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Chad Stender Of SeventySix Capital Joins Camden Tech Meet-Up

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In one of many meet ups located in Camden, the Waterfront Lab invites Chad Stender, Director of Operations at SeventySix Capital, to Camden’s June Tech Meet up. At the meetup, Jie Kuang, Moderator and Editor-In-Chief of Owner’s Magazine, sits down with Stender to discuss some sensitive topics in intent for startups to learn. In speaking about his career, the power of being nice, the future of startups, and what it takes for VCs to invest, there are many things to take away from this event.
As an entrepreneur, Venture capitalist, and Director of Operations, Stender’s career spans from working at Disney to the SeventySix Capital. After graduating college, Chad was gifted an internship job at Disney, in which he then made the decision to move to Orlando, Florida. Although his check was only $10 an hour, Stender’s advanced internship taught him many things in his stay with food and beverages. From working with the best customer service program globally, he learned many values that he still withholds today, due to Disney. This quickly ended though, as he later understood his drive for working with sports. Once Stender had quit his internship with Disney to go back to school in Philly for a graduate degree, he quickly landed another internship opportunity with the 76ers. In many more openings working with Comcast and the Flyers, it all adds up to his plan that will eventually lead him to his true vocation. Although nothing he did was linear, he had a world map and the opportunity to meet with many people that gave him his career today. In meeting unique and gifted entrepreneurs, Stender would then learn his calling path to working with entrepreneurs and innovations in the startup world. Others recognized his skills and wisdom, which led to SeventySix Capital, calling for a perfect position for him there.
chad stender

Photo courtesy of Joanna Lam

In developing his own personal quota of the power of being nice, Stender ultimately aims to invest in being smart and nice. In being a smart entrepreneur, it takes executing your vision respectfully, knowing when to push and when to pull, and simply, understand who to bring on the team. To be nice on the other hand, it’s far more difficult to be sincere and genuinely kind. Reason being, some people are simply just not considerate in response. If that is the case, it still shouldn’t be the reason to be difficult. Take into precaution, the founder’s personal life, spouse, kids, etc. The best and smart thing to do is to be considerate, help them through their personal conflict so they can go back to their work. Normalize the personal aspect of business and keep the people in mind. It’s the small gestures that relieve the outcome. So take Stender’s saying, “be nice always, life is too short to work with the wrong kind of people”.Chad then jumps to another topic, when asked about the startup community. He related it to the iPhone. “It’s 10 years old now”, he says, “and it is easily identified as the most powerful device in this century.” To start a business today, it’s all in your pocket. It’s that simple. The difference between now and then is the growth. Startup communities are rapidly growing now more than ever, simply because it’s that easy to get involved and make a difference. To start a revolution, it’s all in your pockets, meaning, it’s all in arms reach. In additional talks of Camden’s startup community, Chad Stender is thoroughly impressed with Camden’s people, along with their drive and passion there. As the ecosystem is striving to achieve, the attempt to silence all of the negative criticism is making an effect through the celebration of all of Camden’s wins. By changing the mindset and stigma to Camden’s name, more entrepreneurs are able to expand their innovative ideas into Camden.The most vital yet terrifying task for startups rely on the investors. Finding an investment is a full time concentration. When you have a lead investor trying to get money into your company, that is the best scenario. If on the other hand, you feel forced to take a capital, only to keep your company going, that’s not going to be a good relationship. If you take an investment, but you don’t believe in this team or leaders, it’s a bad start. If you know in your gut, don’t take the investment. Trust your gut in all business instances.
chad stender

Photo courtesy of Joanna Lam

In another scenario, some investors just might not be interested. Chad Stender calls it as, “every no is just a not yet, you have to be resilient.” On the investor’s side, reasons for not taking an investment is not because of the team or the idea. It is actually because it’s not the investor’s focus. To investors, they view it as enabling them from adding value that can be deemed useful since it’s an area they’re not acknowledged in. To get over that, you have to ask the real questions. The two best things in this situation are the responses, yes and no. With the worse possible replies of ‘maybe’ and ‘I don’t know’. Maybe is just a comfort zone, it’s a reassurance that things could work out. With a no, you can simply move on, it’s not the right fit. Get out of the maybe, hopefully you’ll get the yes. The biggest thing to investors are the people and team behind the idea. So it is crucial to know your investor. For Chad Stender, he really enjoys being hands on. He strives on really getting to know the founders, team, and the advisors. So if a company doesn’t agree with that, it won’t work out. There must be an understanding on both sides. The shiniest product doesn't always win, it's the people that makes the company go.The worst situation to be in is getting out of an investment. Getting out of an investment happens and it's not pretty. You might think you want to work with this company for years but one day, you just wake up with an even better idea. Its business and you have to deal with it when things don’t work out the way you want it to. Chad Stender has been through it, and so does a lot of investors, it happens. Business keeps going.

Business

Succeed As A Veteran Owned Business

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Starting and maintaining a business may be hard work, but can be made easier with the right network. Having the right support and connections may be the thin line between success and failure. If you’re a veteran entrepreneur with a business idea, you can receive funding to help bring those ideas to life. We will explain the steps to succeed as a veteran owned business.

Find Out If You Qualify

If you have previously served in the military and/or have an injury-related disability, you may be eligible for government contracting and additional funding. In order to receive this certification, the individual must own at least 51 percent of the company that they are applying for, and manage the day-to-day operations of the business. There is also a procedure that you’ll need to follow in order to prove your veteran and/or disabled status. In order to prove veteran status you will need to provide a Department of Defense Form (DD214). If you are applying as a service-disabled veteran, you will need to get a letter from the US Department of Veteran Affairs proving that you are actually disabled. In many cases, if you are not interested in securing government contracts for your veteran owned business, these steps are not necessary.

Register with The VA

Another crucial step in the qualification process is to register through the VA or Veterans Affairs. Registering will not only assist with the strategic marketing of your business but will also add a legitimacy factor in being known as a veteran owned business. People are generally supportive of service men and women and want to support your endeavors, so proudly promoting that you have a veteran owned business will add to growth. The VetBiz Registry, which acts as a business database is the first step in registering with the VA. You will need to have your DD214, letter of disability status, tax forms, bank statements, business license, any partner agreements, and some other additional documents may be requested at the discretion of the VA.

Utilize the SDVOSBC

The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act was created in 1999. The goal of this act is to generate over $15 billion of contracting dollars for businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. Being that some veterans return from duty with disabilities stemming from conflict, this program sets aside a certain amount of contracts to service them first. As long as you are considered disabled from service no matter your rating, you are eligible to securing a contract. However, if you do have a 100 percent disability rating the government has contingencies in place to allow a spouse or caregiver to run the business in place of the veteran. It’s very convenient and an amazing opportunity for vets who have served to be able to get their ideas out no matter their status.

Marketing Your Veteran Owned Business

Veterans are normally praised and promoted for their service in the armed forces, but the magnitude of entrepreneurship in this demographic is overlooked. According to Forbes, there are over 3 million Veteran owned businesses run in the United States, 5.7 million people are employed by Veterans, and Veterans are twice as likely to own a business than non-vets. These statistics show that there is a strong thread between the personalities of veterans and the interest in entrepreneurship. Strength, discipline, and leadership are all valuable traits to possess in business. Registering your business with BuyVeteran.com can also be a great resource to use for promotional items. When you register you will receive badges to display throughout your business/store, along with apparel (T-Shirts, Hats), Magnets, and other marketing items. Using the local media in your community, as well as social media, can help with promotion. Using your veteran status to appeal to an audience who already has admiration and respect for you will surely render growth.

Know Everything About Your Industry

If your chosen business field is completely out of your realm of knowledge be sure to research as much as possible before requesting support/investors. You should be an expert on your business idea as well as having a solid business plan ready to execute. Doing research includes finding out who your target audience is, how to price your products/services, who your competitors are, and what laws are in place in that industry. Will you need a license to provide certain services? How does paying taxes change for a business owner as opposed to an employee? These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered before you move forward with the business. Once you have completed all these steps you are ready to take on the world as a Vetrepreneur! Good luck!
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Business

Have An Organized Work Area With Grovemade

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A cluttered work space is unappealing. With Grovemade, their unique wool felt desk pad is designed to change your desk experience. By adding a touch of style to your work desk to enhance your productivity, the desk can influence a positive effect on your day. In reducing the stress caused by your packed desk, the desk pad also allows an eased flow for your paperwork by providing a non-slip surface. The surface top will take away all of your concerns from the potential damages related to your desk including the scratches, stains, and heat damage from computers that can devastate a perfectly attractive desk. This will prevent the desk, as well as the office, from looking undesirable. Whether the damage to your desk is from the imprints of pen marks or coffee mugs, the desk pad will ensure the harm won’t happen. “Design inspires what you do”. Grovemade believes that the tools you embrace yourself in have personal correlation to who you are and the meaning behind your work. In other products for your office spaces, Grovemade promotes an organized work area.
 A messy desk creates more negative outcomes than we acknowledge. “Our productivity is impacted by our level of organization,” says Susan Kousek, a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO). Entrepreneurs tend to lose track of time, resulting in a short period of disconnection from the real world. You will then come to realize how cluttered your desk is. With the piles of paperwork, coffee mugs, trash, and more. No matter how busy, you should always arrange your desk. There are five reasons why you should keep an organized work area:

You Can Find Things Quicker

It can be difficult to get anything accomplished if you’re repeatedly losing company documents and you are misplacing important paperwork. Working in an organized environment helps smoothen your work processes and can also make your work more efficient. If everything is in its place, you can find the things that you need in order to complete your daily tasks more quickly. Organizing things to where they belong will create a less surface clutter that will ensure you to know where things are at when you need them. With an organized work area, everything is in reach for you to find and use.

Limit Visual Distractions

The effects of working at a cluttered desk can be noticeably negative. Workers tend to be less productive and efficient when they are in an area with potential distractions. If your leftovers are still affecting you on your desk, it’s time to organize your work area. A cluttered desk will divert your attention away from what’s important. Not only are you distracted, but your coworker’s attention is drifted away as well, wondering when you are going to clean that mess. An office needs order and when you’re not following that guide, everyone is thrown off. 

An Organized Desk Helps You Remember Important Tasks

It’s difficult to prioritize your projects if you’re not organized. Visual cues can help you remember as well as prioritize your important tasks. In comparison, a disorganized desk is the same with a packed e-mail inbox. You have to dig through the spam in order to find that important email, there is always that thought, “What’s important in all of that clutter?”

Company Image

An unattractive work area can be of discomfort to anyone who visits. You want to make your company appear welcoming, especially to potential clients and workers. Whether it is a simple desk cleanup or a makeover with desk pads or plants, these are essential to creating an aesthetically appealing work space. If you’re the only one with a messy desk, you’re the one to blame for impacting the company’s image negatively.

Health Safety

A buildup of dust, lint and pollen can create breathing hazard for everyone in the office, with the possible influence in asthma attacks, stuffy noses, and other harmful health issues. With workers who regularly eat at their desks without cleaning up can attract a multitude of disease-carrying pests, including the cockroaches and mice. Not only do you need to maintain an organized work area, but you need to keep it clean as well.How you design your space can greatly impact your mood and emotion. Most people aren’t always fully aware of it, but your environment has a distinct psychological influence on your subconscious. Becoming more self-aware in how you’re decorating your space will be in consideration towards your personal needs, so the look of your work desk is crucially paralleled to your work attitude. With a cluttered work area, things are more difficult to complete. Organization is the solution to limit these problems. 
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Business

5 Tips On Raising Money

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Entrepreneurs know that raising money to start your business is one of the toughest things you have to do. Competition for funds increase every day so your chances of securing an investment grow slimmer. However, finding an investor is not impossible and fundraising does not need to be stressful. Here are some things you can do to take some of the pressure off and start rolling in investments.

Tell Your Story

Tell them what your company is all about. If you are raising money for a certain purpose, people are more likely to support it if they see or know where their money is going. You have to make investors understand how your product or service will change the lives of your potential customers. In TV shows like Shark Tank it is common to see entrepreneurs give the investors their background and the background of their company in story form. Try to evoke emotion in your investors so that they will be more inclined to write checks.

Determine The Amount of Money You Need

When you’re fundraising for your business, you're using other people's money. Make it easier for them to part with their money by telling them how much you need. Get quotations, documentations such as bills and business costs and your business budget. You need to be able to show investors that there is attractive profitability once the business takes off and the bills are paid.  In this connection, you need to keep your business costs low. Investors like to see attractive profit margins so that they will be able to get a return on their investments as soon as possible.

Approach Relatives and Friends

You can perfect your sales pitch by starting with your family and friends. Invite them to become shareholders of your company by telling them of the advantages of joining you in business. If your relatives like the idea, they become shareholders of the business. However, make sure that you retain majority ownership of your business. If you sell too much, you become diluted. This could spell trouble if you need to raise more funds.

Borrow From Banks

Banks are good options for raising money. You don’t need to give them equity because they will be lending you money. For this option, you need to show banks that you will be able to pay your loan. Documents like cash flow and collateral are needed to secure a bank loan. Generally speaking, banks are more comfortable with lending their money to businesses that have a proven track record. If the business consistently sees profit and this profit is good enough to cover additional debt, then the loan is more likely to be approved. If you’re a startup, you need to prepare a thorough loan package with explanations how your company will grow and repay the loan.

Keep Business Costs Low

Now that you have money, it is normal to be tempted to buy new office equipment like computers, desks and chairs. You have to resist temptation because this is not why you wanted to start raising money in the first place. Burning through your investment is the first mistake new entrepreneurs make. Once business capital has been secured, you need to be careful how you spend it because everything is an expense to your business especially if you’re not profitable yet. Avoid getting burned by cutting down costs like working from your house instead of renting a fancy business address or buying new furniture. It might not sound ideal but the savings can be put in other areas of the business that really need money like new manufacturing equipment, automated software that will make service faster or hiring new people to make more products if supply is behind. Keeping business costs low does not only prevent you from burning through capital but it also improves your profit margin.Starting a business always comes with new financial responsibilities on top of personal expenses like rent, mortgage, student loans, gas and utilities. Many entrepreneurs learn that starting a business is not the easiest way to make money; it is the easiest way to burn through it. Starting a business can be a nerve-wracking track, but it can also be rewarding.
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