Expand Your Mind: Innovation and Entrepreneurs

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Expand Your Mind: Innovation and Entrepreneurs

expand-your-mindMention innovation and most people think of startups and the entrepreneurs who take the risk, so I thought today would be a good time to check in to the goings on in that world.

First, a look at 11 Harsh Realities of Being an Entrepreneur for those who are considering an entrepreneurial path; not to turn you off, but to spur you on.

By knowing the harsh realities that lie ahead, you can be prepared when they come about so you can solider on.

Getting funded is as much a function of who you know as what you do and any serious entrepreneur will walk over hot coals if doing so gives an advantage to that end. Enter Y Combinator, that not only gives entrepreneurs an edge getting funding, but on getting better terms.

Many of the best applications come from accomplished programmers who have working product demos but lack gilt-edged Valley Rolodexes. … The real winners are rising stars like Jessica Mah. “The competition this created for us was amazing.”

Social media, now just called ’social’ may be a hotbed of the young, but don’t rule the old men of investing out of the game even when it is someone who seems to be constantly switching horses and proclaiming his current mount ‘the next big thing’.

Sand Hill Road was abuzz after Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr rallied Jeff Bezos, Zynga founder Mark Pincus, and Mark Zuckerberg to a joint press conference at Facebook in Palo Alto and announced a $250 million fund to invest in the “next wave of social entrepreneurs.

Marc Andreessen and partner Ben Horowitz are successful entrepreneurs who are changing the focus of the venture world by doing extremely early-stage funding. And here is a more in-depth look at what at what Andreessen is doing.

Although it is too early to judge the firm’s financial success, Andreessen Horowitz represents a new breed of venture capitalist that is financing new kinds of start-ups.

Entrepreneurs come in many flavors and not all are in the commercial world as the new breed of activist shows. If you are one of those who laments the problems overseas, take a look at what’s being done in the name of ‘DIY foreign aid‘.

It’s striking that the most innovative activists aren’t necessarily the ones with the most resources, or the best tools. … Rather, what often happens is that those best positioned to take action look the other way, and then the initiative is taken by the Scharpfs and Shannons of the world, who are fueled by some combustible mix of indignation and vision.

Finally, although the power of social has hardly been tapped, it is already the meeting ground of charity and profit.

Founded in 2007 by political activist Joe Green and former Facebook President Sean Parker (yes, that Sean Parker), Causes uses social media tools to virtually connect thousands of charities with their supporters and potential donors. The Berkeley (Calif.) company began as one of the first applications on Facebook and now serves as a broker for 119 million charitably minded users.

Image credit: pedroCarvalho on flickr

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