Startup

The Great Google Fiber Experiment
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After one year with Google Fiber, Kansas City is learning that it may take more than just superfast Internet to spur start-up creation.Kansas City is famous for its barbecue, not its start-up scene. That's why it came as quite a surprise when Google selected it to become the pilot city for its Google Fiber program.Despite lacking the resources normally considered essential to tech hubs--including a solid VC base, established mentors, and universities with Stanford's cachet--Kansas City is hopeful that affordable, lightning-fast Internet will somehow spark a surge in the region's start-up activity. It's been a year since Google Fiber officially kicked off in Kansas City, so how are things going so far?The good news is that fiber works, enabling 1-gigabit connections that are 100 times faste [...]
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From Farmers' Market to National Brand
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The founder of Justin's explains how his company shook up the nut butter category.In 2003, Justin Gold began peddling his homemade organic nut butters at a farmers' market in Boulder, Colorado. With just $25,000 in seed money raised from family members, Gold planned to build a strong local following for his company, Justin's, and expand slowly. In 2004, he persuaded a local Whole Foods to stock his product.Today, Justin's line of organic nut butters, organic chocolate peanut butter cups, and all-natural candy bars is available in more than 15,000 national retail stores, including Whole Foods, Target, and Starbucks.The 20-employee business generated $20 million in sales last year. That represented three-year growth of 614 percent, enough to place Justin's at No. 594 on the 2012 Inc. 5000. " [...]
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3 Kickstarter Campaigns That Went Horribly Wrong
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Not all stories have a happy ending.Kickstarter, the world's largest crowdfunding site, gives entrepreneurs a platform to raise money for pet projects like a new business, a film, or even a music video.To date, the site has collectively raised more than $679 million for more than 100,000 campaigns, launching the likes of the new gaming console Ouya and funding a feature film for "Veronica Mars" fans.But not all Kickstarters have a happy ending and success can be difficult to bear. Some fundraisers simply aren't prepared to handle the demand that comes with thousands of new backers and hundreds of thousands of dollars.Here are three tales of Kickstarter campaigns gone bad.1. Ed Carter hoped to raise $21,000 to fund his board game. Instead, he lost his house and job.Carter's plan was to rais [...]
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How Not to Get Fired
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Getting fired from the company you started may seem hard to imagine, but it happens fairly frequently. Avoid these mistakes and it won't happen to you.Getting fired from the company you created is probably the last thing you can imagine. Unfortunately, it's a fairly regular occurrence that can have devastating effects on both you and the company. Dismissing a founder is never an easy decision for a board to make. In general, investors have good reasons to want to see you lead the business to long-term success. You are the person who got the investors excited about the company and sold them the vision, and you are the person they bet on to lead the company. Start-ups have lots of luck hiring managers but generally little luck hiring visionaries. Not to mention the fact that hired CEOs are [...]
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This App Predicts the Weather–Down to the Minute
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Dark Sky's creators Adam Grossman and Jason LaPorte on how they developed their breakthrough meteorological technology.Adam Grossman, Jack Turner, and Jason LaPorte had an idea for a simple weather app, with one major twist. Instead of predicting weather by the day or week, their app would predict rainfall minute by minute-one hour into the future.Since launching Dark Sky, their Troy, New York-based company, in 2012, the co-founders have plenty of satisfied (and dry) customers. The $4 app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times. Here's how it all started. Getting Drenched on I-90Grossman: I was driving to Cleveland with my girlfriend to visit my family. We were on I-90 and stopped at a rest area to get some gas and food. When we were inside, it started pouring--just one of those summer [...]
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The Crock Pot Approach to Creativity
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Your business may keep you racing like a frantic short order cook, but truly great ideas require a slow simmer, advises the founder of Behance. Save a little time to stir these pots.You’ve no doubt heard of Google’s famous 20 percent time, and here on Inc.com we recentlly offered another bit of advice for long-term sucess that suggests only working to 80 percent of your capacity on a daily basis.But these aren’t the only percentage-based rules of thumb out there. Behance’s founder Scott Belsky recently offered another. His magic number: 5 percent. Like the other tips, Belsky’s suggestion boils down to setting aside some time for less immediate concerns and not burn all your energy on putting out myriad small daily emergencies, but he adds a culinary twist to [...]
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You Don't Need to Drop Out of College to Start Your Business
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There are tons of new funding opportunities for undergrad entrepreneurs.Peter Thiel may be paying students to skip college, but undergrad entrepreneurs need not worry--there's plenty of money out there for them as well.Several VC firms on the lookout for the next Michael Dell or Mark Zuckerberg have launched investment funds aimed at college entrepreneurs.First Round Capital created a $2 million fund called the Dorm Room Fund, which targets student-run start-ups at dozens of schools, including the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell.General Catalyst has launched Rough Draft Ventures, which will back 10 to 20 student entrepreneurs at 60 Boston universities. Meanwhile, three other firms--NEA, Polaris, and Accel Partners--created the Experiment Fund on the Harvard campus, with plans to bac [...]
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Study: Most U.S. Entrepreneurs Start Their Business at Home
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When it comes to launching a small business, American entrepreneurs don't go very far. In fact, sixty-nine percent get started at home, according to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report.When we think of entrepreneurs, we think of visionaries working with a brilliant team of coders, disrupting an industry for millions of fans. That may be true of Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, but the average American entrepreneur is far less glamorous, says Donna Kelly, a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College.Recently, a team of researchers from Babson College and Baruch College interviewed nearly 6,000 U.S. adults as part of the 2012 Global Entreprenurship Monitor report. Most respondents were just starting out, but had taken significant strides, writing business plans and securin [...]
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