Way before Blockbuster Video there was Erol’s Video Club. And here is the forgotten story

Way before Blockbuster there was Erol’s (Erol Video Club) Erol’s can refer to any of three companies, all founded by Erol Onaran, a Turkish immigrant to Virginia. Erol Onaran we the original Video King! In 1960, Erol Onaran left Turkey with $32 in his pocket. Having spent half that sum in Rome, the television repairman arrived in the United States with only $16. In 25 years from his arrival, Onaran had single handedly parlayed his $16 into a multi-million-dollar enterprise […]

100 Chicago startups raised $751 M in the first half of 2018

Hot off the press (July 11, 2018) 100 Chicago startups raised $751 M in the first half of 2018 $58 billion: That’s the number of venture capital dollars invested in 3,912 companies across the U.S. so far in 2018, according to VC and M&A database Pitchbook. In the Chicagoland area specifically, more than $751 million was invested across 100 deals so far this year, though Q2 was slower than Q1. Only 36 companies received funding in Q2, compared to 64 […]

Why Lawyers Don’t Run Startups

Great advice from Steve Blank on how to ask for their advice and how to manage expectations. It is for sure that startups need to have a great lawyer, smart accountant, and an intuitive patent attorney. But founders need to know how to ask for their advice and when to ignore it. “Why Lawyers Don’t Run Startups” by Steve Blank […]

Never forget the proclamation of our Independence

Happy Independence Day! The American spirit is rarely more visible than on Independence Day. Flags flying ​high ​with pride, carefree kids playing, picnics and parades, fireworks lighting up the sky … they all serve as a proud reminder of what our country stands for—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness​, and equality for ALL.​ ​On the other hand, it starts feeling like people have forgotten the importance of our Independence Proclamation.​ Lighting up few sparklers, igniting firecrackers, eating hot dogs […]


Everyone knows about Murphy’s Law. But did you know that Murphy had another 15 laws? Here is the rest of them, just plain true wit! 1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 2. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well. 3. He who laughs last, thinks slowest. 4. A day without sunshine is like, well, night. 5. Change is inevitable […]

Sen Bu İşi BEDAVA Yap Arkası Gelir” EFSANESI – Olmaz Öyle Saçma Şey! (in Turkish)

Sorry folks this outstanding video is in Turkish only. We are trying to get a version with English subtitles. The subject of the video is about people (in our case startup founders and all involved in getting a business of the ground) who are trying to get other people to do things for free. In a nutshell this video is dedicated to the millennium old concept of: “why don’t you do this for free, will take care of it later…&#8221 […]

Doing Everything Yourself Is Not Dedication—It’s Bad Leadership!

Here is a great insight form our partner Mike Dermer, the founder of The Lonely Entrepreneur. Doing Everything Yourself Isn’t Dedication—It’s Bad Leadership! Most entrepreneurs feel that they have to do everything. We feel that we are the only ones who know exactly how to get things done. This is a telltale sign of bad leadership. Of course you know more about your business than anyone. You live and breathe it. In the beginning, every activity probably […]

Our friend Mindi Knebel’s startup Kaizen Health, Inc. raised a $3.8 M Series A round in May!

Very happy to see Mindi Knebel’s medical ride-sharing startup, Kaizen Health Inc., completing their $3.8 million Series A financing round in late May. Tremendous achievement from a Chicago Woman Entrepreneur! I am so honored to witness Mindi’s rise to success, from the days at Matter few years ago as their Program manager to running a multi-million dollar enterprise. Congratulation Mindi and many more successes. We need more and more Women Power in Chicago! This Chicago company works with Lyft and […]

Here is what Teamwork is all about

Here is what Teamwork is all about. One for all, all for one, this is how it’s done.​ (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ‘’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Here is what Teamwork is all about.One for all, all for one, this is how it's done. Posted by Hulusi Tezcan on Friday, June 29, 2018 […]

True Invoice Financing for startups with traction and growth companies

 Coming Soon! INVOICE FINANCING FROM OUR PARTNERS We usually stay out of this segment of the market. As a matter of fact we, in the past, were against using factoring or invoice based lending since we did not think it was the best possible way to fund for growth. In some cases we even called such service providers “predatory” lending… But things change and sometimes for the better. We have been investigating alternative ways of creating funding for startups and […]



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