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Weekly Business News Roundup

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

How Entrepreneurs Can Translate STEM Training Into Entrepreneurial Success

Using the example of Jeffrey Immelt, who has achieved much as an entrepreneur and has credited his problem-solving skills to his applied mathematics B.A. background (rather than to his M.B.A.), the author discusses three ways you can translate STEM training into entrepreneurial success: putting math skills to practical use by applying a data-driven approach to operations and financial planning; applying science for innovation; and using computer skills to automate your business.

How to Create a Great Investor Pitch for Startups Seeking Financing

This guide for startups offers explicit advice and links to resources for those seeking funds for their new business. The author, a managing director and global head of M&A at VantagePoint Capital Partners, details how you should present your pitch deck to investors. He discusses the 15 slides that should be included in a pitch deck, starting with the first slide (“the company overview”) and ends with the last (“the ask”) of a model pitch deck.

7 Tips for Creating a Smart Organizational Change Management Plan

Although change is inevitable, it is possible for leaders to minimize the disruption that accompanies it for employees. In this article, the author discusses what organizational change management (OCM) is, what it is not, and seven tips for implementing it in your business, from assessing the change against your business goals to measuring your OCM plan’s effectiveness.

Here’s How (and Why) Entrepreneurs Are Getting Venture Investors Out of Their Companies

Landing investors is usually an indication of success for young startups, but in the past year, several venture-backed companies have bought out their investors to allow them to run slower-growing, but profitable, companies. Among them are the video-hosting company Wistia, the social media analytics firm Buffer, and the app distribution company SweetLabs. The experience of these startups typifies the common misalignment between entrepreneurs and venture investors. Here the author explains how, and why, these startup entrepreneurs are getting VCs out of their companies.

The Types of Team Members You Need to Hire at Each Stage of Your Business

In this article, the author discusses the four phases of startup growth (creatively categorized as childhood, awkward tween, hormonal teen, and basically grown up) and the talent you need to hire to scale your team accordingly. She begins with the childhood stage (companies employing one to 50 people), describing the ideal employee as “the imagineer,” then ends with the basically grown up companies (with 500+ employees), when the ideal employee is “the expert.” For each phase, she provides hiring tips for the employee type you’re considering.

Don’t send an email without doing these three things

Based on Nick Morgan’s book “Can You Hear Me? How to Connect with People in a Virtual World,” the author cites Morgan as saying that with the addition of communication tools such as Slack in the workplace, the purpose and strength of email has started to shift: “Email is now the most time consuming and formal. It requires a more elaborate response and often takes the place of face to face communication.” With that, here are three things to make sure you do before sending your next email: wait at least 60 seconds and read it over before you hit send; take out fillers and qualifiers; and be clear on your intent when writing your email, so you convey the right tone.

3 Ways to Build a Data-Driven Team

A “significant proportion” of organizations and managers admit they’re making big hiring decisions based on intuition rather than evidence, but if you were to go by company websites you’d see that “being data-driven has joined the ranks of ‘innovative’, ‘diverse’, and ‘socially responsible’ as one of most laudable features of organizational culture.” Achieving the goal of becoming a data-driven business requires a “big cultural transformation”, and managers are a critical agent in implementing this change. Here the author details three ways to help your team become more data-driven by fostering critical thinking, investing in training, and hiring the right people.

When you should keep your goals to yourself

There are conflicting scientific studies as to whether sharing your goals helps you achieve them or whether it impedes your progress. While sharing them can be motivating and create momentum, it can also get in the way of following through by giving you a “false sense of accomplishment.” So how do you determine whether to share a goal or keep it to yourself? Here the author discusses several guidelines to help you decide, accounting for the specific goal and circumstances around it, as well as your habits and personality.

District Ventures Now Accepting Applications for its Seventh Cohort

Canadian entrepreneurs seeking funding for their venture have an opportunity to do so, with District Ventures Capital’s five-month program. Open to businesses across Canada, the program provides mentorship, business support, and an in-house marketing team to help with “sales, distribution, and ultimately valuation.” Also, program participants will receive a $130,000 investment from District Ventures Capital. At the end of the program, founders will participate in Demo Day, where they will pitch their companies and be introduced to investors, and possibly receive follow-on investment from District Ventures Capital. Apply online by November 2nd at the District Ventures website.

Top Tech Gear for Running a Small Business

High-performance tech hardware is necessary for small businesses to remain competitive, but they are often perceived as too costly. The author says that actually, “costs have been going down over the last several years, and today even some of the latest and greatest tech gadgets can still be considered affordable for small business owners.” He then reviews a selection of tech that is in line with small business needs and budgets, from the Square Reader for accepting a variety of payments to the Microsoft Surface Pro.


About Ian Payton

Responsibilities: Social Media Coordination and content creation for companies like the Toronto International Bicycle Show. Outside of work for primary clients,work was done for smaller clients like branches of the Royal Canadian Legion designing and revitalizing web sites. Conceptualizing strategies for online and offline marketing as well as promotional activities for other companies.

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