The world has responded, and soon India will respond to the world.

Dr. Krishnamurthy Ella

India is going through a heart-wrenching problem with Covid-19. As the world responds to the crisis, the following story (Author unknown) is not only a ray of hope for the entire humanity but a heart-warming personal story.

On the border between Tamilnadu and Andhra lies the temple town of Thiruthani, one of the six famed abodes of Lord Muruga. Krishnamurthy Ella was born in 1969 in an agricultural family to middle-class parents. No one could have imagined his trajectory.

Perhaps because of his background, Krishna wanted to study…

Sprouting More and Healthier Concepts

By Rajiv Tandon, Ph. D.

Launch Minnesota, an initiative by the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), like many such initiatives across the land, is designed to boost the State’s economy by strengthening the startup ecosystem. The goal is to accelerate the number of statewide startups and amplify the state as a national innovation leader.

Entrepreneurship is already exploding by itself. Numerous aspirants have specific ideas in mind and a deep interest in starting a business; most have no previous experience. In Minnesota, we already have 50 incubators, many angel groups/individuals, hundreds of meetups…

Staying a slapshot ahead

By Rajiv Tandon, Ph. D.

I taught Minnesota North Stars hockey players when I was a professor at the University of St. Thomas. I had been coached briefly in middle school by Major Dhyan Chand, the legendary field hockey player. But on ice, it is not even the same game.

The course’s purpose could not be to improve the participants’ rink skills. It was a two-way street. I taught the players business acumen after their NHL days were over, and they familiarized me with the intricacies of a very fast-paced game.

Pandemics can have its Benefits.

Alright, so the rumor is that after many years of predicting the pandemic, the time actually arrived. If you’re a company that is not burning money and is a real business, the downturn will benefit you.

  • Refugees — Talented people whose dreams didn’t materialize will be looking for a real company to associate with.
  • Noise — I’ve been doing some back of the envelope analysis, and the # of absolute f’n idiots giving startup advice is up 273% vs. before the crisis. These people will go away.
  • Less competition — Entrepreneurial tourists will be gone, aka wantrepreneurs, aka people playing…

A path to exploiting unserved niche markets around big industries.

Wake is a low-pressure region immediately behind a solid moving body. It makes it easier for followers to move forward with a lot less energy. You can see wakes in a flock of geese flying in a V-shape pattern; one goose is front and center, leading all the others. Bicyclists riding behind others in a high-speed race conserve energy with the same strategy, as does a car using the slipstream created by the lead car in motor racing.

Image: Twin City Magazine

In cycling, the bicyclist riding behind conserves energy, especially at higher speeds. In Motor Racing, along a long straight stretch, a car…

The structural break is the time for entrepreneurs to apply Jugaad.

At the time of another great crisis, in 1932–33, American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote the Serenity prayer commonly quoted as “ God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

This black swan pandemic has exposed so many vulnerabilities in our present global systems and tests our resolve and resilience. Many of those are beyond the control of most of us. Those who have survived, so far in 2020, by your wits and federal help- Congratulations!

As if it wasn’t tough enough, several…

Competing through our distinctive strengths

Cities all over the world have attempted to replicate Silicon Valley with varying levels of success. Decades ago, so did we, in Minnesota. VC based software startups didn’t sprout. We are more the bootstrapping kind. Over the years, several local venture capital firms left town for California and set up scouting stations to encourage any promising software startups to move there.

The circumstances have changed. The Bay Area is going through crushing issues of housing, expenses, and traffic. In the San Francisco metro area, an annual income of $117,400 for a family of four qualifies as “low income.” Even earning…

Business-model disruption can be planned for.

Joseph Aloïs Schumpeter, the patron saint of entrepreneurs, describes in Creative Destruction the messy way free markets deliver progress. He argued that entrepreneurs introduce innovations by creating new combinations using technology or a new business method that often destroys existing businesses, products, and careers. This is the price of progress.

When was the last time you bought anything with cash? Checks dethroned cash as a payment form for our daily needs. While it was convenient for the consumer, it was a pain for those who received them.

Elloyd Hauser founded a company in 1982 to offer check processing and depository…

The Hierophant

A priest in ancient Greece who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles.

The Fool, having created a solid foundation, is struck with sudden fear. What if everything he’s worked for is taken away, stolen, lost, destroyed, or vanishes?

In a panic, he heads to find the Hierophant and receive his teachings.

He tells the Hierophant of his fears and asks how he can be free of them.

“There are only two ways,” says the Hierophant:

  1. “Either give up that, which you fear to lose, so it no longer holds any power over you,” or
  2. “Consider what you will still have…

An opportunity for entrepreneurs

The Census Bureau reports that Baby boomers own over 2 million businesses. As boomers age, they run into health problems, burn out, they will need to do something with their companies soon. Some plan to turn the keys over to the kids/employees or even close the doors after a lifetime of effort. Many others are seeking a buyer. The right buyer is likely to be a local and preferably a good guardian of their baby.

COVID- 19 has thrown a monkey wrench in those considered plans. Without the luxury to sit back and wait for the market to recover, it…

Dr. Rajiv Tandon

Advocate for the future of entrepreneurship in Minnesota. Facilitates peer groups and runs programs for propelling ideas into ventures

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