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Isn’t It Who You Know, Not What You Know?

I was prompted to write this blog after watching Bill Gates on capital hill asking for an increase for the H1 visas so more engineers from India could enter the country.  I have no problem with this request because less and less engineers are graduating, and if they are graduating from US colleges, and are not from the US, they are going back to their home countries, and taking their knowledge with them.  However, this got me thinking about the knowledge power we have here in the US that is under utilized and never exposed. 

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I was prompted to write this blog after watching Bill Gates
on capital hill asking for an increase for the H1 visas so more engineers from India could
enter the country.  I have no problem
with this request because less and less engineers are graduating, and if they
are graduating from US colleges, and are not from the US, they are going back
to their home countries, and taking their knowledge with them.  However, this got me thinking about the
knowledge power we have here in the US that is under utilized and never
exposed. 

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I have been an entrepreneur my whole life, I just never knew
it or recognized it.  It’s not something you
wake up and think about, or realize, it’s just something embedded in you that
makes you think, act, and tick differently. 
However, being an entrepreneur doesn’t always mean you’re a successful entrepreneur,
or your product or company will be funded. 
You could have the best product and idea, generate sales, have great
customers and still, no one wants to fund you. 
This is where the “who you know, not what your doing” comes into
play.  Since 2003 I have been trying to
raise capital for my company. Here are a few things that have happened thus far:

·  Self-funded the company to date.

·  Two angel investors have agreed to invest, only
to have backed out.

·   Two companies have offered to purchase the company
however, the company hadn’t generated enough sales.

·    I have a patent pending product.

·    We have generated sales with Fortune 500 clients
(most start-ups don’t even have penny of generated income.)

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·   Pitched the company more times than I can count,
even having created a video.

·   Creation of partnerships at all levels and types.

 

Those are just a few things I have done to try and get
funding.  However, if I knew the right
people I would have received funding years ago. 
Case in point, in my industry there is a company called Jobster
and their former CEO, Jason Goldberg
.  The company had raised 45 million from Ignition
Partners, Mayfield, Reed Elsevier, and Trinity Partners and has
burnt through the money in just 3 years. 
The company had changed its model a number of times, from a candidate
referral system, to an SEO company.  The
latest is a facebook application that acts like a social networking application
for job seekers.  Throughout its life,
the company had gone through more transitions than one can count, including
layoffs.  The CEO said the company would
be profitable in one year, but it never has. 
Now it seems the company is trying to raise another million dollars,
because  they couldn’t get anything
accomplished with the 46 million.  I
guess the next million will really turn them around? 

Now it seems that Jason Goldberg has started another company
and has raised another  million dollars
from Newsweek
Interactive
.  So it would seem that
being unsuccessful, running a business into the ground, and spending 46 million
gives you grounds to go out and start another company with funding. 

So I ask you…Is It What You Know, Or Who You Know?