Book review, Entrepreneurship

The Aspiring Entrepreneurship Scholar

Strategies and Advice for a Successful Academic Career

Book By Dean A Shepherd

Chapter 1: Introduction

The author’s own story opens the book’s first few pages. He talks about how he began his doctoral studies at Bond University in Australia while working a 12-hour shift as a teacher. After that, he moved to the USA to pursue his doctorate at Northwestern University. As stated by the author, he recognized that his research career would not be based solely on talent and that he would also need to put in a significant amount of effort and learn how to publish. He explains that I learned from classmates and seniors at that university since my dissertation committee did not include any notable publishing authors. Everyone in this peer was working extremely hard to publish, and we were all in the same place.

The author highlights the significance of revision and resubmission for a researcher. Additionally, once you receive a rejection or RandR, revise it to address the comments. Because you won’t be able to begin again once the ball stops rolling. According to the author, working with motivated peers accelerated my learning and work pace.

The author advises always keeping three or four papers in the loop. Some papers are being reviewed, some are in RandR, and some are being worked on by you. This is important since you like the process of conducting new research. Journal comments provide you with useful learning opportunities.

Chapter 2: Thinking Entrepreneurially to Identify Research Opportunities

There are numerous ways to identify research opportunities. But according to the author, knowledge is primarily idiosyncratic knowledge that researchers hold. The strength of the available resources is what shapes the study idea. Recombination’s, pro-social and intrinsic motivation, research self-efficacy, and experimentation are all tools that researchers can utilize to create new research opportunities. New theories, new approaches, and novel combinations that close significant gaps in our knowledge of the entrepreneurial phenomena can be used to provide such opportunities.

The question then becomes how one identifies or generates these research opportunities.

Authors as editors have occasionally been invited to share what is trending in entrepreneurship research while serving as the journal’s editor. What is hot right now might not be hot enough in a few months, So such things are not correct. According to the author, this isn’t the best way to provide and discover fresh research prospects.

Finding research opportunities by working in the opposite direction of what is popular can be quite fruitful. For instance, if silicon valley is popular and hot research topic in entrepreneurship. Researchers may identify opportunities by studying microbusinesses and niche entrepreneurship. The same goes for unsocial entrepreneurship, anti- (rather than pro) social drive, and harm rather than preservation.

Knowledge is essential for developing a research plan, reviewing the literature, and creating new knowledge horizons. In addition to contributing to theorizing paralysis, a thorough literature study puts the researcher at danger of simply observing what has already been said, diminishing the importance of idiosyncratic knowledge and originality.

Another useful strategy for locating research opportunities is bricolage. According to the author, he went two days without internet access, but during that time he was able to go through his files and find old papers that he integrated to create a new research that is currently in the RandR phase.

Your passion can be a fantastic place to look for study topics. Sometimes, when we observe declining business, issues like risk aversion, fear of failure, and other things, we might use these circumstances to generate ideas for potential future research. When the author observed his father’s business failing, it offered him a new research focus. He then used this new direction to get into his research, which led to a number of excellent articles.

Small victories can now be used to increase self-worth. Self-efficacy has been demonstrated to be an excellent technique for improving research. According to the author, publishing with a B encourages you to publish in A, where 92% of manuscripts are outright refused. Small victories at conferences, like publishing a paper, can increase self-efficacy. A further crucial step is to use various methods to look for publications. An effective technique to make a paper publishable is by working with seniors. Giving credit to this senior faculty member after your 300 hours and your coauthors’ 5 hours may seem challenging, but most of the time it is their remarks that make it acceptable to a journal. Such factors contribute to research confidence.

In order to locate research possibilities, the author emphasizes at the end of this chapter that researchers must be entrepreneurial. To increase their research orientation and sense of efficacy so that they may undertake more research, authors must leverage their passion, drive, and specialized knowledge.

Chapter 3: Approaching and Managing the Publication Process

This chapter provides a concise overview of the paper processing steps for journals. Reject, review, accept, and desk reject. The review process can take a while, therefore the editor makes the initial decision to either reject the papers or, if they deem them appropriate, to send them to reviewers for evaluation and feedback.

The journal makes care to select the best of the two reviewers who can review this work when it enters the review phase. There are typically two reviewers assigned to each paper in the loop. The reviewer is required to read the submission and promptly provide input based on the following queries.

After submission or acceptance for review, journal editors read the manuscript and provide feedback on a variety of factors, including the study’s technical suitability, theoretical contribution, and reviewers’ methodology. All of these inquiries are verified in writing, and the outcome is either acceptance, modification, or rejection.

Additionally, the author proceeds to examine the manuscript review process and demonstrates why certain critiques shouldn’t be taken seriously. Although adding a new variable is occasionally suggested by reviewers, authors should at least indicate that during the editing process.

Rejection has a very negative connotation, and receiving a rejection letter makes us feel awful. But according to the author, every rejection comes with a few criticisms or comments that can help you improve your performance. After going through a RandR, you must revise your paper, address any concerns, and resubmit it.

The paper has been accepted and published; at this point, the author should celebrate their efforts, but when they submit the final version, they must be free of errors because they spent months perfecting it. This enables them to move on to another paper. Therefore, make sure the text is error-free and spell-check any references and tabular data.

Chapter 4: Adopting an Entrepreneurial Mindset to Achieve Excellence in Teaching (While Not Sacrificing Research)

The author attempts to dispel several myths regarding teaching and higher education in this chapter. One of the illusions the author dispels is the idea that a student attending a research university need not be concerned with education. But according to the author, he also taught a dissertation-based course and two other courses at that university.

This is my teaching day, so I don’t need to conduct any research, is a further urban legend. But according to the author, it became usual to work for an hour and a half to prepare my presentation and to complete my research between six and ten at night. Both can run on the same day, and with practice, it becomes natural.

Being too young makes it difficult to lecture MBAs, but the author considers that what matters is your enthusiasm for learning, not your age or whether you have grey hair.

Both of these cases—teacher evaluation and pupils who don’t want to learn—are interesting, and judging a teacher on how he teaches might be a useful first step in determining whether to hire him or not. The author discusses the role teachers play in fostering a positive learning environment or the steps they take to make lessons engaging. Teachers cannot fall victim to anything. The key is to make an effort to interact.

Teaching is a noble job, and in this section, the author offers some advice on how to make a successful and engaging class for the students.

Everyone should have the chance to learn while teaching. Not only students, but teachers as well, can participate in master classes and learn. In tip 2, the writers discuss arriving early to class and striking up a conversation to increase engagement and encourage students to learn new things. Students should have access to teachers on a professional level. The author also stresses that even if doing study can be important, a special knowledge check at the door cannot be avoided.

According to the author, softness can cause a variety of issues and that it is more crucial to be fair than lenient. A teacher ought to be fair enough when assigning grades and explaining the same.

Teach what you are passionate about, and if a subject makes you drowsy, fake it with passion while keeping the students’ interests in mind.

The author also discusses how to handle problematic pupils who show up despite your best efforts.

The author attempts to provide the route for a successful teaching post using these hits and other possibilities.

Chapter 5: Securing an Entrepreneurship Faculty Position

The author discusses the likelihood of being hired for assistant professor positions in this chapter. He discusses a person’s capacity for research, followed by his technical skills and the university’s recruiting of new faculty. Institutions look for applicants who have finished their thesis work. Sixth point: If you don’t have high-caliber research, your supervisor might not be able to assist you in getting a position because being a junior candidate makes it harder to do so.

The author offers numerous tips for both new hires and doctoral students. In order to pursue an entrepreneurial career, there are numerous measures to take after invites to campus visits. A fresh student must navigate several challenging stages. Personal meetings and visits are where the things get started. Candidates are able to learn information that could save their lives through these private interviews. A further phase is the job talk, which includes a presentation, questions, justifications for the questions, and many other things.

A presentation may require a variety of items. Check everything when a room is designated for preparation. Nothing ought to be missed. Bring everything into order, even if you need a pointer or to place the furniture differently, before beginning your presentation.

Remember that after the campus tour that the world is a small place and that “you can tell the true character of someone when things don’t go their way,” and that this is not final and that you have not yet been selected. Therefore, evaluation of your application is based on a variety of factors, which together determine your suitability for the position.

Chapter 6: Building an Entrepreneurship Research Record Worthy of Promotion

After conducting research and publishing it, the author describes how to establish a research record in entrepreneurship that will be promoted. Great journals publish great research, and research can be judged by the impact it has on the field through citations or, as the author notes, some scholars advise reading the entire document to identify the researcher’s contributions.

Promotion and tenure are crucial concepts once researchers have reached a certain milestone, but how to judge them is addressed in this chapter. The author concentrates on research alone since it is more opaque, has greater variability among assessors, and includes external evaluators to a greater extent than teaching or service, which are the three areas in which researchers typically evaluate Promotion and Tenure (P&T).

There are many different assessment criteria. Reading research material is one of them. Evaluation of a research record, research quality may also be used as a criterion. In western nations, evaluating the originality of the research record is another common method of verification.

Chapter 7: Conclusion

Authors final words for us

I hope that by highlighting the value of enthusiasm, honesty, curiosity, and collaboration throughout this book, I have been able to provide specifics about the inner workings of the position of an entrepreneurial scholar. I absolutely believe that we need to be entrepreneurial in our approach to scholarship if we want to succeed as entrepreneurship scholars. Have fun and good luck!

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Courses, Entrepreneurship

Types of Entrepreneurship Practised Globally

If you have gone through my website, I have discussed fear of failure, entrepreneurial opportunities, and a few book reviews for entrepreneurship. I have wanted to talk about this topic for a long time now, and finally, I have published this, and you are reading it.

People use various kinds of techniques/paths to start their businesses. I call them techniques because they let us know we used a particular approach to create an enterprise. Meanwhile, innovation is the primary requirement in building a start-up anywhere globally. Innovation will remain the same and will never change. Accidental innovations and product design give life to many start-ups. Meanwhile, requirements or needs also lead to many start-ups worldwide. Let’s discuss a few of the common ways start-ups can be built in any country.

Replicative versus Innovative model

This is typically the most proven model of entrepreneurship followed throughout the world. Replications from developed countries, silicon valley, have been accepted in many countries globally. Hundreds of start-ups that emerged in western countries were timely replicated in the developing world due to the requirement. Replications work as an efficient coordinator of resources. Chinese entrepreneurs also use reverse engineering to design identical products. Replicas are prevalent globally, but their success is dependent on acceptability in a country. An increase in the income level has significantly contributed towards creating such start-ups. 

Innovative entrepreneurs “act as destabilizing influences triggering ‘creative destruction’—the simultaneous creation of new industries through innovation and elimination of sectors of prior economies.” The Schumpeterian way of innovation has been extensively promoted through start-up ideas. Start-up companies saw vast economies of scale to growth but were high-risk, high-return entities. Start-ups like Amazon.com, Zerodha, Flipkart, Meesho, Netflix, Uber, and Airbnb were founded by innovative entrepreneurs who challenged prevailing business models. 

They were called “bold and imaginative deviators from established business patterns and practices” (2002).

Opportunity-based and necessity-based

The distinction was adopted by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor for the developing world as most of the businesses emerged due to particular necessities. They also considered opportunity businesses to be more oriented in advanced countries. Whenever a person grabs an opportunity through innovation and bring a change or changes the process of that product, it can be named opportunity-driven entrepreneurship. While as when entrepreneurs do not find any other option or start a business due to necessity, it can be called necessity driven entrepreneurship. Necessity driven entrepreneurship represents entrepreneurship emergence due to a lack of alternatives. Necessity-based ventures are majorly simple businesses, and if considered seriously, none of them scales like start-ups do. These businesses also earn meagerly due to their business strength. The results drafted by the GEM report in recent years highlight that developing countries see the highest number of necessity-driven entrepreneurship. They face a lot of competition in new opportunities and are stricken by fear of failure. Countries in Latin America, Africa and Some in Asia face the rise of necessity driven entrepreneurship. These countries also tend to report relatively high levels of necessity driven entrepreneurship. They are likely to view the essential replicative activity as opportunity-driven. In these countries, entrepreneurship is mainly opportunity-driven, and the stories of necessity-based entrepreneurship are low.

Corporate Venturing

Corporate venturing is another vital type of entrepreneurship that is practised globally. Corporate venturing is related to existing big businesses where innovation and diversification occur. Many corporations have diversified greatly and have emerged with great start-up and business models. These ventures emerge with innovation through research and development for years, for example, pharmaceutical companies, food companies, and any other business. These businesses appear as subsidiaries or a part of the same.

Social Venturing

As the name suggests, social venturing is probably the most confusing term. Social venturing is basically a business creation with a core motive of social benefit. Any for-profit or non-profit organization serving the social cause like helping the poor find work, working on waste management and knowledge creation, or helping the poor find a new home. All these can be seen as social ventures. So, to understand what is a social venture we can say that any business which is entirely working towards the solution of any social problem can be considered a social venture. Further, some aspects of the endeavours of many for-profit enterprises are explicitly viewed as intended to have some sort of social impact. However, most enterprises consider themselves socially active and contribute to the cause through charity. 

Intrapreneurship

Intrapreneurship is practised globally in the corporate world through its employees. Employees who have entrepreneurial intentions and orientation work on creating new business models or innovations helpful in the company’s growth. Such a type of entrepreneurship is called intrapreneurship. Looking deeper into intrapreneurship, what happens is that employees with excellent leadership skills and orientation look after the innovations needed in the company. They decipher the hidden needs for innovation, see them, learn them, and develop new ideas. Intrapreneurship can happen in both ways. It can happen through internal innovation for the corporation, or the employees create a new business.

Greypreneurship

Greypreneurship is another essential type of entrepreneurship being practised in the world. Let me explain; most of us may know KFC. The KFC was started in 1952, but it has been operative since world war second. The KFC was started by Colonel Sanders, and he stated that at the age of 58, and you can imagine why I called this greypreneurship. KFC got instant success only when the owner had reached the age of 58 or more, so when such people start a business and succeed, it is called greypreneurship.

Nichepreneurship is a new kind of entrepreneurship that is being promoted and seen as a game-changer in the regional development in various countries of the world. Nicheprenersuhip is basically practised by entering such businesses and markets which are unique and non-competitive. These businesses are specific to regions and product ranges. When entrepreneurs target overweight people and make products for them, it can be considered nichepreneurship. Moreover, new recipes like fried banana chips, spice tea, Iglu restaurants, Varieties of socks, adult diapers, and many other unique products. Another explanation is that nichepreneurship provides impressive products to market which have never been seen before. Nichepreneurs focus on parts of the market and face the least competition for a long time.

To learn more, take an email subscription to my blog, and you will receive the next published article directly to your mail. I love reactions and want to hear from you about this article through comments and replies.

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Book review, Entrepreneurship

Design Thinking: A Guide to Creative Problem Solving for Everyone

Authored by: Andrew Pressman

  • The forward of the book by Marilys R. Nepomechie explains importance of this book in the following words.
  • The book sheds light on the essential elements of a professional skill set that is increasingly linked to leadership capacity and whose perceived value is rising daily.
  • It is relevant to those working in fields ranging from the more traditionally creative to business, politics, medicine, and writing.
  • It stays away from being prescriptive and formulaic, unlike many how-to manuals.
  • Instead, the book promotes individual experimentation and adaptability, giving readers the power to personalise the design thinking method.

Chapter 1: Design Thinking Overview

There are two sections in the book. The first section delves into the process itself, explicitly defining and outlining design thinking, then outlining and assessing several tactics to foster it, which could ultimately result in ground-breaking concepts. This clarifies a method of thinking that might be very helpful for folks who are not design professionals but is not meant to replace the expert judgement, knowledge, and experience of design professionals.

Despite the difficult requirements mentioned above, it is essential to build a general understanding of design thinking—a view from 35,000 feet—in order to prepare the ground for an explicit demarcation of the different parts of the design process. Here are some general ideas to start with—design thinking is:

  • A procedure that ends with an action plan to make things better.
  • The capacity to generate ideas while taking context awareness and sensitivity into account.
  • A method for solving problems that take context, stakeholder needs and preferences, logistical problems, and financial considerations into account.
  • A way of thinking in which concepts are inspired by various, sometimes contradictory, sources and then developed to guide progressively better responses to problems.

There is no secret formula, but I would argue that the elements of design thinking may be researched, carefully described, and rationally incorporated into a method that generates useful and original solutions. It focuses on and starts to operationalize the following building blocks:

Chapter 2: Building Blocks of Design Thinking

Next, building block is the problem analysis, in this phase, a novel question is built, and new thinking is added to understand the varied perspectives of the problem in the focus. Next step is the idea generation which includes having brainstorming sessions, zero criticism of any incoming ideas, as many ideas as possible, combine and split ideas, ambiguity and have faith in your ideas, and make no mistakes in creative new and working ideas for the same.

Model-based synthesis is a further step.

  • At each stage of developing a prototype, take stakeholders’ viewpoints into account.
  • Go after numerous options at once so that others can evaluate them critically.
  • Responses to early prototypes could offer fresh data and insights that could change how later prototypes are developed.
  • No matter how wonderful an idea could seem on paper, a convincing alternative is a (working) prototype.
  • The proposal is then subjected to a critical review. It is based on assessments of the idea and idea generation made both internally and externally.
  • Accepting criticism strengthens ideas and helps them become better ones.

Chapter 3: Tools and Strategies

Author suggests varied techniques to counter the problem. One of the tools being suggested is the diagraming the problem. It is already a known technique which has taken many shapes now and researchers and ideators are very good at this.

Another tool being suggested is reflecting. It is a way of observing and answering. The author suggests dog as a reflection tool. Dogs can be a good friend, but it is your observation that helps you care for the same and it helps dog in reverse to love his owner. Reflecting is a positive thing, and many inventors use these techniques in order to solve problems.

In the design thinking process presenting is also vital and the presenting must know what to present and what not.

Chapter 4: Politics and Society

The author in this chapter makes an effort to draw our attention to the use of design thinking to develop outcomes that are important and valuable for the locality, nation, or region. The author lists the many laws and bills that were passed after taking design thinking into account.

Chapter 5: Business

In this chapter and coming two other chapters author continuously talks about the application of design thinking for business, law and other fields. Author describes how business problems were solved while taking examples of a jigsaw puzzle. He also discusses about the eureka moment for problem solving. Visioning, discussing and diagraming are other important tools being discussed in this book.

Chapter 6, 7,8: Health and science, Law and writing

Here in these chapters and the chapter after this, personally I did not find anything special to write. however, author talks about how design thinking can solve problems in the field of health sciences. In the last chapter about use of DT in writing author discusses the aha moment and how building a draft helps finalization of the writeup. Author thinks that building a draft can be a difficult process, but it is also a way to reach the final outcome.

So, finally the book review is complete but reading this book was not helpful anyway. Currently I am reading a lot about DT and in that I found this book which took almost a week to complete but the way book has been written is not satisfactory and it is a complete time waster. There is no great content written in this book and author fails to surprise reader from first chapter itself.

This book does not add anything what we already know about this field. If design thinking is really a helpful tool the book must reflect that, but it fails on every note. I will continue reading about design thinking and will share more if I find any good book for the same. If you know any good book to understand design thinking and critical thinking, please suggest in comment box.

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2022 and Beyond, Entrepreneurship, Start-up ideas

The Why, When and How of Start-up Fundraising

After reading ‘Alejandro Cremades’ book “The Art of Start Fundraising,” it is evident to me that fundraising is easy to say but challenging to acquire.

Having ideas is not bad, but their implementation can be hard. Their are many reasons for that and many perspective to understand. Sometimes entrepreneurs themselves reject an idea and changeover. sometimes non-market fit products are created and rerjected and sometimes finance becomes the hurdle in the path of start-up.

The discussion over idea implementation majorly involves a team, finances, future strategies, establishment and execution of the idea. Leaving other things aside, in this post i will discuss the 3 most important questions about fund raising. Like implementation of the idea, start-up fundraising is also a difficult process and needs a lot of effort.

The answer to these questions will assist each reader understand the foundations of startup financing. It has never been simple to raise money for start-ups or traditional businesses. Both start-ups and traditional enterprises have unique methods of financing.

Start-ups are innovative businesses that people plan, particularly young students, professionals, specialists, inventors, and others. All of these entrepreneurs are new to the world of start-ups and are unfamiliar with the majority of the principles of various company procedures. Startup failure rates have been measured at more than 90% globally. It is also worth noting that all start-ups begin with problem centric and small business ideas. This has a greater impact than typical fundraising methods.

The three questions that we want to answer and understand in this post are Why, When and How of start-up fundraising for start-up.

The why of Fund Raising: As previously said, start-ups are new business ideas and existing firms that are introducing new technologies into the market and attempting to grow a consumer base. A lot of marketing is done in this period, as well as enough cash burn to highlight the product to the public. A lot of trial and error is also required before getting workable traction. All of these steps require money, which is why raising funds is critical.

Although start-up ideas may not gain much traction through internal funding methods like bootstrapping or crowdfunding, larger amounts of funding are necessary for start-ups to succeed and gain more traction, which is why fundraising is crucial.

The When of Fund Raising: Although it may seem strange, funding organizations are not simply waiting for your idea to emerge before disbursing funds. The kind and level of questions they ask require real, fundamental readiness and preparation. Therefore, it is crucial to take care of the numerous viewpoints, as well as the data included inside and the traction obtained, in addition to presentations.

Every startup reaches a certain juncture and wants to add another feather to its cap. Researchers and practitioners agree that applying for funding should come when you have established enough traction and are confident enough to ask venture capitalists or angel investors for a certain amount of money. Many people advise waiting between 18 and 24 months

How of fundraising: This section of the conversation is special since you have a variety of options to pick from that can provide funding for your startup. Where to find funding is often the first question people ask when they have an idea, but many of the best thinkers and authors, who are experts in this subject, argue that this should not be the case.

Books like Lean Start-up and The Art of Fundraising applaud start-ups that wait until they reach a certain level and gain market leverage before seeking funding, which, in many cases, becomes simple for them once they are prepared to address any concerns that may arise during the course of their start-up.

Bootstrapping, or providing personal funds for your dream project, is one of the crucial methods for obtaining finance. It’s a method of funding where you contribute all of your own funds, including savings and money in the bank. For the first phase of your business, you turn into a self-financed start-up and use this cash to generate tiny leads and gain traction.

Another option is to crowdfund your startup, which involves raising money using websites specifically designed for start-up funding. This money may be little or a lot. It may be given as a contribution or individuals may also request equity.

Throughout the world, the number of incubators is now rising. These facilities are intended to support the development of fresh start-up concepts by providing resources, initial capital, and networking opportunities. Incubators are now proving to be a reliable source of capital for budding start-ups, and they also help to build a workable network for commerce, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

A few crucial methods for obtaining funding for your discoveries and ideas are accelerators, angel investors, and venture capitalists. These are significant funding sources for greater financial needs. Accelerators, for instance, aid mature startups in expanding quickly and naturally. Accelerators are essentially corporate-driven program that help new, mature start-up businesses succeed in the market.

Microfinance and bank loans are two other crucial sources of startup funding. These resources can help existing businesses expand and flourish in the marketplace.

You can read my most recent review of Alejandro Cremades’ book The art of fundraising to learn more. Many thanks

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2022 and Beyond, Entrepreneurship, Learning and experiences, Start-up ideas

Will I Pursue an Entrepreneurial idea that Can Double My Income!!!

While reading the title you might have thought what this author means to say by this. Hey! i will answer this question in this post. This might be tricky to understand but it is one of the most important questions to be understood in the scenario of start-up.

Startup is a buzz word, that everyone keeps repeating. Everyone understands that starting a business is a million-dollar dream, and only those with strong risk-taking aptitude, growth prospects, business intention, clarity of thought, and growth orientation can be successful. Keeping this in mind, every time a person launches a start-up, they fail, but a small percentage of people, less than 3%, successfully launch their business and conduct million-dollar transactions.

What is the power of an Idea, Ideas are so powerful that they have given us all we are proud of today. Ideas, like a spark, instill confidence and chance of improvement and a trust in the individual’s capacity to achieve the impossible. Ideas are essentially a set of assumptions that we believe are ideal for solving a problem, and when we debate them, we get clarity, and with that clarity, we either gain confidence or lose hold of that idea. So, it all depends on the individual who came up with the idea and his belief in it.

What is the fun in failing, everybody is fearful of failing, and this fear is more prevalent in developing countries when chances of success, availability of finance, ideas and opportunities are difficult to find. In such cases, looking for a business idea or niche is a difficult process, and going all in with all your money and then failing is a terrible experience.

Failure is sometimes unavoidable, and no one can stop it. However, your ongoing efforts to change that and track that one development or change can lead to success in your plans. So, in specific instances, fear of failure should be easy and acceptable.

I have a niche idea, according to the definition, any idea can be a startup idea, but not all ideas become successful businesses. The ability to think clearly is necessary for the successful implementation of new ideas. Even if the idea is a market niche, entrepreneurial understanding of it is vital. A niche business idea can also be developed into a start-up, thereby adding to an individual’s growth, income, and entrepreneurial fulfilment.

If it can just double my Income, yes, if it can double your income from where you are now, you should go for it. Startups, as prescribed, should not be taken entirely in that meaning. It all comes down to priorities and what you want to achieve with your start-up. Not every idea can turn into a million-dollar business for the entrepreneur, and more than 90% of start-ups fail within the first, second, or third year of operation. So, in my opinion, any idea that can double your present income and help you improve on what you already have should be pursued.

With this I take a leave and believe that if you are interested in building a new start-up and you think that it will fail or will not help me in building a great business. Do not leave that idea and do your best even if you fail, at least you will go through the experience of failing and failing for few is a blessing. As Erik Reas in Lean Start-up book says, Start-up is a big experiment. So, go for it and have a trial of it.

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Book review, Entrepreneurship, Learning and experiences

Class Activity: Understanding innovation through book reading and review

I’ve previously written a book review for the title “innovation is a state of mind.” With the help of the health science students at our university, I created an exercise based on that. I encouraged the students to read my book review and write a brief summary of it in their own words. The majority of students made an effort to produce excellent one-page book summaries.

I offered them the chance to create a draft version of the same and submit it to me for publication on my personal blog and, if possible, LinkedIn. This was in response to their diligence and love of reading.

Such activities, in my opinion, can be highly beneficial to students and at the very least inspire a love of reading in them. Additionally, it provides them the confidence to read more in the future and aids them in developing their writing styles.

When I requested them to submit, I received over 55 one-page submissions for the same. I distributed these submissions to students and instructed them to read and compare it. This helped students learn new things, such as comparing each other’s capabilities and interests.

So, this is how I completed this innovation activity with Homeopathy students of Swarrnim Start-up and Innovation University. Without knowing their names, I hope you all will do this with your students to assist them grasp, appreciate, and conduct a critical study of his fellow classmates.

Now let me give one significant submission that I thought was really well done and that received a lot of the class’s approval. The name of the student is Pala Devanshee H

*Innovation is a state of mind – Written by James O’Loughlin
The author has thoroughly explained the process of innovation which can be helpful for the growth of individuals and organizations as well. It’s needed to know that innovation is not about making a big brand, new thing or feature only, sometimes a small change can make an amazing impact too. Further, he explains some small but impactful changes which we can apply in our routine life to have that innovator’s mindset.

Even while invention is a thought experiment, one should never lose sight of the fact that it is useless if no effort is made to put the idea into practice. Numerous examples of creative ideas that seemed strange at first but ended up having a big impact have been provided by the author. Therefore, it’s crucial to appreciate each and every thought that enters your head, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.

Finding possibilities is what inspires innovation! 

An innovator’s mantra should be “right move, right time”! 

Even the problems we encounter on a daily basis can motivate us to come up with an innovative solution because innovators don’t give in to difficulties and challenge the insurmountable; all it takes is keen observation, which can be easily developed by making thinking a habit rather than making an excuse about time or technology.

The author also offers some ideas for how a company might inspire its employees to think creatively. The three phases of “Think, Value, and Use,” followed by “Put yourself in a Customer’s Shoe,” can help an organization expand with the assistance of innovative people, as it is necessary to make an invention a part of everyone’s work to turn “Teamwork into Dream Work.”
As a result, the author encourages readers to think creatively because innovation is crucial to the survival of both individuals and organizations.

So finally, this activity completed and hope you can also use this with your students and with any book review that you have written or read. This serves multiple reasons and gives a satisfaction of achievement to both students and faculty. For complete book review version kindly click the below link

https://wordpress.com/posts/paraysblog.wordpress.com

Thank you

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Book review, Entrepreneurship, Start-up ideas

The art of Start-up Fundraising

Book by Alejandro Cremades (Book review by ParayZahoor)

In the forward section of the book Barbara Corcoran says I’m looking for entrepreneurs who can size up people quickly and motivate them, and spot opportunities where others see only obstacles. Barbara looks for entrepreneurs who are real life street smarts and risk takers. Such entrepreneurs sometimes get knocked down just like us, but unlike most of us they take very little time feeling sorry for themselves. The best entrepreneurs have faced challenges and risen above them. That resilience is what I’m looking for when I hear new ideas.

Barbara Corocon (Corcoran Group Founder)

Chapter 1: Everything started with Onevest

The author considers Tanya Parve to be a blessing in his life. They put all of their savings in Onevest’s ambition after developing a strong sense of mutual understanding and considering his life goals. It was developed to assist budding business owners in raising capital for their innovative ideas.

After we raised a seed round, rented an office, and began hiring the right personnel. On November 23, 2011, we were ready to launch the platform to the public at large after a year of development. A few months later, TIME listed the website as one of the top crowdfunding websites worldwide.

Until recently, finding money was primarily done by word-of mouth. It was extremely difficult to acquire funding if you didn’t know anyone in Silicon Valley. It was classified as general solicitation before that legislation was passed. However, startups would finally be able to publicly announce that they were raising money due to the JOBS Act, prior to that this kind of promotion was not allowed. 

Fasten your seat belt and embrace the process. Be optimistic and have fun with it. Remember, you will never fail—you will either succeed or learn.

Chapter 2: Raising Capital for Your Start-up

Before rushing into preparing pitching materials, meeting investors, and hammering out funding terms, it is critical to get your mindset, expectations, math, and strategy right.

Speeding Up the Machine: When entrepreneurs think they can build their dreams into reality by making investors pay for their bills is not a wise decision. Author says that by directly approaching and involving investors is not wise. Instead speed up the machine which means build the product make a point in the market take control and then engage the investors into that. This approach is helpful for both investor and entrepreneurs in the long term.

It’s Not as Easy as Reading an Article on TechCrunch: Just like the headline says it is never easy to raise capital. When someone says crowd funding is easy or any else method, it is not. By just putting up a request and presenting will not help it needs work and enough work. It is not just idea it requires great support from marketing negotiations, networks and all. As per the data of Forbes and SBA venture capitalists only invest in two percent of ideas they review. Also, that in 2012 only three percent of the funding was given to new ideas and 97 percent went to already existing business.

The 18- to 24-Month Plan: This may be a surprise, but this is truth. Take a timeline of 18-24 months till you land for that first funding round. You may develop your product and company by then and timely you feel you can get a loan or funding to make things big. This all should be done in a given time and by the timeline reaches the end. Entrepreneurs should have achieved the following milestones.

  • Idea conceptualization
  • Market research
  • Business plan creation
  • Testing the waters
  • Finding your cofounders
  • Making key hires
  • Building a board
  • Prototypes and beta testing
  • Launch of a minimum viable product
  • Expanding early adopters and users
  • Gaining revenues
  • Proof of demand and potential for scale
  • Breakeven point

Breaking even: It may look a big word, but it is important to do this before seeking any money. The breaking even gives you power, and you are good at it then. Till breakeven is not reached you are only doing cash burn even if you are earning or spending in billions of dollars. Until the breakeven is reached all income is burned cash….

Expectations of Investors: It is important to realize early, that investors are not out there to lose their money and it is not easy to make fool of them. So, coming back to what investors want, we may figure out a list of many questions which an entrepreneur must be aware of and answer while being asked during his/her pitch. Entrepreneurs must move beyond ROI and inventory and sales data; institutional investors have a proper system of filtering start-up for funding.

Outperform the Competition: This can be something very critical in the start-up world. Outperform on the basis of social media, sales, engagements, fundraising and others. Any of these can be a basis for outperforming or taking twitter as an example which outperformed print newspaper industry.

Storytelling: It is the unique way how you express your story. It is important for you to have a story to tell. Every entrepreneur has a story to tell. Stories are important to link up with investors and win their confidence.

Leveraging help: start-up entrepreneurs can be great at everything but not almost everything. When you have a feeling that this needs an expert don’t shy away from putting some expert or freelance expert on work. This will add to your potential and start-ups potential.

Start-up lifeline can be emotional as well and make you feel tense times. Another perspective is the failure. An entrepreneur must not be taken back by any failures. Salespeople are made to believe that after nine no’s a one yes is waiting, and they keep listening to no’s till that yes arrives.

Need of the capital: This is one of the important perspectives for understanding start-up capital. This helps to make sure we don’t fall short of money in the process. Short fall can be problematic, and it is a common problem with start-ups who love to do many things for their start-up’s employees in the initial phase of their start-up. Such cash burn can be a problem.

Chapter 3: Setting Yourself Up for Success

Investors Don’t Want to Invest: When you start with this notion you will definitely take your presentation at par with the expectations of investors.

Core of your business Idea: having a start-up is not enough when you plan for investment, you need to show the real face of your start-up to make investors believe in your idea.

Experienced management: It is a primary requirement to comply with the start-up progress. Every entrepreneur seeks investment, but investors do look for good management in the company they are investing and of which they can rely.

Helpful advisors and building momentum: Both these are greatly required while you seek for funding. A great momentum and confidence help a person achieve so much that easily many investors can be motivated to work with you on your idea.

Team, know your terms and vision of the start-up: Looking at these things may look not that necessary but, a team is an important perspective of the stat-up and a good teamwork makes a successful start-up.

Remember that over 60 percent of companies go out of business because of founder issues. If you give the impression that there is no alignment, that will raise red flags for investors.

Another important thing is to know your terms and do not be a yes boy for everything. Whenever it is an investment decision discuss and then take a decision. Vision of the start-up has a great impact over the possibility of getting funding in any circumstances.

Chapter 4: Crafting the Pitch

The Business Plan Problem: Sometimes even best plans fail so taking a lot of time while crafting the best business plan may seem useless. A business plan must adhere to the rules, else it becomes useless when stricken for fund raising. Many start-ups fall into this business trap. To understand statistically business plan if not bad is just 10 percent of the fund-raising process rest you will learn in this chapter.

Elevator pitch: This is a unique style of pitch. It is short, crisp and powerful. Start-ups use this technique to pitch their ideas to investors. It needs great presence of mind and a lot of practice.

Here’s an example pitch: “I run a crowdfunding portal that gives investors early access to the hottest, prescreened tech startups, and the ability to invest in them in 10 minutes or less from any Wi-Fi connected device, anywhere in the world.”

The Pitch Deck: Many recommend this should not go beyond 10 slides and investors will listen to you for not more than 4 minutes. So, everything is needed sharp edged, and your preparation must be of that level as well. Decks are the most vital part of the process. A simple business idea can get a higher investment based on the pitch deck it shared and presented and the opposite can happen to a great business idea. So, looking into previous great pitch can be helpful and taking them as exemplary will help you build a great pitch.

Chapter 5: The due diligence package

Author has written a long chapter to provide us a detailed overview of due diligence to be exercised by every start-up. Due diligence is the conscious behavior exercised by the start-up while seeing funding from investors. After the presentation not all the deals are completed. Even two third of shark tank deals did not reach execution due to lack of due diligence.

Author says due diligence is clarity about the four things of people, product, market and deal.

Author has mentioned a long list of documents which must be kept ready while facing the investment meets. He starts with registration certificates of the company, capitalization and shareholding, financial statement and holdings, taxes, employees and salaries, employment policies, commitments, consent, permission, legalities, IPR, Property, environmental matters, and other commitments.

Capitalization tables and references are two other important parts of this whole due diligence process. Author says if investors want to visit just show up and don’t waste your energy and money in making the place more engaging. Investors come decided for yes and no. The yes investor will ask question which lead to a yes and an investor who wants to say a no will ask questions which will never end like a whirlpool.

Entrepreneur Magazine, angel investor and startup advisor Martin Zwilling warns founders not to get carried away and exhaust their teams in the process. Do your best, but don’t let it stall your startup’s momentum and mojo. Don’t let it drain you or your resources.

Chapter 6: Sources of Capital

In this chapter author explains about ten different sources of funding available for start-ups. Author says even if bootstrapping looks small. Many start-ups got millions in valuation after their bootstrapping attempt. Author also explains how bootstrapping can be great in a way that you don’t need to detail investors about your achievements and failures timely.

The author does, however, caution that investments can be cool if your idea cannot sustain simply on bootstrapping. All because if you file for bankruptcy, people will claim that your business plan was flawed or that the entrepreneur failed to scale it. In order to make bootstrapping work for you, you’ll have to master the following.

  • Guerrilla marketing
  • Budgeting
  • Time management
  • Hiring
  • Growth hacking

Next is credit cards, looks uneasy but people have done it. Credit cards are a terrific choice if you find that using your own money and bootstrapping are insufficient. Set borrowing restrictions, establish a repayment schedule, safeguard your credit score, and give paying off amounts first priority. However, because people love to bundle credit and detest paying, it’s crucial to keep track of every detail. This causes more issues than it solves.

Business loans were the preferred and best option for established companies, but they are still a challenging option for new start-up companies, especially those with a low level of reputation. A business credit from a bank can be obtained by keeping your personal and business credit and assets separate, lowering your personal liability, increasing the company’s actual value, and possibly enjoying tax advantages.

Friends and family are another important source of funding for your stat-up. If you just waste their money, it may sour your relationship. However, if your idea becomes the million-dollar business your relatives and family may regret not taking part into that. So, author recommends this to be a viable option.

Beyond this book, there are excellent examples like the founder of Infosys, Narayan Murthy, who began with 10,000 (INR) from the sale of her wife’s jewels and grew it into a million-dollar business. This shows the importance of having family and friends support your ideas.

Crowd funding Is another vital source which have greatly increased in number since 2008. The author shows the good and bad of the crowd funding which now comes with open and hidden terms. Crowd funding can be an option but not all can seek and receive the funding through this source.

Angel investors and Super angels plus angel group Speaking of angel investors, these are extremely deserving people with annual incomes of millions. They enjoy working with start-up businesses and investing in fresh ideas. In essence, angels have always been a part of the system, but recently, their numbers have grown and there are now a lot of them working in the field. According to a Stanford research, angel investors provide 90% of the capital for new businesses, and the following explanations have been put out by the author.

  1. They can lend additional value via advice from experience
  2. Ability to raise more money through fewer investors and contacts
  3. Fewer restrictions on raising money from accredited investors
  4. They may put in more money later on
  5. “Birds of a feather flock together”—angels can potentially give referrals to other angels
  6. Flexibility in terms

Angel groups have grown in size as internet access becomes more widely available. Reaching any angel group is much simpler today, and these groups have fantastic experience and offers for creative start-ups with the ability to grow and become the greatest.

Family offices are often overlooked, yet they may be a vital resource for start-up businesses. According to the author, such family offices are financed by millions of dollars, which are distributed as funding to a variety of organizations.

Venture debt as well as venture capital Both offer substantial financial options. In essence, they are superior to a lot of ridiculous and unattainable options. Such investors are sought after by startups to raise further startups. Venture capital firms are arranged platforms and they are like people with money and no ideas and start-ups are people with ideas and no money. To obtain venture debt, one must approach various organizations and companies for funding to launch a start-up proposal.

Chapter 7: Understanding the VC Game

In a venture capital firm, there are many important people linked to it. In the first position we may talk about analysts who go to conferences and events. Next important position is of associates and then comes principles who are also called partners and another group of individuals associated are the entrepreneurs in residence.

VC’s remain sharp edged while choosing their engagement. It is a historical fact that more than 90 percent of start-ups fail and when they fail it leads to loss of money for VCs. So, VCs are bound to select best out of the best to make money. While they target atleast 10x return from every investment majority of these start-ups fail to gain this much. VCs will eventually buy 15-45 percent of equity in your company.

Chapter 8: Investment Rounds Explained

In this chapter author brings in to notice the varied stages of funding and their varied nuances to be kept in mind while seeking investments and investors. He starts with investments from family and friends which are also depicted in the below figure. In this part he also cautions entrepreneurs of serious work so that a new stage of investment funding can be expected.

Financial Lifecycle of a Start-up

In this micro seed funding phase, Angels, crowd funding, incubators come forward and help start-ups work out their plans for product and market. After a successful micro-seed and seed round, start-up approach series A investments. Then comes Series B, C, D and finally a company establishes itself in such a way that it goes for Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Reaching IPO level takes a longtime and it goes for more than 10-12-15 years for many. So, reaching IPO means you have established your company as well as its financial pain points. Valuations are based on financial performance of the company and any financial figure related to a company must be strong enough to reflect the perfect blend of success and growth. However, author suggests research will remain a critical part of this whole process.

Chapter 9: Deciding Investment Amounts and Prospects

Author has discussed various perspectives of deciding upon company worth, how to seek investors and how to use your network and other things. Authors says when you feel need for a new investment you have to make preparations for that. Firstly author says start-up have to valuate their business and it happens in two ways start-up owners and investors perspective. but Author suggests nine points over which a start-up can be evaluated.

  • How much money you need to achieve your goals
  • The type of investor (angel, VC, family and friends, etc.)
  • Your prior success as an entrepreneur
  • The “going rate” for similar companies (comparable)
  • The growth rate of related sectors/marketplaces
  • How likely it is that your startup will reach profitability
  • The level of revenue currently or potentially generated by the business
  • The team that you have around you
  • Customer acquisition and distribution of your company

A financial forecast of the business can motivate investors to invest in your business, but such numbers must be realistic and believable. Nobody knew Facebook will be a $100 billion worth in 2012 back in 2004. So financial forecasts are real, and they have a great impact over the business expansion and new investment.

Now is the task of identifying prospective investors. This can be realized by seeking investors through LinkedIn, events, Customers, Fans, Advisors and Crowdsourcing. These can be professional ways to find likeminded investors for your business growth plans.

Chapter 10: PR: Creating a Storm and Building Momentum

PR is a powerful tool which start-ups use to bring in and motivate investors to invest in their start-ups. However, needs to have timing, synergy and efficiency, otherwise it will bounce back and become a problem as well. So, author suggests different ways to reach a proper audience and investors.

First suggestion is journalist outreach which includes getting noticed through print media. It also includes a strong start-up blog, or local media. One example which author gives is Mint.com, this news outlet came into limelight easily after it started publishing great content.

Author in this book also suggests the writing part of the press releases and blogs. Partnership and new business deals, month over month growth can be a part as well. Product launch and events, blogging, social media outreach can be great in this endeavor.

Chapter 11: What to look for in an investor

This chapter basically discusses the various reasons why selection of investors is critical for your start-up. Having engaged with right investors is important, you may be enough enthusiastic but if your investors just want to earn and take all the pennies you earn as a profit for their investments it will surely make your journey difficult.

When you onboard an investor, that institution or individual becomes part of your cap table, and they are in for the long run. It is well known that divorcing your wife or husband is much easier than divorcing your investor.

The major factors while deciding about an investor can be listed as

  • Don’t just look for money as it is available through many options but look for people with expertise and knowledge of your startup track.
  • Connectedness is another important aspect to look at while finalizing an investor for your business
  • Financial strength of the investor must be known before taking someone onto board

Factors that can be counted for avoiding investors

  • Greed can be the first reason which an entrepreneur should take into consideration for not accepting a new investor.
  • Lack of Scruples can be another important reason not to be positive about a new investor. Scruples is the values which an investor has and if things get dirty and confusions occur such investors can take this to whole new level.
  • If you feel like getting taken over by an investor don’t fall for that and stay away. This has even happened to most creative people like Steve jobs. So being entrepreneur is good but taking care of these is also important.

These below listed six questions will help you to understand the investors and which one of them can be brought into the system

  • What additional expertise can this investor bring to the table?
  • Who can this investor introduce and connect me to?
  • How solvent and flush is this investor?
  • Is this investor looking to create shared success, or just take all they can?
  • Do we share the same values and level of integrity?
  • Are they asking for a large stock option pool? (This could suggest intentions to replace you.)

Chapter 12: Term Sheet and Terms

Term sheets are basically guidelines of what are you as a start-up are giving what you are getting back. This is important in varied ways. Any term sheet has various points in it and can be 10 pages long. It is where rubber meets road and through this term sheet both parties accept to safeguard investments being carried out.

Term sheets are important, and can be complex, but they don’t necessarily have to be. The key is knowing what to expect, knowing what you want out of a term sheet, knowing what you won’t bend to, and of course having good representation to review all of the fine print.

Common items that a term sheet may include are listed as; Type of collateral being offered, the valuation Amount being offered, Shares and price, what happens on liquidation or IPO, voting rights, Board seats, Conversion options, Antidilution provisions, Investors rights to information, Founders obligations, who will pay legal expenses, Nondisclosure requirements, Rights to future investment, Signatures……

Chapter 12: Closing the Deal

This chapter beautifully explains the varied reasons and generalization in a closing the deal phase. Deal is never complete till everything is done rightly. Any investor may take back if there are discrepancies and problems. There are many clarifications required on both sides to come to terms and finalize the thing. Closing the deal is not the end. A good relationship can lead to future engagements and partnerships.

Chapter 14: Avoiding common fund-raising mistakes

some common mistakes can be devastating as it is difficult to reach an investor and then reach a final stage. So, at this moment every start-up founder must not fail to connect through investors meets, and other connecting programs. Another important point is to have clarity do what you say. Another point is self-sabotaging in the deal making process. These points have a great importance in the line of securing an investment in your start-up.

Chapter 15: Understanding the JOBS Act

A lot has changed in 80 years, and it’s time our laws did as well. —Barack Obama

The signing of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act may well go down in history as one of the greatest achievements during Obama’s two terms in the White House. However, it was very well opposed by dominant business groups, banks, and financiers who lost control over democratization of investment and fundraising. There are seven titles in this law which are listed below.

  • Title I: Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies
  • Title II: Access to Capital for Job Creators
  • Title III: Crowdfunding
  • Title IV: Small Company Capital Formation
  • Title V: Private Company Flexibility and Growth
  • Title VI: Capital Expansion
  • Title VII: Outreach on Changes to the Law

Chapter 16: Recommended tools for fundraising

So, in this chapter author present a varied sources of tools which start-up entrepreneurs can use to engage new fundings and ideas. Both social media and product tools are discussed. Let’s list down some of the major tools here. While organizing everything like data, applications, funds organization tools provided by google and other services can be used. For research, author suggests few other names and also list LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for social media. A good list has been given by author regarding sales, administration and outsourcing and other things. This is a very interesting chapter to understand what make financing easy.

Chapter 17: Red flags

In this last chapter of the book author discusses the various red flags which may emerge for investors and the care which every start-up founder must take. Author says investors’ money comes with terms and conditions and it is not for a lifestyle upgrade. This money is to be spent diligently and without creating any nuisance of the same. Investors may see red flags if there are too many founders in a start-up, overhead is too high, founders have other jobs, founders have no other source of income, weak marketing plans, poor credit rating, blind optimism, claims of having no competition, no technical founders, poor use of previous funds, lack of momentum, and few others. Author has clearly described everything beautifully.

So here comes the end. The book contains 200 pages of text, and you have successfully read a detailed summary of the book in one go. Congratulations, let me know in comments if there is any improvement of any kind needed.

Parayzahoor 06/09/2022
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