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Business Cities

From the Model T to P2P: How Automotive Innovation is Changing Detroit (Again)

San Francisco's Uber has turned the limo and cab industry upside down by offering a car service that books rides on demand from smartphones. Users can request vehicles and complete transactions entirely through a mobile app. This method creates efficiencies that don't exist in traditional limo/cab offerings: upon request for a vehicle, the app sends the picture, name, and direct contact number of your driver to your smartphone. GPS enables real-time tracking as the driver approaches your pickup location, and upon reaching your destination, payment is automatically processed (gratuity included) through the app. In short, Uber has radically streamlined the customer experience for both driver and passenger.   More

Business Manufacturing

We Built That: Will the Quirky Model Be Replicated?

At Techonomy we've heard tons of buzz about social product development company Quirky since our Techonomy Detroit conference, where company founder Ben Kaufman gave a high-spirited, enthusiastically received talk just weeks after finalizing a $68 million round of VC funding. But some wonder about the likelihood that other companies could easily copy the Quirky model.   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

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