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Description: Tech Stars provides a crash course in how to start and grow a business idea. These business accelerators are seen as an alternative to traditional college education for budding entrepreneurs.

Source: A. Jordan, “Boot Camp or Bust? A Young Entrepreneur Tries to Make His Mark,” Wall Street Journal

Date: December 8, 2011

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Questions for discussion:

  1. Research suggests that there is a well-defined set of characteristics associated with entrepreneurial leanings. Review this list, as well as the early life experiences typical of entrepreneurs and then discuss whether formal education is critical for someone like Dan Herman.
  2. It has been said that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Your text suggests that necessity drives entrepreneurial activity, particularly for individuals that may have been limited in traditional business settings. What “necessities” might drive a 20 year-old to become an entrepreneur?
  3. Review the common reasons small businesses fail. What does this suggest about the need for small business accelerators like Tech Stars? What kinds of information/training are essential for accelerators to provide new entrepreneurs to ensure a better chance of success?
  4. Is an unproven company like iChat more likely to attract venture capitalists or angel investors? Why? How might making it through several stages of the small business accelerator increase Dan Herman’s chances for attracting investors?



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