STARTUP ACCELERATORS AREN’T BANKING ON EXITS ANY MORE

Accelerators are increasingly selling a range of services to generate ongoing revenue, without waiting years for startups to be sold. Within only a decade, accelerators have become a mainstay of startup ecosystems in regions around the globe. Throughout this period, the accelerator business model has continued to evolve. Still in the Global Accelerator Report 2015, a majority of accelerators globally still indicated that they intended to follow the traditional “cash-for-equity” model, first established in 2005 by Y Combinator, which involves investing a small amount of seed money in a startup in exhange for equity. Investments typically are around $25,000 on averag in exchange for between 5 percent and 10 percent equity. This model has now been abandoned by a majority of accelerators, as highlighted by the recently published Global Accelerator Report 2016. The report highlighted that only 32.7 percent of accelerators predict that they will generate revenue from exits in the future, a significant shift from 2015. The reason for the pivot in the accelerator business model is, most likely, the small number of exits — 178 reported in 2016 — which has proven insufficient in funding their operations. Morevoer, exits usually do not occur earlier than three to five years into a startup’s lifecycle, denying accelerators a profit on investment for several years. To make up for the expensive day-to-day upfront costs of operating their programs, accelerators have deployed new models that allow them to generate revenue. These changes enabled the industry to keep growing year-on-year. According to new findings in the 2016 Global Accelerator report more than $206M (up 8 percent) was invested into 11,305 (up 28 percent) startups across five major regions, including the United States and Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and Oceania. USA continues to be the leading country both in terms of startups accelerators and in dollars invested via accelerators. Nearly all (90.4 percent) of accelerators globally relied on, and continue to explore, new models of revenue generation. These include charging for mentorship, subletting office space, hosting events and working with corporations. Revenue from corporations has seen the largest increase. More than half (52.1 percent) of accelerators are at least partially funded by a corporation, and 67.2 percent aim to generate future revenue from services sold to corporations. On the one hand, this is because corporations are discovering that accelerators are an efficient and effective way to engage with startups. On the other hand,…

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ARE YOU MORE INTERESTING THAN AVERAGE?’ IN 5 QUESTIONS

What makes people interesting? And can it be learned?Being an interesting person who commands attention is not easy in this 4G world of advancing technologies and diminishing attention span. And being interesting is good. Interesting people can draw others in, captivate and inspire. They can lead, revolutionize and build something great from the ground up.What makes for an interesting person is somewhat subjective. However, we’ve teased out five determinable qualities that universally captivate and engage interest — and also can be learned by anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort.Let’s get you started on this quiz to gauge where you fall on the “interesting” scale.1. Are You A Powerful Storyteller? Knowing how to tell stories in a way that elicits empathy, humor and what it is to be human is a powerful skill that interesting people possess. It’s also a skill that entrepreneurs need to have. “Entrepreneurship and storytelling go hand in hand,” said Carmine Gallo, author of The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t.Being interested in rags-to-riches stories is part of our DNA, explained Gallo. And there is science that supports this. He touched on the research in his book where scientists find that hearing stories about struggle followed by success actually causes the brain to release the bonding chemicals of dopamine and oxytocin. “We like hearing the story about hardship, risk taking and failure after failure,” said Gallo. “Of course, there has to be some success at the end.”When it comes to a famous business leader with a mastery of storytelling, Howard Schultz, the executive chairman of Starbucks, immediately comes to mind. The former CEO of Starbucks has repeatedly shared his narrative of growing up in the Brooklyn projects to self-made multibillionaire. What’s more, whenever speaking about company initiatives, like full-time benefits for part-time workers or paying for employees’ college education, he ties them back to stories about his early struggles.“This makes him so much more interesting beyond him presenting a PowerPoint about why they have to raise the price for a cup of coffee,” said Gallo.2. Are You An Active Listener?Find a good listener, and you’ll find someone who possesses the quality of making you (the listened-to) feel like the most fascinating person on the planet. Good listeners are a very rare species to come by — which is why they’re regarded as so interesting.Research shows that we spend up to 80% of our waking hours communicating — and 55%of that time is spent listening. Yet, for the most part, adults aren’t great at actively listening. People remember, at most, 25% of what they hear.Active listening involves being totally present (put away your smart phone), demonstrating strong listening cues (sounds and head nods) and related follow-up questions for clarity and inquiry into further points of interest.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a strong reputation for being an exceptional…

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10 VENTURES YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS CAN START FOR CHEAP OR FREE

Don’t be discouraged. You can afford to leave the 9-to-5 rat race.If you’re a young entrepreneur who’s sick of the 9-to-5 rat race, you should start thinking out of the box. You need to find an idea that will allow you to start your own business so that you can choose your hours and even your salary. It’s important to ensure that it doesn’t cost you a small fortune to get started.With this in mind, I’ve created a list of 10 business ventures for young entrepreneurs that can either be started for free or cheaply.1. Chatbot-creating agency.Chatbots are in, and businesses of all sizes are adopting them as part of their marketing, sales, and customer services teams. These bots allow businesses to cut costs while increasing revenue. What many of them don’t know is that creating a chatbot isn’t as difficult as it once was.Now, thanks to platforms like Chattypeople, you can create an enterprise-grade chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) in a matter of minutes with absolutely no coding or programming knowledge.With the above in mind, creating a chatbot-building agency is easier than ever. You could create a Chattypeople account for free and offer your services to companies of all sizes. Best of all, as your agency grows, you can upgrade your account and, of course, increase your prices.2. Online retail consigner.If you have a camera, a computer and a real passion for fashion, you can incorporate them and start your own online business. Start by gathering all the old clothes you’ve hoarded over the years and no longer wear, and take professional pictures of them.You could either post your items on eBay or create your own personal store through Shopify or WordPress. The earning opportunities with this type business venture are endless, and best of all, you don’t have to limit yourself to just clothes. You could also sell vintage furniture, children’s accessories, garden equipment, and much more.3. Instagram consultant.Instagram is one of, if not the most popular, social media channels alongside Facebook and Twitter. Many companies are now opting for a visual social media presence, meaning they invest a more time into the likes of Instagram and Pinterest rather than being social on Facebook and Twitter.However, creating an Instagram following isn’t as easy as it seems, and if you’re a business, you’ll want to gather a following quickly. This is why these businesses hire…

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EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT LIVING THEIR BEST LIFE. HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY DO IT?

Living your dream life requires grappling with a lot of cold reality.What does the life of your dreams look like? Are you exploring the world and working from your laptop? Are you hanging out with celebrities at award shows? Are you at home spending time with your kids every day?It’s possible to engineer the lifestyle you want. You might not get every aspect of it, but don’t confuse having everything in life with having the lifestyle of your dreams. You don’t have to earn billions of dollars to have it. You don’t need to come from the right pedigree. (I know I didn’t.)However, for this life-engineering to work for you — you will need to put effort into the process. Understand this: It will likely take several years to accomplish the planning stage of these goals. What else will it take to engineer the lifestyle of your dreams? Here are some tips to get you started.1. Clarity.What is it that you actually want? You don’t need to construct a vision board, just be honest with yourself. How much money will it take until you feel accomplished? What experiences do you want to have? Write it down if it helps you put it into focus.Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, conducted a study, and found that people who wrote down their goals on a regular basis were 42 percent more likely to achieve them.When envisioning what you want, don’t confuse lifestyle with assets. You can drive a Maserati every day without ever owning one-if that’s what you want. In other words, you can experience the lifestyle without the large price tag.2. Time And Effort.There is this odd expectation that people can quit their jobs, launch a business and become overnight millionaires. Achieving anything extraordinary takes time.Building a business or becoming an industry expert can easily take seven to ten years. You will likely spend several years experiencing incremental changes and iterating on these changes before you have a quantum leap.Most successful people spend countless hours working and training to reach their goals. If you’re not willing to clock in the time, then you shouldn’t expect results.3. Network.A mantra that has been highly influential to my own lifestyle engineering is: “The quality of our lives is defined by the people we surround ourselves with and the conversations we have with them.”In order to create the lifestyle that…

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THE 4 TOP BUSINESS INVESTMENTS RIGHT NOW

Green energy and high-tech industries are best bets for savvy entrepreneurs looking to diversify.Our world has become the global village. Ideas are being produced rapidly around the world, and most of them have the potential to change life as we know it for future generations. Already, we’ve witnessed amazing ideas and technologies that have sahped the way we think, interact and build businesses.You can focus solely on growing your own empire, or you can plan to invest in some of the best business options in 2017. Investments aren’t just about becoming a part of something revolutionary. They can give way to opportunities for success for your business idea as well. If a single idea can promote such a positive change, then a combination of them can do multiple wonders — not only for the business industry but for people around the world.Here are some of the top business-investment moves you can make in the next 12 to 18 months.1. Virtual Reality.Entrepreneurship has strong roots in the virtual-reality industry. Despite being around for a few years now, virtual reality gained better momentum in 2016. Experts believe the industry most likely will continue this positive trajectory in the near future — with projected revenue of roughly $4.6 billion in 2017. Virtual reality still is greatly under research, and this provides ample opportunities for new ideas.2. Translation And Interpretation.The United States always has been home to multiple cultures and languages. The Census Bureau reports Americans speak more than 350 languages in their homes. On the other hand, businesses have become global. This highly increases the need for both understanding and awareness of more languages. Giants such as Google and Skype have enhanced and expanded their translation capabilities. This allows them to encompass a target market whose customers want a more personalized service. As companies embrace more languages and cultures, employment in areas supporting this industry are projected to increase by 30 percent by 2024.3. Drone Technology.Drone technology is meeting the diverse needs of multiple industries, including infrastructure, mining and transport. The developing drone market is estimated to be valued at $127 billion. If you decide to invest in this sector, consider choosing a publicly traded company. It’s worth mentioning that big, public drone companies such as Go Pro recently have experienced difficult times on the stock market. Instead of selecting popular manufacturers, weigh the benefits of putting your dollars in drone technology and components. One such example is Ambarella, which specializes in producing the video chip sets used in drone cameras.4. Green Energy.  …

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THE BIG REASON WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE HIGHLY EDUCATED EMPLOYEES

They are more likely to detect patterns and speak up if something seems amiss.When you’re looking to hire, you’re thinking about cultural fit and whether a candidate has not only the qualifications to fulfill your company’s needs now, but also the potential to take on more responsibility in the future.Despite the debate around whether leaders need college degrees, a recent study out of the University of Georgia found that the educational background of non-executive hires can make a big difference in the long term success of your business — and keep you out of trouble with the law.Researchers found that when it comes to handling sensitive financial data, employees who have the most extensive educational backgrounds are best at forecasting trends and dealing with legal matters.“We find that when companies are located in a place where the workforce is highly educated, they produce better accounting information,” said study co-author John Campbell, an associate professor of accounting in UGA’s Terry College of Business, in a summary of the findings. “The employees don’t have to be experts in accounting, but if they see something that doesn’t look right, they’re more likely to say something about it and tell their superiors about it.”As your business expands, you need to be on top of your books, and non-executive employees often are the first line of defense for finding errors in your accounting. Building off that observation, the researchers also identified a correlation between educated populations and fewer instances of misconduct in both business and politics.“There’s a study in political science showing that states that have more educated voter bases have less corruption in their political systems, and we wanted to see if that analogy held in business,” Campbell said. “One of the reasons for that might be whistleblowers. In both instances, the better-educated the population is, the more likely there will be a whistleblower if something bad is going on.”Source: entrepreneur.comCall, text, email, or stop by our Los Angeles HQ today!Helvetia Holdings Group, LLCWells Fargo (HQ) Building11601 Wilshire Blvd. 5th FloorLos Angeles, CA, 90025United States of AmericaPhone: +1.310.800.2197info@www.iznajmljivanje-sony.comSkype Username: p2pdevelopersGoogle hangouts: p2pdevelopers@gmail.com

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BUILDING A STARTUP IS LIKE RUNNING A MARATHON AT A SPRINT PACE — HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO COPE

A founder shares her strategies to handle burnout so it doesn’t consume you, or your dream.Running a startup is like running a marathon at a sprint pace. There is no room for slowing down; you have to keep racing toward the next mile marker, and then the next one, and then the next.Though a footrace may end after 26.2 miles, the startup marathon never really ends. You have to keep going when you feel like your body, mind and your entire being want to give up. And you have to keep telling yourself you can do it when you feel like the universe is conspiring to tell you that you can’t. Sprinting through the startup marathon ensures that you can learn fast, iterate, make up for mistakes and continue to grow at pace, beat your competitors to the punch or block anyone entering your space. To win the startup race you need to be agile and grow quickly in the shortest amount of time. Doing that at anything less than a sprint will get you — at best — second place.It does get easier, though. It has to, because maintaining the sprint pace during a marathon indefinitely is impossible. Even trying to maintain that sprint pace indefinitely is a set up for the entrepreneur’s worst enemy: burnout.Burning Bright, Burning OutWhile running a startup, you’ll hear a lot about burnout. People talk about it as a weakness, as something to be avoided. But, what they don’t often mention is that burnout — in one of its many forms or another — is inevitable.I’ll be the first to tell you I experienced it in the first year after relocating RangeMe and my young family from Sydney, Australia to San Francisco. I was traveling once a week across the United States trying to win over new retail clients that could potentially change the shape of the business overnight (and when we won over Whole Foods, it did just that). That was coupled with trying to hire a team and raise capital for a startup, which alone is relentless and takes boundless energy and a strong backbone. All the while I was still a wife and a mother, raising two children along with my third child, RangeMe.And this company is my third child, bringing with it all the same emotions as being a mother to a human child. And it goes a step beyond, too — my entire…

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KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN

For entrepreneurs, crowdfunding is more than just raising money.Crowdfunding is not only about raising money for entrepreneurs. It is much more than that. Creating a crowdfunding campaign actually allows you to see the interest in your product as well as enables you to get feedback and develop it even more before the actual launch. If your campaign becomes successful, it means that you actually built a customer base too because most probably people who support your campaign would like to purchase your product after the launch. Therefore, it is essential to develop a well-tailored crowdfunding campaign. Keep reading below to find some tips for it.1. Choose Your Platform Wisely.Do your research and choose the platform that fits your product and your needs at the same time. There are some famous platforms which receive a lot of traffic but at the same time there are hundreds and even thousands of projects in these platforms. Therefore, getting noticed among these platforms may be difficult. For this reason, choosing a smaller but specialized platform can be a better option, especially if your project is in a specialized area.2. Have A Prototype, Not Only An Idea.An idea by itself is not enough because everybody has many great ideas. The important part is to turn that idea into reality. Show everyone that you took the time and energy to invest in your idea. Design, develop and test your product. Finally, have a prototype to show others so they can also invest in your innovation and you can develop it more. It would be beneficial for you, if you also have a launch plan and share these plans in your crowdfunding campaign.3. How You Present Makes The Difference.Not just upload a PPT presentation or a boring video, include both! Tell your story and keep your message personal. Make a connection with other people and explain others why you are doing this so they can feel themselves part of something bigger and exciting. Try to touch other people’s lives with your story. As a result, they can find a reason to support you.4. Update Your Supporters.Interact with your supporters and answer any questions they may have. Also, if they make a positive comment about your project, don’t forget to thank them. After your campaign is over, don’t leave them on dark. Try to engage with them through social media, thank you emails or newsletters to keep them…

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3 THINGS YOU CAN’T SKIMP ON WITH EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING

Spending more where it matters can mean the difference between a forgettable event and one leading to real ROI. Just ask the Casper mattress folks.It’s getting harder and harder to dismiss the experiential segment as a niche within the world of marketing. According to a 2017 Freeman study, more than one in three CMOs expect to funnel up to 50 percent of their budgets into brand experiences.Those leaders have finally discovered what consumers could have told them ages ago: People don’t want to be bombarded by ads. What they want are authentic, one-to-one interactions with the companies seeking their business. In other words, they want brand experiences.“That’s where experiential marketing comes in. The term refers to a marketing strategy that invites and encourages consumers to interact with a brand through live experiences.But consumers aren’t looking for something snooze-worthy — at least not in the typical sense of the word. Mattress company Casper, for example, gave this year’s SXSW attendees a rest they won’t soon forget. In partnership with One:Night, Casper offered $99 hotel rooms outfitted with a Casper mattress — and milk and cookies.“Moms” were even on call to read bedtime stories to restless sleepers. Unsurprisingly, the rooms sold out instantly. The reality is that not all brands can afford to rent out an entire hotel, but that doesn’t mean you should default to a low-cost activation.Where Should You Spend?While some marketers have managed to cut costs without curtailing the actual experience, they’ve likely found that spending a little more where it matters can mean the difference between a forgettable event, and one that leads to real ROI.Where should you allocate your money for maximum impact? If you value results, don’t skimp on any of these three:1. People And Training When consumers interact with a brand, they’re interfacing with a real person. No matter how great your product might look or taste, customers won’t care about it if the brand ambassador was rude. All they’ll care about is that they had a terrible experience.Although sales and experiential marketing aren’t one and the same, brand ambassadors and salespeople have similar roles. And in sales, 68 percent of consumers surveyed by Salesforce said that interacting with a salesperson who understands their preferences is absolutely critical or very important, according to Salesforce. So, even if brand ambassadors can’t honor someone’s preference — say that the rason is because they didn’t have any unsweetened tea on hand — they can still create…

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3 DANGEROUS ENTREPRENEURIAL MYTHS YOU NEED TO IGNORE

This terrible advice won’t actually get you anywhere.We’ve all heard the numbers about how hard it is to build a long-lasting business. While there are many factors at play to get there, without effective marketing and sales a business cannot survive.Unfortunately, there is a multitude of dangerous and destructive marketing advice swirling around the heads of vulnerable entrepreneurs. Like vultures seeking their next meal, “gurus” pontificate nonsense that these hard-working business owners follow, only to discover that what they tried doesn’t work.Often, once the damage is done, it is too late for them to do anything else about it.If you want to not only survive, but thrive, here is some of the terrible advice you need to start ignoring:1. “You Need To Be Everywhere.”I’m sorry, but how do these people sleep at night without the use of narcotics? “Experts” spew out dribble to make headlines saying you need to get on Snapchat, get on Periscope, do YouTube Live . . . be everywhere! They’ll say you need to get on this platform or that social media network. Oh, and use LinkedIn Live! And make sure to post on Instagram three times a day and Facebook twice a day. And don’t forget those Facebook Lives. Make sure to do them every day.ACK! Just writing that paragraph stressed me out. How the heck are you supposed to be on all of those channels, never mind doing it all effectively, and still run your business? Of course you can’t. And you shouldn’t. (Unless self-torture is your thing, in which case have at it. There are books about that, but I’m not giving any titles because I’d have to Google them and then I’d be retargeted by the ads and that would just be gross.)It is impossible to spend even half an hour on each major network and still get any work done. Forget about focusing on measurement, profit and return on investment. They don’t mention that on purpose, because then these crazy-pants suggestions would really make no sense. But, then these “experts” would stop making the headlines, so they keep serving up spoiled advice for the poor folk who chow down and then get sick on it.Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to their plots of deception. Demand strategies that value your time and produce results in a significant and measurable way quickly.2. “It Takes Money To Make Money.”I didn’t take the easy way out. I am part of a group of scrappy entrepreneurs who have a lot of…

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