Entrepreneurship Has Been Institutionalized

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
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Learn more at:  http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

 

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve
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The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to protect and maximize them.

 
Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day”- March 29th

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To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports at: www.neilsiskindsupports.com

You can read what clients and associates are saying about Neil Siskind at: http://siskindlawfirm.com/neil-siskind-bio/.

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:
Volunteer, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Donate to one of my needy public classrooms: http://www.donorschoose.org/NeilSiskindGiving

Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

Help Neil Siskind help children with cancer to be more comfortable: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3182108&fr_id=2632&pg=personal

Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges: http://siskindlawfirm.com/champion-children/

Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono Work:
Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse www.savingseniorcitizens.com
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Senior FreeStart Business- Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

Veteran FreeStart Business- Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy: http://siskindlawfirm.com/free-start-business/

Neil Siskind’s Philanthropic & Environmental Work:

-Hudson Riverfront Land Conservation: The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River.

-Founder & Chairman, The Fatherhood Assignment: A think tank to educate the public about, and advocate for the children of absentee fathers. http://www.neil-siskind-the-fatherhood-assignment.org/

-Founder and Developer of “National Fatherhood Day” (TM), observed annually on March 29th, to encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

-Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
-Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
-Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Established and operated a temporary legal clinic offering inexpensive legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, plan estate matters, organize finances, start small businesses and obtain governmental assistance such as Medicaid.

Neil Siskind’s linkedin URL: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/

 

 

Entrepreneurship Has Been Institutionalized

We hear magnificent stories of great startup successes leading to billion-dollar buyouts and public offerings. But thousands of new businesses fail every day. That is the side of the American dream to which we and the media do not bear witness. Failure lurks in the shadows while the small number of successes bask in the spotlight.

But I am not writing to highlight the failures, I am writing to highlight “the system” and the cause of failures in some cases.

Many startups, particularly in the technology space, are not the dreams of one small man or woman, as it may seem. They are often the brainchilds of experienced investors, or those with a connection to serious investors, including to private equity or venture capitalists. Often, new technology businesses are started by people having connections to would-be investors who, in turn, have connections to investment banks to take them public or larger company executives to buy them out. In other words, the exit strategy for a new idea and new business is often known from the get-go. While there is no problem with this in theory, in practice this deceives the masses of people who believe they have equal access to the American dream. An individual who has a business idea does not realize that a competitive idea may be fast-tracked for success through connections to investors and predetermined exit strategies. So while it seems that every good idea has equal chance of success, this is really not the case.

Shark Tank highlights the issue. Two investors with a similar idea or product are not on equal footing where one of the entrepreneurs has an investor with distribution contacts. One entrepreneur’s product may be better, but the entrepreneur with the ability to get his or her product into distribution is in a far better position to get an investor, sell the product and put the better, but less connected company out of business. The Sharks, of course, realize the value of distribution to a company’s success and often highlight their relationships with retailers. One phone call and one order can change the trajectory of a product or business.

All is fair in love and business. That’s for sure. It is unfortunate, however, that entrepreneurship has been institutionalized such that having financiers and distributors investing in one entrepreneur is a necessity and a great advantage to having the business prevail over another and better product. It is not about a better mousetrap. It is about the engine of business getting behind an idea or entrepreneur through a relationship- rather than due to ingenuity. Requiring the right relationship makes entrepreneurship as institutionalized a process as the corporate world itself. One business cannot start on a shoestring and some moxie, while a competitor is starting with a financier and a predetermined exit strategy. Just like business in the corporate world, entrepreneurship in this day and age is about who you know.

I am not suggesting that entrepreneurs throw in the towel. I am suggesting, however, that if an entrepreneur has an idea or product targeted at a potentially large market (as opposed to a local business concept), know the realities of entrepreneurship today, and use your time and resources to get a well-connected investor on board, with equity (contingent on them doing what they promise in terms of raising capital or obtaining shelf space), so that you can compete with another entrepreneur who has this tool to work with.

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