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Apr. 26, 2012 9:00 am

5 business lessons from Startup 101: investment, IP, outsourcing [VIDEO]

Ever wanted to found your own startup? There’s a lot more to it then just a great idea. Startup 101, organized in conjunction with Philly Tech Week, introduced about 50 participants to the need-to-know business basics of venture capital, intellectual property law, telecommunications, IT and marketing. Afterward, the panelists — Meidlinger Partners co-founder and Managing Principal […]

Skyline view from the Pyramid Club where Startup 101 was held during Philly Tech Week. Photo by Sean Blanda.

Ever wanted to found your own startup? There’s a lot more to it then just a great idea.

Startup 101, organized in conjunction with Philly Tech Week, introduced about 50 participants to the need-to-know business basics of venture capital, intellectual property law, telecommunications, IT and marketing.

Afterward, the panelists — Meidlinger Partners co-founder and Managing Principal Kevin Brophy, Volpe and Koenig IP lawyer Joe McNamaraEcomm consultant Don Campbell, PFIT, Inc. CEO Fred Bender, and Dreamscape Marketing president Dan Gemp — fielded questions about everything from SEO to whether or not to found your business in Philadelphia or Delaware.

The Pyramid Club hosted the event and offered a sky-high — 52 stories high — setting to learn exactly what it takes to start a business these days.

After the jump see video of each panelists’ introductory remarks and five specific takeaways from the event.

Brophy gave a brief introduction to venture capital for new entrepreneurs and offered some unconventional ways to pitch venture capitalists.

(1) “It’s probably easier than it ever has been to understand the science of what’s important in raising venture capital money,” Brophy said. “I think number one is users.”

(2) McNamara outlined the must-know intellectual property basics for business upstarts, focusing on patents, trademark laws, and copyright laws.

“I barely scratched the surface of all the IP issues startups will want to look at,” McNamara said, conveying that a good IP lawyer may be in the stars for many serious ventures.

(3) Campbell explained the basic telecommunications needs of a new business and the impact of the cloud.

“When you’re small, you don’t need a lot,” Campbell said. “But you do need to think about where you’re going.”

(4) Bender gave an overview of the information technology infrastructure necessary to get a small business going.

“Outsourcing services is generally a good idea,” Bender said, using IT as an example. “I’m not saying outsource manufacturing to India. I’m saying, ‘Outsource professional services.”

(5) Gemp explained the importance of investing in your website and being efficient about marketing.

“Going digital with all of your advertising from day one is going to  make it 60 to 70 percent less expensive per sale no matter what industry you’re in,” said Gemp.

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Yael Borofsky was the lead reporter for Technically Philly from from December 2011 to June 2012 before leaving to pursue an urban studies graduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously she was an editor with the Breakthrough Journal in San Francisco. She loves hockey and coffee.

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