Archive for August, 2010

Ray Stata’s Latest Venture: Lyric Semiconductor

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Stata Ventures, Kaizen interviewee Ray Stata’s venture capital vehicle, recently provided funding to technology startup Lyric Semiconductor. Lyric is developing probability chip technology. Traditional chips use binary “yes/no” switches, but probability chips “can accept inputs and calculate outputs that are between 0 and 1, directly representing probabilities, or levels of certainty.” Some of the commercial applications of this technology include: better error correction and faster operation for portable flash drives; better prediction of consumer behavior for websites like Amazon (and better product recommendations for customers); and faster, cheaper large scale data processing.

Read more about Lyric at the New York Times and VentureBeat.

Read our interview with Ray Stata.

Watch a video interview with co-founder and CEO of Lyric, Ben Vigoda, who explains probability chips:

August 2010 Issue of Kaizen

Friday, August 27th, 2010

In our latest issue of Kaizen we feature an interview with Robert Bradley, Jr., former director of public policy analysis at Enron and currently the founder and CEO of the Institute for Energy Research.

Also featured in Kaizen are: more Spring semester student essay contest winners – Brandon McNames and Matthew Weber; Guest Speaker Jeffrey Orduno; and another successful High School Entrepreneur Day.

A PDF version of Kaizen is available here. We will soon post separately the full interview with Mr. Bradley.

If you would like to receive a complimentary issue of the print version of Kaizen, please email your name and postal address to CEE [at] Rockford.edu.

Professor Shawn Klein Defends Ph.D. Dissertation

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Philosophy professor Shawn Klein has successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation. Congratulations to Dr. Klein! More information about Professor Klein here: http://www.ethicsandentrepreneurship.org/professor-shawn-klein/

NFTE Program in Demand in Today’s Economy

Monday, August 16th, 2010

An article in New York Daily News covers the increasing demand for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s (NFTE) courses in our faltering economy. NFTE was founded by Kaizen interviewee Steve Mariotti, who states, “Kids are aware of how fragile a job is and they begin to think about how they could create a job if they had to.” The article also profiles several young graduates of the program who have become entrepreneurial success stories.

Shown above, NFTE graduate Steve Gordon, 18-year-old founder of TatooID.

Read the article here.

Read our full-length interview with Steve Mariotti.

Kevin O’Connor’s Latest Venture: FindTheBest

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Venture capitalist Kevin O’Connor, interviewed in the April 2009 issue [PDF] of Kaizen, is now co-founder and CEO of FindTheBest.com. FindTheBest, as described by Mr. O’Connor, “was created out of my desire to organize part of the Internet, filter out the excessive junk and present information in a simple, comparable way.”

He explains further: “I could find endless amounts of information on any subject but when I had a complicated decision to make, I found myself wasting hours, or even days, compiling information I could compare. Or, I found sites offering their “top 10” recommendations, only to discover they were secretly getting “kickbacks” from the sites they were recommending.”

His solution, FindTheBest, is now in beta version.  It allows the user to compare search results (similarly to travel websites like Expedia), and to narrow down the results by various criteria (much like browsing Amazon). Like Wikipedia, users can also contribute to the site, updating existing areas or creating new listings in which they have expertise.

Check out FindTheBest.com

Read Kevin O’Connor’s introduction to FindTheBest.

Read the full-length interview with Kevin O’Connor.

The Power of One Entrepreneur

Monday, August 9th, 2010

The Institute for Justice has an inspiring series of five reports on the beneficial effects of entrepreneurship on the entrepreneurs themselves and on their communities. The reports also highlight the entrepreneurs’ struggles against unnecessary regulations. Says the author of one report: “If the impact of this one entrepreneur in a relatively small Mississippi community can be as wide and deep as documented in this report, imagine the transformation entire communities of unhampered entrepreneurs could create in America’s largest cities where hope and opportunity are in such great demand.”

Read the Power of One Entrepreneur series here.

New Issue of the Journal of Private Enterprise

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

The Spring 2010 issue of The Journal of Private Enterprise, published by the Association of Private Enterprise Education, has just been released. It contains articles by leading Austrian School economists Israel Kirzner, Peter Boettke, and CEE guest speaker Steven Horwitz. See the journal’s website for more details.

Below is a short video interview of Steven Horwitz, conducted during his Spring 2009 visit.

The Entrepreneur as Misfit

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Dan PallottaWe know that the entrepreneur takes on the financial risk of her venture, but Dan Pallotta at Harvard Business Review reminds us that the entrepreneur takes psychological risks as well. By seeing the world differently than others and acting on her vision — by embracing the inner misfit — the entrepreneur must be willing to make herself vulnerable. This vulnerability, says Pallotta, “is the most poignant quality in every entrepreneur I know.”

Read the rest of this excellent post at Harvard Business Review.