enterprise, entrepreneurialism, venture capital, capitalism, industrialism, data science, women
Curated By
Dan Smith

Dan Smith has a proven track record of pioneering, leading and growing entrepreneurial ventures. Most recently, he is one of the founders and serves as President of PrivatePlus Mortgage, an Atlanta-based organization that does business nationally. As a member of the University’s President’s Council, he acts as an ambassador for many university initiatives. He also chairs the Advisory Board for The Launch Pad, a collaboration between the University of Miami, Blackstone Charitable Foundation and The Kauffman Group, which promotes entrepreneurship for students and alumni.

They Might Be Thinking:

  • How much capital do I need to secure for my startup idea?
  • When should I start raising money from angel investors?
  • Do I need a partner right away?  How do I choose good business partners?
  • What should I do if I picked the wrong person to co-found the business?
  • When should I start working full time on my idea?
  • Should I do crowd sourcing or create a GoFundMe account?
  • What is a term sheet?
  • Do I need to set up an LLC or an S Corporation?
  • How much runway do I need before I ask other people to join my startup?
  • Do I have enough experience to make this happen?
  • Will I need Network Effect to grow my business?

Words That Might Be Encouraging:

  • Shrink your universe. Focus on the most important things first.
  • I love your passion. Can you tell your story in less than 30 seconds?
  • I think your idea has a lot of potential.  Do you need to meet any key influencers in your new market?
  • I would be happy to help you make connections in my network.
  • I think you have a solid concept; the next step is execution.
  • Do you need a fresh set of eyes to review your pitch deck?
  • Make sure you are clear about your vision. 
  • Let's try to get your pitch down to under 30 seconds.
  • A lot of people are going to say that your idea is stupid. I think you should follow your gut.
  • Just keep pushing forward if you are clear on your vision.
  • When will you know if you have product-market fit?

Words That Might Be Discouraging:

  • You don’t have enough experience to run your own company.
  • You have a lot of passion for your product, but you don’t have enough experience. 
  • I think you should wait until you have a better prototype.
  • You should ask for a lot of money to make sure you have enough to cover the next five years.
  • You should get money as soon as you can. 
  • Being an entrepreneur is risky business. Are you sure you want to go this route?
  • What does your spouse or partner think about taking all this risk?
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