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The University of Washington, The School of Engineering and Technology, and Entrepreneurship

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  Classes I have taken as a Computer Science major at University of Washington Tacoma that are the most valuable in becoming an entrepreneur:   TCOM 320 Principles of Web Design  Course Description: “Examines the theories and techniques of visual and design rhetoric to web design. Discusses how purpose, audience, and context affect the development of web pages and other electronic documents. Explores principles of web-based design, creation, layout, editing, publishing, and maintenance through web design practices. ”     This class was amazing. For our final project, we worked in teams to create a website which we published. For better or worse, I got picked to be ‘project manager’ and we ended up using my idea for a our topic, which was, essentially, a site promoting Tacoma museums to UWT students. The three featured were the ones on Pac Ave (Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum, and the Children’s Museum of Tacoma). I went all out for the project! I picked up a stuffed UW

Visualizing the Sales Funnel for My Business

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  During class on March 9 th , we were introduced to the Sales Funnel! As seen above, it starts at the top with the Target Market and ends at the bottom with Closed. Like a funnel, the Target Market is rather large and, with each step up until the sale is Closed, the number of possible customers gets smaller and smaller. Each level is distinct because each step down the funnel means a different strategy is needed to access potential customers at that level.    The company I created is part of the cosmetics arena since it is best categorized as an offshoot of makeup artistry services. The first question I need to answer is “how many closed sales do I need?”.    Let’s say I need $8,400 minimum per fiscal quarter currently. To be able to pay myself above minimum wage, lets shoot for somewhere between $12,500 to $15,000 per quarter.  My typical customer spends around $100. That would mean I would need either 125 to 150 customers per quarter average or increase my prices. Each week I would

Living and Working in a Virtual World - Guest Lecture with Brain Forth

  Oh wow! Last week we got to have Mr. Brian Forth come and speak to our class. I don’t even know where to start, but I was wonderfully surprised! By the end of class, I am pretty sure everyone in the room wanted to join his company! Although Mr. Forth spent time talking about his work background and the two companies he currently heads (Sitecraft and GearLab), it was the time he spent talking about what influences how he does business that got my attention and stuck with me. As someone that has always been skeptical of sales after having been involved or seen them up close in a variety of arenas, I practically wanted to stand up and applaud when Mr. Forth confidently stated that he was pleased that he didn’t need a sales team since his company and employees work toward producing something so good that other people sell for them through word-of-mouth marketing. As I have eluded to in previous posts, this is 100% something I believe in. Perhaps it’s because I am a terrible salesperson,

Andrew Fry's Presentation 'Dot.com to Dot.bomb'

    Last week our professor, Andrew Fry, presented his PowerPoint   Dot.com to Dot.bomb. (Although there was definitely more than just the PowerPoint!).     The presentation is a brief synopsis of his own personal journey and historical events through the dot.com crash in the late 1990’s. Plus there was a plastic dinosaur race!     Stage One:   Way back before my classmates were born (and a time I definitely remember), there were a handful of American online service providers. They included Prodigy, CompuServ, GEnie, AOL, and Delphi. In 1992, Prodigy was the clear frontrunner (and in the presentation, the scariest dinosaur!). The following year, Prof. Fry started the company Free Range Media and incorporated the following year.    Stage Two:   Tada! Netscape goes public in 1995 and things get crazy. By 1996, Amazon is up and running though there is some speculation that it won’t last long. Yahoo! also makes it presence known.    Stage Three:   1997 and AOL does its thing. The rise of v

Living and Working in a Virtual World - Guest Lecture with John Dimmer

  On February 18 th , our class had the opportunity to get to hear Mr. John Dimmer come and speak on business funding as well as his own story about becoming an entrepreneur. I was really impressed with how well spoken, professional, and frank Mr. Dimmer was. There was so much information packed into what he was saying that I had a hard time keeping up on my notes. He didn’t spend much time expanding on the personal nitty-gritty     and was more matter-of-fact. I appreciated the change of pace. I learned a lot about the questions that you need to ask in business and considerations that need to be made when planning funding.       My questions for Mr. Dimmer were:   1.      What are the majority of the sources for non-diluted funding? 2.      In the Financing Life Cycle slide, what is the mezzanine level on the timeline mean? 3.      Was it coincidence or seeing the writing on the wall that lead to the Translink Software Deal?     The overall motive for Mr. Dimmer’s move into entreprene

Startup.com Documentary

  Startup.com is a documentary that follows Kaleil Tuzman and Tom Herman as the two high school friends create and develop a new company in 1999 right before the dot.com bubble burst. The film was actually directed by Jehane Noujaim who was a classmate of Mr. Tuzman’s at Harvard. It follows the rise and fall of the startup govWorks.com from when Mr. Tuzman left his job at Goldman Sachs and joined his friend Mr. Herman in creating this new company. The film focused as much on the company as it does on the changes in the dynamics of the two founders’ friendship. Technically there is a third founder, but his presence in the company (and film) are limited and, as it so happens, quite brief since he leaves the company relatively early on. His onscreen presence is so limited I am not entirely sure what he did at GovWorks.com before he left. In the end, he faired far better than Mr. Tuzman and Mr. Herman did in the end by being bought out when he did. The film ends with the company shutting d

Living and Working in a Virtual World - Guest Lecture with Nate Tolbert

Last week, our class got to have Mr. Nate Tolbert come and speak to us about his newest organization, Tacoma Maritime Innovation Incubator. The incubator helps mentor and support different local maritime and marine innovators. The focus is on clean energy and water organizations that are developing technological solutions for current problems in our Tacoma waterways. It helps connect problem solvers with the folks that need help and want to support those with the solution(s). It offers community support for local startups.       Question 1:      What made you decide to start your current company? Why are you passionate about this new opportunity? Question 2:     How did previous companies end? Question 3:     What did funding for Maritime Innovation Incubator go? Where has the greatest support come from?   Overall Impressions:   First and foremost, it was absolutely delightful to hear someone speak with so much excitement, joy, and passion about what they are doing. It’s hard to not al