Interview with Ian Lopuch of

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If you need to use the internet to market your business, and who doesn’t, then this episode of the Free COO is a “must listen to”. Our guest is Ian Lopuch of Ian discusses SEM or, Search Engine Marketing, including Pay Per Click and Search Engine Optimization (PPC and SEO).

Ian discusses the career opportunities for SEM specialists and his outstanding rise to becoming a top SEO specialist and Director of Search Engine Marketing for a multi-million dollar public company.

Be sure to join me each Thursday at 4:00pm Pacific Time for The Free COO live on Spreaker. Also be sure to check out our Facebook Fan Page and join the Free COO community.

The Free COO, now available as a podcast on iTunes, is the #1 business program on Spreaker!

Interview with business plan winners

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On Thursday February 9, 2012, Nicola Allieta of was a guest and spoke about the organization and its mission to bridge the gap between startup companies in Italy and the resources available to startups in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Nicola introduced us to the founders of two of the winners of MindTheBridge’s 2011 Business Plan Competition. First was Luca Rossenttini of D-Orbit. D-Orbit, as the name implies, is developing technology to safely remove debris from space. Next was Francesca Cavallo of Timbuktu Labs. Timbuktu is creating the next generation of editorial products that connect kids and grown-ups.

RC Williams, Francesco Baschieri and I also discussed the operational implications of various choices of structuring a business either as a corporation, LLC or sole proprietorship.

You can hear a replay of the program here.

The Free COO program airs live on Thursdays at 4:00pm on Spreaker.

Facebook IPO filing dispels first mover advantage myth, again

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In the summer of 2011, a panel of distinguished VC’s was convened for a typical Silicon Valley morning symposium on the state of funding for startups. In early 2011, it seemed like every entrepreneur was pitching an idea or shifting their startup’s strategy to offer a Groupon-like service. In their opening remarks, each VC quipped to the audience of aspiring entrepreneurs, “don’t bring me another coupon deal”. Were they acting in a manner any less herd-like than the entrepreneurs? No.

The VC’s were really saying, “If your company is not the first to market with an idea, we’re not interested”, the conventional “first mover advantage” theory. Read more…