Seven Steps to successfully stealing someone’s Business Idea

Date: 3-Feb-2017 Post in: Business By: Raj Dhonota

Many entrepreneurs are over protective of their new business idea when, in fact, collaborating and/or discussing it would prove extremely invaluable for them. The reason for their reluctance is usually that they fear whoever they are speaking to will reveal the idea to other people who will then...

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20 things you don’t know about The Apprentice

Date: 7-Nov-2016 Post in: Uncategorized By: Raj Dhonota

10 years after appearing on the first series of The Apprentice, I still get asked about my experiences on the program and why I’m not a fan. I’m not sure I’ll ever be free of the program! The short answer is that what viewers see and what really happens is as far apart as can be. Sadly,...

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As a pre-seed investor, I observe the masses and do the opposite!

Date: 26-Oct-2016 Post in: Investor By: Raj Dhonota

I’ve spent most of my life doing things ‘my way’, and as a pre-seed investor, I’m simply continuing along that path. When I look at pre-seed investments (i.e. businesses that are yet only in the mind of the founder, or just on a piece of paper) I look at things differently to other early...

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How to find the right investor for your business

Date: 7-Sep-2016 Post in: Investor By: Raj Dhonota

Finding the appropriate investment opportunities for your business is rarely a straightforward task. And against the background of current economic instability, Bank of England interventions, and political fallout from Brexit, uncertainty is the only certainty right now. Although the recent...

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What’s Needed to Support Global Entrepreneurship?

Date: 25-Jun-2016 Post in: Entrepreneur By: Raj Dhonota

Based on multiple statistics and metrics, the United States has an extremely healthy entrepreneurial landscape. According to a report published by the Global Entrepreneurship Market last year, 27 million Americans are “starting or running new businesses.” That number reflects a record high, and...

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What You Need to Know Before Raising Funds for Your Startup

Date: 15-Mar-2016 Post in: Investor , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

Your startup is growing, and you and your partners are ready to start pitching to investors and venture capitalists. You have ideas and ambitions to grow your business even further, but first, you need to raise more capital for your business. Before you start scheduling meetings with investors and...

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Why I Choose to Invest When Most Investors Will Not

Date: 13-Jan-2016 Post in: Investor By: Raj Dhonota

Speak to most angel investors or early stage VC’s and most will tell you they love your business idea or concept, but to come back once you have created your product and have some traction or proof of concept. I can’t help but agree with their logic. They, and rightly so, want to see how...

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The Importance of a Great Start Up Team

Date: 16-Jul-2015 Post in: Startups By: Raj Dhonota

People often ask me what the majority of investors look for when considering pitches from start-ups. Is it the idea? Is it the business model? Or the amount of work that’s already been done to validate it? Of course, these are all important factors to take into account, but the main thing most...

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Want me to invest in your idea, but you won’t?!

Date: 9-May-2015 Post in: Entrepreneur , Investor , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

Seed Investment, Early Stage Investment

So your idea is your passion, your be all and end all? You’re certain it’s going to be successful. You want me to invest, but you won’t?! What message does that give to any potential investor? Let me tell you. It tells a potential investor that alarm bells should be ringing – not...

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Managing a Start-up Team Effectively

Date: 7-Sep-2014 Post in: Business , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

Managing a Start-Up Team is probably one of the most challenging tasks you will face as an entrepreneur.  Not only will you have to self-motivate yourself but you will have to motivate and get the best out of your team; the former being far easier than the latter.  However, there are some basic...

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Does a Successful Employee make a Successful Entrepreneur?

Date: 30-Aug-2014 Post in: Entrepreneur By: Raj Dhonota

You may be a successful employee but does that guarantee you will be a successful entrepreneur? Not necessarily. The step from employment to self-employment is not a natural one.  I’ve come across a lot of extremely successful employees who struggle to make the transition to successful...

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Are Your Co-Founders Or Shareholders A Help Or Hindrance?

Date: 20-Aug-2014 Post in: Entrepreneur , Investor , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

When starting a business it is important to have the right business partners on board; in any walk of life it is essential that you are supported by a good team that can encourage and help you, but with Start Ups it’s even more so. Whilst investing in start-ups and having investment discussions,...

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Half Way There!

Date: 10-Aug-2014 Post in: Entrepreneur , Mentor , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

At the beginning of this year I challenged myself to dedicate 2014 to investing in and growing two start- ups a week. This task I have set myself may be well under way, but for the aspiring Entrepreneurs I am investing in the journey is just beginning. Deciding to start your own business is not...

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Week 9: Pitches: The Ugly

Date: 26-Jul-2014 Post in: Business , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

I have covered the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ pitches in my previous post; now I’d like to write about the ugly side of what I have come across. If I’m honest, I had always suspected that there was an uglier (or darker) side to the start-up space, but listening and speaking to so many...

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Week 8: Pitches: The Bad and The Unluckiest Businessman alive?

Date: 15-Jul-2014 Post in: Business , Investor , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

In my last article I discussed some of the good pitches we have received to date and some of the common attributes that encouraged us to invest in them. Today I’m going to take a light-hearted look at the not so good proposals, including one by someone I think must be the most unlucky businessman...

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Week 7: Pitches: The Good

Date: 2-Jul-2014 Post in: Investor , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

Seven weeks in and we’ve heard some incredibly good ideas, some good ideas with some flaws, and some fairly bad ideas. Add into the mix good and bad ideas with pitches that vary from incredibly good to incredibly poor, as well as entrepreneurs who are willing to listen to our experience and those...

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The Folly of the Government’s Current Internship Scheme

Date: 18-Jun-2014 Post in: Business , Learner By: Raj Dhonota

As no doubt many of you will be aware, the controversial subject of Internships has sparked much debate within the past year or so. It’s been fuelled by US graduates who worked for huge international companies - Fox and Conde Nast instantly spring to mind - filing lawsuits insisting they were...

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Week 5 to 6: The Start-Up Fund – Tales of blackmail, Interpol, the SAS and Scams

Date: 4-Jun-2014 Post in: Startups By: Raj Dhonota

With a backlog of pitches to hear and follow up meetings to attend, my calendar suddenly became a solid block of back to back meetings from 5am right up until 9pm on a daily basis. I was hearing pitches from all over the world and seeing how we could bring them to the UK. It was busy, it was...

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My 10 Point Plan to Get the UK Moving Again for SMEs

Date: 20-May-2014 Post in: Business , Entrepreneur , UK Economy By: Raj Dhonota

Just last month I was asked to partake in a panel at the House of Lords to talk about what the government could do to encourage, support and nurture small businesses in order to ensure continual growth and success and, in doing so, boost the UK economy as a whole. It was my work with start-ups and...

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Week 1 to 5: The Start-Up Fund Launch

Date: 7-May-2014 Post in: Startups By: Raj Dhonota

Wow!  Since launching the start-up fund on 6th January 2014, I haven’t had the chance to catch my breath!  It’s been a real learning process – even for me! I’ve been investing in Start-ups on an ad hoc basis, but to be able to meet and listen to start up proposals from across the country...

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Virgin Start-Up: “Good – But Could Have Been Fantastic”

Date: 20-Apr-2014 Post in: Business , Entrepreneur , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

Of all the entrepreneurs currently doing their thing out there, were you looking to identify the one most likely to inspire and bring forth a nation of new budding entrepreneurs then, unquestionably, you’d be pointing your finger at Sir Richard Branson. To me, personally, Sir Richard is...

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My View on the Autumn Statement 2013

Date: 9-Apr-2014 Post in: Business , UK Economy By: Raj Dhonota

In his Autumn statement, delivered to Parliament just last week, Chancellor George Osborne insisted that the UK government required a plan where we "don't pretend we can make things better by writing cheques to ourselves." He felt justified in saying this because forecasts show the UK's overall...

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Why You Need a Business Mentor at Start up

Date: 25-Mar-2014 Post in: Business , Mentor , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

Making the transition from a full-time payroll job to entrepreneurship can tend to be a lonely one. You’re used to the feeling of other professionals being around you, helping you go past hoops and hurdles every now and then, for instance. Entrepreneurship by contrast, is a different ballgame...

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Starting up at Home – Traps to Avoid

Date: 10-Mar-2014 Post in: Business By: Raj Dhonota

Running a business from home offers ample flexibility and the kind of work/life balance most of us crave. However, it can bring with it some baggage in the form of challenges and often traps often may go unnoticed. Avoiding these traps is a must to keep your productivity moving along at a healthy...

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Making Social Media Networking Business-friendly

Date: 22-Feb-2014 Post in: Business , Marketing By: Raj Dhonota

It would make sense for just about any business, especially one that’s starting out, to include social media networking among its chief goals; cementing relationships in and outside the industry and having business contacts in abundance. These “friends” and contacts may very well vouch for...

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Building Momentum for Your Business Idea

Date: 5-Feb-2014 Post in: Business , Entrepreneur , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

An entrepreneurship in motion without any direction or momentum is akin to no motion at all. Business startups are aplenty in this economic age, but not every one of them builds the right kind of momentum to really take off the ground. To ensure you are successful as an entrepreneur means you...

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Becoming an Investor-friendly Proposition

Date: 18-Jan-2014 Post in: Entrepreneur , Investor By: Raj Dhonota

Once you’ve clearly laid out your business plans, moving forward undoubtedly requires talking to investors and reeling them in. This can often be best described as a daunting task. Most well-known investors come across plenty of pitches on a day to day basis and quite simply don’t have the...

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Education and Entrepreneurship – Are They Mutually Exclusive?

Date: 2-Jan-2014 Post in: Entrepreneur , Learner By: Raj Dhonota

Spanning the last few decades, we've managed to subconsciously embed this thought into our minds that education and entrepreneurship do not go hand in hand. While the former has to do with learning and fathoming new skills, the latter is the process of marching forward with an initiative and...

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The Transition from Employment to Self-employment

Date: 20-Dec-2013 Post in: Entrepreneur , Startups By: Raj Dhonota

Let’s face it: acquiring sufficient capital and taking bold risks to embark on a business venture isn't everybody’s bag. It’s a whole different ball game and some folks find it hard to adjust to the new landscape. It takes a certain kind of entrepreneurial mindset to boldly go down this...

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Entrepreneurship – Bare Essentials

Date: 5-Dec-2013 Post in: Entrepreneur By: Raj Dhonota

You’re an aspiring young businessman. You have vision, drive, determination and you’re willing to do what’s needed to overtake the competition. But do you have what it takes to pull through hard times when your profits are less than satisfactory? Some of these traits can help your...

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Five Ways to Bag That First Contract

Date: 21-Nov-2013 Post in: Startups By: Raj Dhonota

Start-up businesses can often take time to gain momentum, especially if they’re pitching a product or service that may not be a part of the mainstream market. We’re going to briefly look at five steps you can incorporate to make sure you strike a cord with your intended audience, without being...

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Knowing Your Business Inside and Out – Knowledge is King

Date: 6-Nov-2013 Post in: Business By: Raj Dhonota

Ponder over this if you will, for just a moment – are you completely in touch with the day-to-day processes of your business? Far too many business owners feverishly work to enjoy a good standard of living, often choosing not to look into key aspects of their business. Can you honestly...

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