Editor’s Note: YoungEntrepreneur’s Ask the Expert column seeks to answer readers’ questions about everything from starting and running a business to raising funding and growth strategies. To follow the column on Twitter — and to ask a question — use hashtag #YEask, or leave a comment below. Your query may be the inspiration for a future column.
Peter S. Cohan has a soft spot for small businesses.
Not only has the venture-capital investor counseled hundreds — if not thousands — of startups through his classes at Babson College and his 11 books about entrepreneurship. He has also invested in six startups — three of which were sold for a total of $2 billion. Since 1994, he has run Peter S. Cohan & Associates, a Marlborough, Mass., management-consulting and VC firm where he helps companies to identify, evaluate and profit from new business opportunities created by changing technology.
At Babson, he created and led an offshore elective course for 24 graduate students called the Hong Kong Singapore Startup Strategy. The 10-day visit included meetings with startups, capital providers, government officials and professors. It culminated in consulting projects conducted for five local startups. Cohan also teaches the Entrepreneurship Capstone at neighboring Olin College of Engineering.
When he’s not teaching or consulting, Cohan writes. His three most recent books include: Hungry Start-up Strategy: Creating New Ventures with Limited Resources and Unlimited Vision (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, coming November 2012), Export Now: Five Keys to Entering New Markets (Wiley, 2011) and Capital Rising: How Global Capital Flows Are Changing Business Systems All Over The World (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010). He also writes about venture capital for Entrepreneur.com and pens the Forbes Startup Economy blog.
Cohan earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, did graduate work in computer science at MIT, and earned a BS in electrical engineering from Swarthmore College.
So now, Cohan is game to tackle your burning-business questions each week, for this month only. Feel free to ask small-business related questions, including queries about how to set start-up goals, pick markets, build a team, raise capital, win market share and adapt to change.
Submit your questions in the comments section below and those with the most “likes” from other readers will be answered. On Twitter, use the hashtag #YEask. Please include your first and last name, your location (city and state) and the name of your business in your comment.