Entrepreneurship Resource Nights: Running a Business

Entrepreneurship Resource Nights: Vision and PurposeEach week you can read a recap of the previous Entrepreneurship Resource Nights (Business Plan Practicum) session. This week, instructor John Zagula (founder, Ignition Capital) lead a class featuring guests Tyler Hollenbeck of DLA Piper and Terry Drayton, founder and CEO of Livible.


“Sometimes paranoia’s just having all the facts.” – William S. Burroughs

“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” Andy Grove

“Always hire people who are better than you. Hiring dummies is shortsighted. You can’t move up the ladder until everyone is comfortable with your replacement.” Lois Wyse

“Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation.” Doris Kearns Goodwin


This week we closed the plan phase of our class by discussing how to be organized and prepared to deal with the realities of running a business.

First, we talked about the basic ways we try to keep ourselves organized and on top of what needs to be done—with a few maxims to guide us….

  • SET goals, strategies and tasks
  • CAPTURE them where you can find and use them
  • TRACK them against priorities, deadlines and results

Then, ace lawyer Tyler Hollenbeck told us ten things to watch out of for as we start companies and emphasized that (even though boring, costly, and a bit morbid to think about all the things that can go wrong) it is totally worth structuring things right legally upfront vs. regretting not doing so later. You can find additional resources for startups on his blog at www.theventurealley.com . And both Tyler and I wholeheartedly agreed on the value of finding good legal and financial advisors.

Finally, we closed hearing the war stories and wisdom of serial entrepreneur and leader, Terry Drayton (currently founder/CEO at Livible). He underscored those same themes of being prepared, always getting smarter, and ruthless prioritization. And he made very clear that his #1 job as CEO is ensuring the right company culture, and that starts with hiring the right team, both in terms of skill but also fit.


Resource Nights are each Thursday starting January 10 from 6 to 7:50 p.m. in PACCAR Hall 192 (Shansby Auditorium). Can’t make it in person? Lectures will be recorded and the links posted to our website weekly. View the Resource Night schedule for links and complete listing of topics and guest speakers.


Thursday, February 28 at 6:00 pm in PACCAR Hall, Shansby Auditorium (room 192)

This week includes what is honestly my favorite topic, and the last of our alphabet soup, the XYZs of positioning. We are moving into the final section, your pitch—creating and telling the story that will persuade the folks you need to persuade. And we will have a panel of marketing experts to share how to put this into practice!

We will again have expert speakers as well, including BreeAnna Marchitto, VP of Marketing for Dry Soda, Kerry Murphy, Chief Marketing Officer for The Riveter, DJ Weidner, Director of Strategy for AMP Agency, and John O’Rourke, Tech Marketing Leader for Microsoft.

Reminder, you can drop-in or catch the recording of this weekly course.


Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge: Terri Butler
Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge: Lauren Brohawn – Reminder the deadline to apply is Tuesday, February 19!
Dempsey Startup Competition (formerly UW Business Plan Competition): Sarah Studer

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