Judging the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Howard Community College Entrepreneur Contestants

The URL Dr. and the participants of Howard Community College’s Fall 2015 Entrepreneur Pitch Competition

New entrepreneurs are being born everyday and some of them are coming from Howard County. I had the great pleasure last week of judging seventeen Howard Community College students as they pitched ideas for new businesses. The pitch competition took place during the Fall 2015 Entrepreneurial Celebration.

These students were members of 101 level business classes across multiple disciplines and from varied backgrounds. The competition involved pitching ideas for new businesses. Presentations were 3-5 minutes and were judged 50% on presentation, 45% on content, and 5% on use of time. Full business plans and financials were not the idea here. It was strictly about fostering new ideas and allowing the entrepreneurial juices to flow.

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The URL Dr. to Speak at 35th Annual America’s SBDC Conference

America's SBDC National Conference September 2015


Kim Butler, The URL Dr. will be speaking at the 35th Annual America’s Small Business Development Centers Annual Conference being held September 8-11, 2015, in San Francisco. Kim will be conducting a presentation on “How to Kick Off a Webinar Program,” providing a case study of her work and success with the Western Region of Maryland’s SBDC office and other offices in the state. Her presentation discusses how to increase registration and attendance numbers of educational trainings and workshops, how to add additional revenue sources through paid webinars, how to convert live events into webinars, and various tools needed for a successful program.

“I’m thrilled to have been invited to speak at this prestigious event,” said Ms. Butler. “I’ve been working with the SBDC in Maryland for three years, providing free educational webinars and seminars to the small business community. But I’ve been an SBDC client as well, dating back to my first company that I started at age 11, in 1979. The SBDC has been an invaluable resource to my business over the years.” Read more

The URL Dr. to Animate Noam Wasserman’s Book, “The Founder’s Dilemmas”

The Founders' Series - Startup Videos


The URL Dr. was recently contracted by the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) in Columbia, MD, to animate Noam Wasserman’s best selling book, “The Founder’s Dilemmas.” The video series will take the roadmap provided in the book for new would be founders and cofounders, to help bring light to the common pitfalls they will face while starting a new company and how to avoid them.  Read more

Sexism and Startups – Views & Comments from the Front Line

Kim Butler and Julia Kurnia at Women Startup Challenge DC

Kim Butler, The URL Dr. left, and Julia Kurnia, founder of Zidisha (Photo by Kristin Johnson for Rad Campaign)

I met some amazing women at the Women Startup Challenge last week. We all had many things in common, including great enthusiasm and belief in our companies, a great deal of tenacity, strength, and chutzpah. But many of us also had another thing in common, the sexism we’ve faced in our careers as women founders and entrepreneurs.

Many times it’s subtle, but the stats don’t lie. Only 7% of venture backed companies are owned by women. Even though women-led startups have 35% more return on investment than tech companies founded by men. The bottom line is, there are not enough of us in powerful positions and we need a lot more women starting their own companies. Read more

Women Startup Challenge Competition Rocked!

Kim Butler Women Startup Challenge

Kim Butler, The URL Dr., competes in the first ever Women Startup Challenge

It was an exciting night at 1776, the business incubator in Washington, DC, that hosted the first ever Women Startup Competition. Twelve amazing women competed for $50,000 in free financing, each of us representing tech ideas and startups that we created and believed in.

The competition was sponsored by Women Who Tech, Craig Newmark of Craig’s List and CraigConnects, and Fred and Joanne Wilson. The evening culminated with the $50,000 in financing being awarded to Maci Peterson of On Second Thought. Read more

Crowdfunding Tips for Newbies

Crowdfunding Tips for Newbies on LinkedIn

The growing popularity of crowdfunding is really quite remarkable. In 2012, there were 191 crowdfunding platforms in the United States, according to Statista, The Statistics Portal. As of April 2015, Kickstarter had 222,533 projects launched on its platform. 38% of those campaigns succeeded in raising their goals. By the end of 2014, crowdfunding had added 270,000 jobs and injected more than $65 billion into the global economy. There have been Oscar winning documentaries that got their start through crowdfundingvideo games, and consumer products that have used crowdfunding to get their start or to expand.

In my thirty-six years of being an entrepreneur, I’ve used a lot of creative avenues to fund projects and new businesses. From angel investors to subordinated convertible debentures to my own credit cards, my life could be used as a textbook case in small business funding. But one thing I did not have experience in was crowdfunding. Read more

The URL Dr to Compete in First Women Who Tech Startup Challenge

Women Who Tech Startup Challenge


As a serial entrepreneur and small business owner myself, I’ve been looking for a way to help those small business owners on a limited budget be more successful online. In many cases, the online world can be a tough one to navigate, especially when you’re not as tech savvy as the competition or on a limited budget. I’ve seen first hand the struggles faced by small business in this arena and the troubles they get into when they purchase websites and services from vendors who may not understand what they really need. Read more

Over 100 Free Online Marketing Resources Added to TheURLdr.com

100 new online marketing resources at The URL Dr

TheURLdr.com just unveiled its new resources section with over 100 free online marketing and web design related ebooks, webinars, and videos. The new resources took over a year to create and are aimed at the small business market. Each resource was designed to help small business owners and team members who are responsible for their company’s online presence. Read more

New Do-It-Yourself Online Marketing Tool Helps Entrepreneurs Be More Successful

Do-It-Yourself Online Marketing Tool for Entrepreneurs from Amplify Loud


The URL Dr. announced the launch of her new do-it-yourself online marketing tool, Amplify Loud. The new online tool was created for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to control their own website and online marketing presence. This system eliminates the need for a web designer, graphics person, and third party online marketing company. Read more

Prescriptions for Online Success Video Series Premier: Dance in the USA


Today we’re premiering a new video series, “Prescriptions for Online Success.” Each Friday, we’ll be releasing a new video where The URL Dr. critique’s a small business or nonprofit website. The URL Dr. will be offering advice and suggestions to improve web usability, design, and conversion.

Our first website critique is being done on DanceInTheUSA.com. This website got some great suggestions for ways to improve their overall design and appeal.

If you’d like to have your website critiqued in a future episode, email us at Contact@TheURLdr.com. Read more