Entrepreneurship for the rest of us...

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. 

www.derbymanagement.com  
Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts. 

 

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Tags: Tufts marketing projects, Tufts university, Tufts internships, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, social entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess

Jack's 3 Rules at semester end

With the last two presentations this afternoon, we will have completed the 10 final project presentations.

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Tags: marketing projects, sales and marketing best practices, sales effectiveness, Tufts university, student intern marketing projects, how to write a sales plan, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

Entrepreneurship & the Olympics

With the Olympics underway, what do you think?  

As I listen to some people this week, the feedback I too often hear seems to focus on the surrounding negatives of Covid, the cost, the lack of attendance and the decline in viewership...all of these external factors which, in the real world of the athletes, have nothing to do with the extraordinary athleticism that is taking place.

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Tags: sales effectiveness, business coaching, Tufts university, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, social entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

Stop Overthinking, Just Use Your Head & Celebrate the 4th

Sure, I get it...work, life, and relationships are often wicked complicated, maybe even overcomplicated, but that's life!  Way too often we overthink things, especially at work, to the point of making the already complicated impossibly cluttered, slow to enact and painful in which to participate. Recently, I've adopted with my work and my teaching a concept of frequently taking a view 100 feet off the deck and asking myself and others..."Aren't we overthinking this?", and, typically, I am discovering that the answer is a resounding "Yes".

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Tags: Tufts university, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management productivity, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

My 3 Rules to my Graduating Seniors

May is always a bittersweet time !

It's the end of the academic year and the realization that hundreds of our students at the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center will graduate opening the next chapter in their books of life and in their careers.  We know from our data that the majority will join larger companies where they will bring their entrepreneurial spirit of curiosity and innovation.  Right alongside our congratulating the seniors going to work at Google, Hubspot, Linked and other companies where we can open doors, we are also closely watching and coaching a handful of companies being birthed right now as a result of this spring's very successful Tufts $100K New Ventures Competition Tufts TEC Graduates 2019-2

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Tags: angel investing, Tufts university, Tufts ELS program, Tufts internships, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Lessons in Life and Entrepreneurship from Vermont

Been a wicked busy and wicked cold January, so not much in the way of blogging, but now with this leap into February, I’m back at it.  It was my great grandfather Horace, who lived up the road a piece in the beautiful town of Poultney, Vermont, who talked about 8 months of snow, 2 months of mosquitoes and 2 months of “just damn poor sleddin’”.  My family has lived in this valley for just about 250 years, and what I know is that it takes real work to live here. Vermont’s beautiful on one hand, and just hardscrabble tough on the other.

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Tags: entreprenurial, how to write a business plan, writing a business plan, Tufts university, entrepreneurship, Making Tough Choices, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

The Boys on the Bench...and Marketing

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Oct 11, 2018

Vermont's Marketing in the Fall 

25% of Vermont's tourist dollars come as a result of four weeks during the leaf-peeping season from caravans of busses out the Midwest and outright commercialism of marketing and selling everything that is the essence of Vermont. 
To the left is a picture from last weekend taken from my dirt road 'bout half a mile from my house.  Doesn't get Vermont-better than this in terms of the beauty that is the fall...and the tourist dollars that come rolling in as a result.

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Tags: Tufts university, value propositions, Sales Hiring Perfectly, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management productivity, creating trust in sales, sales careers, Tufts Entrepreneurship

Jack's 3 Rules to his Graduating Class

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Apr 28, 2016

13 Weeks of marketing classes ended yesterday at Tufts...

  • The semester's 16 page syllabus was sent out on December 27th
  • Along with five complex, semester-long, corporate marketing projects  
  • Five teams were formed around each project requiring research and full marketing plans
  • We tackled three HBR cases studies during the first four weeks
  • We took field trips to Hubspot & Brainshark to learn their platforms
  • We learned blogging, keyword definitions, content construction...and a lot more
  • We filled a toolbox with SWOT, Targeting, Persona, Pricing, and Value Proposition tools

...and

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Tags: Tufts marketing projects, Tufts university, Tufts ELS program, Tufts Marketing

I'm Searching for Sales & Marketing Projects @ Tufts for the fall

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Apr 08, 2016

Tufts University $100K New Ventures Competition

The business plan pitches were Wednesday, and the awards were made last night. This year yet another company, Mimir Insights, with several of my marketing Alums won the top prize in High Tech. This is what real entrepreneurship...at the street level...is all about.  Congratulations to all of the entrepreneurs!!!!

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Tags: entreprenurial, business plans, Tufts university, marketing plans, entrepreneurship

I'm looking for a few good Tufts Sales-Marketing Projects-fall, 2014

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Apr 23, 2014
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Tags: Tufts university, Tufts ELS program, Tufts Gordon Institute, Tufts Marketing, Tufts internships

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