Kansas City Entrepreneurship: 7 Reasons Why Kauffman Stadium Is The Most Entrepreneurial Stadium In The World

Posted By BetaBlox Author / October, 20, 2014 / 0 comments

Kansas City entrepreneurship AND Kansas City baseball are on fire right now. A statement like that would have made no one more proud than Ewing Marion Kauffman. Kauffman left our great city more than his fair share of legacies, but two stand above the rest. First, The Kauffman Foundation: a two billion dollar endowment meant…

KC Startups: Don’t Turn Your Nose Up At Small Scores

Posted By BetaBlox Author / October, 18, 2014 / 0 comments

One of the most remarkable takeaways we’ve seen when comparing successful KC startups to not-so successful KC startups is their take on small wins. The not-so successful teams attempt to create partnerships with large corporations, get published by the largest magazines, shoot for investment from prolific venture capital firms, and many other attempts at what…

6 Facebook Posts That Hurt/Help A Startup’s Organic Reach

Posted By BetaBlox Author / October, 15, 2014 / 0 comments

I’m gonna skip the traditional opening paragraph that explains why startups are missing the mark (with very few exceptions), if they don’t have a Facebook strategy. We all know it’s important. So what’s the problem? Entrepreneurs have watched their organic reach plummet to next-to-nothing from their organic status updates posted to their business pages. Facebook was built by…

4 Mistakes Kansas City Entrepreneurs Make When First Starting Out

Posted By BetaBlox Author / October, 6, 2014 / 0 comments

Kansas City entrepreneurs must navigate uncertain territories with scarce resources: very little time, very little money, a small team, and a small following. So why do they attempt to take down the world in their first year? We suggest getting in the mindset of swallowing one bit-size piece at at time. If you find yourself doing any of…

How To Start A Movement

Posted By BetaBlox Author / August, 31, 2014 / 0 comments

Whether you like it or not, if you’re the founder of a startup, one of your goals should be to start a movement. That might seem a little dramatic, but it’s not. You’re taking something that started as nothing more than a whimsical idea in your head and turning it into something that transforms the…

Think Small, To Get Big: A Kansas City Startup Must

Posted By BetaBlox Author / August, 24, 2014 / 0 comments

The title of the article aside, I want my entrepreneurs to always have in the back of their mind what the big picture is. This mostly means a global brand, a public offering, thousands of created jobs, mass appeal, etc. I love to get beers and talk to people about those grand visions, for these…

Why Your Mom Is Bad For Your Startup

Posted By BetaBlox Author / August, 17, 2014 / 0 comments

I’m going to start this post out by saying that without several important mothers, BetaBlox wouldn’t be possible. This article is meant to be playful in-nature, but it does have some very important points to make. I could have just as easily written a post entitled “Reasons Your Mother Is Great For Your Startup” –…

The 25 Best Startup Books For Kansas City Entrepreneurs – Ranked & Summarized

Posted By BetaBlox Author / August, 10, 2014 / 0 comments

“I see you constantly reading and talking about books; what are the best startup-centric ones that you’ve read in the last year alone?” -Anonymous entrepreneur from BetaBlox Batch 8 When I went to answer that question I had a hard time doing it; it’s like asking a movie buff what their favorite movie is. Difficulty…

How To Get Into A Business Incubator Or Accelerator

Posted By BetaBlox Author / July, 29, 2014 / 0 comments

People have been helping others get their business’ off the ground since the dawn of time. Post Bayh-Dole Act (1980), the “incubator” model spawned and spread across the country, (especially in university settings) in order to create a more structured format for helping commercialize university-born ventures. Like all great industries, these entities have evolved over…

Startup Founders Are The New Rockstars

Posted By BetaBlox Author / July, 22, 2014 / 0 comments

Our friends over at Market Domination just put together a stellar infographic pitting the characters of HBO’s Entourage and Silicon Valley against each other. Although this is meant to be a fun piece of content – it subtly emphasizes America’s admiration for its startup founders. It will be exciting to watch the present-day trendiness of founding…

What Kansas City Startups Can Learn From The World Cup

Posted By BetaBlox Author / July, 13, 2014 / 0 comments

The final game of the 2014 World Cup featuring Germany and Argentina is finally upon us. BetaBlox finds it important to leverage important events and cultural happenings as excuses to transfer our entrepreneurial experiences in differentiated and entertaining ways. If all we did was write brick-walled text about entrepreneurship, none of it would be digested….

4th Of July Quotes That Are Actually Talking About Entrepreneurs

Posted By BetaBlox Author / July, 4, 2014 / 0 comments

Independence Day is one of the most glorious days of the year. From a macro-oriented standpoint, it’s the day that we celebrate the anniversary of our independence. From a micro-oriented standpoint, it’s an excuse to eat BBQ, take pride in being an American, blow stuff up, and be around the friends that make being free…

A Simple Reminder To Kansas City Entrepreneurs: You Are Not Alone

Posted By BetaBlox Author / June, 30, 2014 / 0 comments

We learned very quickly that the friends and family of our entrepreneurs sometimes “don’t get it.” They think we are entrepreneurs for all the wrong reasons. The truth is that we are doing it to change the world and leave something behind that makes life better for those around us. We are doing it because…

Why Do Startups Get Acquired?

Posted By BetaBlox Author / June, 24, 2014 / 0 comments

I believe that every entrepreneur should build their startup ‘as if’ it will be acquired one day. Building a business while keeping in-mind that someone else might take it over (whether it’s your daughter or Google), will create healthy habits that make it a more successful entity. The aim of this article is to shine…

Startups Can Learn A Lot From Last Night’s Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator Demo Day

Posted By BetaBlox Author / June, 13, 2014 / 0 comments

Kansas City just took another giant leap forward in regards to our footprint on the world’s entrepreneurial radar – and all the credit goes to Sprint and Techstars. For anyone that doesn’t know, Techstars is an intensive three month program designed to accelerate the growth of technology startups. They’re based out of Boulder, CO, but…

How To Exponentially Grow Your Kansas City Startup’s User Base

Posted By BetaBlox Author / June, 6, 2014 / 0 comments

I don’t think anyone disagrees with the statement ‘the more users, the better.’ But how are you supposed get those users? How does every company featured on TechCrunch have millions of users, or hundreds of thousands of beta testers? How the heck are they doing it so early? When I talk to startup entrepreneurs in…

Kansas City Startups Are Hard – To Succeed You Must Start, Sacrifice, & Persevere

Posted By BetaBlox Author / May, 31, 2014 / 0 comments

Right now, not later, but right now: think to yourself “Startups are hard, it’s okay to feel this way.” I don’t believe that entrepreneurs remind themselves enough that what they’re trying to do is an incredibly difficult and long journey. It’s not supposed to be easy; for if it was, everyone would do it. The…

The 5 Biggest Myths of Kansas City Entrepreneurship Dispelled

Posted By BetaBlox Author / May, 13, 2014 / 0 comments

As entrepreneurship and startups in Kansas City gets more-and-more trendy, we thought it would be important to refute a handful of the biggest myths. Here are five of the biggest: 1. You won’t have a boss As startup investors, this is a gigantic red flag if an entrepreneur tells us that the reason they’re starting…

The Two Fastest Ways To Learn How To Become A Stellar Entrepreneur In The Midwest

Posted By BetaBlox Author / April, 29, 2014 / 0 comments

What is the fastest way to learn to be a good entrepreneur? Everyone who has tried their hand at a startup has probably wondered that question. They’ve also probably wondered how to get into the habit of perpetual learning so as to always be on the bleeding edge of economic and environmental trends. The best…

The 8 Attributes of a KC Startup Entrepreneur’s Wow Factor

Posted By BetaBlox Author / March, 24, 2014 / 0 comments

I don’t care which investors you talk to, they all say the same thing: “invest in the team, not the business.”  Don’t get me wrong, we definitely take the worth of the business very seriously, but what I’m getting at is we spend more time in due diligence and interviews learning about the entrepreneur than…

Knowing What I Know Now About Startups, This is What I would Have Studied More Of Growing Up

Posted By BetaBlox Author / January, 27, 2014 / 0 comments

Hindsight is 20/20, as it always will be. But I can’t help but look back and wonder how things would be different if I spent my early years emphasizing different skill sets. Growing up I had great teachers, mentors, teammates, coaches, etc., but I can’t help but criticize the incessant generalities that they preached. I…

Kansas City Entrepreneurs To Follow On Twitter

Posted By BetaBlox Author / January, 22, 2014 / 0 comments

Want to know why schools struggle at teaching entrepreneurship? There’s a lot of reasons, but the biggest is that it changes so fast and so regularly there’s no way their curriculums could ever keep up.  Think about it, entrepreneurship and opportunity are basically synonyms.  Part of the very definition of an opportunity is a fleeting…

Advice for Startups from Mark Zuckerberg – The value of listening to customers

Posted By BetaBlox Author / January, 8, 2014 / 0 comments

“Facebook didn’t guess that users wanted to share photos.  It learned it.” -guess who… Undoubtedly the Zuck is a busy guy.  He rarely does interviews.  Y Combinator’s Startup School is an annual exception.  One of the reasons is probably the quality of the audience.  It’s a room full of the best growth-oriented startups in the…

How to Design the Most Important Document Your Startup Will Ever Use: The Executive Summary

Posted By BetaBlox Author / January, 1, 2014 / 0 comments

If there’s one thing the business planning exercise got right it’s the executive summary.  It’s the first section of the business plan that sums up the whole document in a simple fashion.  Truthfully, the executive summary doesn’t get enough credit.  A business plan is asked for only two or three times every five years, whereas…

Where Do Entrepreneurs Eat and Drink in Kansas City?

Posted By BetaBlox Author / November, 1, 2013 / 0 comments

Where an entrepreneur eats and drinks is an extension of their brand.  While many entrepreneurs spend days at a time in their basement developing and executing new ideas, no entrepreneur should work in complete isolation. Successful entrepreneurs understand they must be connected to the community. If you’d like to meet the future business leaders of…

5 Characteristics of a Good Startup Mentor and How to Find Them

Posted By BetaBlox Author / October, 23, 2013 / 0 comments

Growing up, the typical entrepreneur tried a plethora of diverse activities: sports, clubs, camps, special schools, you name it.  I’ve always said that entrepreneurs are well rounded, and this type of upbringing is how they got there. At each one of these life events there was a leader: a teacher, coach, parent, upperclassman, etc.  The…

What It Means To Scale A Midwest Startup

Posted By BetaBlox Author / October, 18, 2013 / 0 comments

Scaling is one of those buzzwords that every startup in Kansas City seems to be talking about, but seldom with any specificity. It typically refers to the growth patterns of a piece of soft technology. Like anything important: it’s more complicated than that. First and foremost, scalability is not unique to software.  Products, nonprofits, hardware,…

How To Create Mind-Share For You and Your Co-Founders Via Social Media Platforms

Posted By BetaBlox Author / September, 3, 2013 / 0 comments

The concept of mind-share is an incredibly important one for startup founders, especially within the culture of the Kansas City community.  Simply put: does your name come to mind when people in your network think about your industry?  If so it will be easier to recruit early adoptive customers, co-founders, investors, strategic partners, and more….

KC Startups Create Patterns: It’s our Job to See Them

Posted By BetaBlox Author / August, 21, 2013 / 0 comments

Experience is important.  Whether you’re a baseball player, poker player, or a mother – experience is most likely the single most important factor to your success.  Rookies, young poker players, and first time mothers still have the ability to perform at high levels.  But math favors experience each time. We’re a fairly young team over…

Why Kansas City Startups Should Understand The Basics Of Growth Hacking

Posted By BetaBlox Author / August, 16, 2013 / 0 comments

When consulting with Kansas City entrepreneurs I always ask “what is your growth hack?”  For those of you that aren’t familiar with the term I define it as: Product developers looking through the lens of a marketer, and marketers looking through the lens of a product developer. There is a feature, or a set of features,…

5 Ways To Increase The Length Of Your Startup’s Runway

Posted By BetaBlox Author / August, 6, 2013 / 0 comments

I couldn’t be a bigger fan of movies like Wall Street, Boiler Room, or The Social Network. These movies are great for entertainment and motivation. They glorify business in a way that makes it seem cool.  For that, I thank the directors and will forever have them in my digital library. I’m also a huge…

How to Find Angel & Venture Capital Investments For Your Startup In Kansas City

Posted By BetaBlox Author / June, 19, 2013 / 0 comments

Without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, the question we get asked more than anything is how to source investment dollars for a startup in Kansas City.  Admittingly enough, this is an extremely difficult question to answer. First – I’ll provide the short, dirty, and cynical answer: it’s very difficult.  There are very…

Einstein, Miracles, and Startups

Posted By BetaBlox Author / January, 30, 2013 / 0 comments

Let me paint a picture for you: -Your father dies -You have a one year old son -You work a dead-end job -You’ve failed at just about everything academic you’ve ever tried -You live in a very poor, dark, city This was Albert Einstein before he did anything historically noteworthy.  In fact, it was during…

Women in the Kansas City Startup Scene

Posted By BetaBlox Author / November, 17, 2012 / 0 comments

Forbes didn’t call Kansas City one of the best places in the country for female-led entrepreneurs for no reason… Statistics & Resources For Female Entrepreneurs In The Midwest Women lead half of the startups in our current group of BetaBlox startups. We’re working on polishing their stories, sourcing their first customers, and securing capital for them…

Making Your Start-up’s Videos Go Viral

Posted By BetaBlox Author / November, 16, 2012 / 0 comments

Entrepreneurs Can’t Just Pray For A Viral Video Entrepreneurs are at war. Much like Armys the size of a startup, we must resort to guerilla tactics to get the job done. Our resources our dry, our numbers our low, our mission isn’t even 100% clear. Paid advertisements that buy traction and momentum fix the symptoms,…

8 Reasons Why Kansas City Is The Best City In The World To Start A Company

Posted By BetaBlox Author / November, 14, 2012 / 0 comments

Entrepreneurs Are Thriving In Kansas And Missouri, But Why? The coasts are my playground, but Kansas City is my work haven. I find no better place to do business, and people to do it with than KC. When I’m on the coast I regularly boast of Kansas City being America’s most entrepreneurial city. The problem…

Search Engine Marketing For Kansas City Entrepreneurs

Posted By BetaBlox Author / November, 12, 2012 / 0 comments

Old marketing is dead, new marketing is thriving. But if there was one adage that will forever hold true from the old regime it would be “location, location, location.” What once meant the coolest leased space on the Plaza is now a sucker’s bet. I’m talking about your positioning on Google.  How did Google get to be…

Ten Ways Midwest Entrepreneurs Can Have Killer Meetings

Posted By BetaBlox Author / November, 10, 2012 / 0 comments

“Mend your speech a little, lest it may mar your fortunes.” – Shakespeare Two of the most important things your startup will ever need are money and help. No matter how you boil down, each of these involves a face-to-face pitch. When we refer to the pitch we could be talking about a 5 minute…

Have you thought About These Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Startup’s Website?

Posted By BetaBlox Author / November, 8, 2012 / 0 comments

When you’re early on the life cycle every customer counts. I know entrepreneurs that would kill for an additional 100 highly targeted customers on their websites daily. It’s a chance for early revenue, but most important: information on what you’re doing wrong. Follow some of these short tips to claw for more traffic. Don’t underestimate…

Finding Midwest Angel Investors For Your Startup

Posted By Author / November, 6, 2012 / 0 comments

We see it on a daily basis in Kansas City. An entrepreneur running around the city promoting their business plan, t-shirts, business cards, and splash page – without any real business, no customers, no team, no nothing really. We call them wantrepreneurs. Feel free to substitute a portmanteau of choice. Regardless, they are under the impression…

Kansas City Startup Networking Events

Posted By Author / November, 4, 2012 / 0 comments

Creating Social Capital Before Your Startup Needs It The President didn’t wake up one day and decide he wanted to be President, raise money from strangers, and then take the position. He built legions of supporters long before he needed their support. This could be a smart path for entrepreneurs as well. Start building your network…

Creating Sexy Plans, Proposals, and Presentations for Startups

Posted By Author / November, 1, 2012 / 0 comments

We’re Going To Show You How To Do This Like A Kansas City Entrepreneur – Meaning With Style There are about a million articles, books, documentaries, and case studies on creating content for business plans and proposals of all kinds. Most of them mistakenly only spend 3% of their effort explaining the importance of the visual appeal…

Start-up Entrepreneurs Should Leverage the Law of Reciprocity

Posted By Author / October, 29, 2012 / 0 comments

Psychological Tricks Can Be One Hell Of A Tool For Any Business To Try – Especially Startups The rule of reciprocity states, humans have an innate drive to repay what has been given to them. We should be reminded of this more often. At BetaBlox we work to identify methods which are generally under-implemented and which…

Must Watch Video For Startup Founders In Kansas City, Great Quotes

Posted By Author / October, 29, 2012 / 0 comments

Here is an awesome video, check it out. Afterwards, we’ve pulled the best quotes from it to emphasize the aspects we found most important.  One of the toughest things for entrepreneurs to do is to think small first, but by definition, all big businesses started small. You have to start small.” - Brant Cooper- Author, The…

When Seeking Kansas City Angel Investors: Stage & Industry Is Most Important Factor

Posted By Author / October, 27, 2012 / 0 comments

When an entrepreneur sets out to raise capital here in Kansas City the first thing thing they’re likely to do is Google “startup investors in Kansas,” “angel investors in Kansas City,” or “venture capitalists in Missouri.” Rookie entrepreneurs tend to view all wealthy people and organizations that help entrepreneurs as possible sales targets. Next thing you…

Building A Startup Is A Lot Like SimCity

Posted By Author / October, 25, 2012 / 0 comments

Building a startup is a lot like SimCity…except losing fake money is better than losing real money SimCity revolutionized computer games. It allows the user to develop digital communities via simulated city planning decisions. A lot can be learned about entrepreneurship through SimCity. The most important part being the ability to operate a multitude of…

Why Create an LLC in Kansas?

Posted By Author / October, 6, 2012 / 0 comments

[Extrapolated from Kansas.gov] The Kansas Business Center (Kansas.Gov) has published information on incorporating an LLC in Kansas.  Here’s what you need to know: Advantages Liability of members limited to amount invested Very flexible management options May be taxed as Partnership An LLC can be perpetual Disadvantages Articles of Organization must state a date upon which…

10 Ways To Spice Up An Entrepreneur’s LinkeIn

Posted By Author / September, 28, 2012 / 0 comments

When you work for big companies meetings are given to you; the time, the place, the person, and what to talk about. In entrepreneurship all of these things have to be hunted on your own. It’s important your LinkedIn rocks so you increase the likelihood that when you reach out to someone to meet (mostly for…

Crowdfunding & the JOBS Act

Posted By Author / September, 24, 2012 / 0 comments

There is a void along the fundraising pathway which many young firms struggle to overcome. Currently, a small business needing between $10,000 – $100,000 cannot borrow this money from a bank, and typically doesn’t qualify to pitch to angel investors. More and more companies are turning to crowdfunding as an option.  What Is Crowdfunding, And What Is…

How Much is Your Startup Worth?

Posted By Author / September, 22, 2012 / 0 comments

You Don’t Want To Know As everyone’s aware, BetaBlox acquires 5% equity in companies for its services. Every once in awhile someone wants to negotiate the percentage that we take. The problem is neither party has any leg to stand-on. It’s impossible to value a startup with any certainty. Nor is a startup ever really worth…

A Friendly Reminder That Your Startup Should Always Be Testing

Posted By Author / September, 17, 2012 / 0 comments

A test is a proclamation of knowledge. In the world of startups, knowledge can be priceless. Every metric of one’s business should be in a constant state of improvement. Take for example, a famous chain of hotels that recently performed a small test with huge gains – despite it being a hundred-year old business.  A…

Hey Startup, Want To Look Like A Rookie? Ask For an NDA.

Posted By Author / September, 13, 2012 / 0 comments

You want me to sign what? An NDA? Have you not read anything an investor has written about NDAs in the last decade? Here’s a definition of non-disclosure agreement (NDA) – pulled straight from Wikipedia: A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also known as a confidentiality agreement (CA), confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), proprietary information agreement (PIA), or secrecy…

Old School Marketing For Modern Startups Doesn’t Work

Posted By Author / September, 10, 2012 / 0 comments

The marketing tricks that worked on baby boomers don’t work on their kids or grandkids Old school media is dead – and the new school is in. Being that you’re on an accelerator’s website – you probably already understand that start-up’s nowadays gain momentum very differently than a decade ago. Let’s back up a minute…

Is Your Startup Stuck? Narrow Your Options…

Posted By Author / June, 24, 2012 / 0 comments

The other day, one of the Missouri startups in our program asked me if I had a system or method for figuring out how to proceed when you feel lost, stuck, or stalled while growing your start-up. It brought to mind this passage from the book, Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. In this age of…

Kansas City Angel Investors: The Definitive Guide For Raising Startup Capital

Posted By BetaBlox Author / May, 7, 2012 / 0 comments

Kansas City angel investors aren’t the easiest set of people to find and secure. This is the definitive guide for entrepreneurs looking for investment capital to fund their Kansas and Missouri startups.  Startup success isn’t something that is going to come overnight. The average successfully liquidated company does so in year 6.5. In other words there is a lot of…

Entrepreneurial Keys to Strategic Thinking

Posted By Author / May, 6, 2012 / 0 comments

Are you starting a business in Kansas City in an effort to help solidify us as the most entrepreneurial city in America? Have a concept you’re working through?  Already selling something and earning revenue, or even profit?…  Take a minute to go through a couple thought provoking aspects of strategy implementation.Strategic thinking guru Paul J….

Bootstrapping Techniques For KC Startups

Posted By Author / May, 6, 2012 / 0 comments

Smart startups implement bootstrapping methodologies. They leverage the few resources that they do have and make the most out of it. Intelligent spending of funds has the potential to drastically increase the length of your runway – meaning the amount of time that you have to get your company off the ground. Shel Horowitz, a…

Kansas City Angel Investor Basics

Posted By Author / May, 1, 2012 / 0 comments

It is common to hear tales of companies receiving generous amounts of startup capital from fabled ‘angels.’ However, the reality is that most early stage ventures can’t delineate between an ‘angel investor’ and other types of capital. This article’s aim is to scratch the surface of this issue. We have many other articles that can help you…

Crowdfunding Bill Back in House’s Hands

Posted By Author / March, 23, 2012 / 0 comments

A bill that would legalize crowdfunding returned to the House of Representatives for review after receiving amendment from the Senate. Originally, the bill passed by the House “allowed investors to put 10 percent of their annual income, or $10,000 (whichever is less), into a startup,” according to a March 22 article in the Boston Business…

How Google, General Electric, and DreamWorks Innovate

Posted By Author / March, 18, 2012 / 0 comments

A March 17 article in The New York Times asked three powerhouse companies about their paths to innovation in a marketplace that demands creativity. Here are a few lessons from Google, General Electric and DreamWorks. 1. Innovation And Entrepreneurship Are Not Optional Just ask David Lawee, vice president for corporate development at Google, who was…

11 Tips For Entrepreneurs To Master Email

Posted By Author / March, 6, 2012 / 0 comments

In this modern entrepreneurial environment, email is one of the most powerful tools that a startup has. However, if used incorrectly it can be a big red flag that you’re missing some important competencies. Check out this non-exhaustive opinions about how to make the most of email. The aim of this article is less about…

Kansas City Start-up’s First Impressions

Posted By Author / February, 10, 2012 / 0 comments

Let’s face it, as a Kansas City start-up you don’t get an infinite amount of lengthy opportunities to impress people. Not only do you only have one shot at a first impression, but it doesn’t take very long for a judgment to be had. Don’t look at this like a lot of pressure, look at…

BetaBlox Insights on Startups, Investing, and Kansas City

Posted By BetaBlox Author / January, 1, 2012 / 0 comments

  Welcome to BetaBlox.com! Words cannot describe how excited our team is to share with you Kansas City’s newest hands-on resource for startup entrepreneurs. BetaBlox is a structured and collaborative environment designed to help startup companies launch and thrive. We add value alongside capital through the business lifecycle. We focus heavily on the formative stages…