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Learning Startup Culture

How Improv Acting Makes Better Technologists

At Carnegie Mellon University, software engineers and future technologists are taking improvisational acting classes to help them get good jobs in the entertainment technology industry. The rules of improv are simple, but strict: be fun to play with; serve the narrative—no matter what is said, think "Yes, and..."; and make your partner look good. These principles may apply equally for collaborative teams.   More

Startup Culture

What We’ve Learned at PARC About the Business of Innovation

The business of open innovation is something PARC has been continually refining since we incorporated in 2002. Mastering the process of innovation is about far more than developing new technology; it requires a deep understanding of human behavior and context, and the ability to invent new business models to take the resulting products and services to market. We've found common themes. Three of them illustrate how we’ve been innovating at PARC over the past decade.   More

Startup Culture

City Supports Tech Startups “Made in NY”

The "Made in NY" advertising campaign has been touting the city's efforts to grow and energize local film and television production. Now, Mayor Bloomberg has launched a "We Are Made in NY" initiative that supports the city's burgeoning tech scene by offering online resources that help nurture startups and match employers with qualified applicants. The program is also asking local tech startups to submit 60-second introductory videos to give a behind-the-scene look at what they do. Along with initiatives like the Code for America partnership and the planned Cornell NYC Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, this new campaign bolsters the mayor's strategic reinvention of New York as "New Tech City."   More

Manufacturing Startup Culture

In Defense of Dustpan Innovation, Product Developers Protest

Outraged over ergonomic gadget maker OXO’s introduction of a $25 dustpan-and-broom design that closely resembles a two-year-old, $12 Quirky model, Quirky staffers staged a street protest in New York last week.   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Events

Super Youth at Techonomy: What Drives the Tyle Brothers to Succeed

How do you raise two sons who will make enough money by age 30 to ensure you have a very comfortable retirement? Tell them their youth is no barrier to achieving. Take them on vacations to developing countries where their imaginations can run wild with ideas for solving the planet’s greatest problems. And teach them to rebel in the right ways. Brothers Sujay Tyle, 19, and Sheel Tyle, 21, shared their short but impressive life stories with Techonomy founder David Kirkpatrick on stage at Techonomy 2012 in Tucson.   More

Finance Startup Culture

Agile London Startups Give Banks a Run for Their Money

Refugees from London's financial sector are flocking to the the city's burgeoning startup scene, launching lean, Web-based companies that capitalize on public mistrust of banking institutions, and use tech tools to trim costs and improve customer service.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Portland’s Startup Renaissance

People have come and gone from Portland, Ore., but in the past decade more have come and stayed. Today, Portland is seeing a startup renaissance, made more apparent by this month’s Portland Digital eXperience and XOXO Conference. The city has become a forum where people share ideas they hope could redefine the local economy in the next 5-10 years.   More

Startup Culture

Venture for America Plants Budding Entrepreneurs in Urban Soil

Before the Techonomy Detroit conference in September, we talked to Venture for America founder Andrew Yang about how his new program is attracting young talent to startups in Detroit and elsewhere. Like a Teach for America for wannabe entrepreneurs, Venture for America matches the best and the brightest young graduates with startup companies in struggling cities. Ultimately the program hopes to help reinvigorate the American economy and entrepreneurial spirit, says Yang.   More

Jobs Manufacturing Startup Culture

Turning Makers Into Middle Class Manufacturers

When you walk through TechShop just outside of Detroit, you see all sorts of contraptions and manufacturing projects—from bipedal robot legs hanging off a wooden stand to super-stretch cargo bikes that can carry big loads. Wind your way past the laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC machines—past the wood shop and the metal-bending station—and you will find a hallway hung with a half-dozen blackboards from floor to ceiling.   More

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