Find the Fastest Growing Companies in Your Own Back Yard, Then Network!

Today in our training at the Provo Labs Academy for Entrepreneurs (yes, I know, we probably should think of a more creative name for it) we discussed how important it is to become familiar with the fastest growing companies in your own local area. In Utah, there are a lot of lists that make this quite easy.

Team Formation Summit for Worldhistory.com

Last year I wrote in Connect magazine that I would be trying a grand experiment in team building. I would be trying an idea I got from The Entrepreneur\’s Manual, a very popular book for entrepreneurs published in 1997. I would hold a 2-day retreat with a couple dozen executives to brainstorm, network, plan, and then vote on the Founders Team for Worldhistory.com.

Free conference call for entrepreneurs

I\’m back from a 10-day vacation to Florida and the Western Caribbean (I even swam with stingrays at Disneys Castaway Cay). I am well-rested and eager to spend more time promoting entrepreneurship. This week I have several important things on my calendar.

Tomorrow at 1 pm MST I will be doing another Conference Call University teleseminar on entrepreneurship. Normally listeners pay to join these conference calls where we answer questions submitted by attendees.

$31,000 in Prizes at BYU Student Entrepreneur of the Year Competition

Kevin Willeitner, one of my BYU Internet Marketing students asked me to blog this:

Student entrepreneurs now have their change to win a little money to put into their business. The Collegiate Entrepreneurs\’ Organization of BYU is now accepting applications for the 2006 Student Entrepreneur of the Year. So far, they are planning to give out a total of $31,000 to the winners with $12,500 going to first place. Contestant get prizes all the way down to 12th place, so the chances of winning something are quite good. Last years winner was Jayson Edwards of J-Dawg\’s (a small hot dog shack on the edge of the BYU campus.)

Here is the official BYU Student Entrepreneur of the Year website.

Alan Hall at UVEF on Thursday, September 14th

I received this email from the UVEF mailing list. I love the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum. I\’ve been attending its lunches for 8 or 10 years. I\’ve also heard Alan Hall speak, and he is the most active and inspiring promoter of the entrepreneur->philanthropist cycle that I have ever met. Please don\’t miss the chance to hear him in person.

Changes at Provo Labs: Returning to the Original Vision

A month or so ago I held a difficult meeting with all the employees at Provo Labs. I started the meeting by admitting that I had made some mistakes in the past six months. Specifically, our burn rate got too high as we hired too many people, particularly developers. Our sales and marketing investments weren\’t sufficient enough to cover our overhead. And more importantly, we weren\’t creating dedicated teams for each new company idea, and giving the team members equity and letting them take risks along with the investor (Provo Labs), risks such as lower-than market salary. Instead, we were paying full salaries, and not giving options out, and shifting people from project to project. We should always be in bootstrap mode and we should not try to do so many things at once.

Happenings

  • Yesterday was our best FundingUniverse.com board meeting ever, in the wake of another successful speed-pitching event. The team is energized and the company should be profitable soon (maybe October or November). Then, it will have an indefinite runway on which to launch new products and services for entrepreneurs and angel investors. Great job, team!
  • 10Speed Media, our video-based affiliate network led by CEO Erik Johnson (formerly with iBahn), rated very high at the speed-pitching event. Getting good feedback from attendees is a great motivator.