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How do you pay an early-stage board?

Berkonomics

Give one percent equity to each outside board member vesting over two to four years of service. Many early-stage CEOs and board members have asked for some guidance regarding pay and time commitments for board members. Here is my best advice, based upon many boards and many years. Pay early-stage board members of companies that are not lifestyle businesses one percent of the fully diluted equity in the form of an option that vests over two to four years of service.

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Announcing Panelist for June 1st Mondays of Summer – Expert Panel & Networking

Startup San Diego

We’re coming close to our 1st Mondays of Summer powered by JP Morgan Startup Banking and UCSD Design and Innovation, happening June 24th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. If you’re […] The post Announcing Panelist for June 1st Mondays of Summer – Expert Panel & Networking appeared first on Startup San Diego.

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Using Generative AI to Drive Corporate Impact

TechEmpower

Generative AI is revolutionizing how corporations operate by enhancing efficiency and innovation across various functions. Focusing on generative AI applications in a select few corporate functions can contribute to a significant portion of the technology's overall impact. Key Functions with High Impact Generative AI is revolutionizing sales by enabling dynamic pricing and personalized customer interactions, boosting conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

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Waymo can now charge for robotaxi rides in LA and on San Francisco freeways

TechCrunch LA

Waymo received approval Friday afternoon from the California Public Utilities Commission to operate a commercial robotaxi service in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Peninsula and on San Francisco freeways. The approval removes the last barrier for the Alphabet company to charge for rides in these expanded areas. Importantly, it opens up new territory for Waymo […] © 2024 TechCrunch.

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Can You Ask for Office Rent Relief? How to Manage Your Lease During COVID-19

Office leases are one of companies’ largest expenses, and if your whole team is working from home with no clear end in sight, you may be wondering what to do about your lease.

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Your board should protect you!

Berkonomics

All other board functions are secondary. Even venture capitalists who sit on boards where they have significant investments often forget this point. They write in their investment documents that they will occupy a seat on the board for as long as they are invested in the company, thinking of this as a protection for their investment and tool for them to influence growth.

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7 Grants For Black-Owned Businesses to Apply For in 2024

Tech.Co

In recent years, Black-owned businesses have grown at the fastest pace in 30 years. However, despite growing optimism, the path to success for Black entrepreneurs is still paved with systematic barriers in 2024. In addition to the regular pressures of running a business in this climate, Black business owners have to contend with discriminatory lending practices from banking institutions and racial prejudices from buyers – with a recent report revealing that 76% of Black business owners cla

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How Three Best Friends Launched an On-The-Go Underwear Company in 5000 CVS Stores

Startup San Diego

The story of Panic Panties is hilarious, real, and very much needed in this modern world. Three friends, Maria-Nicole Marino, Alexandra Tartell, and Katherine Anne Koury, were casually having dinner […] The post How Three Best Friends Launched an On-The-Go Underwear Company in 5000 CVS Stores appeared first on Startup San Diego.

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Interview with Brad Zions: Investor and Tech Veteran from Los Angeles

StartUp Beat

Los Angeles has long been renowned for the prowess of its entertainment industry, with Hollywood being a larger-than-life symbol known across the world. Yet the growth of its tech sector has also increasingly been receiving attention. We spoke to serial investor Brad Zions from Los Angeles to get a better perspective on tech trends in […] The post Interview with Brad Zions: Investor and Tech Veteran from Los Angeles appeared first on StartUp Beat.

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7 Government Small Business Grants to Apply For in May 2024

Tech.Co

Seeking funding is a right of passage for many small business owners. While there are endless private and government-backed loans to choose from, if you’re looking to evade strict repayment terms and steep interest rates, it could be worth considering government business grants. Government business grants are financial awards issued by federal, state, or local authorities.

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Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, January 18, 2024 -- ntersolar North America and Energy Storage North America is the premier US-based conference and trade show focused on solar, energy storage, and EV charging infrastructure. Dedicated to accelerating the energy transition, the event delivers actionable education, invaluable networking, and an immersive exhibit hall experience.

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Startup San Diego Quarterly Tech Report: #CES2024, SD Startups, Cutting-Edge AI & XR Breakthroughs

Startup San Diego

The Startup San Diego quarterly tech report featured a conversation between Cheryl Goodman, Vice Chair of Startup San Diego, and Vishal Shah, GM of XR & Metaverse at Lenovo. They […] The post Startup San Diego Quarterly Tech Report: #CES2024, SD Startups, Cutting-Edge AI & XR Breakthroughs appeared first on Startup San Diego.

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Pitbull Ventures Closes $5M Fund To Help The Next Generation of Vertical SAAS Companies

StartUp Beat

Pitbull Ventures, the early-stage venture capital firm founded by prominent investor Brad Zions, today announced the close of its $5M Fund I. The fund, which is looking to fuel the growth of pioneering startups in the region and take LA’s tech scene to new heights, invests in pre-seed AI-enabled vertical SAAS startups with early traction. Founder […] The post Pitbull Ventures Closes $5M Fund To Help The Next Generation of Vertical SAAS Companies appeared first on StartUp Beat.

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Wow! Are your relationships important!

Berkonomics

Forming business relationships at the highest level As you follow these insights from ignition to liquidity event, you’ll detect a continuing theme, emphasizing the need for deep and wide relationships that the CEO and senior staff can call upon for advice and guidance. This is the time to elevate those insights to the level of highest value for the corporation, one that cannot be listed on a balance sheet nor included in an appraisal of corporate worth.

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Company Offering $10K for a 30 Day Phone Detox, Apply Now

Tech.Co

There are just five days left to enter the digital detox competition set up by Icelandic Yogurt company Siggi’s Dairy, which has pledged to give selected contestants $10,000 to spend an entire month “detoxing” without a smartphone or social media. To be considered for the contest, you will have to write a 100-500 word essay to enter on why you’d like to digitally detox and the positive impact it’ll have on your life – but that's all that's needed to apply.

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Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, January 17, 2024 -- ntersolar North America and Energy Storage North America is the premier US-based conference and trade show focused on solar, energy storage, and EV charging infrastructure. Dedicated to accelerating the energy transition, the event delivers actionable education, invaluable networking, and an immersive exhibit hall experience.

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Startup San Diego Tech Report Episode 2 Wrap Up: MWC, SXSW, & CPG AI Glow-up

Startup San Diego

The second episode of the Startup San Diego Tech report featured a conversation between Cheryl Goodman, Vice Chair of Startup San Diego, and Bryan Landers, AI Product Designer at Zapier. […] The post Startup San Diego Tech Report Episode 2 Wrap Up: MWC, SXSW, & CPG AI Glow-up appeared first on Startup San Diego.

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Take this test to predict your success:

Berkonomics

Your success must be based upon data that is solid and sometimes flexible enough to pass several critical tests if it is to guide a business enterprise to greatness. Here in brief are ten tests for your successful vision. Try these on for size, and test yourself for attractiveness to the marketplace, to investors and to history. Ten tests for your business success: Is your market identifiable and accessible?

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To directors and advisors: “Noses in; fingers OUT!”

Berkonomics

Many of us have someone who reports directly to us and who supervises others in return. Well, this one is for you. And it is one of the most important lessons you can learn as a manager, board member, or advisor of a company or even a non-profit enterprise. Where did this statement come from? I first heard this in a governance seminar for a non-profit higher educational board upon which I sit, over 25 years ago.

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Are your board members as valuable as you?

Berkonomics

Perhaps this is the natural conclusion from the several insights previously explored. While the CEO and management offer the vision, strategies, and tactics as well as the proposed budget, it is the board that controls with its votes the execution of strategy, the expenditure of cash, the taking on of debt or new equity, the very direction of the company as well as its ultimate health.

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Should board members be elected “for life?”

Berkonomics

No board member should be grandfathered, guaranteed a board seat forever. Practically speaking, this is an impossible goal. We have investigated the restrictions imposed by investment documents and the obvious need to keep continuity on the board with the retention of the CEO position at the very least. But it would be the best of form to require in the bylaws of a corporation that all seats are re-elected annually.

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Fight for balance on your board!

Berkonomics

Picking up where we left off… In my last insight, I described the CEO who stacked the board with two friends, making a majority for control purposes and relegating the investor representatives to insignificance. There were no outside board members with industry experience, no members the CEO trusted with governance backgrounds, no scientists to evaluate the technology that is the core asset of the corporation.

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Hire a consultant; ignore the advice!

Berkonomics

The ideal use of consultants… At one time or another, most all businesses use consultants to fill the gaps in knowledge or to provide guidance for management. Consultants are good in that you can sample their work with short projects, change to other consultants quickly, and stop using them when a project is completed. A personal story of ignorance of good advice.

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How to cheat legally on your tax return.

Berkonomics

When do you cross the line between honesty and dishonesty in tax planning? Is it ethical to allocate income between periods to take advantage of tax breaks? Can expenses be put off until the next period to increase income, or accelerated into this period by prepayment to decrease net income? Where do you draw the line, assuming no intent to defraud?

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11 Small Business Grants and Loans to Apply For in 2024

Tech.Co

There's no denying that 2024 is a challenging year to run a business. As inflation rates spiral and consumer demand takes a hit, business owners are forced to be more mindful of their bottom lines than ever. But whether you're grappling with debt, or looking to expand, accessing third-party financing may be easier than you think. While free money may sound too good to be true, there are hundreds of grants available to small businesses in 2024 designed to make financing more accessible to busines

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Do you really need an accountant?

Berkonomics

First, let’s be sure we define our terms. Accountants are trained, certified and usually quite experienced in financial analysis, both creating and reviewing data. Bookkeepers are often trained on the job although sometimes more formally and handle the physical work of accounting for the transactions. To expect a bookkeeper to provide analytical planning is to ask for something they often cannot provide, except in a cursory way.

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What if you see juicy competitor information?

Berkonomics

Has this happened to you? Many of us belong to industry associations and find ourselves at conferences and trade shows with time to spend with competitors. Some of these are old friends, some even former associates. It is natural to want to associate with these people for many reasons, certainly socially. Most CEOs want to obtain information about their competitors in the most subtle and non-obvious ways.

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What are the costs of taking investor money?

Berkonomics

Let’s talk about the reality of taking money from professional investors. It is not the first time we’ve covered this general subject nor the last. But this time, we concentrate upon governance changes. After friends and family… Once a company founder has tapped the funds available from his or her resources and from friends and family, if the company needs more cash for growth, the most obvious next step is to look for money from angel investors and venture capitalists, typically in the $300,00

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Do you need an advisory board?

Berkonomics

Have you ever thought of creating an advisory board? As you can guess, that would be an informal group with no legal responsibilities, but one able to be called upon to act as business, industry and scientific advisors to the company or CEO. Why? Usually, you would want to create an advisory board to fill in the critical areas of need not evidenced in the board of directors or within the company itself.

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Do you even need a business coach?

Berkonomics

Everyone, even seasoned CEO’s can use a good coach who knows how to bring out the best in a person, is knowledgeable about the business process, and who has an extended list of relationships to call upon to fill needs that become obvious in the coaching process. Business coaches come in all sizes and shapes. Entrepreneurs will have a relative willing to devote time, a school friend with business experience, professionals who charge for the service, investors with a reason to prom

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Should you be optimistic about your corporate growth?

Berkonomics

Planning for future space needs after COVID. One of the most obvious observations I make with growing company CEO’s is that planning for a new office is done with an optimistic view of the future, incorporating planned space that compromises only slightly the measured needs for the next three or more years as outlined in the financial forecast. Yes, we can mitigate that with starting with a reduced size given the current remote and hybrid work environment.

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If you must lease an office, make it a short one!

Berkonomics

Avoid long-term commitments! It is statistically true that at least half of the young companies funded by angel or venture investors will not survive three years from funding to demise, and more than that percentage will die with two years if not well financed. The greatest burden of either a growing company or one needing to retract and reduce expenses is the office lease – especially in these years after COVID and remote work.

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What’s your answer? Are remote workers productive?

Berkonomics

We’ve been measuring & disagreeing since COVID. Do home-based employees work with the same dedication and productivity as those in office cubicles next to each other? That depends upon the management as much as the employee. I have a friend who was a CEO of a recruiting firm who “virtualized” her company after a decade of maintaining a fixed office location.

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Can your lawyer destroy a good business deal?

Berkonomics

Let’s talk about lawyers… Over the years in business and as a member of over forty boards, I have received good advice from corporate attorneys and on occasion bad advice as well. There is a line that should be drawn in a relationship between corporate attorney and CEO or board. Attorneys are paid to protect the corporation, not to give business advice.

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The Newest Hub for Startup Events: SSD Startup Calendar In Partnership with The Social Coyote

Startup San Diego

If you’re new to San Diego or looking to get into the local startup scene, seeing which events to go to can be difficult and overwhelming. That’s why our team […] The post The Newest Hub for Startup Events: SSD Startup Calendar In Partnership with The Social Coyote appeared first on Startup San Diego.

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Official Announcement: 1st Mondays International Women’s Month Panelists

Startup San Diego

Our 1st Mondays – Networking and Expert Panel event is happening in a few weeks on Monday, March 4th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM in the heart of Downtown San […] The post Official Announcement: 1st Mondays International Women’s Month Panelists appeared first on Startup San Diego.

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SSD Tech Report: Covering MWC, SXSW, and a Startup CPG AI “Glow-Up”

Startup San Diego

MWC 2024: More AI than APIakeaways that will touch consumers The Mobile World Congress (MWC) stands as the premier event for the mobile telecommunications sector. In 2024, MWC rebounded to […] The post SSD Tech Report: Covering MWC, SXSW, and a Startup CPG AI “Glow-Up” appeared first on Startup San Diego.

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