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Beyond the Pitch

GEM 2012 Report Reflects Entrepreneurial Optimism

If you believe, as we do, that entrepreneurs and startup companies are the answer to job and wealth creation, and if you also believe as we do, that seeing goals as possible and achievable is half the battle, then you’ll be happy to learn that an increasing share of the U.S. population feels that there are good opportunities for starting businesses.

That’s the finding of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 United States Report (GEM), issued by Babson College, Wellesley, MA and the Baruch College in New York City.

GEM research, conducted in 69 economies worldwide, surveys individuals rather than firm registrations, analyzing how many folks are participating in entrepreneurship, their attitudes, challenges, and the types of companies they are starting up.

According to the new report, more than 43 percent of Americans believe there are good opportunities for entrepreneurship in spite of the volatility and depressed economic environment of the last five years. That’s a jump of 20 percent from 2011 and the highest recorded since GEM began fourteen years ago.

Equally good news is that 56 percent of Americans believe that they have the capability to start a business. Entrepreneurs are acting on this belief.

GEM reports that total entrepreneurial activity (TEA) is up to 13 percent, the highest level reported since the first survey in 1999.

There is a flip side to the coin, however. Fear of failure has increased since the beginning of the recession. In 2008, one-quarter of respondents felt constrained by fear of failure. In the 2012 survey, one-third reported feeling this way.

And that’s where TechColumbus can help.

Our leadership team has participated with over a thousand startup companies. We know what it takes to succeed. Our entrepreneurship model is proven to help reduce the very real risk that always exists with a new enterprise.

From the first morning of our Tech Essentials Workshop to working with leading experts from Ohio and beyond who participate in our Advisor Mentor (AMN), First Connect (FCN) and Expert Networks (EN), the entrepreneurs leading our portfolio companies will experience first-hand our dedication to reducing or eliminating risk to help new companies accelerate on the path to growth and success.

Another piece of not-so-good-news from the GEM report is that compared to other innovation-driven economies, the U.S. displayed two-thirds more new business discontinuances stemming from difficulty obtaining financing.

TechColumbus can help here, too. We have sharp pencils and can help entrepreneurs figure out how to stretch their initial resources, bootstrapping their business as far as they can.

As a new company gains traction, we are often among the first investors with one of our investment funds. We leverage our relationships with angel investors in Ohio TechAngels, X Squared Angels, and other angel groups to attract additional capital to promising deals.

Download the full report.

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