So, just what is entrepreneurship?
A very appropriate question this morning as we kick off at 10:00 the finals of the annual "Tufts $100K Competition". As the largest non-athletic event at Tufts, the $100K finals today will feature 15 entrepreneur teams divided among three tracks of "General Technology", "Social Impact" and "Healthcare and Life Sciences" reflecting the diversity of research and innovation across all our 11 schools.
Tufts is among the most highly ranked research universities in the U.S. covering every discipline of engineering, nutrition, social impact, medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science. For me, this process beginning earlier this year with hundreds of submissions from students and professors, followed by mentoring sessions leading to quarter and semi competitions and now today's finals provides a perfect example of entrepreneurship at its best!
In my years of having the privilege of teaching at Tufts, "The $100K" has always been a "must-attend" event often including my own students. This year made even more so with the official dedication next week of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts.
Obviously, you have a fully booked day packed with zooms, sales discovery meetings and hopefully a deal closing or two, but if you have 30 minutes here and there, or just maybe a couple of hours, click on here and get a free registration for a virtual view.
Entrepreneurship for the rest of us
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that my family history for generations has been filled with entrepreneurs. My GGF left rural Vermont in 1860 at the age of 17 to "Go West". My grandfather left that same VT village at 22 to open his first retail stores in Harvard and Davis Squares. My father rebelled from the family business by beginning a jazz band on the vaudeville circuit until his father put his foot down saying "enough, you're working in the stores!", which our entire family did for decades.
Interestingly for me personally, the first time that I ever heard the word "entrepreneur" was not at BC, not in the Peace Corps and certainly never in my career at Becton Dickinson. It was not until I attended a lecture at the then tiny volunteer-led startup of the MIT Enterprise Forum that I first understood what the word meant. Becoming active myself as a volunteer and later as Chair of MITEF, I then began my love affair not just with the experiments of starting companies, but with understanding the science and the analytics of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. Years and years later, I think that I finally understand what it takes...I think!
- In excess of 90% of non-restaurant startups are not tech-based as a product or service
- Between 90% and 95% of startups fail
- Most failures occur within 4 years
- Only 0.05% of non-restaurant startups seek organized angel or venture capital
- 75% of those companies that received formal angel or venture funding fail
The bottom line is that succeeding in any startup is wicked difficult, but having said that, today there are extraordinary support mechanisms in every community and especially in major cities which house universities, medical centers and have a rich history of entrepreneurship. For any guidance, you can just connect with me...and countless others in Boston.
With that as background, I'm very excited about speaking on this theme I am developing on "Entrepreneurship for the rest of us" at next week's event being held by The Financial Executives International of Boston at their annual academic awards granting 10 scholarships to Juniors from area colleges and universities and recognizing an Outstanding Senior from each of the schools.
With that, I'm off to today's $100K", but one more Tufts-related request!
With this semester too-quickly winding down, I am already signing up companies for marketing projects for the fall. If you are interested in knowing more about this unique process which provides teams of six juniors and seniors to create detailed marketing plans over the period of the 13-week semester, just let me know, and I will send you an outline and the instructions.
IT'S TIME TO RE-FORECAST YOUR '22 SALES PLAN
Your well-planned 2022 Sales Plan that you architected in November, revised and got approved in December and rolled out perfectly at your January sales kickoff now needs a tune-up.
As that infamous philosopher, Mike Tyson, once noted "no plan survives the first punch!". It's time this coming week to spend a day with the team and walk through the details of your entire tactical plan for Q2 and Q3.
Here's our 2022 guide to help or why not just connect with me anytime! There's no cost to a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about sales.
Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts.