Startups

Why China’s big plan to cut emissions is good for tech business

What China does to curb its emissions is good both for the environment and for tech companies looking for a large market. So it’s worth paying attention to a report released Monday that argues that the world’s largest polluter could double its renewable energy use between 2010 and 2030 by investing $145 billion annually.

In defense of the fat startup

The lean startup model works for some, but not all companies. Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta offers five reasons why companies with awesome products, large markets and access to capital might want to consider bulking up.

From peace drones to toothbrushes: 4 MassChallenge stars

The 125 MassChallenge finalists gathered in South Boston Tuesday night to show off their ideas to media and techies. The array of products and creativity on display was exciting and ran the gamut from smartphone apps to a glycerine polymerization process.

A hacker’s guide to throwing a kick-ass party, part 2

If you work at a startup, you will eventually end up organizing an event. Yesterday, LIFFFT co-founder Donald DeSantis shared his advice on how to get your party on the cool kids’ calendars. Today, he explains how to get your network to work for you.

With startup True&Co, big data meets bra shopping

Technology has helped bring about a retail shift that now means I can buy consumer goods without ever leaving my house, shaving gear without ever thinking about it and now, thanks to True&Co, bras without ever having a tape measure wrapped around my chest.

Chicago’s new incubator Catapult stocks up on startups

The Windy City is famous for one big giant startup Groupon, but the folks at Chicago’s newest incubator Catapult believe there will be many more, and — for a short while at least — it hopes to play host to the next big Web sensations from the Midwest.

For startups, Las Vegas is a beautifully clean slate

While it’s easy to be skeptical of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s grand vision to make Las Vegas a startup hotbed, the companies that have moved to the desert are confident they made the right decision, in part because Las Vegas isn’t Silicon Valley.

Awe.sm nets $4M for social data monitoring platform

Awe.sm has secured $4 million in Series A funding. Awe.sm is probably best known to most people for its URL shortening service, but the San Francisco-based startup says it’s actually rooted in a deeper software platform attached to those shortened links that provides analytics tools.

Betabeat shows the VC pitch process in The Pitch

Tech blog Betabeat has launched its first original web series, The Pitch, which documents the process of pitching a startup concept to venture capitalists. It’s a story with its own natural drama — funding and a cash prize are on the line.

Sincerely secures $3M funding, debuts greeting card line

Sincerely, the San Francisco startup aimed at making it easier to get physical copies of the photos taken on mobile phones, is announcing Wednesday it has secured $3 million in Series A funding. The company is also set to launch a holiday card app, “Sincerely Ink.”

Liftopia closes on $1.3M to help you hit the slopes

Liftopia, a website that sells discounted ski lift tickets and alpine resort packages, has closed on $1.3 million in new funding. The five-year-old company, which was founded by former Hotwire executives, says it plans to add deals on summertime “mountain-related activities” to make more year-round revenue.

VC funding dips, and seed investments nosedive

Although Silicon Valley has generally fared better than many other parts of the world, the venture capital industry is not immune to the macro-economic slowdown. In the third quarter of 2011, VC funding fell 12 percent in dollars and 14 percent in deals compared to Q2.

Vodafone Mobile Clicks contest uncovers hot apps

London-based network operator Vodafone announced Monday the three winners of its Mobile Clicks 2011 contest. The top three mobile startup app makers shared both a total of &Euro;225,000, but the apps couldn’t be more different, highlighting the breadth of opportunity in today’s growing app economy.

Union Square backs Wattpad to make reading more social

Union Square Ventures partner Albert Wenger says that while Amazon has revolutionized the traditional book industry with the Kindle, digital storytelling still isn’t really social — which is why his firm has led a $3.5M Series A financing round for Toronto-based social-reading startup Wattpad.

What’s in a name? Maybe a lot.

What are the odds that two companies with sound-alike names would launch on the same day? Maybe not so bad in today’s startup world when everyone is chasing the same trends. Be it a mistake or the zeitgeist, Locu and Loku have a problem.

The looming Series B funding crash

Much is being made lately of a potential new bubble forming in the tech industry. But some say things aren’t quite as frothy as they’re being made out to be. Many of today’s most well-funded startups may soon find themselves without necessary second round investors.

VC industry laments lack of IPOs

More than 80 percent of venture capitalists surveyed for the 2011 Global Venture Capital Survey said current IPO activity levels in their home countries are still too low to support the health of the market.

UberMedia continues Hollywood push with 50 Cent iPhone app

UberMedia, the independent maker of apps for Twitter, continues to go Hollywood. On Tuesday, the company launched Uber50 for iPhone, a customized UberSocial iPhone app designed by rapper 50 Cent. Celebrity endorsements are an age-old marketing strategy, but not typically for tech companies.

What VCs Can Learn from Startup Genome Project

The biggest difference between the simply good VCs and the absolutely fabulous ones lies in how each group assesses startups. According to the research in the Startup Genome Project, those tried-and-true metrics may be sending VCs down a less-profitable path.

New Startup? Dude, There’s a (Genome) Map for That

Why do bad startups happen to good people? Released today by seed accelerator Blackbox, the Startup Genome Report is a comprehensive map of the factor’s beyond luck, talent and money that make Silicon Valley startups successful.

At Dropbox, Over 100 Billion Files Served–And Counting

Once upon a time, in the year 2007, Dropbox consisted of two engineers coding in their boxers out of a shared apartment in North Beach. To co-founder and CEO Drew Houston, launching a successful company, “looked like a never-ending trail up Mount Doom.”

Angel Investing: No Revenue, No Metrics, No Magic Formula

At a panel on angel funding, several prominent VCs seemed to agree that early-stage investing is more art than science. But they had very different approaches to what they looked for in startups: anything from a lean executive team to just the tiniest bit of cash.

Groupon Clones, Color and “The Meme of the Moment”

Floodgate Capital managing partner Mike Maples Jr. really doesn’t want to fund your Groupon clone, your Facebook game or your check-in app. He doesn’t want a piece of your photo sharing company either. The early stage investor shared his philosophy during Tiecon 2011.

Brainient’s Create Station: Instagram Meets YouTube

Brainient released a neat little application called Create Station that allows you to take any YouTube video and customize it with filters and text. The app is a proof of concept for Brainient’s BrainStudio platform, which makes it easy to add interactivity to any web video.

Startup Boom Push Rents to New Highs in SF

San Francisco has become the destination of choice for consumer Internet and mobile startups. And thanks to liberal venture funding, the rents in SF are headed higher, which in turn is boosting their cost of doing business. Ironically — it is only just a start.

8Tracks Launches iPhone App, Hears Sound of (VC) Money

With the launch of its first iPhone app today, 8tracks users can now listen to the company’s personally curated mixtape-style playlists on the go, but the company is also growing up. It’s raising capital, moving headquarters and hiring a full time staff.

Video: How Startups Can Take Advantage of The Bubble

Entrepreneurs at their very core are like artists, says Steve Blank, a serial entrepreneur, author and start-up guru. In this video conversation, he talks about the current bubble, how startups can take advantage of it and how long will the technology up cycle last. Roll tape!

Dispatch from SXSW: Have Startups Become a Fetish?

SXSW has become cluttered with startups, and is a celebration of startups in general. But celebration has turned into a fetish — placing the act of creating a startup on a pedestal without casting any sort of critical eye on the likelihood of that startup succeeding.

10 Austin Startups to Meet at SXSW 2011

For those planning to hit South by Southwest this year, I figured I’d share a few local area startups you should make it a point to meet while you’re down in lovely Austin, Texas. I polled locals and consulted my own notes to create this list.

How to Charm a VC Into Mentoring You

VCs are good for more than just their money. If you play your cards right, you can take advantage of their vast business knowledge and impressive contact list on their BlackBerry phones. These steps will help you go from outsider to VIP.

Accelerate Your Startup: Spend to Scale the Business

After closely controlling burn rate through the first two phases of a startup’s life cycle, the third phase is the time CEOs are waiting for — though they may not yet be ready for it. VC David Skok explains how CEOs can spend to grab market share.

Phone Sharing Concept Gets $5.5M for Expansion

Movirtu, a company pioneering the concept of a shared phone service for poor areas where the cost of an individual handset and plan is too high, has raised $5.5 million in first round financing. The funding allows Movirtu to expand its services and into new markets.

Mig33 Gets $8.9M to Stay Social

Mig33, a social network with more than 40 million users that started out on mobiles and is now moving to the web, has raised $8.9 million in third-round funding. This brings the social network’s funding to more than $34 million since its founding in 2005.

StockTwits: Like Facebook for the Stock-Obsessed

Twitter makes for a great bar-style atmosphere with lots of noise and conversation, but what if you want to talk about a specific topic like the stock market? That’s when you need to find a niche social network like StockTwits, says co-founder and CEO Howard Lindzon.

ScribbleLive: Cloud-Hosted Live-Blogging

When it comes to live-blogging news events, plenty of bloggers and journalism outlets use their own in-house tools — but more and more news organizations are turning to all-in-one, cloud-based solutions such as ScribbleLive, which wants to become a fully fledged content-management system for journalists.

AngelGate Goes Nuclear, Startups Get the Fallout

As legendary investor Ron Conway has pointed out in a strongly-worded email to some of the super-angels who were at a recent secret meeting, the most important part of the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem is the entrepreneur — something certain angels seem to be forgetting.

AngelList Designates Scouts to Refer New Startup Deals

AngelList, a matchmaking newsletter for early startups and seed investors, has aided funding rounds for some 40 startups since launching earlier this year. Now the service is recruiting a volunteer workforce so it can scale to meet growing demand.

How To Find a Customer in a Divided IT Universe

A rift has developed between the web and enterprise IT. Changes in the source of IT innovation and enterprise purchasing habits mean a business plan focused on selling to Google and Facebook is just as likely to fail as one aimed at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs.

Apple Unveils Gorgeous New 27-inch Cinema Display

The Apple Store went down this morning. When it came back up, what should we find but a new 27-inch Cinema Display? The last time Apple refreshed the Cinema Display was 2008 when it unveiled the 24-inch LED model, so it’s been a long time coming.

Mobile Deal Brings Ads to Your Twitter Stream

As Twitter prepares to launch its own advertising platform for the social network, other companies are also rushing to take advantage of that opportunity. 140proof just launched a targeted advertising service that is built around the iPhone and Android apps of Twitter management tool HootSuite.

Spredfast Fashions Social Media Into a Corporate Dashboard

Managing your social media presence at times seems like a full-time job, but for some people it actually is one. Spredfast, launching tomorrow and already used by IBM, HP, and others, is a web-based social dashboard with more features than you can shake a stick at.

5 Myths That Can Kill a Startup

We work with entrepreneurs everyday and as such, see the much less newsworthy but far more common success stories that dot the startup landscape. To that end, we wanted to share five myths that we’ve discovered lurking around the startup world and demystify them.

Top 10 Internet Startup Scalability Killers

Common scalability-related failures include thinking scalability is just about technology, inappropriate use of databases, and more. Here are the 10 most common scalability killers that we see, particularly in early stage startups — and the ones we believe are the most important to avoid.

The 10 Ways Startup Advice Is Flawed

Startup advice abounds these days. But while much of it is extremely valuable, some of it is inappropriate, agenda-driven or simply untrue. Following is a list of 10 ways startup advice is flawed — and how to identify when it’s not.

eduFire Raises $1.3 Million

Online learning site eduFire announced today that it has raised $1.3 million in Series A funding from Battery Ventures, Western Technology Investments…

Survival Is Not a Strategy

In these perilous economic times, the layoff memos often follow a familiar refrain: “We have cut costs by 20 percent. That gives us an additional year’s runway. Or two.” But while yes, companies can cut costs and prolong their survival, when it comes to startups, just because they can doesn’t mean they should.

OATV Startup Camp Wants You

O’Reilly Media is looking for founders from early-stage startups to attend its OATV Startup Camp, a two-day event that will cover topics…

Sketchies2 Q&A: POYKPAC

Second in our series of interviews with YouTube Sketchies2 finalists is the Brooklyn-based sketch group POYKPAC. Already well-known online for their previous…

Moto-licious

Update: Looks like shipping new and cool phones like the V600 is finally paying of for Motorola. The company reported a fantastic…