Kimberley Munzo, Founder and CEO of AspirEDU took time our of her busy schedule as the leader of an emerging ed-tech company to coach and share advice with startup entrepreneurs participating in StartUp Weekend Boca Raton on the campus of FAU. She offered eight tips to the group during her keynote presentation and here's what she shared:
1.As you begin down the road of launching your new business, decide on your organizational structure. Consider all your options and the pros and cons of each before making your decision.
Research and get guidance about the type of legal structures required for various sources of funding . Consider how certain organizational structures may restrict your ability to obtain certain types of funding.
2. Don't be in a hurry to give away equity and control of your company to investors. Bootstrapping might be the best way to get started. Many startups borrow money from friends and/or family members to avoid giving up a large percentage of their company to outside investors.
Kimberley shared how she won approximately $100,000 in cash and prizes by competing in eight different Business Plan competitions including the competition at FAU in Boca Raton. .According to Kimberley, the FAU Business Plan Competition is the hardest , most demanding competition of its kind in the U.S.
"By competing in the FAU competition and creating a 35-page comprehensive business plan, I was super-prepared for the other seven competitions I entered. I won more than $55,000 in cash and prizes from the FAU competition."
According to Kimberley, " By having cash to fund many of my startup business essentials I did not have to give up any of my equity to outside investors."
2. Seek legal and tax advice from professionals.
3.Research the industry you want to startup including, but not limited to, the local, national, international, and online competition, market supply and demand.
4.Identify what makes your business idea unique and become an expert in your industry.
5. Seek out business education and support in your field. Check out entrepreneurial programs available at colleges or universities in your area. Most major cities have a Small Business Development Center.
6. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Hire people whose strengths are your weaknesses.
7. Keep your overhead and expenses low.
8. Now is the time to build your dream. Get started.
" If you don't build your business. Somebody else will hire you to build theirs," said Tony Gaskin.
#SwBoca was part of the annual Global Startup Battle#GSB2013.
More than 200 events were held around the world over the last two weeks. During the Annual Global Startup Battle contest entrants will be competing for a chance at a prize pool of $500,000 worth of cash and prizes in a number of different categories.