Energy & Green Tech Startup Culture

Microsoft’s Craig Mundie on Why He’s a Techno-Optimist

Take a monolithic problem like climate change and consider its solutions. Many would say the only answer is to get all of us to alter our lifestyles so we can cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. But a "techno-optimist" like Microsoft's Craig Mundie would urge us to approach the problem from a different, more novel angle: Instead of hinging Earth's health on changing all of society, what about engineering a method of reflecting heat out of the atmosphere? At our Techonomy 2013 conference in November, Mundie spoke with us about how creative traits like "risk tolerance" and "novelty seeking" will help us confront big challenges like climate change. "If you give us a big problem, we'll invent a big answer," he says. "We're [not] bound to live within the constraints of the capabilities we only know today."   More

Manufacturing Startup Culture

Tesla’s Elon Musk to Would-Be Innovators: Just Try

Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick was in Texas this week to interview super-magnate Elon Musk, the entrepreneurial marvel behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Their wide-ranging conversation was part of the opening keynote at this year’s Dell World, held Dec. 11-13 at the Austin Convention Center. Kicked off by Dell Founder and CEO Michael Dell, Thursday’s keynote delved into Tesla’s rapid but sometimes rocky evolution, from the electric car company’s early struggles to get financing to its current market capitalization of over $18 billion.   More

Techonomy 13 Startup Culture Techonomy Events Video

180° Shift: From Collector of Puzzle Pieces to Letting Go

Michael Smolens discusses his startup Dotsub and the challenges of communicating in a diverse world of languages. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Techonomy 13 Startup Culture Techonomy Events Video

180° Shift: Is Freemium Dead in the Enterprise?

Gaurav Dhillon of SnapLogic discusses startup business models and why his company abandoned the "freemium" approach. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Techonomy 13 Bio & Life Sciences Startup Culture Techonomy Events

What the Dormouse Says Now

If the counterculture of the late 50's and 60's was the progenitor of the PC industry and all it led to, what kind of "culture" is driving the evolution of information technology today? Are those revolutionary ideals still at play, or have those counterculture values grown up and become a complacent establishment? Stewart Brand of the Long Now Foundation, Scanadu's Walter De Brouwer, Ina Fried of AllThingsD, and Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick discuss at Techonomy 2013 in Tucson, Ariz. Watch video and read the full transcript here.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Venture for America’s Yang Calls Detroit an Innovation Hub

Winning innovators don’t depend on the market for opportunities; they innovate their way into them. So says Venture for America founder Andrew Yang, who talked with us at our Techonomy Detroit conference about the need for more innovation and why Detroit can help spark it. “We need to get more smart people building things. We need to get more of our talented working to solve the problems of the day,” he said, adding that Detroit's access to talent, resources, and customers to put it at the forefront of tech entrepreneurship in coming years.   More

Startup Culture

Policy Should Support Micro-Entrepreneurs, Says Etsy’s Dickerson

At our Techonomy Detroit conference, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson talked to us about the need for policymakers to treat micro-entrepreneurs as small businesses. "The idea that you can start a business literally on Etsy by listing an item which costs 20 cents is really powerful," he said. Dickerson discussed how policymakers can create opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs in what he calls the "new world" of platform-enabled businesses.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Inspiration and Entrepreneurship in New Orleans

I first came to New Orleans in 2007, two years after Katrina, to enroll at Tulane University when I was 18 years old. There was still a lot to be desired, but the city never pretended to be anything other than what it was. What drew me to Tulane was not a particular career path, but a sense I had to be part of the impassioned rebuilding taking place throughout New Orleans’ communities.   More

Detroit 13 Startup Culture Video

Everybody’s Starting Something

Jocelyn Benson of Wayne State University, Josh Linkner of Detroit Venture Partners, and Venture for America's Andrew Yang join Tom Walsh to discuss the new wave of startup culture. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Startup Culture

Detroit’s Doodle Home: A Platform for All Things Design

After taking a break from her interior design career to raise a family, Jennifer Gilbert says she wanted to “get creative” again. But she quickly realized how interior design and luxury home furnishings had stagnated during her years away. She saw the inefficient, fragmented industries as being ripe for change. “I figured if someone was going to change it, why not me?” she says. Having witnessed what her husband, Quicken Loans founder and chairman Dan Gilbert, had done to bring the mortgage business online, she resolved to bring the same efficiencies to her profession.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Navigating Detroit: A VFA Fellow Discovers Ideas, Energy, Opportunity

Kathy Cheng is used to walkable cities. She grew up near New York and went to college in Cambridge, Mass. Now she finds herself driving in the Motor City, as a Venture for America (VFA) fellow working at a startup in downtown Detroit. Cheng talked to Techonomy about the VFA program, adapting to Detroit, and helping the city thrive.   More

Startup Culture

Putting Young Tech Minds and Friendly Faces on Debt Collection

After Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, there might not be a more apropos startup in Michigan than HealPay, an Ann Arbor company that offers a suite of cloud-based apps that enable online payment processing for various sectors. As HealPay co-founder Erick Bzovi says, debt collection “is a dirty world and the technology sucks.” The solutions he and cofounder Lance Carlson have developed streamline collections and provide electronic options that they say improve chances of collecting receivables.   More

Cities Learning Startup Culture

With Help from Etsy, a Small-City Mayor Brings the Maker Movement to the Classroom

Larry Morrissey was 35 and had never held a political office when he ran a successful campaign as an independent candidate to become mayor of Rockford, Ill., in 2005. Now in his third term, Morrissey is determined to bring the city where he grew up back from years of economic decline. Among efforts to bolster local business and the city’s faltering education system, he recently teamed up with the online marketplace Etsy to create a pilot program for entrepreneurship education. He says it’s a link to an era when entrepreneurship was a way of life, not something learned in grad school.   More

Startup Culture

Venture for America Brings a Socially-Conscious Entrepreneur Home

When Chelsea Koglmeier left Cincinnati after high school, she never thought she would return to live in her home city. But barely a year after college graduation, she’s back, working for a company that makes a mobile app for planning road trips. Koglmeier is a fellow at Venture for America, a program that places bright college grads at startups in struggling cities. Techonomy spoke with Koglmeier about creating social impact, diving into startup culture, and seeing her home city in a new light.   More

Cities Media & Marketing Startup Culture

Detroit’s Ambassador Helps Companies Reward Their Advocates

How do companies leverage the communities they build among users, and reward consumers for becoming unofficial ambassadors for their products and services? Detroit native Jeff Epstein asked this question in 2008, just as social media was coming into its own as an empowering platform for consumers. Epstein established Ambassador as a way for companies to give their biggest online evangelists a piece of the action. We spoke with him about harnessing word-of-mouth for a digital marketplace, and on Detroit as startup mecca.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Why a Recruiting Startup Thrives in Detroit

With backing from Detroit Venture Partners, Matt Mosher founded hiredMYway.com in 2010. In the crowded field of online recruiting, it might have seemed an unlikely-to-succeed upstart. But as an entrepreneur since his early teens, Mosher knew how to take a fresh approach in order to coexist with the biggest names in the industry. With Detroiter moxie, he built the Swiss Army knife of recruiting sites.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Detroit Startup Wants the World to Get Glocal

Launched in 2011, Detroit's Glocal offers users a tailored local experience via online community forums. It aims to counter a loss of connection with local community that many see as a negative effect of the global hyper-connectedness driven by social media. Techonomy spoke with Glocal President Lincoln Cavalieri about the importance of zooming in on what’s happening in your own neck of the woods.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Detroit’s Workfolio Helps Anyone Build Their Own Personal Website

Workfolio was founded in Detroit, but today also operates out of New York. The company aims to make creating online professional profile websites intuitive for everyone in the working world. Techonomy spoke with Workfolio Founder and CEO Charles Pooley about personal branding, how he got into DIY Web design, and what sets Detroit apart from other cities.   More

Learning Startup Culture

What Is Blerdology?

Blerds unite! Blerdeology, a social enterprise to support and engage the black startup and STEM community, is rallying blerds (black nerds) across the country with its “Blerd’s Night Out Tour.” Blerdology is the first organization to produce hackathons specifically targeting African-Americans, and these summer networking events aim to showcase rising black innovators and engage minority startup ecosystems.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Why I Love Detroit for Launching a Startup

By the time my company LevelEleven launched last fall after being incubated within Pleasant Ridge’s ePrize, I had already planned our business strategy and next steps. And it never crossed my mind to move out of Detroit to build LevelEleven in a more obvious startup market. Why? In part, because this is home. But Detroit also has many characteristics that make it a great place to launch a technology startup. There’s a lot of noise about entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and New York. But listen closely and you can hear a new buzz coming out of the Motor City.   More