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Wyden Applauds Boost for SelfEmployment

first_img on August 20, 2013 Share. Google+ Wyden Applauds Boost for Self-Employment LinkedIn Facebook E-Headlines Twittercenter_img U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced that Oregon has received $332,576 in federal grant funding to help expand the state’s efforts to give aspiring entrepreneurs the option of using unemployment insurance money to start their own businesses.  “Self-employment assistance is an innovative and cost-effective way to help smart, entrepreneurial people not only find work but create jobs for others,” Wyden said. “This funding will help Oregon improve and expand its program, and help our economy by creating new jobs as more start-ups launch and grow.” The grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will help expand Oregon’s successful Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEA). Participants in voluntary SEA programs are provided with financial assistance equal to their Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits while they receive important entrepreneurial training and access to resources to help launch their own businesses. In order to allow participants to devote full-time attention to creating new businesses that have the potential to create additional jobs, state work search requirements are waived. Oregon plans to use the funding to implement intensive training and one-on-one counseling to assist potential entrepreneurs in starting their own businesses and to improve customer service through the expanded use of the internet, social media and interactive websites.“Oregon has been on the forefront of expanding opportunities for its unemployed to become successful entrepreneurs,” said Eric Seleznow, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training. “The funding announced today will help aspiring business owners access the resources, information and training they need to get a business off the ground.”Funding for this initiative is part of a series of innovative reforms to the federal UI program made possible through the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The grant includes $265,850 for the improved administration of their SEA program and $66,726 for promotion and enrollment activities.The program connects UI recipients who have proven to be good candidates for self-employment and allows them to collect their unemployment benefits as they work to build credible businesses.  Participants must complete both a written business plan and a market feasibility study. The program operates as a collaborative effort between the Oregon Employment Department, and the Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC).Wyden has long been a champion of self-employment assistance programs, and helped push the provision that established the program two decades ago. Last year, Wyden successfully secured $35 million in funding for the creation or improvement of state SEA programs.Five states – Delaware, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon – already have successful SEA programs in place.According to a Department of Labor study of state SEA programs, participants were 19 times more likely than eligible non-participants to be self-employed. In states where SEA programs are active, hundreds of businesses and new jobs have been created as a result. In Oregon, the estimated annual payroll from businesses started through the SEA program is $10.5 million, and successful start-ups have created an average of 3.12 new jobs. Tom TowsleeState Communications DirectorOffice of Senator Ron Wyden503-326-7539 (Office)503-477-0307 (Cell) tom_towslee@wyden.senate.gov@ttowslee By CBN 0 Pinterest Tumblr Emaillast_img read more

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Newberry Country Economic Vitality Summit Economic Power on Main Street Beyond

first_imgNewberry Country Economic Vitality Summit. Economic Power on Main Street & Beyond. E-Headlines Email on October 31, 2013 Pinterest 0 Share. Facebookcenter_img By CBN Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Tumblr The Ford Institute and Rural Development Initiatives invites you to participate in an Economic Vitality Summit aimed at empowering our main streets and investing locally in the future of our communities. Date:  Friday, November 8, 2013Time:  9am – 4pm Location:  La Pine Senior Activity Center 16450 Victory WayThis agenda was created with input from graduates of the Ford Institute Leadership Program and economic development specialists across the Newberry region.  The Summit will include exciting strategies designed to inform what is happening locally and provide methods for boosting our region’s economic vitality.Agenda 8:30           Registration9:00           Welcome and Opening Remarks                        Heidi Khokhar – RDI                       Roger Lee – Economic Development for Central Oregon9:30           Why Invest in Main Street and How to Get Started10:30          BREAK10:45         Local Opportunities                        Rick Allen –  La Pine City Manager11:15          Strategies to Help Business Work Together & Shine                        Ken Mulenex  –  La Pine Mayor11:35         Local Applications – Are the Applications for Newberry Country?                        Heidi Khokhar  –  RDI12:00                LUNCH1:00           Community Successes Panel  – Learning from our Neighbors                   (Buy Local Campaigns, Sandy Style  –  Sandy, Oregon)1:50            Taking Action Locally                        Heidi Kokhar – RDI2:50          Closing Remarks from the Ford Family Foundation                        Joyce Akse – Director, Ford Institute3:00          ADJOURNThis event is Free and open to anyone interested or involved in the economic vitality of Newberry region.Registration is limited to the first 100 and will close no later than November 1, 2013Please share this invitation with others in the Newberry region who would find it relevant to their work and interest.La Pine Chamber of Commerce & Visitor CenterPO Box 616, La Pine, 9773951425A Hwy 97541-536-9771Register: www.surveymonkey.com/s/NewberryEVlast_img read more

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The Part of Entrepreneurship That Isnt Often Talked About

first_imgThe Part of Entrepreneurship That Isn’t Often Talked AboutDecember 20, 2017 by Rafi Chowdhury 351SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin In my line of work, I come across hundreds, if not thousands, of startup founders every single month. A majority of them happen to be based out of San Francisco and are running some type of venture-backed tech startup or healthcare tech startup. For many entrepreneurs, ‘tech startup founder’ is a job title they have been dreaming of putting in their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles since the day they learned what the word entrepreneurship means. I mean, what is there not to like about being a startup founder? You can be your own boss, network with influencers, raise money, work in a cool office and ultimately get super rich.What People Think They DoThere is a lot of entertainment value that can be derived from these types of stories. For example, the TV show Shark Tank has earned millions of dollars and has one of the largest viewership of any show on CNBC.The Social Network, a movie that shed some light on Facebook’s beginnings, shows the fun side of entrepreneurship by depicting a group of friends partying late into the night in a nice house in California, challenging their hustling skills through coding competitions and getting girls by showing off their money.The media has consistently made tech startups look sexy by showing the lives of tech giants such as Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and more. Consequently, the entertainment value of these high-end tech entrepreneur stories have encouraged many tech wizards to build their own startup companies or develop their cool apps, as opposed to joining an already-established company as an IT engineer or software developer.What They Actually DoWhile there is obviously a lot of truth to some of the perks mentioned above, the hardships of entrepreneurship are often not highlighted by the media. Being a startup CEO can be extremely rewarding, but it’s not easy by any means. There are some hard costs that come with the perks: Low pay, long hours, monetary risk and high stress are some of the most common complaints of founders that I regularly come across. The euphoria of building a tech company with your buddies comes with its own sense of torment.Most startups begin with some sort of idea, either from a problem the founder himself is facing or a common problem many people in her industry are facing. The biggest high that founders experience is knowing that they are chasing their dreamsand building their own company in their own way. The thought: “I can do this, and I can do this better than anyone else out there who is trying” is often a strong catalyst for starting a company. However, that same thought can eat you alive from the inside out. You can start to see spending time with friends and family, playing sports or participating in other extracurriculars as time wasted.You might begin to feel like if you are not working on your startup during those hours, you are falling behind. You might feel a false sense of guilt every time you say yes to going out with a friend or every time you tell your family that you can join them for dinner. When you are starting out as an entrepreneur, make sure that your idea is solid. Make sure you’re building something people will want and pay for. Starting a business is quite often a pretty lonely process. Unless you have a co-founder in the company, for the most part, no one will care as much about your company as you do. The reality is that you can be prepared, have a brilliant idea and have customers, but that isn’t enough to get a startup off the ground.You need money — investment.And this usually means securing angel investment or getting access to venture capitalists.On TV, angel investments are shown off as people in fancy suits passing off cash left and right as if they are running for office. But, in reality, VC fundraising is really difficult. Also, taking money from angel investors comes with a completely new set of issues and losses which you have to deal with sooner or later. The amount of stress that comes from raising money is too much for a lot of new entrepreneurs.Investments Come With a Series of Strings AttachedThe whole process of fundraising is hectic in itself. It’s a long process. You are likely to get rejected by many, and it certainly can be a huge distraction.Ultimately, as a startup founder your job is to build your company, not raise money. The good news is that starting a company and raising money to scale it might be much easier today than it was a few decades ago. But it is by no means headache free. And the money is not free either.As soon as you raise capital, you enter a partnership with someone else who wants to see their money grow into more money — lots more money. The good news is that most investors invest in startups because they have faith in the team behind them.The investors usually come with an abundance of knowledge, wealth and expertise, which will help you get your startup to the next level.BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners. PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Building a startup can be extremely rewarding, but movies tend to gloss over the hard work and hardships involved. Filed Under: Advice, Lifestyle, Resourceslast_img read more

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6 Relationship Strategies That Propel Your Business

first_img Filed Under: Advice, Management, Resources, Strategic 6 Relationship Strategies That Propel Your BusinessMay 29, 2018 by Martin Zwilling 235SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Unfortunately, people who are great at inventing things, and have high creativity, often don’t have strong interpersonal skills or interests. As a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, I see a high level of frustration from people in this category who have personally developed great solutions, but can’t make them into a business. They don’t realize that running a business requires relationships.I strongly believe the talent to effectively build relationships can be learned, just like any other skill, even if you are an introvert like me. It does take effort and focus, just like learning other skills that you need to achieve objectives you have set. In business, you need to build relationships with a wide range of people, including investors, peers, employees, and of course customers.As part of my own efforts to maximize my relationship efforts, I found some concise business-oriented guidance in a new book, “Born to Build,” by Jim Clifton and Sangeeta Badal, Ph.D. These executives from Gallup bring together their best data from business professionals around the world, to offer the following strategies for stepping our relationship results up a notch:Build new relationships by diversifying your networks.Force yourself to go beyond people in your immediate circle, and those you know well, to contact and nurture a real relationship with at least one supplier, a customer, and a competitor. The next step is to seek out relevant people from unrelated organizations, such as media and government.Give as much as you expect to get from every relationship. Effective relationships in business require reciprocity – not a one-way half-hearted effort. Offer and deliver help, connect people with each other, or share industry or nonprofit-sector information. Only then will you feel satisfaction and find others willing to respond when you need help.Selectively spend quality time on key relationships. Spend time with your most important customers, your most productive employees, and leaders who can make the most difference to your organization. These relationships will generate returns in the immediate future and in the long run. Avoid the trap of idle discussions and ego building.Keep your focus on the local social and business landscape. Pay attention to bonds, loyalties, and networks that characterize your community. Recognize the norms, values and preferences that shape the behavior of the people you need. This will help you form a durable and effective network that you can maximize for your business interests.Apply your time, brand, and resources to key social issues. Build a constituency of relationships with people who have shared beliefs, interests, and ambitions. Collaborating with them on solving shared social problems will turn them into engaged advocates of your business and make them your most powerful allies in building other relationships.Prune, renew, and reshape your networks frequently. Nurture people relationships critical to your organization carefully and often. Push contacts whose usefulness has diminished over time into your inactive network. Regularly identify new relationships that are vital to the future of your business, and define strategies to build these connections.I do offer some points of caution in all relationship building efforts:More relationships are not always better. Highly successful business leaders don’t necessarily have larger networks. Be selective about the associations you form, listen carefully for situations where you can add value and derive value, and prune the rest.Overinvestment in relationships can take precious time away from focusing on the technical elements of your business. Invest your time wisely in balancing the demands of market awareness, new technologies, and future organizational strategy.Sometimes strong relationship networks can shut out new people and new thinking, insulating you from fresh input from the “outside.” Introducing new elements into your network will generate new perspectives, new experiences, and positive change.Overall, the breadth and depth of your relationship networks is more critical to your business success than your ability to define and build the perfect solution. These relationships empower you to confidently and aggressively take risks, continually innovate, and recover from losses and setbacks along the way. Your business is a community, not an island. You can’t run it alone.Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POSTlast_img read more

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10 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Potential Slowdown in 2019

first_imgThe public markets are continuing to go down, and the whispers of an upcoming recession are on Twitter, on Bloomberg, and in the private conversations. The experts are predicting the recession sometime between now, and the end of 2020.While I am no expert on Macroeconomics, I do know that it is prudent to plan ahead. Everything depends on your particular startup – revenue, stage, capitalization, runway, the speed of customer acquisition, LTV, whether your product is a must-have or not – so take the bits here, and adapt them to your situation.The general framework  is simple – it is a game where you get cash and spend cash and try to not run out of cash.What are your sources of cash? Customers and investors. What do you mostly spend cash on? Staff and things related to making and marketing your product.You realize that getting cash in relies on external entities — customers and investors, and so it is not entirely under your control.On the other hand, you should be in control of how you spend your cash.So start by optimizing what you spend on and then try to increase the cash that’s coming into the company1. Understand your runway, and create a clear planThe place to start is your current plan. If you don’t have one, you are in a whole lot of trouble — drop everything, and create one. And, please, don’t create one of those fake plans that founders sometimes put together to appease investors – that won’t help YOU.You are creating a plan for YOU, so that YOUR company can survive.In your plan, there will be 2 pieces that matter. First is the cash in the bank, and the second is the cash you expect to get from your customers. How certain are you in your revenue forecast? Is your product a must have or a nice to have? Will customers stop buying your product because the times are tough. You need to be extraordinary good at answering these questions because your company depends on it.Once you think it all through, decide if you need to make adjustments to your plan, and if you do, do not wait – make the changes now. Next, try to maximize your runway by cutting the budget and think through when you will need to raise again.2. Conserve cash, and be scrappyIn general, regardless of where you come out on your budget, switch into a scrappy mode. As a startup, you should be in that mode anyway, but if you weren’t until now, now is the time to embrace that mentality.Review your bills – what can you cut? There is always extra stuff. Can you reduce your office bill? Can you get rid of snacks or other perks? Just get into the mode of cutting things that aren’t critical. Explain this as a core cultural value to everyone – especially when the times are tougher.3. Become profitableIf you can become profitable – do it.Becoming profitable is the absolutely the best thing you can do to gain control of your destiny.Sure, you may grow slower, but you aren’t going to run out of money. Even if you can’t raise capital, you are able to survive.4. Delay paying vendorsI learned this trick from one of our CFOs – delay payments to vendors and demand to be paid faster. While this sounds aggressive, as a startup, during tough times, you may want to put this into practice.Negotiate so that you have cash coming in way ahead of the cash needing to be going out.5. Slow down your marketing spendMarketing spend is typically big, and often an inefficient knob in many startups. Marketing gets a lot of dollars because it drives customers. The logic in the early startups is that we can sacrifice efficiency in CAC, that is, we can overpay, to get customers because when we are at scale we will be able to drive CAC down and LTV up.Regardless of the merits of this approach, you should seriously consider trimming down your marketing spend. Sure you will acquire fewer customers and your growth chart won’t look as pretty, but you will conserve cash and will be able to survive longer.6. Slow down your hiringReview your hiring plan and trim it. This is an easy knob to control. Sure, it means that you will grow slower, and people on board will have to do more work, but this is a good thing to do.Imagine hiring at the same pace, then running out of cash and having to let go people who you just hired. That’s not unheard of in the startup land. Don’t be one of those founders, slow down your hiring.7. Do LayoffsThis is obviously the toughest one of all cost savings moves, but, if necessary, you should be prepared to do it. If you hired too quickly, and the revenues aren’t where they are should be and you can see that you will run out of money, then you need to do layoffs to survive.The decision you need to make is how much to cut and why. This is a complex and often nuanced decision. The short of it is  this:Always do layoffs at once, never piece meal, and layoff more rather than less.Make a decision based on runway and survival of the company. Make a decision based on a new plan, not based on the plan you had before. This is probably the toughest thing you’d need to do as a founder, but there are times where you need to do it. Do it sooner rather than later, do it with respect, and cut more rather than less.Now that we went over the ways you can conserve cash, let’s talk about how you can get cash in.8. Get customers fasterThis may sound odd, because why wouldn’t you close customers faster anyway? The point is, think about friction points, anything that slows down your sale? Can you change your payment terms from 60 days to 30 days? Any other hacks? Try to get cash in the door faster.9. Encourage annual payments and longer-term contractsThink about offering a discount for an annual payment vs. monthly payments. During the tough times, this could be particularly helpful. Extra cash is much needed and it is easier to get it out of existing customers by offering a discount, vs. getting new customers.Along similar lines, offer a discount for longer contracts. If someone is willing to sign a 2-year contract that’s a better deal for you and more certainty in your forecast.10. Raise capitalIt is not an accident that I put raising capital as the last item here. This is literally your last resort, meaning you should first do all the other things and then think about raising more capital. Why?Because prospective investors do not want to fund the founders who only solve problems by raising more capital.This is particularly true during tough times and is one of the filters that investors will apply.For example, if you present to investors and say, we are considering layoffs and it will depend on how much capital you give us — that’s a really bad signal. What investors want to hear is — we’ve already done layoffs, we are super capital efficient, if you give us a bit more capital it will last us for a very long time.Remember investors do not want to invest if it’s clear that the company will run out of money again.In general, everything is tougher during the slower times, and raising capital is even tougher. Investors take more time, the terms are less favorable, diligence drags on, terms sheets get pulled — everything gets wacky and slow.The number one way you can raise successfully during the slower times is by being prepared. You should never fundraise unprepared or piecemeal, but it is particularly costly to do so when the times are tough.Have a fundraising plan in place. Align in very carefully with your overall plan. Start earlier because it will take longer. Target the right investors, don’t waste time. Engage your existing investors and advisors, and execute with precision.To sum up — the best thing you can do is to review and revise your plans and make a new plan, make the adjusts you need, conserve cash and be ready for longer fundraising if you will need to be raising capital in 2019.Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST 10 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Potential Slowdown in 2019December 27, 2018 by Alex Iskold 345SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Filed Under: Advice, Management, Resources, Strategiclast_img read more

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NYC Seed Funding Holds Steady as 2018 Draws to a Close

first_imgNYC Seed Funding Holds Steady as 2018 Draws to a CloseJanuary 4, 2019 by Primary Venture Partners 346SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin 2018 has indeed been a year of rebuilding. From a very lackluster start to the year, with just 26 seed deals, NYC Tech quickly rebounded with 42 deals in Q2, and has been able to maintain a steady pace ever since. We ended the year with 46 seed deals, a total that was down 6% from Q3, but up 77% from this time last year. Those 46 deals brought in a total of $81.6M in funding, just 7% shy of Q3’s total, and up 54% from Q4 2017.While we’ve begun to see later-stage firms becoming increasingly selective in doling out funds, the most promising early-stage startups in the city continue to succeed in raising large rounds. Average deal size in Q4 hovered around $1.8 million – matching that of Q3 – and 2018 continued the five-year upward trend of increased deal size, even as total deal count has retreated from its peak in 2015.Industries to WatchMove over TripAdvisorHeading to a new country can be overwhelming, but if a startup can solve that pain point, the prize on the other end comes in the form of $34 billion spent by US millennials traveling abroad for leisure. Noken, a Primary portfolio company, and Journy are both looking to simplify adventures abroad by streamlining trip planning in their own unique ways, while Plevo offers a new spin on smart luggage.Wellness in all formsIn Q4, we witnessed five NYC startups from across the wellness spectrum raise nearly $10M. From an innovative healthware company (Care+Wear) that’s focused on creating positive and effective healing experiences through purpose-built clothing, to a personalized relationship coaching app (Relish), startups are approaching health and wellness from all angles.It’s lonely at the topIn these times of rapid change, executives are finding it more and more difficult to adapt and find support. In Q4, Primary portfolio company Chief announced a $3M Seed round to build a private network for exceptional women who are VP level and above, while Boma Global brought in $1.25M to build a global network of local partners who can provide transformational learning experiences to business leaders, politicians, educators, entrepreneurs, and others.Chat above all elseThe rise of Slack and other chat platforms has changed the way employees communicate and digest information. June.ai is doubling down on this trend by transforming all email communication into a chat-like experience to increase employee engagement, while CodeStream is inserting chat capabilities directly into codebases.Peace of mind, on demandThe future of work continues to be driven by startups looking to amplify a company’s core business. Whether it’s finding designers and developers to fix your website (Lorem) or research participants for qualitative studies (Respondent), new platforms are finding ways to bring peace of mind to their customers so they can focus on what truly matters.Intelligence within reachIn Q4, we continued to see horizontal AI companies emerge to put knowledge in the hands of its users. From location intelligence (Topos) to sales and marketing insights (Whiz), startups are finding new ways of delivering unique insights distilled from large datasets. Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POSTcenter_img Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk, Angel/Seed, Funding, Venture Capitallast_img read more

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This NYC Startup Helps Relocated Employees to Reestablish Their Network in New

first_imgThe number one issue facing relocated employees is rebuilding a social life and connecting among colleagues and communities around the world. Addressing this problem, Pivt has built an intranet for corporations to facilitate the social well-being of relocated and mobile employees, by connecting colleagues around the world based on interests, goals, commonalities, and internal teams. Billions are spent on relocation packages but they do not address the social aspects of moving to an unfamiliar city, for a new role, and often alone.AlleyWatch chatted with founder Lynn Greenberg to learn more about her own personal experience with relocation inspired her to launch Pivt.Tell us about the product or service that Pivt Enterprise offers.Pivt is the company social intranet designed to reduce churn and improve the well-being of relocated and mobile employees. By connecting employees to colleagues around the world (based on interests, goals, commonalities, and internal teams), employees are now able to source trusted and curated advice, and to make plans to meet socially (even before the move). By taking some of the fear and anxiety out of moving and traveling, Pivt makes it possible for people to take opportunities in unfamiliar places, acclimate seamlessly, and expand their outlooks.How is Pivt different?Unlike internal company platforms like Yammer and Slack, Pivt does not aim to replace email and serve as a workforce collaboration tool. In contrast, Pivt is a cohesive social/recommendations tool for relocating and mobile employees. Pivt’s distinct features like GPS locator, community feed, and company social calendars, make it the best place to connect with others in a similar situation, source trusted advice, make plans to meet socially, and orient right away.What market is Pivt attacking and how big is it?Pivt is capitalizing on the $17B annual relocation industry with a 4.7% annual growth rate. Companies spend an average of $90K relocating a single employee, but 1/3 to leave their post early due to social reasons. This is because the number one concern of expats and relocated employees, social wellbeing, is not addressed in relocation packages.What is the business model?Pivt operates a two-tiered enterprise model, paid monthly on a per-user basis. The Standard tier is a custom platform including our two main features: GPS Network Locator and Community Messaging. Our Premium Platform includes everything on the Standard Platform with more customization options and features, including Group Messaging, Social Calendar, and an Admin Panel.What inspired the business?I relocated to London to work for Bloomberg. While I was there, I faced the same challenges and anxiety that so many of us experience when moving to a new and unfamiliar place.How do I go about finding information on my city from people I trust and how do I build my network from scratch? As it turns out, it is the #1 concern for relocated employees is their social wellbeing. Despite the fact that companies spend millions of dollars annually on relocation packages, the most important piece is left out, social tools. This leads to high employee turnover and inefficiencies. I was determined to find a better way. Pivt initially launched a consumer app, but shortly after launch, we were approached by corporations and relocation companies about building a “Pivt” internal platform for their relocated and mobile workers.Turns out that despite the fact that companies (on average) spend $90K to relocate each employee, more than 1/3 leave their post early due to social reasons. After extensive research, the market demand became apparent, and we revamped our consumer platform to best fit business needs (we are very excited by the market opportunity).What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?We are finalizing our first cohort of paid pilots by the end of 2018 and hope to have more shortly after. We also just opened our seed round and are aiming to close within the next few months.What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?While the mission that drove you to start the company is very important to keep top of mind, don’t be married to the idea. Be attentive to customers and colleagues, and be open to changing your product to best achieve product-market fit.Why did you launch in New York?New York is the hub for many corporations, relocation companies and of course, the international community (it also happens to be home).What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?Any New York diner. Missed them terribly when living abroad. PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST This NYC Startup Helps Relocated Employees to Reestablish Their Network in New Cities from ScratchDecember 18, 2018 by AlleyWatch 484SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedincenter_img Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk, Business, Enterprise, HR, Interviews, Launching in the Alley, Startupslast_img read more

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What is Coming Up For Casino Gaming in 2017

first_imgWhat is Coming Up For Casino Gaming in 2017?January 11, 2017 by AlleyVoice 286SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Image credit: CC by jjmusgrovePREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST After a very successful year in 2016, the casino industry can expect a lot more great things to unfold in the upcoming calendar year. Here are the most important storylines to follow.There is no doubt that modern casino gaming is something far more sophisticated and multifaceted than the traditional image of Las Vegas casino with old-school slot machines and blackjack tables. From expansion of the target group to include far wider populations than before to evolution of the games themselves, there are many areas where casino companies are making undeniable progress. Today, casinos are doing all they can to make their service more user-friendly and socially acceptable – and the results are obvious.In the New Year, casino gaming will likely continue on its path towards mainstream prominence. However, there are numerous steps to be made before that goal is achieved and 2017 could prove to be a turning point in many respects. The following trends are certainly worth paying attention to, as they are likely to take off with full force:Satellite casinosThe stereotypical image of a casino includes a huge building with neon signs and hundreds of gaming options concentrated under one roof, but this model is undergoing a revision. True, big casinos are still controlling most of the profits, but they are increasingly looking to decentralize their operations and reach their customers in new ways. This can be accomplished in part by opening smaller casino establishments at major airports, hotels and convention centers, as well as other venues with high frequency of visitors. Of course, most of the smaller gaming spots will stay affiliated with the major brands, ensuring that high quality standards are applied and providing convenience for the regular players that already own membership accounts.Combining gaming with entertainmentSure, casino gaming is a form of entertainment by itself and dedicated players don’t need too much additional motivation to join a poker table. Casual players are more demanding, and casinos are looking to accommodate them by including more non-gambling elements on premises, for example cozy lounges with music and fine dining places. Interior design also contributes to the new image casinos are trying to convey – some of the space formerly used to cram in as many gaming machines as possible is now being repurposed for better atmosphere. That’s especially instrumental in attracting younger customers, who want a complete experience and are less interested in winning money than in having a good time during their visit to a casino. This process isn’t limited to brick-and-mortar casinos, as electronic properties (website, mobile app) play a crucial role in building deep bonds with millennial customers who spend most of their time glued to their smartphones.Expansion into large overseas marketsThe most significant factor limiting the growth of the casino industry at the moment is the uneven state of legislation in various countries around the world. Some markets are already well-served by large casino brands, while others are still almost untouched. With possible legislative changes coming up in a number of large countries such as India or Brazil, 2017 looks to be great for the global casino business. Many U.S. states could also liberalize their laws in the coming year, opening up access to a lot of additional well-paying customers. Casino sites like UK William Hill Vegasare ready to expand their offer to new markets as soon as legal conditions are favorable, so we can expect some progress on this front quickly if the lawmakers show some understanding for the gaming operators.Legalized sports betting in the USAAmerican professional sports are generating huge amounts of money and enjoy global popularity. Betting on NBA or NFL games is a popular pastime for fans around the world, but in the United States it is difficult to place a legal bet on your favorite team. There is an ongoing debate about regulating the huge underground sports betting market and redirecting billions of dollars back into the tax system. Emergence of e-sports betting is complicating the picture even further and necessitating a change of approach in the near future. It would perhaps be too optimistic to predict nationwide legalization over the next 12 months, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if some key obstacles to regulated sports wagering in the United States were removed this year.center_img Filed Under: Techlast_img read more

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Raising a Child and Building a Company The Intersection of Fatherhood and

first_img Filed Under: Lifestyle Building a company is a lot like raising a child. This is especially true when you get a strong pull from the market. It seems like just yesterday we were in beta testing and now we have global production deployments. The sentiment, “they grow up so quickly” never seemed more apt.Just like a child in its infancy, you can see the kernel of a company’s personality starting to form. Most of the day-to-day work involves taking small steps that can seem daunting. Like changing diapers, midnight feedings, and temper tantrums, a company accrues technical debt, experiences the scrambles to make it work and feels the growing pains of doubling in size every few months. Just like parenting, you make lots of mistakes, gain experience and hopefully learn how to navigate the world. As a startup CEO, the key at each stage is to figure out the right focus to have based on your phase of development, and to transition to the next stage as quickly and with as few problems as possible.In many ways, companies mature in much the same way children do early on. The life of a startup can be measured in development or event fundraising stages, and you even follow the ABCs: There’s the seed stage of identifying and proving out the opportunity, the A stage of building the initial version of the product, B stage of developing a scalable go to market, C stage of scaling and beyond. Although each phase has its own challenges, understanding best practices and knowing what to expect at each phase is crucial to achieve success.Having served as an executive at several startups, I’ve found life at the B stage can be most challenging because it’s where a company shifts from the uncertainty of the early years to the repeatable process that allows a company to grow and flourish. As a Series B CEO, the day-to-day life feels a lot like raising a toddler in the throes of the “terrible twos.” On one hand, the company has figured out how to do many things on its own. We have a good handle on our market, we understand the ins and outs of our product, we have enthusiastic customers, and different departments are learning to work both independently and collaboratively. But there are also many things that the company still has to figure out. The organizational structure is more complex than it was a few months ago and it’s natural for a CEO to lag the organizational changes and to stay focused on fixing every little problem long after the company needs it. Of course, there are always the occasional temper tantrums, usually induced by lack of food or sleep.The difference between CEOs who successfully navigate the terrible twos and those who get consumed by them is in how they handle this transition period. The most successful Series-B CEOs focus on where to go next and trust their teams to navigate the uncertainties that still arise. Naturally, there are points in time when you need to weigh in, like when the product team drifts from the vision when the sales team starts chasing deals that don’t fit any discernible pattern, and when marketing throws their hands in the air because they feel like they’re running in circles. These are small course corrections and can often be addressed by reminding the team of the company vision and help them figure out how to map their work to this vision. “You need to eat your veggies to grow big and strong” equates to “you need to sell the business value because we’re building a repeatable process.”As a first-time CEO, the hardest part of being at the Series B stage has been figuring out the execution timeline for this transition. Like a parent anxiously watching the development of their child and looking forward to the next big milestone, I struggled daily to judge the time that it took to get our footing. The entire transition from Series A newborn to Series C pre-adolescents requires calculating how quickly to put capital to work, given very little data about market adoption, while putting enough resources to work in the right places. It’s impossible to get perfect even if there was a “right” way—which there isn’t.As a parent as well as a startup CEO, staying focused is key. And just like raising a child, I’ve realized that it takes tremendous discipline to maintain focus on what the company needs most in each phase. I’ve seen many companies lose confidence during this transition from childhood to adolescence, and start to meander away from the big picture. This is precisely when the company needs a strong vision and aggressive, but achievable, goals. The deep understanding of our vision, which we take for granted early on when all our hopes and dreams are so clear, is not yet imbued in the developing company. It’s easy to get distracted trying to solve all the problems that came up back when the vision was obvious and everything was easy to fix. In the B to C transition, I’ve seen the best CEOs let their team find its way through the growing pains and keep reminding them where they are going and why. Before you know it, you will have survived the terrible twos. It’s then that you realize the journey has only just begun. The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.Image credit: CC by John CurzonPREVIOUS POSTNEXT POSTcenter_img Raising a Child and Building a Company: The Intersection of Fatherhood and EntrepreneurshipJanuary 20, 2017 by Omer Trajman 431SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedinlast_img read more

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The AlleyWatch NYC Startup Daily Funding Report 81318

first_img According to a recent SEC filing, Markable, the image recognition technology for fashion items that was founded by Joy Tang in 2016, has closed $580K funding as convertible debt out of a total $800K offering. The AlleyWatch NYC Startup Daily Funding Report: 8/13/18 by AlleyWatch 251SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin littleBits $7.8M Here are the latest venture capital, seed, and angel deals for NYC startups for 8/13/18. This page will be updated throughout the day to reflect any new fundings.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST littleBits, the the platform of electronic building blocks to fuel learning and invetnions founded by Ayah Bdeir in 2011, has raised an additional $7.8M in funding according to a recent SEC filing. This appears to be a bridge round and the company has now raised total funding exceeding $70M over six rounds. center_img Magnolia NeuroSciences, the biotech company that’s focused on molecule therapeutics for the prevention of neuronal cell death, has raised $31M in Series A funding from investors that include AbbVie Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Eli Lilly and Company, Innovative NY Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, The Partnership Fund for New York City, Pfizer Ventures, Watson Fund, WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund and 180 Degree Capital Corp. The company is jointly founded by Accelerator Life Science Partners and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Magnolia NeuroSciences $31M – Series A Markable $580K – Convertible Note Tagged With: 180 Degree Capital Corp, AbbVie Ventures, Accelerator Life Science Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Ayah Bdeir, Eli Lilly and Company, Innovative NY Fund, Joy Tang, littleBits, Magnolia Neurosciences, Markable, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Pfizer Ventures, The Partnership Fund for New York City, Watson Fundlast_img read more