Taylor Stitch Makes Us Rethink Our Wardrobe

Most clothes end up in the landfill. The solution is to make and sell much better clothes. July 7, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. According to McKinsey & Company and the Council for Textile Recycling, the world fashion industry produces 100 billion garments for seven billion people each year, the average American throws out 80 pounds of clothes each year, and 85 percent of all apparel ends up in landfills, even the ones we feel good about donating! Those shocking statistics were seen as an opportunity for an increasingly popular San Francisco based startup.  Why not fashion new clothes out of used clothes and recycled fibers? Why not address the growing number of consumers who are making purchasing decisions based on their desire to preserve and improve their own health and welfare, as well as that of their families and the environment? Why […]

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WINT Water Intelligence Tackles Waste While Improving Efficiency

An Israeli company specializing in high-tech for water use efficiency is doing well in the United States. June 1, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. We love to celebrate companies that are making a deposit by making a difference. When we  get asked by entrepreneurship grads, “What business should I go into?” Our answer is always, “Find a business that addresses, mitigates, or helps people and companies survive the biggest mega trend of our time, climate change!” One of the elements that is becoming increasingly scarce and precious is water. Yet we still suffer from leakage, bursts and overuse. What if you could get notified on your phone when there was any unusual use on your water system? What if you could monitor water use with A.I., machine learning and cellular networks? What if your system would automatically shut down if you have a break in […]

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Rheem Manufacturing Sets Aggressive Sustainability Goals for 2025

About two-thirds of residential energy use is for heating and cooling. Rheem is uniquely positioned to drive down the energy required to stay in your comfort zone. May 4, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Sixtyfive percent of the energy that is delivered to the typical home is used for heating the home, cooling the home or heating the water used in the home. The rest is used for appliances, lighting, tools and electronic devices. We have been reporting on startup companies that are making a difference. But what about the big boys? What are they doing to make a difference with the biggest mega-trend facing the economy? According to Nielsen, consumers are voting with their purchases for sustainably made and packaged products. Rheem Manufacturing Company is the only North American company that has both HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) products as well as water heating […]

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ReGrained Markets Food Made From Upcycled Brewery ‘Spent’ Grain

The hardest part of entrepreneurship is finding the courage to act on your ideas. April 6, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Last month at O’Hare International in Chicago, we were waiting at the gate for our flight back to San Francisco. We thought we’d use the time to discuss our upcoming article on entrepreneurship. We were looking for another example of an entrepreneur who is demonstrating a new way to make a deposit by making a difference. We must have been getting a little excited about our favorite subject because suddenly, a young man who was working feverishly on his computer overheard us, stopped, looked up and said, “I’m an entrepreneur!” When we asked him about his business, we were immediately drawn into an exciting conversation. This young entrepreneur had figured out a practical way to take the spent grains used in beer […]

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Synova Power Turns Waste Into Electricity

Plastic waste is a major threat to ocean health but instead of dumping it, it could be a good and cheap fuel for the technology Synova has developed. March 2, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Remember in Back to the Future where Doc rummages through Marty’s garbage for “fuel”?  He dumps it in to a home energy reactor called “Mr. Fusion” mounted to the back of the famous time traveling DeLorean. Sounds like what we need now, given the fact that we are drowning in garbage and hungry for electricity! Certainly, the concept of turning bio waste into energy has been around for a while. But what about the biggest culprit, plastic? What if you could put bio and petrochemical waste in one end and get electricity out of the other? We like to say, “If you really want to change the world, […]

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The 50-Word Blurb and the 5-Slide Deck

An avalanche of information is not what potential investors seek on the first meeting. February 2, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. All startups agree on one thing: They need more money. Over the past decade we’ve worked with many startups. Even though we offer three decades of hard knocks business experience and a ton of contacts, what do you think is the first thing they want from us? You guessed it, money! They typically ask for an NDA right off the bat, then present us with over 1,000 words of copy, and a 30+ slide deck. They try to anticipate as many questions as they can in advance and they go into extensive detail on how and why their solution is what the world needs. Although we appreciate the time involved preparing all this documentation, we are almost discouraged by the sheer time […]

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Chewing Their Way to the Top

When these two dog owners couldn’t find the dog chew they wanted, they went into business. January 5, 2019 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. We’ve often said, “If you really want to change things, put a buck on it.” That philosophy has been recently documented by Nielsen, the leader in CPG market data. The biggest mega trend we see for 2019 is being driven by consumers who want to “vote with their purchases.” They are increasingly demanding transparency from CPG producers …and getting it! Americans love their dogs. So why shouldn’t they want transparency from the company that provides them with their dog chews? That was the catalyst for Nature Gnaws founders Jay Mokbel and Steve Mamak. The risk they took in 2016 to produce and sell, all-natural dog chews has been validated by stellar growth over the past two years. We love entrepreneurial […]

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It’s Official: Customers Prefer Sustainable Companies

An authoritative new study finds that regardless of product category, brands with legitimate sustainability claims do better. December 1, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When we built the Barefoot Wine brand, we lived and died on the latest Nielsen ratings. So if you are in the packaged goods space, you want to pay careful attention to the latest Nielsen report “How and Why Sustainability is Gaining Momentum with Customers.“ For the purposes of this report, Nielsen chose to study purchases of three of the most common fast-moving consumer goods, coffee, chocolate and bath products, because of their differences from each other. What they found was that products with sustainability claims generally outperformed the growth rate of total products in their respective categories. For instance, based on sales for the 52-week period ending 3/24/2018, the weighted average of all three categories showed 3 percent more growth for […]

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Is Your CPG Company on the Right Side of History?

Finding alternatives to plastic packaging choking the oceans is good marketing and you’ll be proud of having done it. November 3, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Because we successfully built a popular consumer packaged goods brand, now known the world over, we are often asked about packaging. Our audiences want to know, “What’s the latest in packaging?” and, “What are the new trends?” After all, the “P” in CPG is “package.” In the 1967 movie, “The Graduate,” a young man, recently graduated from college, is given advice from his dad’s best friend, “I’ve got one word for you, Benjamin: Plastics.” If we were giving advice to college grads today, we would add one more word, “alternatives,” making the best advice we have to give, “plastic alternatives.” The market According to the World Wildlife Fund, “world wildlife populations have fallen by 60 percent in just […]

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Outsource Everything but Accounting, Quality Control and Sales

You want to lighten the load but you need to stay in control. October 6, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It’s no secret that most startups are undercapitalized. They need every penny just to stay in business long enough to produce a positive cash flow. Even those that have achieved seed financing usually find out in short order that they need a much longer runway to give sales a chance to take off. Most investors want to see some revenue before they will take a risk on you. So it’s critical, especially in the pre-rev startup phase, to strip your company down to its bare essentials, be resourceful, and discover and use your hidden assets. If you can’t lengthen the runway, you can at least lighten the plane! As professional speakers in the world of entrepreneurship, we hear hundreds of business ideas every […]

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Startups That Overlook the Cost of Sales … Fail!

How much did that sale cost? What about the reorder? Until you know that you don’t know if you’re making money. September 8, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. You often see line items on business plans for the cost of goods sold, also known as COGS. Most startups are painfully aware of the cost of goods, but there is another cost that is even more painful if it’s overlooked, and that is the cost of sales. In today’s “scale fast and fail fast” world of entrepreneurship, it’s easy to scale fast and fail permanently when you don’t appreciate the true cost of sales. Part of the problem of scaling fast is that you can scale so fast that you actually make sales you can’t sustain. Why? Because you inadvertently chose to make sales to a customer or in a territory with costs you […]

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Alaska Is Offering Entrepreneurs a Huge Renewable Energy Opportunity

The widely scattered residents of the largest state are looking for alternatives to reduce their onerous energy costs. July 29, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It’s crazy that Alaska is more than twice the size of Texas but its largest city has only 304,000 people. It’s isolated from the rest of the country. Due to its weather, terrain and lack of adequate infrastructure, Alaska has the highest cost of energy in the nation behind Hawaii. And it has the third highest per capita consumption of energy in the nation! It seems ironic that Alaska, known in the lower 48 for its oil pipeline, would now be promoting alternative energy. We like to say, “If you want to make a change, put a buck on it!” Well, in their case, the price of oil fell to a point that, while the rest of the country enjoys a […]

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Networking Rule #1: 'Take Off the Bib and Put on the Apron!'

Everyone knows networking is crucial but nearly nobody is teaching anybody how to do it well. Read_more Related posts: Top 5 Reasons Women Love Female-Only Networking Groups How to Display the Ideal Body Language When Networking Chick-fil-A Is Taking on Blue Apron in an Unprecedented Move for a Fast-Food Chain Not Having These 8 Networking Skills Will Cost You Successful Networking Is All About Having the Right Energy 5 Unorthodox Networking Tips Best Tips for Increasing Your Networking Effectiveness Even Introverts Can Excel at Networking by Following These Steps

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The Top 4 Reasons Startups Fail, According to 14 International Accelerators

The only mystery about startup failure is why founders keep making the same mistakes. April 7, 2018 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. As speakers, advisers, and trainers in the entrepreneurial space, we’ve been particularly excited by our December survey of the principles of 14 international accelerators. We wanted to know, from their point of view, what were the key factors in startup success …and failure. As far as we know, this is the most recent study conducted on this subject. Although these folks are from all over the world, it’s amazing how much they agree when it comes to why startups fail. Related: A New Study Reveals the 20 Factors That Predict Startup Failure: Do Any Apply to You? Inadequate Testing Inadequate Testing was by far the most mentioned reason for startup failure. This factor is identified by several other terms like not getting […]

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14 International Accelerators Speak Out on the Top 4 Components for Startup Success

Accelerators have a vested interest in startups succeeding and a front-row seat for observing why they do and don’t. March 3, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If anyone could unravel the mystery of why some startups succeed and others fail, it would be the business accelerators. They have a front-row seat with real-world experience. Their reputation is on the line, and rapid turnover is not their friend. They have a vested interest in seeing their clients succeed. Over the past three months, we have conducted a survey of 14 international business accelerators. With their experience, what was their take on startup success and failure? Over the next few months we will be publishing the results of that study. Our first question was, “What are the most important qualities successful startup founders possess?” Interestingly, with such a wide range of international respondents, the answers […]

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