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An expanded version of Pepperdine’s Private Capital Market Project was released recently that provides some interesting metrics about debt and equity available to smaller companies over the past 12 months. Covering all major funding categories, the survey culls some good data about the challenges, conditions and view of bankers, asset-based lenders, angel investors and broker-dealers to get a real time sense of market conditions.

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Regardless of your definition of success, there are, oddly enough, a great number of common characteristics that are shared by successful businesspeople. You can place a check beside each characteristic that you feel that you possess. This way, you can see how you stack up. Even if you don’t have all of these characteristics, don’t fret. Most can be learned with practice and by developing a winning attitude, especially if you set goals and apply yourself, through strategic planning, to reach those goals in incremental and measurable stages.

Crowdfunding for the cream of the early-stage crop….

 

When former investors launched New York City-based SeedInvest in February, they handpicked the companies they wanted to include. The idea was to make it easier for startups to stand out from the crowd and give accredited investors the highest caliber of companies from which to choose.

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Think entrepreneurship requires putting your personal life on hold working 75, 100 or 120 hours a week? Think again. We spoke to serial ‘treps who have learned to prioritize life outside of work, and they are not just happier and healthier – they have got successful businesses, too. Follow their strategies to find your own blissful balance.

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How Do I Build a Business That Will Last For Decades? Ask the Money Guy…… With very few exceptions, the answer to this question is the same for any small business, whether it’s looking to cash out in 50 months or 50 years. And it’s not really about cost; it’s about the structure of the business.

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Living in a world of overnight success stories like Instagram and Facebook has led many of today’s new entrepreneurs to expect too much without putting in the work. While we all dream of that billion-dollar business idea, the sad reality is that those monumental overnight successes rarely (and I mean very rarely!) happen.

Entrepreneurs need to ditch the “instant gratification” mindset and realize that success takes time and work. Before you commit to starting a new business, it’s important to realize that it’s a long and bumpy road, but the treasure at the end is worth the stress.

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Frustrated by the lack of access to startup capital, three serial entrepreneurs lobbied Congress to legalize crowdfund investing—and won. The JOBS Act, passed last year, allows small businesses to raise up to $1 million through equity- and debt-based crowdfunding platforms. Now the trio remains committed to the cause, advising the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, working with the U.S. State Department and the World Bank and educating audiences worldwide about the power of the crowd. Here’s a look at a brave new startup financing model and the passionate voices behind it.

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The Spark Growth summit brings together entrepreneurs, technologists and economic development officials to showcase Bradenton, spark a conversation on the technology start-up climate in Florida and Bradenton and assess how to improve. The conference is also designed to spark the idea that Bradenton is a great place to operate a high-tech business. Fast Company magazine, ranked the Sunshine State No. 1 for innovation in its May issue, helping raise its reputation. The four-day summit attracted serial entrepreneurs like Christine Urban who also works as a business analyst for the Small Business Development Center at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

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FLYING COLORS
An art school uses an online lending matchmaker to find capital.
When the economy tanked around 2008, enrollment in Olya Losina’s fledgling art school began to wane. Marketing the San Diego-based Losina Art Center to a new crop of students required cash the painter and her husband/business partner, Bill Beatty, didn’t have. So in late 2011 they created a profile on Lendio, a free online service that matches small businesses with lenders. Within minutes, they had a customized list of half a dozen potential lenders offering the five-figure, short-term financing they were seeking. Within days, they received the cash they needed.