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Finding Money – TiE’s March Event

May 2006
Finding Money – TiE’s March Event

It's a well-known fact that "Finding Money" is the most important thing for budding and successful entrepreneurs so it was not surprising to see a great number of them join the "Money Hunt", at TiE's March event, with Karen Rands, President and CEO of Kugarand Holdings, LLC and Tiffany Wright, Business advisor for Minority Enterprise Center at Georgia Tech. The two speakers were introduced by Rajan Sheth followed by a welcome address by Chand Akkineni, TiE-Atlanta President who stated that this meeting was the ‘other side of the story' because it was not the customary entrepreneurial story but one from a different perspective.

Karen Rands, known as a Catalyst for Change, is the CEO of her company. She developed an extensive network of professional services organizations, financial investors and institutions to deliver customized products and services specific to a client's business and funding needs. "Successful people like to share information", she said. Her presentation was detailed and thorough and the information was very valuable. According to her the million dollar question one should first answer is, "Are you a market participant or market maker?"

She elaborated on having different business plans for different stages. Her advice was that while venturing into a new business, one should set expectations based on realistic objectives, decide whether it is worth the time and money and determine if worthwhile risk for friends and family. To attract other people's money she said, "Chart path to profitability, increase market share and grow profitability, chart growth strategy for expansion into new markets."

In addition to valuation of companies, her insightful advice was on understanding angel investors, why they are in this profession, what they look for, their role, how to get their attention and what motivates all investors. Her priceless advice was well appreciated by many. "She was excellent; the information she shared today is extremely important but is little known to most Indian entrepreneurs. We do not seek out all this information but this is what we need," said Siva Sivanesan of AXA Advisors.

Interestingly enough Karen mentioned that women owned minority businesses have a higher success rate (33%) than most other minority owned businesses (7%) because women seek out help. Tiffany Wright complemented her by providing information on where entrepreneurs could find help to grow and sustain their businesses. She introduced a great cost-effective resource – Georgia Statewide Minority Business Enterprise Center (GMBEC)

"This meeting was excellent and both speakers provided very useful information", commented Marc Nolan. Yet there were some who in a characteristic ‘know all' attitude tried to unsuccessfully corner the speakers. Nevertheless, they both handled it amicably.

- Shubhangi Pandit


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