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Last Update: Monday June 21, 2021

Key Idea: Be Driven

Joe Becker who runs The Enterprise Network says that entrepreneurs have to be driven to succeed.

Key Question:


Only if you are driven to make the world a better place or to change the world.  Really.  That's what it takes.

Joe Becker said, "This place is like Entrepreneurs Anonymous." He makes it clear that the problems faced in building a business are not just technical in nature but also personal and emotional. TEN provides structure to support the entrepreneur when he/she faces any type of difficulty.

Q:  What type of personal or emotional problems would a person starting a business face?

Depending upon the age of the person and their family situation, an entrepreneur could have children to support and have no income from the business because sometimes it takes years to make a profit. The pressure to pay bills could become enormous.

Also, the time commitment to a business is big and so spouses and children often are neglected.  And if the entrepreneur left a job in a big company where he/she had a nice title and fancy office, those things don't exist while starting a business. There are no titles and there's no money for impressive real estate and office furniture. This lack of trappings can affect the self-esteem of the entrepreneur.

In this library, if you study every business owner, you will see the passion they have for their life's work.  It is passion and drive that will take you through all of the problems of starting and growing a business.  If you don't have it for your idea then don't start a business.

Think about it

Do you have a passion to create something that you can't stop thinking about? 

Clip from: The Enterprise Network

Santa Clara and San Jose, California: Silicon Valley is famous for technology startups and its goal is to never lose the distinction of being "the place" for innovation. The Enterprise Network (TEN) houses over a dozen start-ups working to bring new technologies to the marketplace. At TEN they find low-cost office space and mentors who guide them. You will meet the men who run the incubator and a number of the entrepreneurs who depend upon the leadership and camaraderie offered here.

According to the National Business Incubation Association, there are about 5,000 incubators worldwide with about 1,100 in the US. 

We chose this incubator because it became famous during the dot-com boom and it is situated  close to Stanford University. 

Stanford was early to the idea of technology licensing.  Technology licensing has assisted faculty and students in the process of launching companies which in turn have created thousands of jobs and brought millions of dollars into Stanford University.  Stanford enjoys the "success breeds success" principal so things are popping there.   In this program we go to the campus to see how one PhD student is working to commercialize his discoveries.

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The Enterprise Network (TEN)

Mark Godwin, President & CEO

Access Growth LLC
2953 Bunker Hill Lane Suite 400
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Visit our web site:

Office: 408-893-4500
Toll Free: 877-256-4500

Business Classification:
Business Incubator - NGO

Year Founded: 1993

Be Driven

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Joe Boeddeker is president and CEO of TEN.

JOE BOEDDEKER (President & CEO, The Enterprise Network): You have to have a differentiating product. You have to have a market. You know, it doesn't do any good if you can win a Noble Prize maybe, but...without a market, you're not going to have a business. You have to have the drive of the entrepreneur and that's the biggest variable. And in our case, what we look for is somebody that's coachable. The venture capitalist community, they'll look for somebody that's a management team. But our role is, are they coachable? And a fourth thing we look for is, is it somebody we can help? If somebody comes to us--and that's why I don't like the word incubator, because if somebody comes to us and says, `I have a hot technology, make it into a business,' they're gonna fail. They have to come to us and say, `I believe I can make this happen. I know it's good.'

JOE BECKER (The Enterprise Network): I call this Entrepreneurs Anonymous because when you're starting a business, the problems are not just technical in nature or business in nature, they're also personal and emotional. And there needs to be a work structure . . .

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Joe Becker is part of The Enterprise Network leadership team.

JOE BECKER: There are always people coming through the incubator here that could make that magical, what I call serendipity, connection for somebody. Opens a door that they never would have expected just by meeting this particular individual. And you never know when that's gonna occur, but by being sort of at the hub of activity for new enterprise development here in the incubator, that kind of thing is perhaps gonna happen for that entrepreneur.

HATTIE: So, is the incubator a good place for people to be?

BRIAN: Absolutely. By providing the infrastructure and some of the guidance. I know Joe Boeddeker talks about tough love and kind of . . . instilling some discipline in the organization. It allows us to focus on really what we should be focusing on, which is defining what our product should be and building our team and creating our product, as opposed to worrying about the infrastructure.

HATTIE: Right.

JOE BOEDDEKER: `And I'm gonna do everything--I'll bust down walls to make this thing happen.'

HATTIE: Right.

JOE BOEDDEKER: Then we've got a real exciting opportunity, and now we're just facilitators to help that entrepreneur become successful.

HATTIE: When you got your first round of funding, did everybody in the incubator come running in and say, `Wow. How'd you do it?' You know. `What are your secrets?'

BRIAN: Yeah. Not running in, but we do celebrate that. And so, I think, over time, we all try to share with each other, you know, lessons learned. And so we definitely benefited by predecessors who have come through the incubator before us. And so we certainly want to be able to do the same for other companies.

JOE BOEDDEKER: The success of adventure is a function of the entrepreneur having that burning belief that `I can make this happen.' And we don't want to get in the way of that.

What we want to do is facilitate it.

JOE BECKER: First off, there's just some raw human intelligence -- I call "smarts" -- that pretty much has to exist there, but he also seemed to have the organizational ability, the ability to articulate what it is he's trying to do and to sell that concept. He had me excited, and that's where you have to start. I believed they'd be successful. They have a good idea. They have taken a serious look at the business dynamics. They realize they are in a competitive space where they can provide a unique solution to a customer, and they're proceeding farther with trying to offer that solution.

HATTIE: Keeps you young, huh?

JOE BOEDDEKER: Oh, well, you stay around young people, you can stay young, and, of course, entrepreneurs, they keep you hopping.

HATTIE:  Good.

(Voiceover) What do all of these men and women have in common? The entrepreneurial spirit, faith in their ideas, hope that they can make the world a better place, and, oh, by the way, they'll create wealth and work on the path to their dreams.

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