Red Head German

September 20, 2015: This is an essay about motivation. Bob Metcalfe’s periodic StARTup Studio is an occasion for professors to present their startup ideas before a group of investors and other interested parties. Last week was one of these events, with presentations by three very accomplished professors in fields ranging from nanomembranes to Bayesian logic that minimizes sensor redundancy in deep water drilling to replacing traditional textbooks with apps. 

surgical team at work

September 13, 2015: Being actively involved in a promising biomedical startup continues to give me a steady source of material for my weekly essays. Last week we crossed the threshold of raising enough money to commence operations, and now the real work begins.

WWII jet assisted takeoff

September 6, 2015: The living case study on the biomedical startup I’m advising continues after another full week on the road in North Georgia. We are still adding to our investor count but have reached Vr, feeling jet assisted as per the photo above, and are busy executing the early stages of the plan. The focus this week was on assembling the team, including our first set of tumor harvesting surgeons and additional resources in various medical science specialties that are part of our service offering.

1916 Packard with starter crank

August 30, 2015: Josh Baer presented his list of tips on starting the start at the Longhorn Startup Seminar this past Thursday. His focus was the student who in general wants to be an entrepreneur and start something, which describes many of the 138 enrolled in the class this semester. That objective requires coming up with an idea, identifying a market, finding a team, building an MVP, and plunging into business while the parents are still footing most of the overhead. It’s good advice for a very lean startup approach while you are in the cozy confines of university life.

Iowa State Fair 1904 postcard

August 23, 2015: A couple of weeks ago I wrote about filling the C-Suite in the biomedical startup I’m advising. The living case study continues, with the CEO job in particular under consideration this week. Our major investors are itching for some resolution of our search.

cell cuture

August 16, 2015: Continuing the series on my live case study of the biomedical startup I’m advising, attention is turned this week to the processes of the business. It’s one thing to get a deal funded, but it’s quite a bit more challenging to actually create and operate the company according to plan. We had a very interesting discussion on this topic with one of our potential investors.

August 9, 2015: Comes now in one of my startup affiliations the task of filling out the C-Suite. This particular endeavor in the oncology arena is one I’ve mentioned frequently and is giving me a running case study for my TechDrawl posts.  The traditional roles of CEO, COO, CFO, CTO, CMO, and DBO aren’t obvious fits for the division of tasks in this venture.

CDC smoking risks chart

August 2, 2015: One of this week’s highlights was reviewing and editing an Offering Memo for a company where I sit on the board. We did two days of very productive road shows in Georgia and are following up with the legal docs to complete the raise.

German baby getting vaccination in 1952

July 26, 2015: The past month I have continued to see my usual variety of deals. I attend some of the local pitch events, of which there are many choices, and I routinely respond to requests from UT students and faculty who have dreams to disclose.

I seem recently to have run into a rash of especially bad ideas. They are too small, have been tried hundreds of times, are aimed at spaces already well covered, or have no viable business model. I could pile on many more objections, but that’s a good start.

President Jimmy Carter jogging 1978

July 19, 2015: Startups require enormous stamina, both mental and physical. I’ve heard Bob Metcalfe mention repeatedly to our Longhorn Startup students the importance of eating, sleeping, and generally staying healthy while trying to get a business going. I wrote a TechDrawl essay on the topic nearly three years ago, and it’s worth revisiting today. Your chances of success are greatly improved if you are performing 100%, or more.


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