Tag: startups

Value at the Core of TU Incubator’s EdTech Innovation Showcase

Where Entrepreneurs, Customers, and Investors Engage The evening of Thursday, December 8, 2016 is a milestone for the Towson University Incubator, aka TU Incubator. At the EdTech Innovation Showcase, 50+ carefully chosen attendees will have the opportunity to engage with 12 companies who are solving problems in K-12 and postsecondary education via solutions in formative assessment, access & admissions, classroom funding, language & literacy, professional development, project-based learning, and parent engagement. The event’s purpose is to bestow a focused medium where entrepreneurs can interface with customers and investors. The broader mission is to enhance education, to laud innovation, efficiencies,...

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TU Incubator Provides Value as Host to Dreamit ‘Customer Immersion’

TU Incubator, Towson University’s business incubator, has been thoughtfully building an education technology focus the last 2+ years. Last week, in the midst of Baltimore Innovation Week, was a milestone in the way that we partner with outside organizations to add value to various stakeholders. We have been considering a relationship with a nationally renowned edtech accelerator so that we might add value to 1) companies in respective accelerator cohorts, 2) our TU Incubator company members, 3) companies throughout the Baltimore metro, and 4) prospective customers who seek out new and innovative solutions. The Nexus of All Things Value-Added...

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TU Incubator: Entrepreneurship Workshops Recap

Spring 2016 has undoubtedly been busy for Towson University Incubator. We proudly awarded two new Business Plan Competition winners, bid farewell and graduated four student interns, continued supporting our 20+ current member companies, and continued growing the Student Launch Pad. Oh, and we hosted eight workshops over ten weeks to help entrepreneurs and startups expand their knowledge and gain valuable insight into critical business areas. Here’s a recap of our spring 2016 workshop topics. Workshop TitlePresenterSummary Startup Exit StrategyRick Kohr, Chief Executive Officer, Evergreen Advisors, LLCWhy should every company have a written exit strategy? Contrary to some beliefs, having...

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Why We Must Believe in Miracles

I firmly believe in miracles, that David can emphatically slay Goliath, that startups can and will beat incumbents, that underdogs can win, that, ultimately, everyone has a chance of at the very least benefiting from a miracle. Last month, in a span of four days, in a promise to myself and my family for an unplugged holiday week, I sprinted through Daniel James Brown’s hardcover version of The Boys in the Boat. It is a very well written account of a miraculous feat by some seemingly average Americans who achieved the unachievable in the midst of the Great Depression...

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Startup Founders: Demigod, Daedalus, or Despot?

With three decades of professional experiences behind me (five decades of life), I have seen and survived situations where ‘letting go’ or ‘breaking up’ for a founder, creator, progenitor is often hard to do, whether in business, in philanthropy, in government, in partnerships, and even in family systems. Succession, it turns out, is complex, particularly in startup situations. Allow me to explain — but first take a minute to digest a few definitions and an oldie but goodie below. Demigod: A deified person Daedalus: A master crafts-person Despot: A tyrant, oppressor, patriarch/matriarch   If you believe in what Neil Sedaka endorsed...

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Why StartUps Succeed…

Hint: It’s rarely pegged to funding Back in the spring, I digested a study entitled “The Single Biggest Reason Startups Succeed” conducted by Pasadena, California-based Idealab and shared by its founder, Bill Gross via March 2015 TED talk that imparts an overview of the study. Gross walks the audience through the rationale for the outcomes, the gradation of reasons why startups succeed. Consider the study’s outcomes in the image below. It is difficult to disagree with the Idealab success criteria above. Interestingly, most of these factors are pliable, even changeable—you can pivot into a different business model, raise more...

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‘Pitch Across Maryland’ is Coming to Towson

Startup Maryland is a regional initiative launched in 2012 out of the broader efforts of the Startup America partnership. As the Startup Maryland website states, the effort was and is “driven from within the startup community, and led by/for entrepreneurs, peer-driven and focused on high-growth ventures.” The Pitch Across Maryland bus tour is in its third year and making its way to Towson for the first time. At 4pm on September 23 on the south side of Stephens Hall (Glen Drive), in the second of a three week journey across the great state of Maryland, the Startup Maryland Bus...

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Meet Our Business Plan Competition Finalists

This year’s Business Plan Competition attracted nearly 30 entries from innovative startups around the area. Fashion apparel, virtual biotechnology, and cloud-based management for university students were areas represented in the 2014 competition. With help from our judges, five finalists emerged from the competition to advance to round 2. All Real Concepts  New line of winter apparel utilizing NASA developed technology to deliver improved performance in frigid temperatures. Random Repairs  Self-service garage providing tools, machines, and lifts for customer use. Rehabtics  Maryland-based startup company developing a software system for physical rehabilitation using motion-controlled video games for use both in institutions and at home. Tutela Bedside Technologies, LLC.  Early stage medical device company dedicated to the development of interactive patient engagement software to help hospitals engage remote caregivers in the patients care. Zero Gravity Creations, LLC.  Custom glass and metal fusion shop specializing in Magmabond technology. These five finalists represent the talent and innovation that is living within our community. Learning more about these startups is inspiring, and I can’t help but wonder about all the other hidden talent I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet. The student talent we’ve been introduced to through this year’s competition and previous years’ has been especially meaningful to me. As a Towson University alumna, I enjoy meeting passionate students who possess entrepreneurial qualities, have business ideas, and do not want to wait...

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SCORE & TowsonGlobal Partnership

Recently, SCORE recognized TowsonGlobal and me as “Advocate of the Year” at their Greater Baltimore Annual Awards Luncheon on October 3, 2012. While I was pleasantly surprised to receive the award, it is not difficult to be an advocate for this terrific small business mentoring organization. SCORE is a great resource for all entrepreneurs. This national non-profit organization provides free confidential business mentoring tailored to individual small business’s needs – whether for a startup or an expanding business. SCORE also conducts very affordable workshops within the community led by experienced business people. TowsonGlobal and Greater Baltimore chapter have had an outstanding collaborative relationship over the years, including one-on-one mentoring for the incubator’s member companies, regularly scheduled workshops hosted at the incubator, and more. The relationship is complementary. One of the prerequisites for entering the incubation program is a well-developed business plan, but many of the entrepreneurs who come to TowsonGlobal are not quite sure how to do that. They need more basic guidance than our time and resources allow. By referring these people to SCORE for counseling and/or to attend one of their workshops, TowsonGlobal staff are better able to focus our energies on those who are more nearly prepared for incubation. Likewise, SCORE may refer some of their more developed clients to the incubator. Providing a venue for their workshops at TowsonGlobal is an easy and smart thing...

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TowsonGlobal’s Business Plan Competition Returns

The time has arrived! TowsonGlobal’s Business Plan Competition is back for a second year.   The inaugural competition brought entries from a diverse group of entrepreneurs with interesting business concepts.  All had the same goal in mind—success.  And this second annual event promises to be even more inspiring, helping stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship across the region. While the basic format of the competition remains the same, a few changes have been made to help better prepare entrants and to make the competition more interactive. For this second competition, interested participants are invited to attend free workshops which focus on the basics of a business plan, including: writing an effective executive summary, conducting useful market analysis, and developing realistic financial projections. The five chosen finalists will attend a required boot camp to help prepare for their final presentations.  Also, this time, presentations will be made both in private and at a public forum.  After which, the winner will be announced at a networking reception. Timeline & Process: October 19, 2011 — Business Plan + Executive Summary Workshop October 26, 2011 — Market Analysis Workshop November 10, 2011 — Financial Projections Workshop February 6, 2012 — Executive Summaries Due (3-5 pages) February 20, 2012 — Finalists (5) selected and notified to submit business plans February 27, 2012 — Presentation boot camp for finalists March 27, 2012 — Deadline for finalists’ submissions of...

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