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How I Pitched Mark Cuban My Business Idea Without Ever Going on ‘Shark Tank’

by / ⠀Blog / August 8, 2016

Back in late 2011, I got the opportunity to pitch Mark Cuban. I was just a student at the time, at Howard University, and cofounder of a company — no longer existent — called My College Hustle, a bartering platform for college students. Hoping to grab a $25,000 prize, my business partner Edward Lyles and I participated in a Shark Tank-style competition, in New York, that actually predated…

8 Dumb Questions Entrepreneurs Should Never Ask!

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / November 19, 2014

As a child, did you ever hear the quote, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question”? This is a lie. Young people saunter into interviews, lectures, and social situations with a bravado built upon notions that your curiosity can never be at fault. Asking insipid questions during interviews can kill your chances at employment. Being tactless while socializing can lose your friends and potential connections. In your daily…

Entrepreneurship: 21st Century Battlefield

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / May 16, 2014

  Who, or what was the biblical King David without the infamous 5 stones, the slingshot, and the inappropriate battle gear? Without the sloppy ankle, who was Achilles? Let bygones be bygones but let not King Leonidas be forgotten – and let not his 300 well-trained men be side-lined. And well, who were they without their authoritative Spartan rant? SYNOPSIS: With the turn of every century, strategies on…

Take Advantage of Your Age as a Young Entrepreneur

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship Startup Advice / July 27, 2013

You’re young and eager to jump into the business arena. You have a hot idea that you are certain is a can’t miss proposition. While there is no guarantee that you will actually succeed in business as an entrepreneur, your youth does provide a number of advantages. What you may lack in experience you can more than make up in enthusiasm and energy. If you are willing to…

How to Stand Out When Your Competition is Bigger, Badder and Richer

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship Finding Customers Personal Branding Startup Advice / July 9, 2013

Welcome to 2013. The absolute worst time in history for those looking to do something unique. Long gone are the days when to “matter” we just had to create something “pretty good” and scream at the top our lungs about it. Now there’s a sea of “us”. And they’re all doing exactly what we’re doing…or what we want to be doing. It’s depressing. And it’s noisy. Questions: What…

Three Ways to Fight Undercutting Competitors

by / ⠀Startup Advice / April 26, 2013

In the small business world, competition is prevalent, no matter where you look. Often times, companies that thought they had a solid fan base in their market share find themselves competing to match or beat their competitors’ prices. While this can cause an immense amount of frustration, especially considering that your lower-cost competition won’t disappear, it is easier to fight the competition you are familiar with than the…

How to Win in a Crowded Space by DigitalOcean

by / ⠀Startup Advice / August 8, 2012

A crowded space is no longer an excuse for a startup to fail. If you are in a crowded space, you know that your product is in demand. People want what you are selling, and they understand what it is that you do. The key to business success isn’t discovering an empty field, but understanding your audience better than your competition and finding a niche within a large market.…

NYS Business Plan Competition: Key Factor to Increasing Investment in New York Start-ups?

by / ⠀Startup Advice / May 15, 2012

“In 2011, Governor Cuomo charged every region of our state with developing a strategic plan to prioritize the region’s economic development efforts and to capitalize on its strengths. Across the state, regions underscored the importance of continuing to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. The colleges and universities of our great state are a central part of that effort. We’re proud that more than 1.2 million students…

Intel Innovators: 100k Up For Grab Each Month for Young Entrepreneurs

by / ⠀Startup Advice / November 25, 2011

Intel launched a competition in November for young people in tech to have a chance to win up to $100,000. The contest is specifically for 18-24 year olds in the US and all ideas must be tech focused. The final winners are chosen based on responses from the community and a panel of investors. As always with these contests it’s a great opportunity for anyone who meets the…

How to Make a Splash in the Big Dog’s Water Bowl

by / ⠀Finding Customers Startup Advice / November 11, 2011

Blue ocean markets are rare.  Even if you have the most innovative product since the whoopee cushion, odds are you have at least one competitor, either direct or indirect.  So for the sake of discussion, let’s assume that your startup will be facing competition (because it will).  How do you take on your major competitors and get noticed? Find a Problem Contrary to what you learned in business…

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