The Entrepreneurial Professor

The Entrepreneurial Professor

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A second link

The second link was sent by Steve Lindstrom

Steve writes "I'm writing to pass along a link to
Foundation (, an ongoing collection of high quality
interviews with tech startup founders."

Welcome Fall 2011

It's been a while since I lasted posted but several students have sent useful and interesting links that are well worth sharing. The first is from Andrew Scharhag. It is a TED presentation; quite inspirational.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When is the best time of life to start an entrepreneurial career

There was a recent article on the startup nation website entitled "How to be a big CEO on campus" The point of the article is that people in college have certain advantages and youth should not be a hurdle to beginning an entrepreneurial career.

This has been a point of discussion in my class. Research at Kauffman indicates that the typical entrepreneur is mid-thirties, well educated with industry experience.

Young people have less to lose in failure and much to gain in experience. It might be easier to rebound into an entry level job if the venture goes sour. On the other hand, experience translates into knowledge and contacts. Valuable resources for starting a business.

As is the case so often, the answer lies in the individual. When to make the fateful decision depends on when the right opportunity lines up with available resources. Whenever you have the match between opportunity and resources, ignited by passion that is the time to stoke the new venture into creation.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Parasitic Marketing

There was an article in the WSJ last week entitled "Marketing Strategy: Buddy Up". The gist of the article was the value of small companies sharing marketing campaigns with larger companies. There is an opportunity for synergy when teaming up with a bigger company, a friendly strategic alliance.

When I was with Blue Orb, we created what I called parasitic marketing, where we would attach our little promotional efforts to a larger host company. We hoped that our small diversion would go unnoticed by the sponsor of the bigger event or if noticed would not be worth the effort to make us go away.

Does anyone have other examples of parasitic marketing? Any problems with the ethics?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The impact of pitching the plan

Hi, I'm back
A colleague shared an article that appeared in Venture Capital back in July 2008. It is one of those academic articles where the findings fall into the "I could have told you that" category, which is: investor's interest is significantly related to the quality of the presentation.

It is my experience that an "ok" venture presented well will receive a more positive reception that an excellent business model presented poorly. Aspiring entrepreneurs often overlook the importance of persuasive communication. Being good at selling is a crucial skill for even the most technically astute entrepreneur.

Fortunately, developing skill at selling and giving effective presentations is a competency that can be taught. Students in the Rollins MBA program have many occasions to learn presentation skills. We need to augment the sales skills training.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Social Media and Entrepreneurship

Mallory shares these thoughts on the interface between social media and entrepreneurship:

I am currently in the midst of finishing a consulting project regarding branding and social media for a local cable company. In my research, I have found several lists of types, characteristics and properties of social media:
• Types
o Tools to Create
o Tools to Connect
o Tools to Share
o Tools to Collaborate
o Tools to Define the World
• Characteristics
o Participation
o Openness
o Conversation
o Community
o Connectedness
• Properties
o Reach
o Accessibility
o Usability
o Recency

Seeing that this is a blog, a place where we can create and connect easily and quickly, I thought I would use this blog entry as a springboard for a discussion on social media and entrepreneurship.

So here are my questions for you:
• How can we use social media as entrepreneurs?
• What social media tools, besides blogging, can be used by an entrepreneur?
• How effect if social media for an emerging entrepreneur/entrepreneurial organization?
• In what ways can social media help/hinder entrepreneurial ventures?
• What role can social media play in the realm of entrepreneurship in academia?

Get engaged in the conversation. Don’t just be a spectator - participate in the conversation or even create your own. Let’s see what we can make of this social media business.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What kind of degree should an Entrepreneur get?

Laura Evans asks the question:

What degree does an entrepreneur get?

There are different schools of thought on what degree an entrepreneur should receive, if any at all. Some look at top C.E.O.’s like Bill Gates who went to Harvard Business School for three years and then dropped out to form Microsoft. But even he will say that an education is essential to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Tim Berry at Entrepreneur recommends to major in your interests in college and to later further your education through higher degrees of education.
Many students believe that you must major in business, accounting or finance in undergrad to be a successful entrepreneur but that is not the case. You will not be a successful entrepreneur if there is no passion behind what you are doing. This too pertains to business schools. An MBA will help an entrepreneur grow and develop its company but it does take more than just the education. It takes dedication, commitment, passion, and of course, tough skin. Therefore, Berry recommends to follow your passions to become a successful entrepreneur. After all it is how top executives like Larry Page and Sergey Bain became such successful entrepreneurs.


About Me

Winter Park, FL, United States
Michael Bowers is a Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship and serves as the Academic Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College. Dr. Bowers’ research interests include entrepreneurship, product/quality management, customer loyalty, strategic planning, personal selling and sales management, primarily in service industries. Michael has published almost fifty articles including journals such as: the Journal of Business Research, the Journal of Services Marketing, the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, the American Journal of Medical Quality, Medical Care Review, Hospital and Health Services Administration, Health Care Management Review, the Journal of Health Care Marketing, the Journal of Retail Banking and the Journal of Marketing Education. Dr. Bowers is a member of the Editorial Review Board of the International Journal of Business Excellence.