How do you gather all resources required for your startup?


I have a business idea, I didn't present it to anybody yet, but it involves tech (altough not hightech, it basically exists and is not so hard to figure out). It is a product made of metal and plastic basically. But what concerns me is the manufacturing part. I have no idea where and how to design the metal / plastic parts so that they fit together. I heard about OEM/ODM manufacturers e.g in China, but how do you approach your idea, how does your idea get shape finally? It involves also a small software part, but the basic scaffolding should come first.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

[Virgin Hyperloop One in Fox Exclusive] Hyperloop Could Be the Change Required To Transform Transportation of Passengers and Freight in India

Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director for Hyperloop One’s the Middle East and India region noted the potential the company has in India. He said, “India is home to the fastest growing global economy, a vibrant young workforce, and world-class high-tech engineering skills. It makes an ideal market to launch Hyperloop.”

Read more here.

The post [Virgin Hyperloop One in Fox Exclusive] Hyperloop Could Be the Change Required To Transform Transportation of Passengers and Freight in India appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

No pen required: The digital future of real estate closings

On a Wednesday at 4 p.m. in June 2017, I was in a small, packed office in midtown Manhattan.

The overcrowded conference room, with at least five more people than any fire marshal would recommend, was stacked comically high with paperwork and an eclectic collection of cheap pens. As I neared the end of the third hour and the ink of my seventh pen, I realized the mortgage closing process may be somewhat antiquated.

After closing on my first home, it was inconceivable to me that every other expense in my life has gone digital, but the most significant purchase I’ve ever made required hundreds of signatures and several handwritten checks delivered in person. By comparison, I have been able to repay my student loans, comparable in magnitude to a down payment, exclusively through online portals.

How COVID-19 is accelerating digital advancements

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every facet of our lives. One potential silver lining for the real estate world may be a forced reckoning with the mortgage closing process. Technological advances like e-closings are accelerating this arduous process into the digital age. The U.S. Census Bureau released figures in July citing the rise in homeownership across the country as the pandemic fuels the demand for single-family properties outside of urban areas. This is confirmed by the significant spike in mortgage applications seen in the second quarter of 2020.

The first signs of digitization of the mortgage origination process were seen in mid-2010 when lenders began adopting digital disclosures. Despite the availability of technology, the market has been slower to fully embrace digital closings that enable the full loan package to be electronically reviewed, recorded, signed and notarized. A true e-closing includes a digital promissory note (“eNote”), a virtual closing appointment and the electronic transfer and recording of documents by the county, all of which can be remotely coordinated and executed by the parties involved. The market started to pick up pace in recent years, and we’ve seen the number of e-mortgages increase by more than 450% from 2018 to 2019.

Startups – TechCrunch

Dear Sophie: What is required of employers laying off foreign workers?

Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

“Dear Sophie” columns are accessible for Extra Crunch subscribers; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Dear Sophie:

Fallout from COVID-19 is forcing our startup to downsize. What legal requirements do we need to consider if we’re laying off foreign-born employees or scaling back their hours?

— HR Manager in San Mateo


Dear HR Manager:

Thank you for your question; a lot of people are going through the same thing. Keep in mind that terminating an employee that your company sponsored for a visa or green card can have ramifications for future hiring.

Startups – TechCrunch

5 Keys To The Startup Mindset Required For Breakthrus

startup-disruption-mindsetAs an entrepreneur advisor, I am surprised at how often I hear the same or very similar proposals of an incremental innovation to an existing process, versus a really new or breakthrough solution. If you are seriously looking to start the next billion-dollar startup, you need to get beyond the realm of enhancing a current solution. Investors are looking for breakthrough solutions to fund.

For example, I often hear proposals for new online social media or collaboration platforms, maybe more specifically tuned to inventors or artists, or easier to use, and populated by experts, to compete against Slack or Facebook. What I don’t see often are new solutions that force me to rethink how we work together, or really use AI to make the collaboration process more productive.

Today there are a wealth of disruptive technologies available, including the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), advanced virtual reality (VR), and high-function robotics. But we all know that these are not solutions by themselves, but require integration into an innovative framework to solve real customer problems.

That integration is the breakthrough that you should be looking for as an entrepreneur. I believe that creating these solutions is not rocket science, but it does require a mindset that is determined to look beyond what the rest of us can see. Here are some keys to that mindset that I have seen working for successful entrepreneurs:

  1. Think customer-centric rather than technology-centric. Rather than starting from a mindset of pushing the limits of technology, be determined to first find a customer need that can only be solved by the technology you know. Remember that your goal is to build a successful business, and customers are in control of making that happen.

    For example, Zappos led a revolution in online shoes and clothing, not because of any revolutionary shoe technology, but because they sensed a clothing customer obsession for customer service, including long phone conversations and unlimited free returns.

  2. Take a deeper dive into your idea before you declare. High-level ideas rarely make good business solutions. The deeper you dive into an idea, twisting and turning it to find novel ways of linking things together, the more likely you will find something even you haven’t thought of, to make your solution memorable to customers and investors alike.

    One of the ways to do a deeper dive into validating your solution is to build a campaign on a popular crowdfunding platform, like Kickstarter. From the work and feedback, you will learn much on how your solution will fare with customers, before building the product

  3. Tap expert sources in other domains for ideas. Many aspiring entrepreneurs are too paranoid to share ideas and learn what they need to turn an idea into a disruptive customer solution. Actively solicit insights from outside domain experts, and follow-up to expand your thinking relative to your own domain. Be forever curious and optimistic.

    Elon Musk, for example, admits to reading up to two books per day in various disciplines, including physics, engineering, product design, business, technology, and energy, to give him insights on new solutions and new opportunities, despite his large portfolio already.

  4. Build a prototype and experiment with real customers. I often hear entrepreneurs talking about ideas they have been honing in their head for years, or even a decade. Even years ago good entrepreneurs, like Thomas Edison, admitted they learned more from building mock-ups and prototypes, than from gut instincts and theory.

    Edison was famous for prototyping, staying positive, and never giving up on his electric light bulb ideas. He is quoted as saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He never talked about a solution until he had a working model.

  5. Nurture advocates and partners with complementary skills. Mentors and advocates will keep you focused and positive, and will develop your ability to speak to investors and customers with authenticity, credibility and confidence. Assimilate a team with the range of skills you need in your business, including development, operations, and marketing.

Even Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, while they had each other, and some advanced degrees from Stanford, still benefited from the help from other stars in business, including Eric Schmidt, Andy Bechtolsheim, and billionaire Ram Shriram.

If you are new to the entrepreneur lifestyle, it’s probably good to start with an idea that is an incremental innovation, to get your feet on the ground, and understand how the funding and business creation process works. But let me assure you, the real joy, satisfaction, and full potential comes from breakthroughs that change the world. Try that mindset next time!

Marty Zwilling

*** First published on on 03/19/2020 ***

Startup Professionals Musings