Start-ups

These insane craft beer start ups have one thing in common

Alongside its standing as a tech city, San Jose is also fast gaining a reputation for its craft beer breweries. With eight breweries in downtown alone, residents and visitors are flocking to these new startups for ales and specially brewed light beers that offer superior flavour to the bottles stocked on the supermarket and liquor store shelves.

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How Denver became an unexpected start up mecca

Denver has quietly become one of the fastest-growing startup meccas in the United States. In 2015, Denver startups attracted more than $822 million in venture capital funding, with companies in the technology, energy, food and marijuana sectors leading the way. The city also routinely ranks as one of the best cities to live as a millennial, and young people from across America are flocking to the state in record numbers to build Denver-based business. Why it’s great for women and minority entrepreneurs.

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Eight learnings on incubating ventures

As a new strategist at Wolff Olins, you get thrown into some pretty exciting work. 

Over the last few months, I’ve been an intrapreneur at Wolff Olins developing new ventures, which will impact the external marketplace. It’s been a deeply rewarding experience that has forced me to discard many of my previously held notions on venture creation.

Below are eight learnings I wanted to share with anyone embarking on an intrapreneurial journey:

1. Speed

Quick wins matter. Establishing ways to validate your concept early on will enable the company to provide you with the time and space your venture needs to grow within a company thirsty for results. It’s worth remembering someone out there has a similar idea and means of production to you. Therefore, speed and execution is the name of the game! 

Tip: Ensure your team has the permission and adequate resources to build and maintain momentum early on. Set realistic but challenging deadlines in order to deliver against key activities. The aim is not to produce a perfect product or business plan but to provide your best hypothesis and iterate based on customer feedback.

2. Invest In People

You live and die by the quality of your team. So invest time in selecting your ‘A Team’ and don’t compromise. Ensure they are adequately resourced, incentivised, and committed to the voyage. 

Tip: Gauge your teams’ motivation by asking what personally motivates them about your venture.

3. Find What Drives You

Look beyond a company’s predefined venture process and find what motivates you to go above your job description. Your passion will make the difference when spreading your ideas and attracting the resources necessary to grow your venture.

Tip: Explore the potential for synergy between your venture and your company’s existing client base or internal initiatives. Share quick wins through your company’s regular announcements.

4. Pan for Gold

As an intrapreneur, it’s normal to struggle with clearly communicating your new idea. However, it’s important not to be precious with your ideas. Share, listen and refine what captures your audience’s imagination (be sure to listen out for interesting vocabulary and summaries from colleagues/potential customers as they can jolt your core message along). Remember, the journey to clarity takes patience and candour from all stakeholders involved.

Tip: When receiving interesting feedback, there is a temptation to immediately tweak your business plan. Instead, take a step back, and conduct a series of controlled user experiments. This enables you to make incremental changes to your experiments, which in turn gives you greater control on what could make your product or business model more successful.

5. Get Out Of The Building

Your answers are in ‘the real world’ not your bedroom or swanky office. In the beginning, spend over 70% of your time understanding your customer’s reality. They are your R&D department!

Tip: Break conventional thinking by organising team away days or explorations into your customers’ world.

6. Outcomes Focused

You have limited time, so it’s essential you squeeze every ounce of productivity from your meetings and interactions.

Tip: Ensure meetings and workshops focus on a specific outcome, which moves the idea forward. Make the most of meetings (and there will be many) by sending documentation in advance.

7. Schooling

There is no need to master all the skill sets required for building a new venture creation. However it pays to build a strong foundation. To this end, I found Class Central and Lynda particularly helpful.

Tip: Identify an expert and draw up a fair exchange plan. What new value could you provide them with? What skills or knowledge could they offer you in return?

8. Understand Your Capabilities

Finally, below are the key capabilities required for undertaking an intrapreneurial venture. Understanding where you need to supplement your key capabilities early on will help you determine what expertise, experience, and resources; you need to succeed. Assessing your own abilities on the scales below will help you see the gaps you need to fill:

(Special thanks to Hashem Bajwa for sharing)

Tip: Did you identify any key capabilities you are lacking? If so, then think of the colleagues, freelancers, and partners that could supplement your key capabilities. If your company has a resource manager, work with them to source the right support.

Andre Campbell is a Brand and Social Innovation Specialist at Wolff Olins follow him @andrecampbell​

 

Day 1 at Bitmaker Labs

Hey guys, everyone that doesn’t know, I’m very lucky to be able to take this nine week intense web design course. First day we covered Git and a lot of introductions. A little frustrating but all it all it was really fun and good. Went out with some people in the group and most of the people are a lot older than me. So as I’m sitting and listening to these stories, about them travelling I feel even smaller than I actually already feel. I’m twenty, found out later in the night there is another twenty year old so got to connect with him hopefully. But even if people are older, it’s just fun. I talked to one guys about start up ideas and another about Shopify a place he knows friends that work there and a place where I would love to work. But I guess we will find out, future Tyler’s job is to land an awesome job. The nice thing about this program is that there is start up ideas getting thrown around and just having just a single application idea is the first step.

Cheers.

Question of The Day: Should You Ever Have to Pay an Employer to Get a Job? A reader expressed concern about being asked to pay to get a position that was posted on a major freelancing site. Have you ever been asked to pay to get a Job? What was your experience? What’s the craziest thing you’ve been asked to do for a Job? Please share your thoughts below…. Later, I’ll be answering the reader question and sharing my own harrowing disasters in freelancing. I’ll also include some tips on navigating the good, the bad, and the just plain crazy of working for yourself.

San Diego Saw Record 228 High-Tech Startups in 6 Months

Among the other findings in the Innovation Report for San Diego County covering the first half of 2014 were:

  • Most startups, 128, were in software, followed by 43 in electronics, computers and communications, and 39 in life sciences.
  • Startups created 885 news jobs at an average annual salary of $114,730.
  • A total of 3,334 patents were granted to San Diego-area companies, the largest number in Southern California and just behind two counties in Silicon Valley.
  • In addition to venture capital funding, companies raised $200 million in initial public offerings, $620 million in private placements and $1.6 billion in follow-on public equity offerings.
  • A total of $392 million in grant funding went to startups, almost half of it from the National Science Foundation. 
forbes.com
What It's Like Raising Money As A Woman In Silicon Valley

Editor’s note: We don’t publish many anonymous pieces on Forbes.com, but this compelling first-person account of sexism in the startup world merits an exception. I met the author several months ago and was floored by the stories she had to tell about her dealings with mostly male investors. Like many […]

After hearing our business plan, he said he was interested in spending more time getting to know me. He was looking for a wife, he continued, sans segue, then proceeded to enumerate all the monetary advantages that wife would enjoy, including a $4 million apartment in San Francisco. As in many similar situations, I attempted to politely pivot the conversation in order to not bruise the ego of the man who had just proposed something akin to an 18th century marriage of convenience.

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Think Cyber 2014 – Israel at the forefront of Cyber Technology 

The accelerating cyber revolution of recent years altered the world we live in, with ever changing threats and opportunities flowing between the physical domain we were born to and the virtual realm we created. All of that has inevitably inspired the introduction of innovative concepts, products and services in a variety of technological fields.

Successful adaptation to these rapid dynamics makes it essential to be vigilant in the face of constantly evolving challenges and solutions.

Israel stands in the forefront of the cyber security world and is a world leader in R&D in the field. 

Israel hosts a number of International Exhibitions & Conferences for Cyber Solutions, and brings together leading multi-national companies, hundreds of start-ups, private and corporate investors, venture capital firms and experts. 

As a technology and business driven country Israel has joined the world cyber community in its study and pursuit of groundbreaking cyber defense solutions for numerous sectors and their unique needs.