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6 specific lessons on starting and growing your business in Delaware

Here's what you missed at the #DIW15 Entrepreneur Bootcamp.

At a Delaware Innovation Week Entrepreneur Bootcamp. (Photo by Mona Parikh)
Make your founders savvier to improve their chances at success.

Many small business training programs exist in the land of the Delaware incorporation, but few have a tech startup bent. So if Delaware Innovation Week were to be a true entry point for new and aspiring founders, we had to offer the fundamentals.
That was the goal of Monday’s #DIW15 Entrepreneur Bootcamp, a series of lessons for 30 aspiring or new entrepreneurs held at the Wilmington offices of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP on Rodney Square.
Find the full slides here. Below, find one lesson from each of the 20-minute case studies from our speakers.

1. Investment: Most businesses aren’t the right fit for venture capital: Mike Bowman of Delaware Technology Park

“Lots of companies have great technology nobody wants,” said Bowman.

2. Customers: Build an audience persona of the specific person you want to sell: Frank deSantis of the Emerging Enterprise Center

You must be able to say: “My company name is ABC. I help X do Y by doing Z.”
“Nobody cares about you. Nobody cares your business,” said deSantis. “They care about how you help them.”
The EEC also hosted its own small business bootcamp during #DIW15.

3. Hiring: “The trend is that nobody is a contractor”: Dena B. Calo of Saul Ewing

Look at struggles around employment status in the sharing economy, and you’ll see what she means.
“Discrimination is wider than you expected,” she said, noting it goes beyond even gender, race and religion. Think pregnancies, disability and other limitations.

4. Media: Pitch reporters by suggesting a similar version of a story they’ve already written: Tony Abraham of

Tony spilled the secret sauce.

5. IP Protection: Getting a patent doesn’t mean you’re not infringing someone else’s intellectual property: Jim Lennon of Young Conaway
The vagaries of IP protection are more complicated than you might realize, he said.

6. Policy: Delaware state government is aggressively pursuing your incorporationEmma Cowdery of Global Delaware

Cowdery shared an array of state websites under the Global Delaware brand aiming to make investment and incorporation far simpler.


The Business Conference was sponsored by Saul Ewing, Comcast Business and JPMorgan Chase, with the Emerging Enterprise Center (EEC), the University of Delaware Horn Program in Entrepreneurship and Young Conaway. 1313 Innovation is the title sponsor of #DIW15.

Companies: Saul Ewing /

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