in the region should make it his/her mission to plug in to our growing community. With that in mind, we thought we would share some of the most populated startup hangouts where a lot of magic happens.
PHX Startup Week brings with it the brightest of spotlights on our ecosystem but - when it is all over and the entrepreneur basecamp has been vacated - it can leave a void that is difficult to fill if you are not well-versed in our little community. You might be surprised to know that there are hundreds of networking events, workshops, and conferences throughout the year that can satisfy your entrepreneurial cravings. Here a few of my favorites, in no particular order:
CEI client companies had the privilege this week to hear from #yesphx legend, successful entrepreneur and investor Pat Sullivan. During the hour long conversation - part of our business incubator’s monthly client-only meeting - Pat shared some of his biggest lessons (usually learned the "hard" way) to help the next generation of Phoenix entrepreneurs. Here is what he taught us.
Business incubators have been supporting startup companies for more than half a century, providing mentorship, advisement, and other resources to help them survive and grow. The benefits of joining an incubator have been documented at length, but the best testament to their value often comes from the entrepreneurs themselves. Read what Arizona entrepreneurs have to say about their experiences with incubation programs across the state, from northern Arizona (AZ TechCelerator) to Phoenix (Seed Spot, CEI, Arizona State University Entrepreneurship & Innovation) to Tucson (Tech Launch Arizona / University of Arizona).