Early Startup Community Tips

Startup Communities always start out small and become bigger well known communities. Many of these communities are outside of branded and popular startups such as Silicon Valley. There comes many tips on how to become a successful start up in your own community by effectively knowing how to recruit the right people and having planned ahead. Here are tips and recommendations for entrepreneurs looking to create a startups in their community.

Braathe Volunteers as a Judge at the Greater Capital Region STEAM Expo

For the second year in a row, Robert Braathe served as a volunteer evaluator for the Greater Capital Region STEAM Expo in Colonie, NY. Robert volunteered with over 20 others from the Albany area community to critique high school student projects from Hudson Falls, Colonie and other areas.

See a list of the participants below:

Young Startups Look Out!

Financial stability is one of the hardest yet the most important mission.
Here are 5 financial strains that an entrepreneur needs to consider to be SUCCESSFUL:

1. Production Efficiency- in an emerging company or business, try to keep production cost as low as possible. Since this will be the most consistent expenditure.
2. Sales and Marketing- are necessary expenditures for startups. The company needs a name in order to be given recognition and and create visibility. When calculating the return in investment this task is complicated, the most cost effect strategies need to be sought.
3. Consistent Revenue- For young companies the initial revenue can be unpredictable; therefore, the company must do everything they can to keep their initial customers that are attracted to the service or good. So the company can have a consistent customer. Make sure to keep the prices of products or services in an appropriate margin.
4. Workforce Balance- The workforce/ staff should be able to handle the exact amount of work that comes in. Staff should not be understaffed or overstaffed because there is a risk of collapsing or losing money. Employees should be added gradually as the company grows.
5. Cash Flow- the checks and balances of the company should be kept in check. When the employees are paid and when the customers are paying should be efficiently calculated to avoid any sort of negative cash flow.

For more information click here.

How to See Opportunity

A major key to being successful in life is the ability to see opportunity when it happens. By recognizing the problem from the beginning helps you identify and create both an interesting and creative solution. A key step into spotting opportunity would be to think outside the box. It is important to notice opportunities that may have been missed. Another way to see opportunity would be to completely understand your business and/or product inside and out. By understanding your company’s history and preparing your company’s future, you are more than prepared to notice any opportunity and not let them get away. Having confidence in yourself and your business will get you anywhere you want to go in life and will help you develop an open mind to welcome new opportunities. Written by Darrah Hernandez

How Entrepreneurship Changes People’s Perspective of the World

Choosing a career is arguably the biggest decision a person can make. It can determine the people that will surround you on a daily basis, where you will live, how much free time you will have, and even the person you will become. Entrepreneurship gives people a unique opportunity to have more control over these intimidating changes than most, but it comes at a huge risk. There is much talk about how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur and the fierce determination needed to succeed, but there should really be a discussion about the benefits to a person’s outlook that comes from this career path.

The ability to create and control something that you are passionate about gives entrepreneurs a better understanding of the concept of being the master of your own destiny. The ability to choose your team and what your product associates itself with builds an attitude that looks outwards of the limitation that society typically places on it’s members. When asked about careers in college, it is often implied that you will be working for someone else. The chance to be your own boss and not have to report to anyone is seldom brought to light. Experienced entrepreneurs are able to look past this and apply this mindset to other aspects of their lives.

Independence is a skill and habit that is mastered by entrepreneurs. Of course there is the need to collaborate with others in the industry, but entrepreneurs are able to choose who these outside forces are. The ability to create your own timeline and not have to check over work with coworkers allows for fewer restrictions and a feeling of freedom that many are not able to experience in their professional lives. This is liberating and decreases the stress of pleasing others, which creates a more positive frame of mind in general.

Hope is of great importance to entrepreneurs, and a skill that is not developed overnight. It has to be learned and built upon. Those that risk it all to be entrepreneurs have to be optimistic that the rest of the world will also see the potential in their idea that the creator does. There is a need for trust  and the positive thoughts generated from this are powerful in their ventures. When the world is looked at with the thought that anything is possible, the best qualities in everything begin to be blatantly obvious.

Creativity is the key to first coming up with a concept that you can make your career, and it is further developed as you delve into the industry of your choice. Making something that has never been done before is daunting and demands unconventional solutions to problems that appear, such as how to set it your business apart from competitors, finding an audience, and finding funding. There is no blueprint to finding success for an entrepreneur, so they must find their own path.

Although there are so many opportunities for independence for an entrepreneur, networking is a prominent factor in business today. It assists entrepreneurs in getting their product out there through word-of-mouth, which is a very cost effective form of marketing. This also adds a personal touch to your product and allows for your message behind the company to be prominent to investors. Entrepreneurs learn how to bring up their ventures without it seeming that they only have interest in someone’s money. They also have the ability to maintain relationships long-term with many different individuals, in order to keep contact across different fields.

SAFE Investing: Startup Financing 101

SAFE Investing

  • Simple Agreement for Future Equity
  • It is only a five page document that was created for the purpose of simple seed investment on startups
  • A financing tool that provides a lower cost and speedier alternative to convertible debt financing.
  • This is the right to obtain a preferred stock of a firm
  • Created by Y Combinator
  • 4 variations of SAFE: cap and no discount, discount and no cap, cap and discount, no cap or discount
  • If there is an acquisition or IPO the SAFE holder can get money back or convert holdings to common stock
  • There is a SAFE MFN option meaning that if a holder gets certain terms and later investors get better terms, the MFN kicks in and the SAFE holder will get the terms amended to the better terms.
  • Still covered by securities laws
  • It goes on your cap table just like a warranty or option
  • SAFE only allows for conversion to the next round of financing
  • SAFE allows for a one time payout or conversion of equity
  • SAFE is not a debt instrument and is instead defined as a type of warranty and therefore has no interest rate
  • Also has no maturity date
  • The most alike financing tool to SAFE is a convertible note but a convertible note is a debt instrument with a maturity date and interest rate while SAFE has none of that, it is a simpler financing tool.
  • Websites I used:

BEYourStart in Saratoga Springs for Startup Saratoga October 11, 2017

Robert Braathe of BEYourStart Startup Accelerator will be attending the Startup Saratoga event on Wednesday October 11th.

Braathe Enterprises, based in Saratoga Springs since 2008 and founded in 2005, has provided consulting and training for entrepreneurs and business leaders in a variety of industries including IT, e-commerce, hospitality, not-for-profits and consumer products.

He most recently worked with startups this summer as an Entrepreneur In Residence at a startup accelerator in Troy, NY.

Meet Robert at this event or contact him at 518-290-0812 for more information.