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Startups

  • 10 Hot Indian startups you should know about

    From the world’s cheapest car to the world’s cheapest tablet, India has emerged as a hub of "Jugaad", a Hindi term which closely translates as "frugal innovation". Owing to its booming economy, growing middle class and a talent pool of highly skilled engineers, India has a thriving tech startup ecosystem. While there are thousands of startups across the country, we bring you a compilation of tech startups that have risen above the rest to be the talking points in the startup-technology community. Based on my conversations and interactions with entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders, these startups are shaping the way...

  • 9 Questions and answers about successful startups – Harvard study

    Ever wondered what makes one startup succeed while another fails? Well a team of brains from Harvard Business School has put together a fascinating working paper called Performance Persistence in Entrepreneurship which answers questions related to just this. We scoured the 35 page document and found the following pearls of wisdom. Question: Are serial entrepreneurs more likely to succeed than first time entrepreneurs? Answer: Yes. All things being equal, the paper states that a VC backed entrepreneur who succeeds in a venture (by the paper’s definition, starts a company that goes public) has a 30% chance of succeeding in a follow up...

  • Silicon Valley’s dirty little startup secret

    In San Francisco cafes and bars, even on the street, I overhear people talking about their startup ideas, business plans, and goals. And there are tons of incubators, Angels, wannabe Angels, VC firms, making investments in startups. And there's lots of money being made, especially among the Super Angels, the incubators such as Y Combinator, the micro-VCs, and people such as Jeff Clavier, Dave McClure, who have made fortunes selling startups to larger companies. Sometimes startup teams can go from seed to exit in under a year. For the investors, making dozens of $10K to $25K seed investments, can be tremendously...

  • Why 22Seven is most probably, but not necessarily, safe

    After reading one too many ignorant articles and tweets about how personal financial management startup 22Seven must be safe because Yodlee is safe and so on -- I cracked. I banged out a bunch of tweets in quick succession with the hash tag combination #22Seven my #2c. The response was interesting, ranging from "love your work" to respected tech journalist Simon Dingle’s "How do you know I'm not a computer scientist? And why does that matter? Do you have to be a chef to know when food is good?". I want Dingle’s tweet to be an entry...

  • 10 African tech startups worth watching

    It’s practically a tradition to follow a post like this with a good old-fashioned flame-war where everyone reveals his or her own sense of inadequacy. In order to save time I’d like to encourage you to stop reading now and skip to the bottom and start doing that right away; that way I can continue by typing Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet and get away with it. Disclaimers: I have left out Motribe, my own company, because I think that would legitimately earn me some flames. I have also left out all the usual suspects from South Africa...

  • Why 2012 could be the year of the African startup

    The past few years have been about building an infrastructure that improves the chances of the technology startups in Africa to succeed. Seeing this buildout in action in 2011 was exciting, but it should be recognised for what it really was: a setup for 2012 and beyond. You see, all those labs and hubs around the continent, the startups and the media coverage? They’re all about getting attention and increasing the awareness of...

  • Five elements needed to attract startup funding

    Raising funding can be potentially expensive, as it requires resources, and time-consuming experience. Done correctly, it can yield valuable results and a substantial financial investment to grow your business. Enthusiastic entrepreneurs that want to go this route should be well prepared and display these five key essentials that funders look for when considering investing. 1. Know your market Clear and thorough market and competitor analysis is the mainstay of any successful business concept -- even more so when seeking funding. Understanding who you’re selling to, what pressing need you’re addressing and what competition you’re facing enables the funder to evaluate the...

  • Start-up co-founders: 10 tips for choosing your significant other

    They say that starting a business with a partner is like a marriage. What they don't tell you is that if your marriage does really well it's like having a few hundred kids too. When things go wrong they can go really wrong, so here are ten tips for picking the right startup co-founder. Do not marry Lorena Bobbit The first and probably most obvious part of the selection process is to try avoid starting a tech company with a psychopath or someone who acts rashly and against the best interests of the people around them. You will...

  • Death is the default for startups, and your little idea means nothing

    Death is the default for startups, reckons Amazon Web Services Technology Evangelist Simone Brunozzi. Apart from having a really cool Twitter handle @Simon, Brunozzi has founded a few startups himself, so speaks with some authority. Speaking at a Tech4Africa conference in Johannesburg he mentioned that there was quite a bit of confusion at what constituted a "startup". He emphasised that most new businesses in the world were actually not startups, but were "service companies". I guess they like to call themselves "startups" because it's very funky and trendy to call yourself one these days. But to qualify as a startup, says...

  • Silicon Valley startups can’t rebuild US workforce

    There has been a lot of discussion lately about US jobs and Silicon Valley's role in helping to rebuild the US workforce. US government officials and many others believe that Silicon Valley is key to reviving US jobs growth. But is this really true? It's worth revisiting an article in Bloomberg Businessweek from last year, written by Andy Grove, a veteran Silicon Valley executive who helped build one of its most successful companies: Intel. Andy Grove worked with the early founders of Intel and became its CEO and chairman for many years. In this article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek he takes...

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