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starting a business

Why Entrepreneurs Suck at Focus

The thing about being an entrepreneur, the thing I love about it more than anything else, is that you’re never focused on any one single thing for an extended period of time. With the product, you’re constantly pushing envelopes and breaking paradigms and leaning and disrupting and whatever other cliche you can substitute for trying to make sure the way you do things is different and better than the way everyone else does (roughly) the same thing. With the business, one day you’re working on fixes and the next you’re on sales calls and maybe after that you’re slogging...

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Triangle Entrepreneurship Week 2013 Kicks Off Monday

Triangle Entrepreneurship Week has been a from-the-ground-up success story since its inception in 2011. The third TEW, which kicks off on Monday, September 9th and runs through Thursday, has expanded to include venues from Chapel Hill to downtown Raleigh, and has broken up registration so that attendees can choose from single sessions or a week pass, and then add a la carte partner events like the Innovate Raleigh Summit and DataPaloooza. They’re trying to reach as many people as they can. TEW was co-founded by Jon Leonardo, who designed the program as an offshoot of a similar event he...

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Don't Support the Startup Scene

Over the weekend, I spent about fifteen minutes answering questions for an article about the startup scene in the Southeast. There’s a part of me that still feels like I shouldn’t be doing this, speaking for an entire region about a phenomenon that I probably see a little differently than everyone else. But in my mind, anything I can do to bring more eyes to what is still a fledgling startup hub can only do good things. So I typed a few hundred words, knowing that they’ll probably use 10-15 of them, went back and took out all the...

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How Do I Get Involved in the Startup Scene?

Ricky Spero is co-founder and VP of Product Development at Rheomics, developing a next-gen blood coagulation diagnostic for surgeons. He is also founder of Mint Market, making it easier for farmers and chefs to do business with each other. A friend recently wrote to let me know that he’d returned to the Triangle after some time away. He was looking for a job and was interested in startups. His question was, basically, “Where do I begin?” My first reaction was, hey — Let Me Google That For You. But to my surprise, what I found was mostly lists of...

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Avelist’s Jody Porowski On Why She Left SAS to Build Her Business

How do you know when you’re ready to become a full-time entrepreneur? To throw caution to the wind and dedicate yourself, fully, to building a company? Is it when you have a minimum viable product? Paying customers? Investors? Or is it something more? That’s the question I posed to Jody Porowski, founder and CEO of Avelist, a company that has built a web-based service that helps users to create and share lists. I find Jody’s story fascinating. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Jody joined SAS straight out of school as a Content Manager and Social Media...

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Hey ExitEvent Nation: You Can Write Your Own Articles Now

My goal is for ExitEvent to be the first place entrepreneurs check into every morning, web or mobile, to get an update on what’s going on around them. It’s not there yet, of course, but it’s getting closer than I’d ever thought it would be. There is no Social in December. This is on purpose so I could take the time to start building out more site features to keep the interaction going between Socials. I’m preventing event fatigue and making the web more useful at the same time. New feature #1 came about because a number of entrepreneurs...

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Why CoFounders Lab Came to Raleigh

Turns out it really is a small world. To pull back the curtain a bit on the ExitEvent Startup Social planning process, September’s first-ever, lay-it-on-the-line, let’s make it bigger than huge version in Raleigh got moved around like a twenty in a shell game. And exactly five minutes after I finally got it all figured out, ready to go full force with an epic Startup Social on Wednesday, September 19th, I got a very nice email from some guy at CoFoundersLab who was really excited to meet me when he came here from DC to do a Cofounder Match...

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Startup and Play Returns August 22nd

Anyone who has any sort of success with a thing — be that a product, a startup, an event — will tell you that getting that first successful launch and liftoff is phenomenally hard, the hardest thing they’ve ever done. Actually getting that thing off paper and into reality and have it be accepted successfully within the preferred target audience is huge. It takes a lot of work, and the failure rate is massive. The second time is even harder. I first wrote about Startup and Play back in May, immediately before their first event in Raleigh, which was...

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Five Tips from Startup Stampede Pitch Day

Durham’s third Startup Stampede came to an end Monday at Beyu Caffe with good food, cold beers, and two-minute closing pitches from a handful of impressive startups. The startups didn’t just have polished business models—they also communicated their ideas effectively to a packed house. Here are five great pitching tips from five of the evening’s Stampede company presentations: 1. Get Their Attention Early Some audience members talked during some of the pitches. But everyone stopped to listen to The Art of Cool Project, which started its pitch with a dynamite trumpet solo. The company is passionate about brining jazz...

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