Tag Archives: Entrepreneurial

Episode 11: The Five Smartest and Dumbest Things I did as a Founder



The Managing Director of Techstars LA shares the story of her journey as an entrepreneur.  She will talk about how she transitioned from a McKinsey consultant to a tech founder, how she raised money, grew her company and sold it, and the mistakes she made along the way.  She’ll also provide an overview of the new Techstars LA accelerator program and how she’s applying what she learned as a founder to helping other entrepreneurs.

Bio:

Anna Barber is the Managing Director of Techstars LA, an accelerator program that is part of the global Techstars network.  After graduating from Yale and Yale Law School, she started her career as a corporate lawyer focused on public company transactional work and spent two years at McKinsey as a strategy consultant to retail, media and financial services companies. She served as VP Product at Petstore.com and two other early stage e-commerce companies, before transitioning to Los Angeles where she started a talent management firm and produced two feature films.  In 2006 Anna sat next to a woman on an airplane who became her business partner in her next startup, Scribble Press. Anna was most recently GM and VP Partnerships at Fingerprint Digital, after exiting Scribble Press to Fingerprint. During the past decade she has served as an advisor, strategy consultant and coach to many other entrepreneurs, with a focus on product roadmap, commercialization, business development and financing.

She loves the concept-to-launch phase, go to market strategy, fundraising strategy and growth planning.  In her coaching work she focuses on building high performance teams and helping founders grow with their companies.  She believes in the power of storytelling and creating harmony between personal and company goals.  Find her @annawbarber.

email anna.barber@techstars.com


Episode 09:Entrepreneurship and the razor-thin difference between success and failure with Bill Cullen



Are you an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial?

Is there a difference? Aren’t both innovators, promoters, builders, leaders, passionate, persistent and dedicated?

Being a successful entrepreneur starts with who you are. If you’re forced at gun point to walk a tight-rope between two New York skyscrapers, do you ask for a safety net or not?

Entrepreneurship is identifying, evaluating and exploiting an opportunity. It could be a solo project or something on the scale of Google or Uber.

But a new venture isn’t always an innovative idea to meet a need the consuming public didn’t think they had. It can be as simple as looking at an old idea or method in a new way. A case in point, good companies are always singling out people who are “intrapreneurial” because inside ventures are driven by the need for innovation to add sustainable competitive advantage and economic value.

So why do some businesses succeed and others fail? David Drucker says it’s usually due to poor management, not because the idea was bad although that’s certainly a factor. While there’s no substitute for skilled and experienced management when the going gets tough, there are several other critical success factors besides good science and technology such as attitude, patience, people, good habits and timing. We’ll explore these in depth with many real world examples of success and failure and what made a difference.

 

Bio:

Bill Cullen is a highly respected executive with 40-plus years of C-level experience in media, mobile, consumer products and advertising businesses. He is actively engaged as an adviser and board member specializing in strategic positioning, financial management and complex business dealings for early-stage and middle-market companies including a well recognized travel comfort products company a long-established sunglass brand, both enjoying rapid growth in worldwide distribution.

Previously, he has led a leading mobile marketing company that he sold to a competitor, served in various executive officer capacities including Chairman and CEO of a publically traded, enterprise software developer, a long-form advertising company that he helped organize and grow from inception to serve approximately 30 million cable television households, and founded a news programming project for Cox Communications, Inc. He held various high level leadership positions in the cable television industry for two decades and was recognized for a record of innovation, industry progress, and marketing excellence.

Mr. Cullen began his business career in banking and has held several senior finance positions in a wide variety of businesses including professional sports, real estate, restaurants and consumer, industrial and commercial finance companies.