Lessons from Rob Ryan’s Entrepreneur America boot camp for start-ups

By Rob Ryan

This book came recommended by someone who I am working on another project with, so I figured I’d pick it up and give it a go.  I’m truly glad that I did.

Unlike many of the books like this that take a condescending tone or are terribly dry (or both), Smartups assumes that you have some idea of what it is that you are wanting to do.  Ryan then goes on to outline exactly what it is that he requires from the companies that come to him looking for mentorship and guidance.  And the bulk of the book is where Ryan goes into detail on what he does with those companies and their founders after he’s accepted them into his program.  It takes a bit of a high level look at it all, and obviously wouldn’t replace having someone like Ryan on board with your start-up company, but it will certainly give you a great idea of where you need to start and give you a head start on getting together all the info and research that any investor group or mentor group is going to want.

The book is well written and well put together.  Each section flows into the next and the information is clear and easy to understand.  There were a few places where I felt that the information that was given was a bit redundant and he used the same few companies as examples throughout the book.  Overall, though, it’s a very good book and I would certainly recommend it for anyone who want’s to immerse themselves into the fast paced start-up world.

It does seem to be somewhat rare, however.  It was published in 2002 and a used copy on Amazon is still running just under $9.  I attempted to find a copy through a few other avenues before I finally broke down and bought my copy there.  And it’s likely to be entered into my permanent collection.  For a while at least.

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