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Most Business Opportunities are Over-Complicated; How to Simplify to Reach Your Business Goals

Making business opportunities with startups

By Guest Blogger

Over 50% of start-ups fail within the first four years, and for the most part it’s due to incompetence. Usually this is not because the leadership is incompetent (although that does happen), but rather a group of competent people are trying to do too much with their product or service, over-complicating a solution that is simple at its core. Continue reading “Most Business Opportunities are Over-Complicated; How to Simplify to Reach Your Business Goals”

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The Business Plan Investors Like to See – The 4 Key Elements

Diagram Business Plan for a Startups

When investors talk about their need to see a real business plan, what they mean is this:  we want to understand the fundamental strategy, logic and assumptions of how a business is going to invest capital and generate cash or value at a rate of return that will be consistent with the investor’s objective. We want to see the words and not just the numbers. Continue reading “The Business Plan Investors Like to See – The 4 Key Elements”

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First it was Climate Change, Now It’s Food: The World Agriculture Crisis

TESLA, representing cleantech efforts

A billion people will be starving within ten years if we continue to ignore the growing agricultural challenges that we now face. This is based on research and facts reported by the World Economic Forum, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other eminent authorities.  So, why aren’t we talking more about it? Continue reading “First it was Climate Change, Now It’s Food: The World Agriculture Crisis”

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The Importance of Mentorship at a Young Age

Mentorship

I’ve had several great mentors throughout my academic and professional careers, including three world-class mentors at Yale — Maynard Mack, George Lord and Yaroslav Pelikan (the eminent historian of the Eastern Orthodox Church) — and Archibald Cox at Harvard Law School. But the most important mentor in my life was my first — Sister Clementine from my primary grammar school, St. Dominic’s in New Orleans, LA. Continue reading “The Importance of Mentorship at a Young Age”

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What is Private Equity?

Private Equity

Private Equity vs. Venture Capital

There are several important distinctions to be made when discussing private equity. The first is the difference between venture capital and private equity.

Venture Capital is a uniquely American invention. The founder of American venture capital is often considered to be Laurance Rockefeller from the 1930’s, although there are others who also deserve a great deal of credit such as John Hay Whitney. Continue reading “What is Private Equity?”

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The Golden Rules of Closing a Deal

Golden Rules

In my career of closing over 60 mergers and acquisitions and another 11 IPO’s, it has been my consistent experience that everyone thinks they are closer to closing a deal sooner than, in fact, they are. There is a universal denial of how long it takes to put together all the details of a successful transaction, as we always seem to underestimate the complexities of achieving traction and coordination.  And the most complicated moving parts are usually human. Yet I have closed 100% of all transactions that reached a signed letter of intent. Continue reading “The Golden Rules of Closing a Deal”