New Kauffman Sketchbook Focuses on Immigration

land of opp

The newest installment of the Kauffman Sketchbook video series tells the great American success story of an immigrant entrepreneur who starts with very little yet achieves great things.

Released today by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the video features Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, an Indian American venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who is president and chairman of Sparta Group LLC, and chairman of A123 Systems, Sycamore Networks, Tejas Networks and HiveFire. He also is co-founder of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT and the Deshpande Foundation.

In the video titled “Land of Opportunity,” Deshpande recounts his entrepreneurial journey that began

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Is More Better?

blog photo

It’s no secret that the Foundation thinks entrepreneurial activity benefits the economy. Working off this premise, we often promote policy changes that lower barriers to becoming an entrepreneur along the following (top) lines of logic. However, this series of events is far from obvious. Another outcome seems entirely plausible (bottom).

What do you think? Is more better?

Here is link to the post written by a colleague of mine here at the Kauffman Foundation.


Women in Technology Study

new study

There is no disputing the fact that women are still underrepresented in the much of the startup world, whether that be as Board Members, VCs or as founding members of the company. There is a “Women in Technology Study” being conducted by The Kauffman Foundation and Stanford University as a follow up to a previous study done by the Kauffman Foundation. That previous study shows that there are no real differences between male and female entrepreneurs, but, those of us that are out there on the streets everyday see a very different story. In fact we can see here at

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Featured Competitions and a Recap of GEW


Global Entrepreneurship Week has officially come to a close; there were many activities and celebrations involving over 130 countries, 35,000 activities and 7 million participants! Whether or not you were one of the millions of people worldwide who participated in any of the thousands of Global Entrepreneurship Week events last week, you will enjoy this recap and find it uplifting and inspiring for the year head… Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November,

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Global Entrepreneurship Week


There is less than a week before Global Entrepreneurship Week gets underway! “GEW offers the opportunity to network, meet mentors, experience a boot camp, find out if you have an interest in being an entrepreneur or working for a startup and learn from other countries. All in one week,” says Global Entrepreneurship Week President and Kauffman Senior Fellow Jonathan Ortmans.

What are your plans for GEW? Check here to see if there is a competition you may want to participate in…many are taking place during that time. Not wanting to compete but have business experience? Take a few minutes and

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Successful Startups begin with a Stable, but Flexible, Foundation


For entrepreneurs, it can be tempting to correlate large investments with “success” – but this misleading indicator doesn’t guarantee anything for new companies. Big dollars may lead to big media coverage, but that isn’t the route most startups choose to pursue, and for good reasons. However, for new companies in their earliest stages, it is abundantly clear that at this point in the entrepreneurial journey other factors are far more critical in determining long-term success. For example, finding and building the right team or ensuring that one’s spouse or family is supportive of this new entrepreneurial path can be undervalued;

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The Entrepreneur’s Network


When we hear the word entrepreneur, many images are conjured up – including that of a lone individual, fearlessly crusading for the successful launch and growth of his company. He shuts out the rest of the world, focusing solely on the precious business that is being created. Truthfully, though, that sort of approach to entrepreneurship is better fodder for romance novels than for real life.

You may already know that being an entrepreneur can be both lonely and frightening. An individual with an idea and the passion for turning that idea into a business may start out in her home

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New Opportunity in Beautiful Telluride


Entrepreneurship is a profound catalyst for economic development in the United States. But start-ups face many hurdles along the road to success. That’s why the Telluride Venture Accelerator is looking to incubate new and expanding companies – giving them the competitive edge they need to succeed.

Need a hand turning your innovative idea into a reality or taking your start-up to the next level? Telluride Venture Accelerator provides hands-on support from experienced and successful business mentors to ensure your idea breaks into the high-growth marketplace. We are now accepting applications from entrepreneurs who are eager to work as part of

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Startup Gender Gap Has Many Costs


Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work and only earn 10 percent of the income! This is just one of the many interesting facts found on this infograph about investing in women. It shows some eye-opening statistics culled from Kauffman Foundation data and other sources. And it poses some interesting questions that recently have become topics of debate. For instance, we know women lag behind men in funding their startups. Is it because women are getting turned down, or are they simply not going after capital as aggressively as their male counterparts? The infograph also points out that only

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The Power of Networks


Working at the Kauffman Foundation has it perks. For one, I have tons and tons of data and research at my finger tips. From this research there are a couple of things that relate directly back to all of the participants going through competitions on the iStart platform.

1. Networks are super important (access to funding, mentors, and co-founders) and 2. Experiential Learning is key to the success of the entrepreneur (one of the reasons we like business competitions).

I hear over and over that the most important moment in a founder’s journey is the idea. While it is an

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