GROW YOUR BUSINESS: Register for FOCUS100 Oct 3rd-Oct 4th

Enterprising entrepreneurs, tech curious, and digital rock stars should NOT miss "The Most Diverse Tech Conference on the Planet!" Join digitalundivided in NYC for #FOCUS100! Get insight from thought leaders from top companies, such as Facebook, Uber and AMEX OPEN. Network with diverse startups plus execs from Pinterest, Google, and more!

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GROW YOUR BUSINESS: Register for FOCUS100 Oct 3rd-Oct 4th

Enterprising entrepreneurs, tech curious, and digital rock stars should NOT miss "The Most Diverse Tech Conference on the Planet!" Join digitalundivided in NYC for #FOCUS100! Get insight from thought leaders from top companies, such as Facebook, Uber and AMEX OPEN. Network with diverse startups plus execs from Pinterest, Google, and more!

Register Now
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American Express OPEN is the exclusive 2014 Financial Category Sponsor of digitalundivided's START and FOCUS programs.

What is digitalundivided?

digitalundivided (DID) is a social enterprise that develops programs that increase the active participation of urban communities, especially women, in the digital space.

FOCUS100 2013 : The MOST Diverse Tech Conference on the Planet from digitalundivided on Vimeo.

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Turn that product into an actual company

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Get your company the money or partners needed to become a business

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Sell or sustain that business, so you can invest in others or START again

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Failure to Launch: What to ask yourself before starting a business

Posted on September 18, 2014

Last night’s tech talk with Sarah Milstein, CEO and Co-Founder of Lean Startup brought up some great insight for savvy entrepreneurs. Launching a startup can be daunting, and if we’re honest – most startups launch in your mind while at the water cooler in your current 9 to 5. So how do you know when it’s a good time to quit your day job and step out on your own?

Team #NoDaysOff

Solo dolo. Do you know how to work well on your own?
You will spend lots of time as an entrepreneur managing yourself. Your time management and prioritization skills will need to be above par. There will always be ‘asks’ on your time. From the tasks needed to move the business forward, to personal life blending in with work time if you’re in a home office, to just plain exhaustion. Do you know how to set up a work plan, or do you need someone to tell you what to do? As an business owner you will need to know how to pivot fast and separate the manageable tasks from the ‘save this for later’ tasks. Know your strengths, and leverage them accordingly.
 
We’ve got your back. Do you have a supportive family and career network?
In the beginning you may feel super elated about your newfound freedom. You will believe you can do anything… and you can. But what about those low moments? Who will support you when personal motivation has gone from 100 to 0 real quick? Talk over your decision with trusted friends, family, and business advisors. Have them pledge their mutual support to you in this new venture. You’ll need them to be the graceful wind beneath your wings – when yours feels more like blustery lake effect winds on Chicago’s lakefront.
If you need it, I got it. Are you resourceful?
You need to know how or where to get what you need, when you need it. Working in a corporate environment has spoiled you for everything from healthcare subsidies to basic supplies like file folders and staples. Before you download your contacts, and steal a cabinet drawer full of ‘starter’ supplies from your 9 to 5, assess your ability to find talent and production people that can do that tasks that you don’t personally have to do. Entrepreneurs should be as efficient working ON their business, as they are IN it. Know what tasks are critical for YOU to do versus those that can be handed off to a junior level person or a virtual assistant to complete.
You should really save up...

You should really save up…

Less money, more problems. Are you financially solid?
Congrats! You’ve quit your job and now you are an entrepreneur with a successful startup… but wait? Who’s going to pay for all this? Financial experts say that you should have 9-12 months of cash in your stash before you quit your job. Remember, you’re leaving them – so you won’t get unemployment. Plan out your fixed expenses – rent/mortgage, credit and loan debt, as well as day to day essentials like transportation and food. Don’t forget to leave a bit of a cushion for unexpected occurrences like that new Washer/Dryer when yours conks out one week before you fly to San Francisco for that big investor meeting. Hey… it happens.
Never stop learning. Are you coachable?
Startup owners do not hear this enough. Are. You. Coachable? You must be willing, and able, to learn all the time. You have thrust yourself into a new environment which will require some of your transferable job skills – but as well as some skills that you possibly never had to perform. Ever. Take this opportunity to get familiar with MOOCs and other online learning sites, to brush up on skills you need to compete. Yes, this is a great opportunity to be your own boss… but now you’re also someone else’s boss. You’ll need to understand each person’s role and major tasks, because now they will be getting big picture direction from you, Boss. Salute.
 
Satisfy your needs. What do you want for your job, career and ultimately your life?
Finally, have a plan. Startup life moves fast, but don’t merely set sail on a wing and a prayer. Establish clear guidelines for what you want to do. Tap into your passions, skills and desires to determine what is best for you in this next phase. Once you determine that? Test, test, test – and fail, fail, fail. Testing out your business idea gets your closer to greatness than just setting out on your own with no insight for how to get from Point A, to Point 68, to Point A again. A test that isn’t a success, is a learning. You’ve now learned what not to do to move your business forward.
 
This is by no means the definitive list, but it should get your started on building the life plan for your next phase as an entrepreneur. Until then… happy creating and good luck on your journey.
 
Allison Remsen

In Shaping the Mobile Future, Digital Inclusion Matters

Posted on August 15, 2014

Allison Remsen is the Executive Director of the Mobile Future. Prior to this role, she served as VP of Media Relations for the United States Telecom Association. She and Mobile Future will be part of FOCUS 2014 happening on Oct. 3rd-4th, 2014 in NYC.

What does Mobile Future do?
We work to bring the voices and perspectives of wireless consumers and innovators into technology policy debates that impact the mobile future. Our coalition includes entrepreneurs, technology and communications companies and a wide range of start-ups.

Our mission is to help inform and educate policymakers and also raise awareness in the technology community about how policy affects tech and why entrepreneurs should pay attention to these conversations. Read More >


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Sep 30. DIDTECHTALK

Join us on our weekly tweetchat series with this year's class of FOCUS Fellows. We will discuss the program, their companies, and how they're prepping for this year's FOCUS

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Oct 3. FOCUS100 2014: The Most Diverse Tech Conference in the World

FOCUS100 is one of the most anticipated technology conferences of the year, bringing together diverse startups, innovative companies and top investors

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