Field Trip Friday: Free Resources for Young Entrepreneurs

Topic: Analysis, Startups, Strategies|


With an entire web of information out there, it’s tough to sift through and find the things you need to really get your business off the ground. We’ve talked extensively about ways to hone your idea and gather valuable data to ensure your opportunity’s success. Today it’s time to put those ideas into motion with some top notch FREE resources to take your business from idea to fruition.

  1. University of Central Florida’s Venture Lab: You might call this a plug for the school I attend, but these guys have got some really incredible information and resources available to everyone. My favorite aspect of this site is the vast amount of free templates for the creation of your business plan. From market research tools, to financial pro formas, term sheets, employee documents, and of course business plans. This place is an absolute treasure trove of information for the development of your next great startup!
  2. Google, that’s right Google. But not just the typical search interface – we all know how useful that is. I’m referring to the University Search. Many major Universities offer Entrepreneurial programs and degrees these days, and the resources these colleges offer online is astounding. I recommend starting out with the University of Colorado which is one of the premier Entrepreneurial programs in America.
  3. Already got your business off the ground? I just came across this site yesterday from my friends over at Mind Petals and I’ve already put it to good use by sending out invoices worth over $2,000. Blinksale offers a free subscription if you send less than 3 invoices per month, which is perfect when you are just getting your feet under you.
  4. The Small Business Administration is terrific as well. Most of you are probably familiar with these guys. They specialize in guaranteeing small business loans. In addition to this valuable service, they offer tons of great information such as templates, sample plans, and other startup assistance.
  5. Since many of you are still students, you can gain access and benefit greatly from this cool site. It’s called the Business Plan Archive and it is an extremely valuable resource. They host hundreds of tried and true business plans submitted by companies who wish to help out aspiring Entrepreneurs
  6. Blogs. And lots of them. There are an astounding number of bloggers these days, and many are out there to help young entrepreneurs. Start with a search of the Mind Petals blogger network and start exploring some of their blogrolls. Be careful though, you might spend all day doing this one!

There are a ton more, but since I post every day I will save the rest for next week’s Field Trip Friday – so if you havent done so already, subscribe to the RSS feed and stay tuned!

And now startup students, it’s time for show and tell. First up comes from my brother Blaine. He put together a custom entertainment center for our 52” HDTV. It really turned out pretty awesome.

I’d also like to take a second and introduce you to a buddy of mine’s blog. He’s definitely got the entrepreneurial spirit and works at New York based startup Confabb: The Conference Community so be sure to check it out.

See you on Monday students, have a great weekend!

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5 Responses to “Field Trip Friday: Free Resources for Young Entrepreneurs”

  1. Dennis Says:

    I didn’t know you went to UCF?! I have a lot of friends from there. I just graduated from UF last May.

    Are you working on some projects now?

  2. Brett Says:

    Hey Dennis, nice looking blog! In addition to my blog, I own a web development business, and I’m also putting together a web 2.0 startup. Do you know of any good ruby/ajax programmers around UCF? I have two guys working on it now, but I’d like to go another direction.

  3. Dennis Says:

    Sweet! I want to know more!!
    I’m involved in a start-up called We’re using ASP. I’m not a coder, just an idea/vision guy 😉

  4. Sanjay Kumar Says:

    If you like Blinksale for online invoicing, you should also check out, which is an intuitive, web-based application that lets you easily invoice your clients by email and get paid faster online. SimplifyThis also has a free offering.

  5. Brett Says:

    Thanks Sanjay! Just checked it out and it looks very good. Intuitive, clean, and well thought out. I’ll give it a test drive for my next round of invoices and report back on my findings.