Michael S Melfi

16 posts
Michael S. Melfi, J.D., MBA, is an attorney with Bodman PLC who represents emerging companies and established businesses in a wide array of technology and corporate matters. He has extensive experience mentoring, counseling and securing funding for entrepreneurs, inventors, startups and small businesses and their disruptive technologies. His passion is guiding and supporting emerging companies and entrepreneurs and has authored four books aimed to help entrepreneurs gain a better understanding of often seemingly complex areas. Michael is a partner at Bodman PLC, one of the Midwest’s leading business law firms, that provides counsel to some of the region’s most successful companies and individuals on a broad range of issues.
innovative
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The 4 Elements Necessary for Building Innovative Teams

In order to gain traction, earn revenue and turn a brand into a sustainable business, entrepreneurs must innovate. And in order to understand how to build innovative teams, it is important to first understand what innovation means. Innovation is the ability for teams or groups to collaborate around a product or service to create value through...
success
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4 Steps for Creating Lasting Entrepreneurial Success

In today’s technological day and age, as long as you have a device that can connect to the internet, theoretically, it’s fairly easy to start a business. However, approximately 50 percent of all businesses fail in the first five years, and for those that make it past five years, a large majority never reach their...
intellectual property
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Securing Your Startup’s Intellectual Property Rights: Patent vs. Trade Secret

Entrepreneurs and emerging companies often look for ways to protect their valuable assets. They want to secure their ideas and ultimately enforce their rights around them. Traditionally, there are four types of intellectual property rights: patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. Patents and trade secrets are the two types of intellectual property rights that protect...
investable
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3 Components of Becoming an Investable Entrepreneur

Emerging companies looking to grow their business, at some point, have exclaimed: “if I only had (fill in the business need here), then I could (fill in the business opportunity here).” The issue with that statement is that once that wish has been granted, it's highly likely it will fix one problem, but cause another....
success
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5 Keys to Reach Entrepreneurial Success This Year

For many entrepreneurs, the end of the year is a grind to the finish line. This is followed by an entirely new set of goals, sometimes based on the tradition of New Year’s resolutions. As the new year begins, I want to share five keys to success every entrepreneur needs in order to have the...
financials
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4 Reasons to Have Your Business Financials in Order

As humans, we tend to focus our attention on the things that bring us the most pleasure and least pain. It is probably no wonder that most entrepreneurs and emerging companies tend to focus on daily tasks and projects which bring them joy, have the least amount of resistance and sometimes make them money. However,...
Business entity
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Learning the Ins and Outs of Business Entity Formation

Throughout my career, I have received many questions around business entity formation. There are many different types of business entities, including partnerships, professional organizations, sole proprietorships, corporations and limited liability companies. I have often noticed a misconception of how and where entities are formed, so let’s take a few minutes to learn the ins and...
Incubator
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7 Tips For Applying for an Incubator or Accelerator

For many emerging companies, securing a spot in the illustrious cohorts of a business incubator or accelerator program is highly coveted. Joining the likes of Techstars, 500 Startups or Y Combinator is desired by many growing companies. So what does it take to be selected? In this article, we dive into seven things you can do...
systematize
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How to Systematize Your Business for Scalability

It is equally as important to systematize your business as it is to systematize your personal life. As humans, we are what we habitually do. Our success, our fulfillment and our day-to-day happiness is a result of the actions we take on a consistent basis. As humans, we’re constantly fighting the battle between keeping the...
10x rule
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The 10X Rule: Drive Maximum Performance in Your Business

An entrepreneur is resourceful, able to make something more out of something less and is able to create growth and success. These are all qualities investors look for; investors invest assets, employees invest their knowledge and resources, and customers invest money. When an investor throws their money on the table, they are most likely looking...
Cybersquatting
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Cybersquatting: How to Protect Your Startup’s Domain Name

What is cybersquatting? What happens when the domain you want is taken? When we say taken, we don't mean that someone else secured the domain to launch their website, app or e-commerce business and are actively using the domain. We are talking about the cybersquatting screen of death, which basically means that someone else bought,...
Trump tax plan
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What Does Trump Tax Plan Mean for Entrepreneurs?

The 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, takes office today, and the U.S. will be undergoing a proposed new tax plan that comes with many changes to the landscape of tax codes. So what exactly does this Trump tax plan mean for entrepreneurs? According to the accounting firm UHY, President Trump's tax plan looks to...
Revolutionary or evolutionary
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Is Your Product or Service Revolutionary or Evolutionary?

When an entrepreneur brings an idea to an investor, sometimes they are referred to as the next Facebook, or “the Uber for (insert any industry).” Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that many ideas and businesses are not game changers and will not become a "unicorn." A unicorn, in the world of business, is a startup company...
Entrepreneur in residence
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Entrepreneur in Residence: The Role That Will Boost Your Small Business

Most organizations are looking for a competitive advantage, a way to stay ahead of the curve and gain the insight and wisdom to create growth and success. So how do some educational institutions, Fortune 1000 companies and innovative technology companies achieve these results? They mimic a true and tested strategy used by many venture capital...
Funding
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Busting the Myths of Small Business Funding

Securing funding for your startup may seem impossible, but it is no more difficult than making a sale. Fundraising is not impossible, it is an obstacle that requires the proper focus, beliefs, capabilities and strategies to achieve. Below, you will find several common myths that entrepreneurs face while looking for investors, and how to bust all...
Pitch Deck
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The Anatomy of a Pitch Deck

Have questions on what it takes to get funding? Utilizing a pitch deck, share your compelling story in order to influence an audience to fund your business. For those unfamiliar with the term, a pitch deck is a presentation used to present a business plan to potential investors in person or via an online meeting. Why is...