Startup Roundup 11.19.13

We know you’re busy running your startup. You don’t have time to search for all of the relevant content out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But we do. Each Tuesday, in Startup Roundup, we compile smart stuff we’ve seen. If we leave out something good, post a link at the bottom for others. This is a community, and Atlanta will keep thriving if we keep sharing. 

Govathon II: Civic hackers come back to City Hall for more techno troubleshooting For 24 hours this weekend, an army of programmers, designers, and students took over City Hall for the second time in nine months for Govathon. The 24-hour City Hall-sponsored hackathon brings together Atlanta’s tech-savvy set and tasks them with finding modern solutions to the city’s woes. Read the story here. 

Sensor startup Lumense raises $2.65M in Coca-Cola led Series B Atlanta-based sensor technology startup Lumense has raised a reported $2.65 million from the GRA Venture Fund and The Coca-Cola Company.
Formed in June 2011, Lumense offers chemical and biological sensors targeted for use in the poultry, food and beverage, and water quality industry. Read the story here. 

BofA: Atlanta small biz owners optimistic, but concerned about ’14  Small business owners in Atlanta feel optimistic about the future of their business, but Washington bickering and gridlock have them a bit spooked about 2014, according to Bank of America Corp.’s fall 2013 Small Business Owner Report. Read the story here.

How One Small Business Got Big  At the most recent She Owns It business group meeting, the owners were joined by a guest, Rebecca Cenni, who founded Atrium Staffing in 1995. Atrium is a staffing and payroll firm with about 130 employees, $140 million in annual sales, and offices in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and four cities in New Jersey. Ms. Cenni talked about the challenges of growing and managing her business, offering insights she has gained since starting Atrium at age 23. Read the full New York Times story here. 

Kabbage Brings Its Small Business Lending Service To Mobile  Kabbage, the Atlanta-based company offering working capital to online merchants and sellers on marketplaces like Etsy, eBay and Amazon who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get a bank loan, is today expanding its business to mobile. The company is officially introducing its new apps for both iOS and Android, which will enable Kabbage users to quickly add funds to their associated bank or PayPal account while on the go. Read the story here.

 

Startup Roundup 11.5.13

We know you’re busy running your startup. You don’t have time to search for all of the relevant content out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But we do. Each Tuesday, in Startup Roundup, we compile smart stuff we’ve seen. If we leave out something good, post a link at the bottom for others. This is a community, and Atlanta will keep thriving if we keep sharing. 

Brooks Robinson: Why choosing the entrepreneurial path can lead to happiness
A rather gruesome quote has been attributed to Sean Parker, entrepreneur and Facebook’s first president: “Running a startup is like eating glass. You just start to like the taste of your own blood.” Read the rest at Smart Business.

Synapp.io might be unsexy, but their success sure isn’t
They are a 500 Startups company, an ATDC Selects company, and they recently won the title of unsexiest startup at the Unsexy Conference. Who are they? This is Synapp.io, a startup dedicated to working with email senders and service providers to keep their email lists compliant with deliverability best practices. Oh, and their team consists of five women, three males, and one literal rocket scientist. Find out about Synapp.io’s success here.

3 Ways Cisco and JouleX are pushing the envelope on green IT
Earlier this year, Cisco announced it was spending $107 million to buy JouleX, a startup with technology to reach out and measure, monitor and manage energy use for all manner of IT equipment. That’s a pretty hefty premium on the $17.2 million in VC raised by the Atlanta-based startup with big corporate clients including Sony, Coca-Cola, Equifax, Nestle Water, Schneider Electric, Danske Bank, and Deutsche Telekom — and it raises a couple of key questions for industry observers. Read the story here.

Survey: small businesses frustrated with congress
While the latest Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index showed that newly minted entrepreneurs aren’t taking Washington’s troubles to heart, SurePayroll’s latest Small Business Scorecard shows a different picture when it comes to the nation’s smallest companies. Get the details here. 

Gilt Founder’s New Wedding Registry Startup Zola Raises $3.25M From Thrive Capital
Zola, the new wedding registry startup emerging from Gilt And AlleyCorp founder Kevin Ryan and a group of former Gilt employees, has raised $3.25 million in Series A funding led by Thrive Capital. Joshua Kushner, founder and managing partner of Thrive Capital, will join Zola’s Board of Directors. Ryan, who led the seed funding for the startup, is also contributing to the A round, we are told. Tech Crunch article here.

 

Startup Roundup 10.29.13

We know you’re busy running your startup. You don’t have time to search for all of the relevant content out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But we do. Each Tuesday, in Startup Roundup, we compile smart stuff we’ve seen. If we leave out something good, post a link at the bottom for others. This is a community, and Atlanta will keep thriving if we keep sharing. 

Atlanta NEXT scheduled for next month. The NEXT program helps startup founders build successful startups. The NEXT program consists of three-hour weekly working sessions with other attendees and mentors, and is being brought to Atlanta by Google. For more info check here.

Prominent Tech Investor Says Atlanta a Top 5 Market For Startups. AJC Tech Biz writer, Rick Hancock reviews his first visit to Venture Atlanta. The rest of the story here.

2013 set to be best year for VC since recession. This should be the strongest year for venture investments in Georgia since the end of the Great Recession. About $374 million has been invested in Georgia companies in the first nine months of 2013, versus $262 million for all of 2012, according to the MoneyTree report, published by Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data from Thomson Reuters. Get the rest of story in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Raising start-up cash in the 21st century. A report on new potential uses of ‘crowdfunding’ – raising a large pool of money from many small contributions online. Thanks to the bipartisan JOBS Act entrepreneurs will soon be able to use this method. Supporters think the it could be a key to spurring economic growth and job creation. But is it a good idea for investors? PBS story here.

The Ingredients of a Great Entrepreneur: Inside the Mind of Fran Tarkenton
Fran Tarkenton knows better than most what it takes to succeed in a competitive arena. As one of the NFL’s all-time great competitors, he was inducted into the National Football League and Collegiate Football Halls of Fame and was an All- American athlete at the University of Georgia. Since 1996, Fran has been a trusted advocate for small business as the founder and CEO of Tarkenton Companies, whose offerings include small business consulting, coaching and software, telecommunications services and insurance-based retirement planning. Read the full Q&A on Huffington Post.

Startup Roundup 10.22.13

We know you’re busy running your startup. You don’t have time to search for all of the relevant content out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But we do. Each Tuesday, in Startup Roundup, we compile smart stuff we’ve seen. If we leave out something good, post a link at the bottom for others. This is a community, and Atlanta will keep thriving if we keep sharing.

Points of Light Civic Accelerator Invests in 15 Startups Working to Improve Communities. The Points of Light Civic Accelerator announced today the 15 startups selected to participate in its third round. The innovative program and investment fund, with founding support from PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation, and in partnership with Village Capital, includes 50 percent more participants and double the number of mentors than the accelerator’s first round a year ago. Find out more here.

Top 5 Lessons From Startup School As an entrepreneur building a company, you should always be focused on learning from those who came before you. With that goal in mind, here are five lessons from five entrepreneurs who shared their wisdom at Startup School. Find all five lessons at Huffington Post. 

How I Did It: From 15 Years In Corporate To Startup CEO Not every startup CEO is 21 years old, fresh out of college, and eating ramen. There are those who spend years – even decades – biding their time in the corporate world, before at last taking a leap of faith and founding their own company. Forbes has the rest of the story.

8 Startup Events and News to Watch This Week. Get the 411 on crowdfunding from General Assembly. Denver’s Galvanize wants you to code for a cause. Get educated at Business Insider’s Startup University. Nashville gets KEEN on entrepreneurship. TechCrunch brings the Startup Battlefield to Berlin at Disrupt Europe. Get all of the details from Entrepreneur.

Prescription lens tech maker QSpex raises $8M Prescription lens technology company QSpex Technologies Inc. has raised $8 million, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing. Alpharetta-based QSpex has developed a process that involves a liquid plastic that, when exposed to certain wavelengths of light, is converted into a hard plastic lens. Using its technology, QSpex claims eye-care specialists can make high-quality lenses in about 35 minutes, versus the typical three- to seven-day turnaround. Find out more here. 

 

Startup Roundup 10.15.13

We know you’re busy running your startup. You don’t have time to search for all of the relevant content out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But we do. Each Tuesday, in Startup Roundup, we compile smart stuff we’ve seen. If we leave out something good, post a link at the bottom for others. This is a community, and Atlanta will keep thriving if we keep sharing.

Atlanta chases its Silicon Valley dreams Atlanta’s startup community has come a long way since David Cummings moved to the city 11 years ago. The Buckhead serial entrepreneur, considered one of the most important leaders in the city’s tech scene today, struggled to find a community of like-minded businesspeople back in 2002. Find out more about how things have changed in the last decade.
From the same issue of Creative Loafing, be sure to check out the Q&A articles from David Cummings, Michael Tavani, Startup Atlanta and Mayor Kasim Reed.

‘Choose ATL’ campaign to market metro Atlanta as ‘digital hub’ A collection of some of metro Atlanta’s largest companies and business groups is launching a campaign to promote the area as a “digital hub” to attract high-tech minded newcomers and prospective entrepreneurs. Read more in the AJC.

Mobile startup rings up $2.5M from Valley, Atlanta VCs Mobile software startup StarMobile has raised $2.5 million from West Coast and Atlanta investors.
The Georgia Tech spinoff says its technology can convert desktop enterprise software, such as Salesforce.com, Oracle and SAP, into mobile applications for 80 percent less than third-party mobile platforms. Read more at Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Crowdfunding Atlanta Style For those still not in the know,crowdfunding is a way for people looking to raise money, primarily through the Internet, from a broad audience interested in the company’s project or cause.  Generally there is no financial return for the donor on the money raised during a crowdfunding effort. It should be noted the crowdfunding industry, as is the case here in Georgia, is evolving and investing terms in the future may change. Find out more here.

Vonage picks up Atlanta’s Vocalocity for $130M Atlanta’s tech industry M&A truck barrels forward, delivering a pay day for several local venture capital firms.
Holmdel, N.J.-based telecommunications provider Vonage Holdings Corp. said Thursday it will acquire Atlanta-based Vocalocity for $130 million.
Check out the story here.

 

Startup Roundup 10.8.13

We know you’re busy running your startup. You don’t have time to search for all of the relevant content out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But we do. Each Tuesday, in Startup Roundup, we compile smart stuff we’ve seen. If we leave out something good, post a link at the bottom for others. This is a community, and Atlanta will keep thriving if we keep sharing.

Atlanta’s eFolder raises $26M eFolder Inc., an Atlanta-based cloud backup services firm, has raised $26 million through an equity sale, according to a Sept. 30 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Find out more from Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Atlanta Still Leads in Technology Job Growth TriNet’s SMBeat Report, a monthly analysis of small business employment, confirms that technology jobs are still showing net job growth, specifically in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and Denver-Boulder. Atlanta leads net job growth at 3.31%, followed by Denver-Boulder at 1.69%, Los Angeles at 1.55% and the New York Metro area at 1.10%. Read more info at GPB.

Atlanta Technology Angels Invests $2.3 Million in Start-Ups in First Half of 2013 Atlanta Technology Angels (ATA), the entrepreneurs gateway to smart capital, today announced its investors have raised $2.3 million for eight startups in the first half of 2013. The organization has also received a record number of applications over the first half of the year and promoted Kate King to Chief Operating Officer. As a member-led organization, comprised of 120 accredited investors and sponsors, ATA has been recognized as one of the top 10 networks in the United States in portfolio size, members and opportunity flow. Read the rest of the story here.

Digital Atlanta Now in its fourth year, Digital Atlanta is a week long series of workshops, lectures, networking, and social events that brings together entrepreneurs, innovators, business leaders, solution providers and executives. Presenters will discuss digital innovations, explore opportunities in the digital space and highlight how Atlanta is leading the charge in many of these areas. It’s going on all this week at Atlantic Station. You can find the schedule here.

GigaOM Research is coming back to Atlanta on Oct. 10th. Executives from leading companies will join entrepreneurs to discuss ways in which enterprises can capitalize on emerging technologies by engaging with and even emulating startups. Find out more from the AJC.

Startup Roundup 10.1.2013

We know you’re busy running your startup. You don’t have time to search for all of the relevant content out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But we do. Each Tuesday, in Startup Roundup, we compile smart stuff we’ve seen. If we leave out something good, post a link at the bottom for others. This is a community, and Atlanta will keep thriving if we keep sharing.

Startup Atlanta’s new site. Startup Atlanta, a nonprofit that aims to expand and support the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, has launched a brand new website. The site offers startup news, resources and events. Find out more on Atlanta INtown.

Thought Leaders in Atlanta. Entrepreneur is hosting its Thought Leaders Live event in Atlanta on Nov. 6. The free event will focus on the “Mathematics of Social Marketing.” To find out more and register, click here.

Collab/Space Atlanta. PBS MediaShift’s Collab/Space workshop, a hands-on networking event for startups, is taking place in Atlanta Oct. 16 at the Atlanta Tech Village. Entrepreneurs from around the country will gather to discuss various startup topics. Among the presenting startups are Sacramento, CA’s AdGlue and Atlanta’s Flashissue. Read more on MediaShift.

Hype’s Tools of the Trade. Hypepotamus has launched a weekly series called Tools of the Trade, an inside look into what Atlanta techies tote around. This past week, coders at development shop DANIEL revealed their most-used apps and must-haves for a productive workstation. Read more at Hypepotamus.

Be a social media rock star. There are many ways to stand out on social media. While outstanding content is essential, how you express that content is even more crucial. For an infographic and more, click here.

Startup Roundup 9.24.13

We know you’re busy running your startup. You don’t have time to search for all of the relevant content out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But we do. Each Tuesday, in Startup Roundup, we compile smart stuff we’ve seen. If we leave out something good, post a link at the bottom for others. This is a community, and Atlanta will keep thriving if we keep sharing.

Atlanta in “The Big Apple. New York’s TEDCity2.0 anchor event took place Sept. 20, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed represented Atlanta on stage. He spoke about shaping the future of Georgia’a capital, one of the nation’s most diverse cities. Read more and catch his presentation on Midtown Patch.

(co)laboration in ATL. This weekend, The Woodruff Arts Center hosted “A Collaborative Leadership Summit,” (co)lab for short. The event focused on how the Southeast can attract and retain talent, foster innovation and more. During the summit, off-site gatherings — Salons — were held across Atlanta. Invest Atlanta’s director of business development, Dr. Eloisa Klementich, spoke on the Fostering Regional Collaboration and Innovation panel, hosted by the Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Atlanta Regional Commission. Read more on the (co)lab summit website.

Startups hot in Hotlanta. Forbes has listed Atlanta among the “10 Hot Cities for Entrepreneurs.” Our city has been praised for its quality of life, local universities and cosmopolitan amenities — all of which have contributed to its “startup renaissance.” Read more on Forbes.

Millenials choosing entrepreneurship. Recent research by Rasmussen College suggests millenials are ditching corporate jobs for entrepreneurship. What is one of the top influential aspects? Freedom. Read more and check out the infographic on Entrepreneur.

Best of ATL. Govathon, Atlanta’s first city-run hackathon, has won Creative Loafing’s “Best Step To Becoming A Smarter City.” The landmark event brought together Atlanta’s finest to create technical solutions for issues such as transit, homelessness and crime. curbb, featured on Startup Stories, won third place. Read more on Creative Loafing.

Startup Roundup 9.17.13

We know you’re busy running your startup. You don’t have time to search for all of the relevant content out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But we do. Each Tuesday, in Startup Roundup, we compile smart stuff we’ve seen. If we leave out something good, post a link at the bottom for others. This is a community, and Atlanta will keep thriving if we keep sharing.

TEDCity2.0. This week is a TEDCity2.0 celebration at Hypepotamus. Leading up to Friday’s simulcast of TEDCity2.0 featuring Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at Atlanta City Hall, the startup center is hosting daily events. Sept. 18, catch the Code Sharks Meetup at Hypepotamus, and find out what else is happening this week.

A history of startup success. Alan Dabbiere, chairman of Atlanta-based mobile management company AirWatch, has seen much success in Georgia’s capital. Dabbiere said his first company, Manhattan Associates, as well as AirWatch, would not have succeeded anywhere else in the country. Emory University, ATDC and the new AT&T Foundry are a few resources he mentioned is his Wall Street Journal article, “Alan Dabbiere: Startups and Southern Hospitality.”

Peachy-keen startup scene. Fueled, a mobile design and development company based in New York and London, has picked the top 10 hottest startup companies in Atlanta. Among those mentioned are Scoutmob, Socialvest, We&Co and MailChimp. According to Fueled, the low cost of living and topnotch universities make Atlanta prime for startup growth. Find out who else made the list on The Next Web.

Accelerators: help or hurt? Here in Atlanta, many accelerators aim to foster small businesses and entrepreneurial growth, including the Atlanta Tech Village and the Atlanta Ventures Accelerator. David Cummings wonders if places like these coddle entrepreneurs, or, if instant community outweighs the downsides. Read more on David Cummings on Startups.

Learn to be social. Social media is here to stay. For any small business, a social media presence is absolutely necessary. And, a thought-out plan must be implemented before introducing your company to Facebook and Twitter. Find out what you need to know before launching a social media marketing plan on Entrepreneur.

Startup Roundup 9.10.13

We know you’re busy running your startup. You don’t have time to search for all of the relevant content out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But we do. Each Tuesday, in Startup Roundup, we compile smart stuff we’ve seen. If we leave out something good, post a link at the bottom for others. This is a community, and Atlanta will keep thriving if we keep sharing.

Funding homegrown ingenuity. You’re probably familiar with Kickstarter, a funding campaign tool for independent projects. Georgia Tech has applied this idea to its student and faculty research projects. With Georgia Tech Starter, Atlanta can now contribute to tomorrow’s breakthroughs, companies and inventions. Read more on Fast Company.

Startup Veterans. Thanks to a new initiative by the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, veterans who wish to start or grow a business can now receive loans more easily. Lenders who participate in Operation: Vet Access agree to increase lending to veterans, reduce fees on loans and more. Read more in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Quality is key. No one likes a messy kitchen just as no one likes messy code, says John Melonakos, CEO of Atlanta-based AccelerEyes. He stresses the importance of quality assurance before making code public, and says Jenkins is one of many quality assurance technologies to use. Read more on Not Only Luck.

Just let go. There are many lessons to be learned as an entrepreneur. Billionaire Clay Mathile, pet-food entrepreneur who sold Iams to Procter & Gamble for $2.3 billion, says one of the most important is learning to let go. Organize, create a clear vision, record your progress and let others do their job. Read more on Entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurial education. There has been an ongoing debate as to when entrepreneurship should be introduced to students. New research from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship suggests teaching youth how to start and run a business is keeping them in school and shaping the future. Read more on Bloomberg Businessweek.