Business Startup

City Takes Over Startup Seattle; Seeks to Bring Seattle’s Startup ResourcesTogether

Last spring, Red Russak founded Startup Seattle  to bring together Seattle’s startup community resources and help entrepreneurs connect and grow new ideas and businesses. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that some big players have now joined Russak’s cause, including Chris DeVore of TechStars and Founders Co-op, Ex Lazowska of the Univ. of Washington’s computer science department and Greg Gottsman of Madrona Venture Group.  Now, with the help of these big name entrepreneurs and investors, the City of Seattle is taking over Startup Seattle.

The goal is to rebrand Seattle as a startup hub, similar to San Francisco and New York, two of the more well-known startup communities in the U.S.

The city plans to replace Russak with a startup business liasion, whose...

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Business Startup

Is Revenue-Based Investing Changing the Investment Landscape?

Regardless of your position, entrepreneur or investor (or both), you’ve likely noticed that the investment landscape is changing. There’s a move away from traditional venture capital and institutional funding toward  micro-VC and super angel funds—smaller-scale versions of VC funds, typically in the $10-50 million range, that make a wider range of smaller investments.  Furthermore, due to the roller coaster nature of financial markets, exits are being drawn out longer  than the traditional three to five year range. This means angels are not seeing returns as quickly as they did in the 1990s and early 2000s. Not to mention, there’s another potential change on the horizon with the emergence of companies like kickstarter.com and recent legislation, including the JOBS Act which includes the CROWDFUND Act.

As a result,...

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Business Startup

Want to Learn More About the History of Crowdfunding?

I recently stumbled across a Forbes article that provides a very informative look into the history of crowdfunding. The article uses a handy infographic created by Fundable and Earn MBA Degree. Much of the discussion as of late in the SEC has surrounded the JOBS Act that was passed in April 2012. One part of the JOBS Act is crowdfunding, an innovative way for small businesses to use online, fundraising platforms to pitch their businesses to investors.

The article highlights the shift in traditional marketing and “pitching” of businesses, with a focus on building a broad base of supporters before, during, and after the launch of your business. If you want to learn more about the history of crowdfunding, check out the full Forbes...

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Business Startup

LawMeets to Offer Free Online Business Law Courses

Back in 2009, Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law professor Karl Okam0to developed a transactional law competition where law students competed to negotiate the best deals for their fictional clients. Due to its popularity, Okam0to expanded the competition in 2011 by launching LawMeets, a free website that provides transactional simulations to law students. The students submit videos in which they offer legal advice to solve the business scenario. The videos are peer-rated and the best videos receive expert analysis.

Recently, LawMeets received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to further develop its offerings. In October, LawMeets will expand its offerings with a series of free online courses that combine lectures and simulations that explore the more intricate elements of...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 22: Marina Biotech Scaling Back, U.S. Job Growth Slows Down, Spike in Auto Sales

National News

Trustee in Madoff Case Cashing In A recent article posted by The New York Times pointed out that Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee that is seeking to recover funds for the victims of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, is making around $850 an hour. Thought of initially as a modern-day Robin Hood, advocating for those poor individuals who were taken advantage of, Picard has obtained nearly $554 million in legal  and other fees.

Thus far, Picard has reached settlement deals worth nearly $9 billion, but the Madoff victims have only seen $330 million of that money because many of the settlement deals have been challenged in court. As far as Picard’s fees, the good news is that the fees do not come out of the Madoff...

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Business Startup

News Roundup 2012 Week Three: SOPA, Director Compensation, Federal Securities Law, Professional Responsibility, etc.

SOPA Update

We caught you up to date on all of the recent SOPA developments in yesterday’s post, but there’s more news today. A handful of websites including Wikipedia shutdown their services today in protest of SOPA. Others, like Google, took a milder approach in illustrating solidarity in opposition to SOPA. Google replaced the image of its name with a black box blocking out the image. It seems like the protests have been effective as SOPA is finally getting the national media attention it deserves, and many supporters have reversed position on the bills today including Senators (who supported SOPA’s sister bill in the Senate-PIPA) Rubio, Boozman, Hatch, Blunt, and Inhofe, and Representatives Quayle, and Holden. SOPA news was at a...

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Business Startup

News Roundup 12/15 – 12/21: SOPA, Twitter’s Angel, Louis CK’s New Business Model, Washington Economics, ETC

SOPA Vote Postponed; PIPA Set at Top of Senate List; Cantwell Supports OPEN Alternative Mark up and voting of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill that would either save the entertainment industry or ruin the Internet, depending on who you believe,  has been delayed due to “the House Schedule”. Fred Wilson suggests that the cause of the delay is either complaints from high-tech executives persuaded the bill’s sponsors to reconsider, the grass-roots movement objecting to potential over reach by SOPA persuaded the bill’s sponsors to reconsider, or because Representatives were bored with talking about SOPA and wanted to go home for the holidays. The related Senate bill PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) is at the top of Senator Harry Reid’s...

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Business Startup

Who doesn’t like to save money? An overview of 83(b) Elections

For those of you who like to save money, here’s some info on 83(b) elections.

What is an 83(b) Election? Founders often receive restricted stock, which is stock that vests over time (for a refresher, check out our post on vesting). Section 83(b) allows founders to choose when they are taxed on restricted stock, either when they are granted rights to the stock or when the stock actually vests.

Section 83(a) of the Internal Revenue Code provides that founders will not recognize the value of stock until it vests. Usually delaying (and minimizing) taxes is a primary goal of tax planning. Under 83(a), founders would be required to recognize the value of the vesting stock at the time the stock vests, not at...

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Business Startup

The “Lean Startup”- an entrepreneur’s guide for building a sustainable, successful business

The Traditional Approach We’ll set the stage. You’re an entrepreneur looking to start up a business. You’ve got a new idea for an innovative product, something you’re fairly certain will sell. You need to create a business. You don’t have tons of capital. You’ve been down this road before. The last time you did this you read the “how to start up a business” guide, and you received extensive start up advice. Last time you spent lots of time and money developing a finished product for the last start up company you created. Unfortunately, when you launched your business your product didn’t sell. Fortunately for you, there’s a new, different recipe for success.

A New Approach Entrepreneur, I’d like to introduce you...

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Business Startup

Democratizing Access to Capital Act

A few weeks ago we wrote about the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act, a bill passed by the House that would enable businesses to raise capital through crowd funding. Senator Scott Brown has now introduced a similar bill, the Democratizing Access to Capital Act, into the Senate. Last week Senator Brown authored an article for Wired in which he hailed his bill as way to update the SEC rules for the Internet era.

What are the differences between the House and Senate bills? The Senate bill has four main differences from the bill that already passed the House. First, the Senate bill would limit investors to an investment of $1,000 per year per company. The House bill would allow individual investments of...

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