Friday, March 27, 2009

'Entrepreneurs lift their dreams by the bootstraps'

Just a quick link to last Sunday's column on entrepreneurs who've taken the bootstrapping approach, avoiding much dependence on outside funding. From the piece:

    "Common sense would tell you that the boot-strapping approach increases when you're in a recession," since loans and venture capital may not be as readily accessible, says Babson College professor Patricia Greene. "But I always point out that this is the way lots of businesses get started. When I looked at the Inc. 500 list a few years ago, most of the companies on it had been started with between $10,000 and $50,000 in capital."

    Greene says that successful bootstrappers think endlessly about "creative ways to get money, and ways not to need so much money."

Among the companies I discuss are Cisco Brewers, Atalasoft, Karmaloop, Motivation Designs, and FitnessKeeper.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

How Many Bostonians Were at the White House Last Friday? Raise Your Hands, Please

I haven't seen the complete list of people invited to the White House last Friday for a summit of young business leaders, but the group included Twitter founder Evan Williams, Donald Trump scion Ivanka Trump, ex-Google exec Chris Sacca (who was a big Obama fundraiser), and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. There were 25 entrepreneurs invited, all under the age of 35.

The only Bostonian I know who was there was Greg Selkoe, founder of Karmaloop, an ultrahip online apparel retailer. (The Obama t-shirt in the image is just one item you can buy from the site.)

Others on the invite list: Michael Chasen, CEO of; James Gutierrez, CEO of Progresso Financiero; Catherine Levine, COO of Daily Candy; marketer Josh Spear; Jake Nickell of Threadless; Blake Mycoskie, Founder of Tom's Shoes.

Selkoe's PR rep e-mails to add that the young leaders met with officials from the Office of Public Liaison, Intergovernmental Relations, National Economic Council, Office of Energy and Climate Change, Domestic Policy Council, and New Media. "They were briefed by each of these government agencies on the Obama administration's new policies, plans for progress, and steps being taken toward economic recovery," she writes. "The White House expressed to them their desire to enlist the help of the young and the next generation of business leaders in helping contribute ideas and support for economic recovery and to help spread the word about their administration's desire to be open to new ideas, accessible, and transparent."

Interestingly, Selkoe was quoted in the NY Times this morning, defending artist Shepard Fairey (the guy behind the Obama "Hope" poster), who is facing several vandalism charges for allegedly plastering his artwork all over town.

Karmaloop is the official online outlet for Fairey merch... and yes, that Obama shirt in the picture is one of his creations...

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