Change The Way You Negotiate

A version of this article previously appeared Forbes.

Entrepreneurs have to be wily in all of their transactions, especially long-term commitments, such as property leases. In speaking with Steve Bermudez, former senior executive at Citrix, I was surprised that he was able to make money on some of his leases, by baking into his agreements the ability for Citrix to share in the upside realized by its landlord upon a sale of the property.

Steve and his team augmented this deca-million dollar windfall by wisely negotiating tax credits with local municipalities early in the process, which strengthened his hand with potential landlords and resulted in an additional multi-million dollar impact to the company’s bottom line.

Continue reading “Change The Way You Negotiate”

The Life This Wearable Saves Might Be Yours

A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes.

Have you ever had a couple of drinks, started to feel a mild buzz and wondered if you’re over the legal limit? If you’ve had drinks in a public setting, the answer is likely “Heck yes.”

A Santa Barbara based company, Milo Sensors, is tackling this problem via a wearable that constantly alerts your smartphone of your blood alcohol level. No longer will people have to estimate how impaired they may, or may not be, based on how much they have eaten, how many drinks they’ve had and how quickly they consumed them.

If consumer adoption becomes widespread, Milo’s unique solution could dramatically reduce the incidence of buzzed driving.

Continue reading “The Life This Wearable Saves Might Be Yours”

Selling Online In 2016 For The First Time – What Works When You Have A Blank Slate?

image002

A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes.

Kate Hudson, Emma Roberts, Eva Longoria, Jessica Biel and Rihanna began wearing Z Supply’s clothing before it could be purchased online. It may seem hard to believe, but even in 2016, there remain a number of successful consumer brands that are not sold online. The reasons companies elect to sell exclusively offline differ, but they often center on managing channel conflict with their retail partners.

I thought it would be interesting to understand the challenges and concerns of entrepreneurs who began selling online for the first time in 2016, so I sat down with Heidi Muther, COO at Z Supply, LLC. This is the first of a two part, extensive interview I recently conducted with Ms. Muther.

Continue reading “Selling Online In 2016 For The First Time – What Works When You Have A Blank Slate?”

Student-Founded Fantasy Pollster Is Hoping To Pick The Next President

image002

A version of this article previously appeared Forbes.

Fanstasy sports sites DraftKings’ and FanDuel’s popularity has spurred a new-breed of political betting sites. Unlike sites of the past that were deemed illegal, the current crop of election sites appear to well positioned to exploit the unprecedented focus Americans are applying to the 2016 election cycle.

Continue reading “Student-Founded Fantasy Pollster Is Hoping To Pick The Next President”

What’s Real About Shark Tank? I Asked This Entrepreneur Who Took Down $1M

image001

A version of this article previously appeared Forbes.

When I learned that one of my former UC Santa Barbara students scored a $1 million investment from the Shark Tank judges, I reached out to see what insights he might be able to share with his fellow entrepreneurs. Whether you love or loath the show, his responses might surprise you.

Jeff Overall, Founder and CEO of PolarPro, was successful because he properly balanced the show’s need to entertain its audience, while delivering a professional pitch of his solid business. The entertainment factor was his exaggerated, surfer bro delivery which charmed the judges, but didn’t distract them from the underlying fundamentals of the business.

I recently caught up with Jeff and he candidly shared his thoughts regarding his Shark Tank experience and whether or not he felt the return on his efforts were worthwhile. You can check out his Shark Tank pitch HERE (go to the last segment of the video and be ready to watch an annoying onslaught of commercials).

Continue reading “What’s Real About Shark Tank? I Asked This Entrepreneur Who Took Down $1M”

How Tony Hawk And The Bones Brigade Broke The Rules & Owned The Market

image001

A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes.

In this second installment of my conversation with George Powell, Founder and President of Skate One, he describes how Tony Hawk and the other members of the Bones Brigade revolutionized skateboarding and made it cool again, after its near death in the late-1980’s. He also shares his frank thoughts regarding his long-standing relationship with Stacy Peralta.

Skate One is now the world’s largest skateboard company, with best-selling brands such as Powell•Peralta Skateboards, BONES Wheels and Mini•Logo Skateboards.

You can read part one of our discussion here, which covers a number of insightful topics, including the origin of Skate One and George’s multi-decade partnership with Stacy Peralta.

Continue reading “How Tony Hawk And The Bones Brigade Broke The Rules & Owned The Market”

George Powell – Doing Well By Having Fun

image001

A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes.

George Powell is proof that you can do well by having fun. Rare and fortunate is the person who successfully converts their passions into a lucrative vocation. Mr. Powell, Founder and President of Skate One is such a man. The world’s largest skateboard company, Skate One produces many of industry’s best-selling brands, including Powell•Peralta Skateboards, BONES Wheels and Mini•Logo Skateboards.

I am always on the lookout for inspiring entrepreneurs who have leveraged their passions into healthy livelihoods as they serve as instructive role models for my UC Santa Barbara entrepreneurial students. After speaking with Mr. Powell, it was clear he fit the bill.

This is the first of a two part, extensive interview I recently conducted with Mr. Powell.

Continue reading “George Powell – Doing Well By Having Fun”

This Super Cool B-Corp Is Changing The Nonprofit World

image001

A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes.

Rose Broome, Founder of HandUp is rocking the non-profit world. HandUp allows donors to hyper-focus their donations to individuals with specific needs. This is a game changer for the homeless.

Rather than panhandling for spare change, HandUp, with the help of its partners, allows people in need to create a video which tells their story. Instead of putting their handout for money, they can give passersby a card which contains a URL to their video. Donors can then make targeted donations, knowing that 100% of the money will be applied to removing obstacles which are keeping the person in poverty.

In one instance, a HandUp client had secured an apartment, but they needed money for the security deposit. HandUp collects the money and then provides it directly to the landlord, ensuring that the donors’ funds are properly deployed.

Continue reading “This Super Cool B-Corp Is Changing The Nonprofit World”

Want To Trip Out? This Entrepreneur Can Hook You Up

image001

A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes.

Kurt Kutay, Founder and CEO of Wildland Adventures, believes that “luxury adventure travel” does not have to be an oxymoron. In fact, for the past 27-years, he has specialized in bringing exotic travel destinations to those of us who are healthy and active but whose competitive sporting days are long behind us.

Ever fantasized about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro but aren’t on speaking terms with any Tanzanian Sherpas? How about hiking in Patagonia without carrying a 60-pound backpack and eating freeze dried food? Kurt and his crew can make these, and about 35 of other once-in-a-lifetime treks, a reality.

Continue reading “Want To Trip Out? This Entrepreneur Can Hook You Up”

Twitter Insights From A Guru With 113,000 Rabidly Active Followers

image001

A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes.

It should be no surprise that this social media guru has earned over 113,000 authentic Twitter followers. His bonafides are impressive: named by Forbes as a Top 50 Social Media Influencer, cited by LinkedIn as a Top 25 Social Media Market Expert and proclaimed by AdWeek to be a Top 50 Person Re-Tweeted By Marketing Leaders.

Continue reading “Twitter Insights From A Guru With 113,000 Rabidly Active Followers”

Follow John’s Startup Oriented Twitter Stream!


Follow John’s Startup Oriented Twitter Stream. He promises to never Tweet about sunsets, kittens or awesome burritos.

Close
Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better
Social PopUP by SumoMe