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Stories and insights from the incubator at Lorain County Community College

Why Startups Should Always be Raising Money

Money makes startups fast.

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A Reality Check for Your Startup Expectations

As you begin your journey as an entrepreneur what are your expectations? If you’re like many new entrepreneurs, you’re probably thinking you have a great idea for a new business. You assume you’ll dedicate your time and talents to your startup for the next year or two, get it to positive cash flow in three years, and in five years you will be in control of your destiny. You’ll be in charge of a profitable business venture with opportunities to either grow it or sell it.

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5 Mistakes Startups Make when Negotiating License Agreements

Negotiating a license agreement is hard, especially when you’re the small, young company in the deal. Here are the top five mistakes startups make when negotiating.

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Dreaming of an Acquisition? Here’s How to Prepare

Simon of Recognition Robotics2

You’ve made it as an entrepreneur. Your startup has positive cash flow, proven growth, and a strong management team. What’s next? No problem, you say. Just sell the company for big bucks. Easier said than done. Here are the things you need to think about before considering acquisition.

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The Most Common Reasons Startups Don’t Receive Funding

Next month the Innovation Fund will announce the latest group of companies to win funding awards. This money is usually the first market validation that a new business idea has the potential for success. But there are a number of reasons why a good idea might not be awarded funding—at least not on the first attempt.

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The Rules of Startup Financials

Applying for funding when you're a cash strapped entrepreneur can be stressful. Developing the financials for your business can bring on additional stress, but it doesn't have to. As long as you have a well thought out business plan, doing the financials to go with it is just a matter of putting the dollars to the business tasks. Here are my seven rules of effective startup financials.

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Turning $100,000 into Millions

Doug Carr
FluidSmart

Every startup that’s raising money needs to start somewhere. For startups in Northeast Ohio, that place is the Innovation Fund. That’s where Doug Carr brought his company.

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Cleveland Whiskey’s College Connection

Tom Lix
LCCC Cleveland Whiskey

Cleveland Whiskey is one of Northeast Ohio’s most successful and well-known startups. The company has raised more than $2 million, perfected a disruptive technology that dramatically accelerates the maturation of distilled spirits, and sold more than 200,000 bottles of its whiskey around the world. 

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A Cleveland Startup Blazing the Trail in VR Gaming

Don
Prisoner web2

“VR is not a trend. VR is the sandbox the future will be created in.”

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Under the Microscope: Why this Scientist Launched a Startup

ABEMIS co founders

Todd Doehring spent years working as a scientist at the Cleveland Clinic and as a professor of Bioengineering at Drexel University. His projects centered on images and micro-testing systems. He wanted to make them work better for doctors and other scientists. Todd researched and taught biomechanics of soft tissues and microscopy.

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Improve Your Odds of Raising Money

If you’re running a startup, chances are you’ll need to know how to raise capital.  You need to know how to find the right potential funding sources and once those sources are identified, how to increase your odds to get funding from those sources.

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How This Startup Captured 92% of Its Customers from Social Media

DriveMyWay

Beth Potratz owns an eharmony.com of sorts for truckers. Not for love, but for matching truck drivers with jobs they will love. The human resource expert was working on driver recruitment solutions for a trucking industry client when she spotted a two-way challenge: employers couldn’t find the best-fitting drivers and drivers couldn’t find the best-fitting jobs.

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How Startups Should Approach Doing Financials

How startups should approach doing their financials

"Wait, I have to do financials for my business?!" That's what many entrepreneurs shriek as perspiration rolls down their foreheads when they're told three or five year pro-forma financials are needed for their business when applying to the Innovation Fund. That's closely followed by, "How am I supposed to do that? I'm an entrepreneur, not an accountant." In all honesty, when asked to write this blog I shrieked, "But I'm a numbers person. I don't write!" It took a bit to calm me down, but I realized I do know about financials and I have written before, so I could do this. Hopefully, your panic will subside or at least diminish and be replaced by some degree of confidence after reading this blog.

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Top Ways Startups Can Make their Money Last

If you’re running a startup I’ve got one important bit of advice: you will never have enough funding. You will (and should) always be looking for your next source of funds. Well, maybe never is a bit over the top, but never is a good benchmark during the first five years of any startup.

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Bringing Blood Tests Out of the Lab

Apollo Medical blog

To perform most blood tests, a nurse draws a vial of blood from a patient and sends the sample to a lab, where it’s spun in a big machine and analyzed. Then the lab technician sends the patient’s results to the physician who ordered the test. The entire process takes up to two hours, but can be rushed for urgent cases.

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Here's $100,000. How Much of Your Company Do I Get?

students and startups blog

It's a valid question. Your innovation is going to require money in order to advance from development to commercial launch. Whether your total capital needs are $3 million or $30 million, the needed money can trickle in via smaller increments or in tranches of millions of dollars—depending on how you ultimately structure your funding request. But, independent of such incremental amounts, you must establish and validate a valuation for your business. In other words, how much of your company (i.e., stock or ownership) will an investor get for their investment?

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A Cleveland Startup that's Quietly Winning

David Levine

Some growing startups are flashy, hit social media hard, and make headlines in Inc. or Entrepreneur. Others grow in a quieter, more conservative way. David Levine built Wireless Environment like that.

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Why Every Startup Needs a Task and Timeline

Sample Development Path

An embryo seems to miraculously mature through layers of development. Cellular differentiation, a forming spinal column, organ development, and more, are all necessary for a healthy, vital birth. Just as the developing fetus goes through a myriad of maturation steps, your innovation and your company must proceed methodically through multiple tasks. But this business procession is no miracle—it’s plain old work. I would say the adage, “plan your work, and work your plan” is invaluable advice—provided that your plan is well constructed.

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Inventor’s Syndrome: The Symptoms and the Cure

A Case of Inventor's Syndrome
Chart

Can you diagnose these symptoms? The subject has conceived of a novel innovation that he or she believes is so important it will soon become a staple product across the globe. The inventor thinks its features and benefits solve a problem facing the world. However, our inventor has never queried anyone beyond him or herself and a few friends.

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An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Patent Infringement Research

How likely are you to obtain a patent for your invention? If you made and sold it right now, would you be infringing someone else’s patent? Researching the patent databases will help you answer these questions and give you a good idea about whether your innovation is already described or claimed by others.

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