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How Startups can compete against Facebook and Google in Recruiting top Talent 

For startups, before succeeding at their business, it is essential to crack the code of talent recruitment. This is something on which startups are grappling to attract the best of people while competing against giants such as Google or Facebook. To do that startups can follow some basic steps such as being daring in its recruitment drives. Glassdoor has confirmed that a large majority of employees are willing to leave their jobs if they get some company which has a good reputation, so startups must keep flaunting their good employment practices. Rather than an excellent shiny CV, startups must look at candidates’ potential. It may not make financial sense to recruit someone with relevant experience, so it is better to look for integrity, liveliness and intelligence. A majority of job seekers use social media so it is essential to spread the word on such platforms. Videos have far greater reach and events such as hackathons or local meet-ups can help quell curiosity about the startup. The startup work culture of informal hierarchy and family type work environment is a big attraction to several people so this has to be taken advantage of. Existing employees must be handed challenging assignments and responsibilities so that they can grow along with the company. These people will then act as brand advocates for fresh recruitments. Startups are also known for ideating and executing business innovations allowing many to grow further at work. Finally, it is advisable to be flexible during recruitment drives as processes need not be so rigid or complicated as in bigger organizations.

Source:http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2016/09/08/how-startups-can-compete-against-facebook-and-google-in-recruiting-top-talent/#5aadd843165b

Former Y Combinator Partner Gerry Tan on what too many Startups get Wrong

Gerry Tan who has worked earlier with Y Combinator which is a funding agency for startups, shares some important questions that all startups must pose to themselves before plunging headlong. The first of these is that entrepreneurs must have the right business idea and corporate strategy to go with it. Too many startups close down because a bigger player has acquired it and then let it rot. An example of that would be Posterous which at one time was a rival to Tumblr. Entrepreneurs must also be aware of what are the reasons they have chosen this particular line. Usually such people have interesting stories to tell. Startups must these days also explore foreign markets where certain businesses may prosper. People intensive operational profiles will do much better in China due to the greater population and resultant income inequality.

Source:http://fortune.com/2016/08/03/garry-tan-posthaven-y-combinator/

 

How to get a piece of the boom in Machine Learning Startups

Machine Learning (ML) is revolutionizing the way businesses proceed with their operations. ML is now more advanced than it ever was earlier reflecting in the fact that the voice recognition tool of Apple known as Siri is one of its top most popular offerings. ML also provides a challenging environment for entrepreneurs, many of whom are looking to get slices out of the booming business with their own startups. The biggest challenge posed in this industry is in terms of talent recruitment. The best of the talent, as it is limited in number, get attracted to the giants of the industry such as Google, Facebook or Apple. It is thus not very feasible to start ML based firms in Silicon Valley, rather Boston, Pittsburg or even Europe are proving to be better in some regards. Also when to sell out is a question some entrepreneurs are grappling with. Whether to sell out early post high valuation or to continue building substantial capital into the business is a quandary.

Source:http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2016/08/15/how-to-get-a-piece-of-the-boom-in-machine-learning-start-ups/#66568fdd432a

Three ways small Startups can attract big Tech Talent

Startups usually struggle at talent recruitment as the best of people would rather prefer big, well known brands. However, there are certain methods by which startups can rectify this condition. First of all, the startup must focus on a positive company culture as that will allow top professionals the motivation to work. Fun places to work where people learn a lot are ideal magnets to attract top talent. The next step is to highlight individual successes. Professionals like to be appreciated for their work. It will also encourage the existing employees to act as brand advocates themselves and help in recruitments next time. The company must be easily discoverable especially on social media as that will enable effective digital marketing. Office tours and employee-centric videos are good ways of taking such steps.

Source:http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2016/07/28/three-ways-small-startups-can-attract-big-tech-talent/#7679f8de644a

 

 

Two of the best CEOs I have seen in a scale-up context

Source:http://yourstory.com/2016/06/two-of-the-best-ceos-i-have-seen-in-a-scale-up-context/ 

 

Samsung digital chief: Behave like an entertainer and move like a start-up

Source: http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/samsung-digital-chief-behave-entertainer-move-start-up/1396248#x9R0sYvseIIvALxf.99

 

Four alternative types of Accelerators that Startups Overlook

In order to grow as businesses, startups look towards accelerator strategies to get that boost. Certain such strategies have been identified which startups often overlook. The first of these could be to leverage equity. A global venture capital seed fund named 500 Startups follows this model and been quite successful at that. A combination of cash and equity based model is known as Trading Services. This is followed by Founders Space which is an accelerator cum incubator programme. Then there is the Zero Down model which is followed by angel investors such as Start X, Stanford Endowment Fund and Microsoft Accelerator. They do not charge any fee up front, though some caveats exist. Finally there is the Negotiating Rate model by which initially members join for free but charge amount towards the end of the programme. This business innovation is primarily powered by Tech Code.

Source:http://www.fastcompany.com/3062151/four-alternative-types-of-accelerator-that-startups-overlook

 

Six Innovative ways to grow your Digital Startup

With the startup boom taking shape, the usual churn is taking place. While some are making it, many others are getting left behind. Thus some ideas have been generated which if followed can help digital startups grow. Unique experiences related to the brand must be defined. Sensations must be selected for this that are complimentary yet unique. A touch-point map might be developed to track customer lifecycle stages depending on awareness levels, interests and purchase behaviour. Periodically customers can be engaged with by connecting over top notch questions. A chart must be prepared to dovetail the growth boosters and restrainers. This list must then be incorporated in the corporate strategy so that the management can alter projections and implementation methods. All ideas which can eventually be worked on must be stored exclusively in a place termed as opportunity hopper. Finally to deliver growth, figurative sprint tracks need to be set up. This will detail all aspects of innovation such as projects, execution, key people, customer requirements, validation of ideas, consolidation of success, pilot testing, barriers to execution and follow up course of action.

Source: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2016/06/28/six-innovative-ways-to-grow-your-digital-start-up/

 

The Business of Startups has become a startup Business

The business environment across the world is now such that startups are flourishing and several people who would in earlier times have settled for safe jobs, are now looking at entrepreneurship as a viable option. This has also created a horde of specialists whose job is to support these startups by lending their specialized services. It could be in the form of management training being provided by professionals, forums that bring several founders together, business innovation simulators or those that support in terms of material being provided. One such expert is We Work that has recently raised funding for its China project. They specialize in providing office space and related physical infrastructure to hordes of young entrepreneurs. Thus the entrepreneurs can focus on the actual work rather than haggling with landlords regarding office space, rentals or infrastructure. They have developed and leased out office space in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, London, Tel Aviv and Amsterdam. They provide uniform support services at all their glitzy office complexes.

Source:http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickhanlon/2016/04/04/the-business-of-startups-has-become-a-startup-business/#745527491e93

 

Things are finally getting real for on-demand Startups

Several internet based startups emerged in the early part of this millennium which promised big but folded up early. Now the scenario is different. The economy is powered with Big Data, people possess individual smartphones and freelancing is seen as a viable career option. The on-demand economy is taking baby steps towards fulfillment thanks to several Uber like ventures. One thing that needs to be taken care off though is that supply chain is a low profit, high investment business. Startups without substantially deep pockets are likely to struggle early on as evidenced by the closures of kozmo.com more than a decade back. Even new age ones such as Postmates, DoorDash and Instacart are struggling with staffing concerns. Even engineers at Silicon Valley have now become conscious of joining such startups.

Source: http://fortune.com/2016/03/16/on-demand-startups/

10 Reasons why you must join a Makerspace- or create one Yourself

As part of initiatives such as Make in India, Startup India and Skill India, several maker communities are flourishing. These get-togethers bring several advantages. Such events lead to a process of self-discovery. Startups and company founders come together. This creates a fertile ecosystem ideal for business innovations to spring up. These forums eliminate barriers based on Age or gender. People from diverse backgrounds assemble together to co-create. They showcase the importance of perseverance and persistence to the younger crowd. A sense of global awareness develops as people from different parts of the globe are brought together. People in India do take pride in the culture of ‘jugaad’ but such movements identify root problems to eliminate rather than quick-fixes. The protection of Intellectual Property has long been the bane in India and this issue is addressed thoroughly. Participants in such movements end up inculcating holistic learning essential for overall well-being.

Source: http://yourstory.com/2016/03/makerspace/

This Startup could put an end to Personal Assistants

Personal assistants at workplace could soon be out of vogue. A new algorithm developed by X.ai includes an artificial intelligence enabled personality named Amy Ingram who helps corporates with all tasks typically associated with Pas. This software works on the basis of emails being marked CC to this account and subsequently all meetings being scheduled, checklists being marked and all such sundry activities associated with PAs. Beyond software that enable the completion of single tasks that Taskrabbit or Doodle allow, Amy handles numerous assignments. This business innovation could however be unlike that of say Uber that is fighting taxicabs fearing for their survival. The founders claim that far from putting conventional PAs out of jobs, this will instead make their jobs easier, allowing them to move away from mundane tasks.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/startup-could-put-end-personal-assistants-caroline-fairchild

Harvard releases inaugural Alumni Impact Study

The Harvard Business School has compiled the first of its kind alumni impact study. Market research firm Marketer Strategies International was commissioned this assignment. More than 240,000 living alumni were sent an email with form attached which could even be accessed using their LinkedIn accounts. The study found out that around forty percent of Harvard alumni have founded ventures based on profit or non- profit modes. This is an especially high number considering that Stanford and MIT have historically been known as entrepreneurial hubs, but Harvard is faring quite well too. In addition Harvard alumni continue to serve as members on more than three hundred thousand boards.

Source: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/12/9/alumni-impact-survey-results/

How Maker-spaces are inspiring Innovation at Start-ups

Co-working as a concept is gaining ground being especially well suited to startups. Maker-spaces are a similar concept except that beyond just being located at the same premises with other innovators, here one has access to specialized technology. Thus instead of spending so much or taking great effort to land some funding, entrepreneurs can simply pool resources. This creates a sense of synergy while avoiding duplication of resources which are sitting idle most of the time. Austin in Texas is a major hub for such maker-spaces while Columbus in Ohio and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania have also lapped up this business innovation. Some of the business leaders in this line include Tech-Shops and Fab-Labs and their imprint can be found particularly in schools and libraries.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/homaycotte/2016/02/02/how-makerspaces-are-inspiring-innovation-at-startups/#6457e40c5863

For Startups, Ideas Matter

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a Venture Mentoring System to act as a training zone for budding entrepreneurs. Ultimately all startups succeed or not depending on ideas. Sometime ideas may be good but the startup may not receive adequate funding. Some investors may be willing yet may ask for tangible proof of success before opening up. This is where VMS steps in. This cell enables the business plan to be whetted by a team of analysts, investors and executives. Rectifications are suggested immediately. Business analysis conducted on this points out to 46% of projects getting flagged off. Nearly a fifth of total projects even got professional backing.

How a new breed of Startups is cracking Rural ecommerce in Asia

In a number of developing economies, last mile connectivity becomes a major challenge. To even import simple goods into rural areas in Asian countries, levels of sales margins need to be added up to the final price which customers pay. Thus e-commerce can solve several existing problems and players have emerged to bridge this gap. There is Kudo in Indonesia that has forged a business innovation by leveraging a traditional Asian model which is the mom-and-pop store. These stores known as warung in Indonesia, sari-sari in the Philippines or kirana in India connect brands with final consumers and have built up sense of trust in the local areas where they operate. Kudo has developed a tablet with already installed software that helps keep track of inventory. Each time there is requirement for certain products, the shopkeepers use the tablet to place the order and get paid in cash thus averting the need to keep large piles of inventory. Similar to kudo, there is iPay in India and Sari in the Philippines. These models are connecting brands with the final customers in places where there is limited or no internet connectivity.

What the smartest Startups are getting right in Marketing

Within the current business environment, several startups are seeing the light of day, yet few are actually succeeding in their marketing efforts. Certain steps are being regularly undertaken by such smart startups that are doing well. They are putting maximum focus on user experience. Thorough usage of data based business analytics is being conducted to gauge performance levels. A constant barrage of feedback is provided so that processes can be improved on the spot. This ensures that the organization remains operationally agile. Such organizations are also ensuring that communications with various stakeholders including customers and employees remains authentic. Finally, startups can only do well if they harness the collective zeitgeist of the team members. And this is only possible if the kep personnel are convinced of the purpose behind the work.

The Curious Case of Startups: How to spot the Failures and Successes

Business research conducted by Startup Genome has provided some startling facts. Apparently 90% of startups in the USA end in failure. China does equally badly. The figure stands at 80% in India, a country that has seen high level entrepreneurial activity over the last decade. Australia has among the best numbers with success rate pegged at nearly fifty percent. The study has attributed certain major reasons for failure. One of them is that there may be no need for the product in the market. Secondly, these startups do not recognize the importance of cash and run of it. The corporate strategy has several gaps. What really kills them though is severe competition. On the contrary, successful startups include strong vision and long term planning. The founders have a belief and skills to outwit competition. They develop a core team. Invariably such firms have the right balance between product quality and marketing.

10 Startup Lessons from SimpliSafe CEO Chad Laurans

The CEO of a startup has provided us business consulting on best ways to succeed at startups. The founder must be a fit for the intended market in terms of personality and vision. Top ideas of business innovation are arrived at by those who are good listeners. Markets that are relatively sleepy and inactive must be sought out first. Beyond the comfort zone, recruitments must be made from other industries. The corporate strategy must be aligned to needs and incentives of individual executives. The concept of Venture Capital has been overblown and it is not essential. Very few are good with hardware, so due diligence must be made before hiring those in charge of the same. In today’s businesses, the digital side must never be ignored and must be run alongside the physical operations. Also marketing must innovate. Finally, giving a personal example, the CEO Chad Laurans spoke about how SimpliSafe got its major breakthrough because of security leaks which prompted people to go for the products.

Start-up brings new School of Thought to Australian Education

Management consulting expert Ben Jensen has started a new firm called Learning First which works on a for-profit model yet seeks to make major inroads into the public education wing. Business analysis conducted by Learning First clearly demonstrates that Australian teenagers are on average two years behind on mental abilities compared to their Chinese counterparts. Also, Aussie kids are worse off than their own predecessors a mere fifteen years back. The organization also conducts management training programmes and carries out consulting assignments for government agencies. This model has worked well in certain countries but is new to Australia.

Business Leaders ‘more diverse’ thanks to Technology

Business consulting giant PwC has confirmed that the profile of business leaders has undergone major change. They conducted their market research across the Yorkshire region in the UK to derive this conclusion. Entrepreneurs aged under-thirty five has seen a spike of over seventy percent in the last five years alone. The number of startups has also seen a ten per cent rise. Also smaller firms with a turnover between £10 million and £50 million are doing particularly well in the area.

How can you Innovate better with the 3 questions Startups always Ask

Business innovation is a concept increasingly getting associated with startups rather than established bigger organizations. In order to bridge this gap, it is advisable for the larger organizations to imbibe certain characteristics from startups. There exist three questions which startups frequently pose. Firstly, they always ask about the pain points. This is what will reduce redundancies and improve servicing level. Startups also involve metrics and data based business analysis to come to conclusions. Finally, startups do not believe in tedious brainstorming sessions. Rather they prefer to straight away start valid, pinpointed questioning. At the end of this re-alignment, larger firms can help themselves provide better product, more affordable and easier for the customer.

Outcome-driven Innovation: Know what Customers want before developing the Product

Like for marketers, even manufacturers have this principle that only half the products or initiatives work though almost no one knows which half. The perfect example being the PC Junior developed by IBM which was widely regarded before its launch yet bombed at the market. This led to a new set of norms being established for product launches known as the Outcome Driven Innovation or ODI. Needs are first evaluated before being put to test. Now with the availability of data, thorough business analysis can be conducted during the ODI process. A perfect example of ODI being followed is the circular saw developed by Bosch. The company decided to launch this product post extensive ODI based research. 

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