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From the Smith School of Business, gift ideas for entrepreneurs

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Monday, December 13, 2010

What do you get for that budding innovator starting the next Google in his basement? Here are the must-haves for the entrepreneurs on your list this holiday season, as recommended by some of the experts at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business:

1. Visa card -- with a $50,000 limit

"If you're starting a business, be prepared to put in a significant chunk of your own money. You'll probably be maxing out your credit cards, looking at taking a second mortgage (if you can get one), and dipping into your savings. You can't expect others to invest in your idea if you're not willing to put up your own cash."

-- Bob Baum, associate professor of entrepreneurship

2. "Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose," by Tony Hsieh (2010)

"Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh finds making money and happiness go hand-in-hand. A must-read for any entrepreneur."

-- John LaPides, senior adviser to the dean on China

3. Impressive business cards

"Make sure you have a super-sleek business card with an impressive CEO title -- as they say, 'fake it until you make it' -- there's nothing wrong with that!"

-- Oliver Schlake, Tyser Teaching Fellow and faculty champion for the Entrepreneurship Fellowship Program

4. An extra-large Rolodex . . . or better yet: Etacts.com

"It's all about networking -- get out there and make some new contacts. I have been increasingly recommending Etacts.com -- a great tool for 'casual dating' and building relationships before you need them. It integrates LinkedIn and Gmail and helps you remind yourself to touch base with key contacts at regular intervals."


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