5 TV Shows That Make a Smarter Entrepreneur

Sometimes, between the business work/school, friends and side projects, we just still can’t help binging on a little Netflix. Why not be productive too though while enjoying a break in your work? Here are 5 of the best TV shows to get your entrepreneurial senses tingling:

1. Dragon’s Den

Dragon’s Den is a no brainer — it is literally a reality show of entrepreneurs trying to make it big. There are 5 huge players in the business world, called “Dragons” that entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to to get the Dragons to invest in their company. Watching Dragon’s Den is going to help you refine your business pitch (by seeing good and terrible examples) and business evaluation, and give you a better sense of what investors look for and want to see. And besides all the business-y stuff, it’s actually such a fun show. It’s inspiring hearing about all the new and innovative businesses out there (and also hilarious to see weird business ideas flop in front of the Dragons).

2. House of Cards

This Netflix original is another valuable resource for every young entrepreneur. Politics bleeds into everything — especially in business. And while you may not want to apply direct examples from this show to your life, it’s extraordinarily interesting to see how the main characters scheme and slip through loopholes to get what they want. It’s watching people think outside the box, and taking action to achieve their goals. And being full of suspense and grit, you don’t have to be an entrepreneur or political science buff to enjoy it.

3. Property Brothers

The two Property Brothers are a real estate agent and a contractor who help clients find fixer-upper homes, and then renovate them to turn them into their dream homes. Now how is a home improvement show relevant at all to an entrepreneur? It’s all about looking farther, beyond what appears before you now (a.k.a. a really unattractively outdated house, in this case), and finding opportunity where other’s see a dead-end. It’s about stretching your money and making the most of your funds. Also, it’s always a pleasure to watch the transformation from fixer-upper house to beautiful dream home.

4. How I Made My Millions

This CNBC series takes big name companies, and gives you the backstory of how they all started. Even huge successful companies had to start somewhere. You’ll get to see familiar brands and the passions of their founders, how they grew, and what drove them to get to where they are now. This show is motivating and inspirational, and you might even find it easy to relate to.

5. Selling New York

This glamorous television show stars 3 real estate agents in NYC doing multimillion dollar deal after multimillion dollar deal. You get a sense of how these people negotiate and close these deals, how they play the market, and how they interact with their clients. These people are the elite of the elite and you can bet they know how to do business. And well, you also get a sneak peek into some of New York’s hottest real estate; because let’s face it — who doesn’t want to poke around a bunch of incredibly luxurious New York lofts?

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Stand out on KahootsHQ

So you’ve finally joined KahootsHQ (good decision!) and you’re excited to start a) looking to showcase your abilities and find relevant work or b) promoting a project and scouting talent. It goes without saying that for this, you really need to create a stellar profile – descriptive, enticing, and exciting. It’s the same reason you put time into creating your resume — you want to attract interest. There is a huge and diverse talent pool at KahootsHQ and you want to make sure you attract the right and relevant kind of people. Here are some definite tips you should think about when filling out your profile page!

Creating an Awesome Profile Page

1. Use a professional, high resolution photo. Subconsciously or not, we do make judgements based on appearances! You want your photo to project a professional and capable image. A smiling headshot is great — but avoid grainy, highly-filtered selfies.
2. Include a link to your LinkedIn. LinkedIn serves as your resume here. This allows entrepreneurs who are looking for team members to check what sort of experience you have under your belt, and where your specialty lies. And if you have a great LinkedIn profile, it boosts your credibility.
3. Include a link to your Twitter. Social media and social connectedness is everything! If you have large Twitter following or interact with interesting or relevant content, that’s wonderful to see. This is also a platform that people notice because you can share projects and links to your work to get more eyes on it.
4. Add detailed skills to help people understand your expertise better. There are so many different skillsets on Kahoots, and so many projects that are looking for different things. The more skills you add, the more specific others will be able to pin you down (and, well, the more skilled you’ll seem!). If you’re a graphic designer, some specific skills could be logo design, print design, photoshop and illustrator, etc.

Creating an Enticing Project Page

1. Break down your description into easily digestible bits. No job seeker one wants to read through a billion long descriptions. If your description is too wordy, people will skip it. Have a concise intro, then some point form details about the role are perfect. Then you can delve deeper in a second paragraph.
2. Have a photo. Having a photo with your logo or a mockup of some sort makes your project look a lot more credible. Further, people are going to be drawn to the project pages that look good in the thumbnails first, so you’ll have more clicks on your page, and therefore a wider audience.
3. Include a “What’s in it for you!” section. This is everyone’s favourite part! You need to show the potential team members why they want to join your project — why it’s worth their time. Do you have perks, like free coffee? A great reference? An honorarium? Whatever it is, make sure to write it all down to entice all the best talent to reach out to you.
Lastly, a good general tip is to fill out your page as completely as possible. Every field there has a purpose, so take advantage of it! Good luck!

Elizabeth Ching - KahootsHQElizabeth Ching | Guest Writer

Elizabeth is a spirited reader and writer, with an insatiable curiosity for technology and innovation. She enjoys blogging, tweeting, and slowly making her mark in the digital space.

5 Inspiring & Motivational TED Talks

If you’re a startup entrepreneur, a wantrepreneur, or maybe just an ambitious individual with an idea — you’ll want to invest some time into these TED Talks.

1. Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

“Is it remarkable?” This is the question Seth Godin, marketing guru, believes is the essence of successful “idea diffusion” today. Godin uses the example of the invention of sliced bread, which had an underwhelming 10 years of obscurity after its inception before it really caught on. In his TED Talk, Godin reveals his ideas — which have now spread to over 4 million other people (according to the views on his talk). Definitely relevant for any startup entrepreneur.

2. Tom Wujec: Build a tower, build a team

Through an extraordinarily professional and scientific experiment, involving spaghetti and marshmallow towers, Tom Wujec creatively breaks down the one quality every startup entrepreneur needs to have: team leadership. How do CEOs, lawyers, and kindergarteners compare when building the tallest spaghetti and marshmallow tower? I’ll give you a hint: kindergarteners come out on top. Watch this TED Talk to find out what exactly it is that kindergarteners do differently that make their teams more successful.

3. Bill Gross: The single biggest reason why startups succeed

It’s a fact that most startups do end up in failure. And of course, if you have a heart to start a business and take that kind of risk, you don’t want to see it fail. When the odds are against you, you’ll want to prepare everything you can — that’s where this TED Talk comes in. Bill gross, businessman and author, wanted to systematically find out which factor it was that made a business succeed. And the answer surprised him too.

4. Kare Anderson: Be an opportunity maker

This TED Talk is a bit different than the others — it’s more about the motivation and the idea than the business side. Kare Anderson is a business writer and a keynote speaker. Her TED Talk inspires you to take your talents and use them to create something meaningful — both to you and the extended community. If you’re lacking a little confidence, definitely watch this: it makes you believe in yourself.

5. Richard Branson: Life at 30,000 feet

Longer than all the rest of the TED Talks on this list, but perhaps one of the most interesting. This TED Talk is basically about the life, the ups and downs, of Richard Branson, the multi-millionaire behind the Virgin empire. Through his story telling talk, you’ll hear his unexpected motivations and basically his very interesting and exciting life. And truly, he’s an inspiration to all entrepreneurs.


Elizabeth Ching - KahootsHQElizabeth Ching | Guest Writer

Elizabeth is a spirited reader and writer, with an insatiable curiosity for technology and innovation. She enjoys blogging, tweeting, and slowly making her mark in the digital space.

3 Tips for Protecting Your Website

You have a certain skill set, which has brought you to where you are now — on the way to launching your breakthrough new business. Your skills, however, likely won’t include everything you need (except if you happen to be a genius, which is cool too). Somewhere along the way, you’re going to find you need to outsource talent, to find someone who can help in areas where you’re not quite as strong in. Now, that might be in marketing, finance, or writing — but today, we’re going to be focussing on developing your website.

Developers hold a lot of power — they literally have the power to change anything and everything on your website. So in order to protect your baby (and lessen worry), here are some things you can do to hedge your risks and protect your hard work.

1. Create an email just for your new website and its development.

This ensures that everything to do with your website is in one spot. It won’t be jumbled with the emails pertaining to other aspects of your business, and you can easily find what you want. After you’ve got that, use it as the primary email when setting up your website. Make yourself “administrator” and your developer “collaborator”. For Github, check it out here and Heroku here. That way you always have the final say!

2. Create an IP agreement with your developer

An intellectual property (IP) agreement, even if you don’t have the money to enforce (and most of us don’t, that’s okay!), it’s still worth establishing. It does say that you mean business and clearly lays out the dos and don’ts of the employment relationship. Make sure to include a line saying that at the end of the work relationship, they’ll hand over all the code and work property. Here is an example you can use for reference, (note: KahootsHQ, does not accept liability for any errors or omission in the contents of this document or which arise from it’s use).

3. Download a copy of the code and database

Try to do this weekly, or on some sort of regular basis. You definitely want a copy of your website, after all! If you’re using Github, this is super simple to configure. Just go to the repository you want to download, and on the right side-bar menu you will find a “Download ZIP” button. (Don’t forget to title the download with that day’s date!) Here’s how for reference.

And there you have it! Now, we’re not trying to point a sign reading “BE WARY OF ALL DEVELOPERS!” It’s just that sometimes when we haven’t shared our vision clearly or if there’s some sort of communication issue, things might not turn out the way you’d thought. Ensuring you’ve covered your basis during the initial website setup will help you keep calm during times of turmoil knowing your hard work and time is not at risk.

So there you have it! If you have any other tips, feel free to drop us a tweet!


Elizabeth Ching - KahootsHQElizabeth Ching | Guest Writer

Elizabeth is a spirited reader and writer, with an insatiable curiosity for technology and innovation. She enjoys blogging, tweeting, and slowly making her mark in the digital space.

Connecting Through Kahoots – How Two Entrepreneurs Built Their Startup Team

KahootsHQ provides the space to link young talents with relevant people and projects. It’s a platform dedicated to connecting, creating, and growing — and it’s bursting with potential. This is where you find your team members, and the people who are going to bring your idea into fruition.

This is a KahootsHQ success story.


Jon Donais was just finishing up his master’s degree in computer sciences at Windsor University. He had this idea for an app for teachers. He met Samantha Burton, another master’s student in computer science in class, and they joined forces to develop it.

At this point, Jon had made a profile up on KahootsHQ, connected with another member and began working on a project of theirs. Unfortunately, after about a month, things didn’t really take shape and their project wasn’t working out. He was about to take his profile off of KahootsHQ.

Enter Steve Hann — he had an idea, quite different from that of Jon and Samantha’s. His idea was a food delivery app with a unique twist, but he was in search of a developer. He’d tried countless sites but wasn’t clicking with their members. Two months went by with no luck. Then he posted his project, BringMeFood, on KahootsHQ, and quickly found Jon.

BringMeFood, a startup currently undergoing a name change, offers third party delivery services for students at Brock University. The best part about their story? 

Their success came after they built the right like-minded team with KahootsHQ. This is a Kahoots success story. Kahoots provides the space to link young talents with relevant people and projects. It’s a platform dedicated to connecting, creating, and growing — and it’s bursting with potential. This is where you find your team members, and the people who are going to bring your idea into fruition. 

Jon, Samantha, and Steve compared the business models of their two ideas, and decided that at the moment, BringMeFood had the most potential.

The Brock Delivery team taking quick break from strategic planning. (From left, Steve, Samantha, Jon)
The Brock Delivery team taking a quick break from strategic planning. (From left, Steve, Samantha, Jon)

They’re now in the process of incorporating their business, designing a dynamic vesting agreement to split equity, and are going to draft their shareholders agreement next month. What was once an idea is now a reality.

This is a story of waiting, of trial and error, of having to put one’s own idea on hold — but also of finding the right people and team building, of working together, and of ultimate success.

Will your story be next? Stay tuned, Kahooties!


Elizabeth Ching - KahootsHQElizabeth Ching | Guest Writer

Elizabeth is a spirited reader and writer, with an insatiable curiosity for technology and innovation. She enjoys blogging, tweeting, and slowly making her mark in the digital space.

Why You Need to Get Involved to Land Your Next Job

The school year has finally ended, all projects have been handed in and exams are finished. At this time of the year, you are probably looking to get a mediocre job to start paying off the mountains of debt that you have accumulated.

We all know that you do this because you are a responsible adult and you know you have to choose paying off the bills rather than just binge watching Netflix until the wee hours of the morning. You are taking responsibility for your future and want to set yourself up for success. However, you might be missing out on the one thing that will land you that dream job in the future – experience in YOUR field

Most employers require some type of experience when it comes to applying for a “big girl/boy” job. And let’s be honest, most students don’t have any.  The summer is your chance to get involved in a project that you are passionate about and there are plenty of ways to do so.

Here are a few ways to get involved this summer and improve how you look on paper. No, I’m not talking about your tan in printed photos. I’m talking about your resume!

Volunteer your time at a startup. Startups often have very little capital. This is great news for you. At the moment they can’t afford to hire someone with experience and will be more willing to take a chance on you. Find a company you want to work at and reach out to them. You need the experience and they need the help!

Freelance in your area of expertise. Again, startups are great for this. They can’t afford to hire or they may not have the need for a full-time employee in your area of expertise. Consider freelancing as a way to build your portfolio or resume over the summer while you are still in school.

Team up on student-led academic or extracurricular projects. Your school is a great resource when searching for projects in your area of expertise. Often student-led projects need help from like-minded people who have differing skills and who come from other faculties. Not sure what projects are happening on your campus? Check out the Kahoots Community Board for your institution.

If you are still not sure and serendipitous opportunities are failing you, KahootsHQ might be able to help. Their platform gives students and recent grads the opportunity to make connections and gain experience that they would not have gotten the chance to do otherwise. They have awesome projects like these…

Projects

Your time matters, make the most out of it. Get involved, gain experience and start furthering your career TODAY!



Ashlea HolfordAshlea Halford
 | Guest Writer

Ashlea is a recent graduate, with an degree in Communication and English. She is a lover of the online world and is trying to make her mark in the digital community.

5 Must-Read Books for the Entrepreneur or Wantrepreneur

If you’re starting your own company, you know that there are a ton of risks. You may have an amazing idea, but so do so many other people whose companies haven’t made it. What sets a good idea apart from a great company? How do you do it, and where do you go now that you’ve taken this leap of faith? These books are must-reads for every entrepreneur or future entrepreneur. They will help shape your business plans, ideas, and growth for every stage you encounter.

Book 11. Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job by Sean Wise and Brad Feld You’ve got an idea, you’ve got a roadmap, and you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit to create a startup. But there are more than five million entrepreneurs who will launch a new project each year, and only a fraction succeed. How do you know that yours will? Startup Opportunities is a practical book that guides you in evaluating your business plan and calculating your opportunity. Wise and Feld are two experienced entrepreneurs as well as investors, and they have an excess of experience and knowledge for starting a company from both points of view.

Why it’s a must-read: There is no way to guarantee your success in the market, but the knowledge and practical advice given in this book will allow you to definitely increase your chances.

BOOK 2

2. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel Peter Thiel is the co-founder of Paypal and Palantir, with a net-worth of 2.2 billion. In other words, this man is an entrepreneurial genius. Going down the route of a startup includes a great number of risks – especially with establishing yourself in the market. Thiel’s idea of a zero to one company is to create a space in the market – a niche – so that you’ve got a monopoly. Instead of doing something that someone else is doing, which is starting from 1, do something without precedent, starting from 0. Zero to One is all about innovation and creation.

Why it’s a must-read: Thiel’s tone is optimistic, his successes inspiring, and his ideas applicable. This book will make you feel like you can succeed and gives you the recipe for it.

BOOK 3

3. Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull Starting with a dream of creating a computer-animated movie, thus launched the idea of the now giant that is Pixar Animation Studios. Ed Catmull is the co-founder and his book, Creativity Inc. is all about effective management and maintenance of your creativity. The book chronicles Catmull’s years of experience and wisdom told through the history and realization of Pixar.

Why it’s a must-read: Startups are founded on a base of innovation. This book tells you how to manage that innovation and effectively establish a creative organization.

BOOK 44. Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday With the incredible rise of technology, the web, and social media, there are now so many different ways to go about marketing and growing your brand without the traditional expenses. In other words, marketing hacks. Ryan Holiday, a media and business strategist, teaches you how to use media and create campaigns that help promote your brand.

Why it’s a must-read: When you’re starting your own company, you likely don’t have that much money. There are better (read: cheaper) ways to market yourself besides the traditional commercials and billboards. Holiday gives you the knowledge and the know-how to growth hack your way to success.

BOOK 55. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by James Collins So you’ve established your startup, you’re doing well and turning it into a relatively stable company. Now what? You’re good… but how to you become great? John Collins, a business consultant and lecturer at Stanford, shares the results of research and data from a five-year project, on how and why some companies boom and others plateau. He takes real examples and analyzes them – what did the successful companies do differently? Good to Great gives you the what to do and what not to do from actual companies, so that you may shape a strategy that guides your own.

Why this is a must read: Collins gives you case studies of successes and failures. We all learn from mistakes, but they don’t always have to be our own. Each one of these books was personally suggested by one of the KahootsHQ team members.


Elizabeth Ching - KahootsHQElizabeth Ching | Guest Writer

Elizabeth is a spirited reader and writer, with an insatiable curiosity for technology and innovation. She enjoys blogging, tweeting, and slowly making her mark in the digital space.