Jeff Cornwall says landing a round of venture capital or private equity "seems to be part of the entrepreneurial culture, especially in businesses that have the potential for significant growth." But he cautions entrepreneurs to be sure not to get too much cash in the bank.
Jeff Cornwall writes about the latest Kauffman Foundation survey of economic bloggers, which shows that only half of them expect the U.S. economy to produce jobs in the third quarter. The survey jives with Friday's weak Q2 GDP report and major revision to past growth estimates. See more on that story from BusinessWeek, EconomPic and CNNMoney.
Jeff Cornwall, the Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship at Belmont University, reports proudly that his team's first loan to a business incubated at the school has been paid off in full. Cornwall, who has a policy of not investing in student-originated ventures, a few years ago rolled out his no-interest Runway Loan Program, which puts $25,000 to work in return for 1 percent of the company's revenues and, should it attract outside attention, its sale price.
The music industry has struggled through some immense changes in recent years, including technological changes and shifts in consumer behavior. Jeff Cornwall at Belmont University discusses on his blog how these changes can be opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to think about the industry in a new way. Cornwall says they need to take into account the fact that consumers aren't necessarily unwilling now to pay for music. They're just not interested in paying for it in the way it's been traditionally packaged, among other issues.
On a related note, Lipscomb University today announced a Music Entrepreneurship workshop on March 26, designed to help teach college students how to forge a career in the industry.
Vic Gatto tells Jeff Cornwall at Belmont about the first-year successes for Jumpstart Foundry, an angel capital fund that comes with mentoring and other support services. One of the keys, Gatto says, is not to rush in too fast.
Last year we ran at a rate of 1 per month as we built the infrastructure. This year we will have a cohort of 6 over 14 weeks in the summer. This may grow to 8 or 10, but we believe that quality trumps volume. We will build Nashville one small group at a time over the next 5-10 years. There is no shortcut that can maintain quality.
Note: Gatto also is a partner at Solidus, one of the main investors in SouthComm, the parent of the Nashville Post.
Those small businesses that have survived 2010, will likely face continued challenges next year. The best case scenario is yet another year of entrepreneurs barely keeping their heads above water. The worst case? Well, since Christmas is almost here I won't be a Scrooge and spoil the holiday by sharing those scenarios.
All the evidence I see shows that America's youth are indeed ready, willing, and increasingly able to take on the challenge of helping to rebuild our economy. We need to continue to educate them to give them the skills they need to be successful entrepreneurs. Then we need to get out of their way and turn them loose.
Until the public debate shifts away from what government can do to what the role of government should actually be in our economy, the tide that is economic public policy will not change. The data from studies conducted in economies around the globe is clear. Entrepreneurs flourish when they have economic liberty. The tax and regulatory burden entrepreneurs face are holding them back.
But here is the one result in this poll that gave me the most pause. This poll showed that 32% of business owners say they are not confident in the future of their own company. And this is a poll of those who own businesses that have actually survived the first years of the recession.Check out the full survey results here.