Expert: Why do entrepreneurs fail? They choose the wrong idea.

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The importance of having a sound business idea for a startup is essential, but identifying the ideas most likely to go from concept to venture is challenging. Statistics show that about 34% of startups fail within the first two years and 56% within the first four years. Most failures are due, in part, to the pursuit of ideas that are poorly selected and/or tested.

“Inexperienced entrepreneurs have improved odds of succeeding over the long run if their first idea is sound,” says Dan Cohen, director of Wake Forest University’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

“A key to that success is to generate 100 ideas and then evaluate and select the best one. That first win builds confidence for the next.” Dan Cohen, director of Wake Forest University’s Center for Entrepreneurship

Cohen’s new teaching method, IDEATE, has been proven to help develop higher-quality, more innovative ideas. He is available to discuss ways fledgling entrepreneurs can refine their ideas — from product or service development to customer testing to securing investors to marketing and sales. He can also discuss why starting a business is easier today than it has ever been and what characteristics people share who are drawn to opportunities, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Dan Cohen and Wake Forest’s Center for Entrepreneurship were prominently featured in the Winston-Salem Journal’s Business & Innovation section Spotting valuable ideas.

IDEATE was one of four finalists for the 2018 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation Award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers — winning recognition from among more than 100 submissions. Most recently, Wake Forest University was a finalist for the Model Emerging Entrepreneurship Program Award at the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Conference focused on entrepreneurship education.

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