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It’s been a busy few days at CES already; here’s just a few highlights from our programming:

Yesterday’s panel on startup policy talked about the impact of policy on startups and major shifts in government policy that relates to startups all over the United States. Panelists were Michael McGeary of Engine Advocacy, John Dearie, author of Where the Jobs Are, and Ruth Hedges of Unismart Capital Software.

Panelists remarked that, across the board, the issues that startups face that could be resolved or treated with policy changes include:

  • A skills gap

  • The high school denigration problem

  • Over-regulation

  • Tax complication and reform

  • Broad economic uncertainty

  • The uncertainty of Washington

  • The fiscal cliff, debt ceiling

“We need a symbiotic relationship between the edu establishment and the business community.”  – John Dearie, Co Author of “Where the Jobs Are”

This morning, we heard from Brian Cohen of New York Angels, Shari Foldes of DFJ VC, and Kate Drane of indiegogo on the topic of ‘Startup Funding’ with guest host T.A. McCann, founder of Rival IQ.

Here are a few highlights from the panel today:

On entrepreneurs and belief:

  • “Belief has a story behind it.” – Brian

  • “If you can share the belief in what you see […] If you can sell the belief, you can sell much more than that.”

  • “So much of angel investing is about believing in the person.” – Brian

On funding and marketing:

  • “Contributions bring you press, press doesn’t necessarily bring you contributions.” – Kate

  • “Social is really important; it amplifies the company’s mission and vision.” – Shari

  • “The founder should be deeper into the thought of their customer. That’s where the social aspect comes in.” – Brian

On the added value of angel investors:

  • “Sometimes the best value an angel investor can provide is being your devil’s advocate. That’s what you want. Not being coddled.” – Brian

  • “The biggest value from an angel is to make it clear to you that the biggest thing we’re interested in is making money. And if we make money, you make money. And we only make money if you exit. Always add the ‘E’.” – Brian

Final words:

  • “Always prepare and know who your market is.” – Kate

  • “Create campaigns you’re proud of, because it will become a lasting part of your marketing collateral.” – Kate

  • “If you’re not close and in tune with your customer, I’m not interested. Know your customers intimately.” – Brian

  • “You have to build customer engagement into your development process. What are you doing on an ongoing, regular basis that engages with customers?” -T.A.


This afternoon, we’re hosting our third panel – “Founders Helping Startups” – and a pitch competition with mentoring and prizes. Stop by the UP Global desk to sign up for the competition and click here for more information on our programming.

Claire Topalian Claire Topalian
(@clairetopalian) Blog, Professional Writing, Communications and PR Specialist. I craft compelling, mission-driven content for companies and individuals that amplifies brand awareness, fosters community, and drives engagement. My experience includes work with tech startups, major corporations, and international non-profits. @clairetopalian