Stardust-sprinkled start-ups

Lady GagaWhen pitching your idea to a potential investor, you will probably be addressing a soberly-suited man or woman who appears to be bred for the cut and thrust world of business.


The likes of Lady Gaga and Kayne West don’t immediately appear to fit this stereotype, which is why it may be a surprise to learn that they have both ploughed some of their considerable wealth into a US start-up.


The musical duo aren’t the only famous faces keen on backing start-ups – pretty much everyone in Hollywood from Kim Kardashian to Weekend Reads’ favourite Ashton Kutcher is in on it.


While it may be unlikely that you will get such a high-profile investor for your venture, here are seven great tips on how to increase your chances in an email pitch.


It would also help if your business is seen as a desirable place to work. If skills shortages are spooking you, it’s worth looking into why these start-ups are so popular with top drawer tech staff.


Another way to do it, of course, is to “pay homage” to the business model of a successful existing business. Entrepreneur Noah Everett, founder of Twitpic, has unveiled a new business that looks strikingly similar to his previous company’s near-namesake.


Weekend Reads has been saddened by the outbreak of violence in the UK, with many small businesses suffering at the hands of looters. But the news from London isn’t all bad – start-ups in the “Silicon Roundabout” area are booming.


Finally, a couple of warnings. If you’re thinking of becoming a franchisee, how can you tell that your franchisor’s marketing will fall flat? Here’s how.


QR codes are a great way for customers to quickly and easily engage with your business. Here are some tips to ensure that your code isn’t one of those left unscanned.


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