Amir Banifatemi is founder of K5 Accelerator, which is based at ChapmanCollege’s e-Village. He has extensive experience developing start up and growth companies in many different markets but focuses primarily on healthcare, internet and media technologies. While he is focused keenly on developing value, he also has an eye toward projects that have significant technological breakthroughs and significant social and economic impact.
Mehit: You’ve been quoted that the center of gravity in OrangeCounty has been around real estate and finance resulting in a very careful and staid culture. What would you like to see changed?
Amir: I would try to improve a certain number of things, one of those would be more collaboration. I think the history of OrangeCounty and how people are disbursed does not promote synergies. Unfortunately, distance makes it difficult for people to meet and collaborate on projects, except on big projects.
Further if you look historically, at San Francisco or other places, when people get out of college, where do they go? They go to Hewlett Packard or the Fairchild or Intel but what do they do here? They go to a real estate company or title company. The appropriate employment environment is lacking.
Finally, people are focused on cash today instead of cash tomorrow. Your attitude, your investment of time and resource in collaboration and how you view society and community are different if you looking at cash tomorrow.
Created by Burden in 1979, the Flaming Carrot has no secret identity, no superpowers, and is not particularly intelligent. After reading 5,000 comic books in a single sitting to win a bet, a man was driven quite mad and was permanently transformed into the orange superhero.
Crowdfunding is the latest buzz to hit the entrepreneur community, but no one really knows how it is going to work. What we do know is that it will allow people like you and me (non-accredited) investors to use our money to help small businesses to start or grow. The problem is that the funding entrepreneurs need to prove, start and grow their ideas into companies has been at a premium since 2008. The question now is whether the excitement will translate into a meaningful solution.
The turn of the century already saw a slow down from the tech investing of the 90’s, but when the recession hit, bank funding ground almost to a stop. Where could the entrepreneur go to seek funding for their idea or startup?
A more effective model for Angel investing is long overdue. If Angels want to win — they want to lower their risk, create better returns, and help entrepreneurs more they’ll do the following: fly lower heights (avoid trying to fund the next 5 Facebooks) and take shorter flights (avoid riding each investment out all the way to the end).
A friend of mine, once honored for his business accomplishments, was asked what advice he would give to those starting a business. With a wry smile he said, “Don’t do it.”
This friend, now prosperous, had a long and difficult climb. An immigrant, he had fits and starts while selecting his business model, then a bankruptcy and some personal tragedies before he tasted sustained success. An accomplished engineer, my friend could have opted for a well paying job at any point, using his war stories as an entrepreneur as badges of self-reliance and leadership.
He instead chose a decade long struggle to build a successful manufacturing company. While he was honored for being special, the truth is he isn’t unique among entrepreneurs. From programmers coding the next killer app to the husband and wife running the corner market, entrepreneurs have some common traits. They’re hard workers. They know how to focus and get things done. They understand whom their customers are and how to reach them. More than anything, they are courageous.
When choosing a revenue model, most companies wait until the very end of development and simply look to what market leaders are doing, altering it slightly. But when considered carefully, the revenue model can be a very powerful tool. By changing the revenue model, a company will change its entire business.
The NSBA’s Mid-Year Economic Report, which surveyed 400 of the group’s members online between June 24 and July 11, offered little to be optimistic about:
More than one-third say they aren’t confident about the future of their business from a financial perspective
Eighty-eight percent anticipate a recession or flat economy in the next year, an increase from 78 percent six months ago
Forty-five percent expect no growth opportunities in the coming year, up from 40 percent in December.
I believe there are really only two kinds of small businesses – healthy ones and unhealthy ones.
Here is the text of Marty Keller’s goodbye note and it provides some information about they way forward for the California Small Business Advocate’s Office. We’ll miss you, Marty. – Ed.
A couple of items to share before I transition to my new adventure:
- The Asian Business Association of Orange County wants you to know of a couple events coming up in August and September:
- The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County is hosting its Annual Green & Health Expo on August 25 at the Crowne Plaza Anaheim Resort in Garden Grove. Details can be found here.
- The ABAOC is putting on its annual Procurement Opportunities and Export Initiatives event on September 22 at the Disney Paradise Pier Hotel in Anaheim. Details are available here.
- The indefatigable Frank Ferral is spearheading, along with the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, a Recycling BIN Summit on August 9 at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel in Stockton. More information can be found here.
As for matters of concern with state government, until the Governor appoints a new Small Business Advocate, please contact GOED regarding any matters of concern. The general number is (877) 345-4633. Joel Ayala is the Director (email@example.com), and Dave Freitas is the Chief Deputy Director (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Daisy Luna is staying on as our intern. She manages the event calendar, so please forward her information that you want posted to the GOED business calendar: email@example.com.
For matters dealing with procurement, please contact Eric Mandell at the Department of General Services at 916-375-4608: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for me, I will kicking back for exactly two days, and then I will be in touch with you all on Monday about the new direction. Nikki, be patient!
Thanks again for the friendships and collaborations over the years, and remember: the best is yet to be!
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Tagged banks, branding, business, Deals, Depression, economic crisis, economy, entrepreneurs, financial crisis, financial institutions, funding, jobs, Loans, marketing, money, Recession, sba, sbdc, small business, start ups
Four years later, with more than 120 keynote speeches under my belt to audiences ranging from 30 to 3,000 people, I truly love delivering a presentation. Here are three things that helped me find my strength on stage.