Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

Q: Troy, you’ve started several successful companies. Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

No! I got into entrepreneurship by mistake. Like many people, when I graduated from college I wasn’t exactly sure what to do next. At the time, PCs were just becoming a legitimate business tool. I’d seen a tech company in Boston I was interested in, but there wasn’t anything like it in Chicago. A friend suggested that I should leverage my previous couple of summers of programming and start a consulting company myself.

Brunonia: Always an entrepreneur

How do you become a successful entrepreneur? Troy Henikoff, class of 1986, shares his story.

“In hindsight I was always an entrepreneur, but didn’t realize it. When I was young, I had a love of sailing, and dreamed of owning a sailboat. So I cut lawns, washed cars; delivered newspapers. By the time I was ten, a friend of mine and I bought our first sailboat with the money we made.

Kellogg Does Its Own Bay Area Startup

Mark Achler starts his first class with a video that Apple used years ago to introduce its iPad. As the MBA students in Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management watch the TV advertisment, they hear the voice of comedian Robin Williams from a scene in the film Dead Poets Society. Not until the very end of the 90-second spot does the Apple logo appear ever so briefly on the screen.

MAX Helps Musician and Brand Partnerships Go to 11

As digital continues to fragment audiences, artists and brands are looking to innovative platforms to deliver better targeted content that delivers on consumer satisfaction and business ROI.

With that in mind, the music marketing tech startup Music Audience Exchange has announced a $6 million funding round led by MATH Venture Partners and KDWC Ventures, along with G-Bar Ventures and Gregg Latterman, Founder and CEO of Aware Records.

Its goal is simple: to match brands with artists and music fans, and help musicians get paid.

Music matchmaker: Plano startup that connects brands and bands raises $6 million

A Plano startup that matches up big brands with musicians for ad campaigns has raised $6 million in a round led by two Chicago-based venture firms.

Music Audience Exchange, or MAX for short, uses a database of more than 2.4 million artists, 765 music genres and 200 consumer attributes, from political affiliation to hobbies to alcohol preference, to find the ideal match. The brands work with an artist who's featured in music-driven ads on Pandora, YouTube, Facebook and other streaming sites or social media apps.

Jiobit raises $3 million to make a new kid-tracking wearable

Jiobit, the Chicago-based maker of a small wearable device that helps parents keep track of their children, has raised $3 million, the company announced Thursday.

Its first product, which the company describes as a "smart tag for kids", will be available for pre-order later this year and will start shippping this fall, said CEO and co-founder John Renaldi. The funding will go toward production and monitoring of the wearable device, the company said.

5 reasons picking an investor is about more than the money

For those who follow the startup scene closely, it can be easy to get caught up in how much money a company is raising. But where the funding comes from can be just as important as the amount, because seasoned investors have a lot more to offer.

“Money is just money,” said MATH Venture Partners Managing Director Mark Achler. “The real value-add is our experience in scaling companies.”

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EMV Advances Beyond Compliance

Retailers may be moving past the critical first phase of EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) adoption, according to recent studies. A new report published in July 2016 by New York-based CardFlight Inc. used aggregated data to evaluate adoption levels among end users of the company's mobile payments app. The results were better than expected, the company reported.

"Since we were one of the first companies to bring an EMV mobile payment solution to the U.S. market, we feel it's important to collect data and share it with the rest of the industry," said Derek Webster, CardFlight founder and Chief Executive Officer.

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