Archive: November, 2009
Entrepreneurs like to say they spend every waking moment thinking about their businesses.
On Thursday, several serial entrepreneurs from the region spent several hours critiquing and encouraging other people’s businesses at the 2nd Founder Factory event, sponsored by Philly Startup Leaders.
The Founder Factory is the arena-rock version of what the bar-band Philly Startup Leaders has been doing for the last few years: Stitching together a start-up network through a no-frills organization by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.
Few of us have mottoes, but Temple University associate professor Chris Pavlides did.
It was “networking for life,” and last month I wrote about the nonprofit he founded around the concept.
The Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group expanded from five or six people meeting face-to-face monthly in 2002 to more than 1,000 members this year. Pavlides said he thought executives who’d climbed the ladder needed a forum where they could share opportunities.
GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. is halfway through a strategic effort to teach an elephant how to tap its inner gazelle.
With operations spanning 114 countries, a workforce of more than 101,000 people, and annual revenue of 24.35 billion pounds sterling (about $41 billion), GlaxoSmithKline is the elephant.
Despite spending billions on research and development, it hasn’t been very productive in bringing breakthrough drugs to market. So CEO Andrew Witty took a page from the biotechnology industry in 2008 and created small drug discovery teams.
Listening to the rhetoric about how the federal government needs to spend big to make sure the U.S. stays on technology’s cutting edge, I wonder if big carrots are better than baby ones.
Over the last 26 years, Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Partners program has done a lot with a little state money. Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association, recently praised the program, which provides young technology firms with small investments to nudge them ahead to where a venture capital firm may want to invest.
Other states who’d rushed to copy Ben Franklin when it was created in 1983 tended to shut down their programs when the governorship changed, Heesen said. Not Pennsylvania, which has continued to nurture home-grown tech firms. Ben Franklin has survived three Republican and two Democratic administrations even as its funding has expanded or contracted during budgetary feasts or famines.
Whatever happened to the “cash for clunkers”-like program for new energy-efficient appliances?
Readers have called or e-mailed regularly about the planned $300 million federal rebate program that was included in the Obama economic stimulus package. Several callers with heating systems that are kaput have had particular urgency in their voices and don’t want to miss out on any rebate.
Unlike the $3 billion clunkers rebate blitzkrieg that boosted new-vehicle sales last summer, this program has proceeded more slowly and is aimed at longer-term household investments. It’s also being run differently, with each state deciding what kind of equipment will qualify for rebates.
There is a crush of business events in the next 10 days trying to beat the Thanksgiving holiday.
No fewer than four conferences preaching to very different audiences will test the attention-spans of those in attendance: They last all day; one spans two days.
Today, the 6th annual Wharton Marketing Conference is hoping to attract 500 students, faculty and marketing experts to the Park Hyatt Philadelphia. The spin for this daylong, student-run conference begins at 8:30 a.m. Expect new technology and the rotten economy to be the themes running through everyone’s PowerPoint.
My 401(k) statement may look a little better than it did at the end of last year, but I’m not feeling any kind of “wealth effect.”
Sure, the S&P 500 index is up 21 percent in 2009. If such a spike happened in any other year, I and investors like me would be ecstatic, running with the bulls on Wall Street. Why isn’t my “investor sentiment” feeling the love?
Because the stock market panic last fall that produced a 38 percent decline in the S&P 500 index for 2008 reflected a global financial crisis that toppled huge, ill-understood financial giants and spawned an ongoing debate over how to minimize the risk of its happening again.
QVC Inc., e-commerce juggernaut?
Seems so. QVC, the television shopping network based in West Chester, has long had an online presence with its QVC.com.