Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur With Amber Gunn Thomas: What I Learned Shutting Down My Startup

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Starting a business is tough, but winding one down after years of effort can be equally challenging.

How do you handle the tough conversation with your customers? Your stakeholders? Yourself?

Amber Gunn Thomas created an online business around the DIY economy.  The Patchery was a marketplace that enabled everyday people to be part of the creative process without having to be an amazing artist, or designer. After being full time on the Patchery for three years, since April 2014, Amber made the decision to cease operations in the spring of 2017.

In this Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur series curated by Sean Higgins and underwritten by Router Ventures, she talks for the first time about lessons learned and what the process was like for her:

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Minnesota Tech Founder Ronge: Know Your Weakness To Grow The Team

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By Matt Ronge, Founder & CEO, Astro HQ

“One of the personal challenges I’ve faced in growing Astro HQ has been making the mental shift from being a developer to a business person. Other technical founders often bring on a “business person” to lead the day-to-day business operations. But for Astro HQ this was a role that I wanted to challenge myself to grow into.”

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Repeat MN Tech Founder & Investor Mallin: Pack The Parachute Before Taking The Entrepreneurial Leap

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By Dan Mallin, Cofounder of Equals 3, via Entrepreneur.com

“In the United States alone, nearly half a million startups are born every year. Some get off the ground, but fewer figure out how to stay afloat. While the barrier to entry is a lot lower than it was pre-internet, the competition is exponentially greater, making it that much harder to succeed. A good idea isn’t good enough to guarantee prosperity.”

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Kipsu CEO On Investing, Divesting and Doubling Down

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By Chris Smith

“I believe that the simple question of when one should “invest” versus “divest” is one of the most fundamental questions we face on a daily basis that can influence our long term success. Bold statement, right?

Let’s start by defining investing and divesting. We’re all familiar with the traditional definition of investing: lending someone else money with an expectation of getting back your capital plus a profit. A nice, overly simplistic capitalist definition. Let’s take it a bit further and broaden the definition: investing is any time, energy or money provided without an immediate expectation of a return — and oftentimes with no expectation of getting something back.”

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Kipsu CEO: Go Slow to Go Fast

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By Christopher Smith

“At times, scaling a company in a new market space can feel a bit like the scene in Braveheart when Mel Gibson’s character, William Wallace, is preparing his troops to fight the English in the Wars of Scottish Independence: “hooollldddd, hooolllddd, hooollldddd!”

As a first time CEO, it’s hard to know when to say “now,” oftentimes battling lots of distractions and false indicators. This post will explore our experience optimizing when to start pushing on the market here at Kipsu.”

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[Video] Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Patrick Riley’s 10 Lessons Learned At Exit

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Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 8.48.19 AMMinnesota Tech Entrepreneur Patrick Riley and his partners Dan Riley + Don MacPherson bootstrapped Modern Survey to ~$6m and 43 employees before selling (undisclosed) to London-based human resources, insurance, and technology consulting firm Aon Hewitt in February.

He took the time to reflect on that at Minnebar last Saturday in a session titled: “10 lessons learned at the end that will help you at the beginning.”

We captured this gold for your enrichment:

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: The Big Know CEO Don Smithmier On Raising $3m

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donsmithmierThank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series so we can hear it from the source!

 
Don Smithmier is at it again.  This serial tech entrepreneur with a track record of success is now leading The Big Know — a brand driven educational content platform that launched in October.

Yesterday, The Big Know announced a $3m series A funding round with local partners LFE Capital & Steve Shank, the original founder of online university Capella Education Company in 1991. We reached out for more details:

The Big Know…what was the big aha?

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Colin Hirdman on Kickstarter Winning

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Colin HirdmanThank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series so we can hear it from the source.

 
Colin Hirdman has been practicing tech entrepreneurship since 2007 when he and partners Zack Steven + Josh Becerra formed Monkey Island, LLC — named after childhood experiences growing up in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood.

They’ve spawned a lot of products over the years and hit a nerve in the market with their latest invention: FLUID is an iot water meter that raised $116k on Kickstarter last month from ~600 backers. Let’s hear more from this winner about how they did it:

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Rick Kupchella On the BMTN Acquisition

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Rick-KupchellaThank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series.

In early August, the Pohlad-owned radio station Go 96.3 purchased the brand and assets of web-based delivery service BringMeTheNews (BMTN), founded by veteran news anchor Rick Kupchella in 2009.

Why did Go buy BMTN?

In all honesty… nobody could answer this better than the buyer. That said, I know our groups compliment each other well. On the broadcast side – they had a single metro station. And with BringMeTheNews – they become a 30-station statewide radio network with a broad footprint across the state. BMTN also brought a 1M+ person monthly digital audience to Go963MN – and a strong social news presence with nearly 100k likes in FB… beating the largest-staffed news operations in the state.

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