Tech Jam – A party w/ a purpose, but no soul

Last night was the was sixth TBTF Tech Jam that I have attended since I moved to Tampa and while I thoroughly enjoyed the first three, I can safely say that each of the last three years have progressively gotten more disappointing. Let me say first that I have nothing but the greatest respect for the TBTF Foundation, I appreciate and support the great work it has done in providing opportunities, equipment and scholarships to local youth in need. Unfortunately, the desire to make the event exponentially bigger and better is killing the community’s interest and the personal involvement that made thisĀ annual fundraiser matter. Continue reading Tech Jam – A party w/ a purpose, but no soul

Business Plans… Just Say No!

I recently read a post on LinkedIn asking for opinions on the value of formal business plans for pre-venture backed start-ups. I guess technically all start-ups are pre-venture, it’s just that most never have a prayer of actually raising any venture backing or even talking to a real VC. It reminds me of most of the job postings and executive summaries I read back in ’98 – ’00 timeframe that boasted that they were a pre-IPO company. Well duh, everyone is right up until the point when they IPO or die.

Enough about that, on with the rant…

The preconceived notions about business plans, what they are, who they are for and what value they hold is one of the biggest problems I deal with when speaking to early stage founders. I applaud the various resources such as S.C.O.R.E and the numerous university or Economic Development-backed Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) that have sprung up to help the cause of small business education, but the bottom line is that for venture-backed start-up candidates, traditional business plans are a huge waste of time. Continue reading Business Plans… Just Say No!

University Incubators…Here we go again!

The next economic development disaster is brewing up in Tallahassee. FSU officials there have Incubator Envy and are hell bent on keeping up with the Joneses (Tampa, Boca Raton, Orlando, Gainesville, Sarasota, etc.). In the process, they no doubt will lobby for tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to put up a shiny new building and blow wads of cash on marketing a facility that will at best only benefit a small isolated slice of academia. Continue reading University Incubators…Here we go again!