Entrepreneurial DNA: Either You Have It or You Don’t

You’re going to need to leap without a net. But not without plenty of data.  Her is a recent article I wrote for INC.com. At our accelerator here in Durham, North Carolina, we deal with entrepreneurs of every description. Age, race, gender, education–we see diversity of just about every sort. This fall, three of the six companies in our group this fall are led by women. Next spring, who knows. But the diverse people in our program have at least one thing in common–something we call entrepreneurial DNA. I like simple definitions, so let’s define entrepreneurial DNA as the ability to jump off a cliff with no apparent net. I’ll go so far as to say our success is based on identifying people who have it. Here are a few observations about the leap and the people who make it: Great leaps are made with great data. Boldness is attractive to us, but recklessness is not. Great entrepreneurs find a way to share their idea or concept or prototype with a targeted customer set. Whether they did this informally over coffee or in a controlled environment like a test landing page, they have accumulated data. Limping is not leaping. Start-ups are hard.

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