Startup Culture

Startups That Catch Fire Too Soon Risk Early Burnout

Despite raising $41 million prior to launch, the much-hyped mobile/social/photo startup Color hit a wall once they released their app. Why? As Matthew O'Brien of The Atlantic explains, building something that people don't know they want and then making them want it is a messy process.   More

Business Startup Culture

Will More Female and Minority Entrepreneurs Enter Tech?

Female and minority entrepreneurs are few and far between in the technology industry, but lately there have been efforts to change that, Deborah Gage at the Wall Street Journal reports.   More

Business Startup Culture

Crowdfunding Hits Can Leave Investors Empty Handed

There's a lot of enthusiasm about crowdfunding's potential as an engine for innovation. But not all crowdfunding is created equal. Case in point: the Elevation Dock for the iPhone received $1.5 million in funding from its Kickstarter campaign, but missed its projected April shipping date. The dock still hasn't been delivered, and the release of the iPhone 5 now raises compatibility issues, leaving backers with little to show for their investment.   More

Manufacturing Startup Culture

The Maker Movement: A Bottom-up Industrial Revolution?

According to Chris Anderson of the Guardian, we are entering a Third Industrial Revolution: the age of Makers. Characterized by bottom-up innovation, the Maker movement harnesses the Internet, crowdsourcing, and new manufacturing technologies to make things for the many, by the many.   More

Startup Culture

Young Detroit Entrepreneurs Need Mentorship, Says Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter and Square, talked to MLive.com about the future of Detroit after speaking at last week’s Techonomy Detroit conference. Dorsey said that Detroit has reached a turning point, and mentorship is essential for the city’s burgeoning tech scene. While Detroit doesn’t have the experience level of Silicon Valley, local leaders like Dan Gilbert should spend time with young entrepreneurs because it “passes along the torch in ways nothing else can,” Dorsey said. “I think this conference is a start.… Actually seeing someone in the flesh, seeing them on stage and seeing them talk about what they did well, what they did poorly, and what they’re trying to do better at.” Although Detroit has seen an increase in homegrown tech startups, if the city is to truly overcome its formidable economic and structural challenges it needs strong entrepreneurial leadership. Perhaps it will come from someone like Dorsey—who doesn't hide his aspiration to one day transition from tech entrepreneur to mayor of New York City.   More

Startup Culture

An App that Tells What’s in Your Future

In the lead up to Techonomy Detroit, we are profiling tech startups driving the city’s re-emergence as a center of innovation. UpTo, a mobile application startup in the Detroit area, is garnering serious attention. The app is a social calendar that lets users share upcoming events with groups of friends, family, and co-workers. Techonomy contributor Tiffany Huang spoke with Greg Schwartz, UpTo’s CEO, about how his company is part of Detroit’s renewal as a city of the future.   More

Startup Culture

Detroit Startup Asks (and Names Itself), Are You a Human?

In anticipation of the Techonomy Detroit conference on September 12, we’re profiling six tech startups that are driving that city’s re-emergence as a center of innovation. Are You A Human? offers an alternative to CAPTCHAs, those fuzzy letter/number combinations that web shoppers are often required to decipher before buying online. Because automated software tools are increasingly able to bypass CAPTCHAs, and because users are increasingly annoyed by them, Are You A Human? has turned human authentication into a game with its quick, fun PlayThru challenges.   More

Startup Culture

FlockTAG’s Loyalty Card Makes Your Wallet Lighter … in a Good Way

In anticipation of the September 12 Techonomy Detroit conference on, we’re profiling six Detroit tech startups driving the city’s re-emergence as a center of innovation. FlockTAG, a universal, NFC-powered loyalty card and mobile application, is one of the latest Detroit area tech startups. It gives consumers a centralized loyalty card for a wide variety of transactions with merchants, and serves as a marketing tool for independent business owners. I spoke with FlockTAG’s co-founder Adrian Fortino about his company and why it’s following Facebook's model by building first at universities.   More

Startup Culture

Picketreport.com’s Brian Bandemer: How Detroit Tech Hustles Harder

PicketReport.com, a website that aggregates information about neighborhoods and towns, is one of the latest tech startups in the Detroit area to garner attention. The site serves people relocating to unfamiliar areas, curating information about schools, crime, and income levels. It even pinpoints the nearest grocery stores and cafes. I spoke with Brian Bandemer, Picketreport.com’s co-founder and COO, about how his company is part of Detroit’s renewal.   More

Startup Culture

Detroit-based Startup Quikly Rewards Nimble Bargain Hunters

In anticipation of the Techonomy Detroit conference on September 12, we're profiling six Detroit tech startups that are driving the city’s re-emergence as a center of innovation. Quikkly was founded in Philadelphia, but moved to Detroit early this year after Detroit Venture Partners invested in the company. Quikklys are short-term offers, announced randomly via text or Facebook, that give the best deal to first responders. For instance, a $10 coupon to Fandango costs $1 for the early birds and $8 for slowpokes. I spoke with Shawn Geller, co-founder and CEO of Quikkly, about how he got into the online coupon biz and what it’s like running a business in Detroit.   More

Business Startup Culture Techonomy Events

Steve Case on How to Stimulate Innovation

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Steve Case, CEO of Revolution LLC, discusses the current state of entrepreneurship in the US, and what needs to happen to encourage growth and innovation. He says that changes to immigration law, access to capital, and changes in regulation are necessary to fuel entrepreneurship.   More

Business Startup Culture

The SEC’s Crowdfunding Conundrum

When President Obama signed the JOBS Act last April, one of the most controversial and potentially far-reaching provisions was giving startups the ability to raise money through crowdfunding. Private companies would be able to sell shares to all manner of individual investors for the first time. Currently you need to be an "accredited investor" (a high net-worth individual) to buy private company stock through angel rounds or electronic platforms such as SecondMarket and SharesPost. But the JOBS Act will open that up to anybody as soon as the SEC hammers out the rules by early next year.   More

Energy & Green Tech Startup Culture

GreenLancer Boosts Renewable Energy from Detroit to Afghanistan

In anticipation of the Techonomy Detroit conference on September 12, we're profiling six Detroit tech startups that are driving the city’s re-emergence as a center of innovation. GreenLancer Energy connects freelance renewable energy engineers with companies and contractors looking for green expertise. Since 2011, GreenLancer’s clients have included the U.S. Department of Defense, Occidental Oil, General Motors, and the U.S. Armed Forces. I spoke with co-founder and CTO Patrick McCabe about freelancing renewable energy, the Midwest’s lack of green energy experts, and Detroit’s tech scene.   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Events

Jim Breyer of Accel Partners on How Tech Empowers Entrepreneurs

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Jim Breyer, Partner at Accel Partners, discusses whether technology can help people create jobs for themselves. Instead of working for Facebook or Google when they leave school, Breyer says, recent college graduates are more often leveraging technology to create new companies, like Etsy and Zaarly.   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Events

Sean Parker on How Startup Culture Diffuses Talent

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Sean Parker, Managing Partner at Founders Fund and a co-founder of Napster, argues that startup culture pulls critical talent into meaningless endeavors, instead of concentrating it on ideas that have true potential.   More

Finance Startup Culture

The Andreessen Horowitz Effect

In the three short years since Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz set up shop as venture capitalists on Sand Hill Road, they’ve already established Andreessen Horowitz as one of the top VC firms in Silicon Valley, right up there with Accel, Benchmark, Greylock, Kleiner, and Sequoia. Some would argue that it is the top firm. They’ve raised $2.7 billion across three funds and they somehow seem to get into every deal that matters. The Andreessen Horowitz portfolio includes such marquee names as Skype, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, Airbnb, Fab, Groupon, and Zynga.   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Events

Marc Benioff on the Impact of Entrepreneurs Under 30

In this video from the "Revolutions in Progress" session at Techonomy 2011 in Tucson, Ariz., salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff discusses what he sees as an emerging model for business. Entrepreneurs under 30 are revolutionizing the way that companies do business, he says, from embracing and developing new technologies to doing away with the old bureaucratic structure. These new 20-something CEOs will change the way we do business, says Benioff.   More