Startup Roundup: Around The Globe

by Todd Jones (tejones1971@gmail.com) 52 views 

In today’s American startup ecosystem, there are no longer flyover states.

Just take a look at what is happening. You will see much of the most efficient and successful startups taking place in the so-called flyover states – the Midwest and the South. Whether it is Lincoln, Neb. or Chatanooga, Tenn., Little Rock, Memphis, Austin or Richmond, Va., startups can happen and succeed anywhere. In fact, they can flourish in communities that are friendly to small businesses, innovation and technology.

We also would do well not to neglect other countries. Countries like China and Israel are becoming major players globally in the startup ecosystem.

Finally, there is room for startup and innovation to intersect with our farming communities as we see in Vermont as well as other farming states.

We take a look at all of these in this month’s Startup Roundup.

Hudl and Lincoln, Nebraska – The Heartland and Flyover states

Hudl is one of several startups that have found being based in America’s Heartland is a great place to be. The result, among other things, computer science graduates like Michael Hollman are choosing startups like Hudl over the big name companies like Amazon and Google.

As Hollman told the Tulsa World:

“Compared to Seattle, here is dirt-cheap awesome,” said Hollman, an intern for Hudl, where employee perks include free sports tickets (with travel stipends), catered lunches and an “unlimited vacation” policy. “In my mind, working at Amazon is on par with working here at Hudl.”

Cocktail Delivery

How would you like to have your cocktail delivered? Well, Cocktail Courier might be your answer. The startup is looking to fill a niche in the food and drink delivery industry according to Fortune.

Along with rival SaloonBox the model seems to be a monthly subscription based service rather than the typical order-then-deliver model.  Subscriptions are around $40. Instapour seeks to deliver within an hour, choosing a different approach. No word about any of these coming to Arkansas anytime soon. One thing is for sure, this is different from the days of running moonshine.

10 Best Cities for Startups in the U.S.

The Fiscal Times posted the list for the 10 Best Cities for Startups in the U.S. recently based on a survey of the friendliest cities for small businesses. The survey was conducted by Thumbtack.

“Small business owners on Thumbtack have consistently told us that they welcome support from their government but are frequently frustrated by unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles,” said Jon Lieber, chief economist of Thumbtack.com.

“Given that there is a crisis of entrepreneurship in the United States, seen in the broad collapse of self-employment across industries and states, creating the right environment for business start-ups is more important than ever.”

Looking over the list from Fiscal Times, one can observe a couple of the things. The South is king for small businesses. Texas and Tennessee had multiple cities on the list while Richmond, Va. also made the list.

Chattanooga is the lowest cost city for business startups

While not on the list, Chattanooga was recognized by another study conducted by SmartAsset. Also on the list was our own Little Rock, Ark.

About Chattanooga, the study said:

“One of the first cities in the country to invest in fiber-optic internet service, Chattanooga’s ultra-fast internet has become a major draw for businesses. Indeed, the city even earned a new nickname: Gig City. This is a reference to the gigabit-per-second download speeds available in Chattanooga.”

Chattanooga was recognized as first on the list. Coming in at No. 7 was Little Rock. About the River City, SmartAsset said:

“Startups in the Arkansas capital save on costs in a number of ways. Arkansas has the lowest business filing fees of any state in the U.S. It costs just $45 to submit the necessary paperwork to become an LLC in Arkansas.”

Also on the list was neighboring Memphis.

China begins promoting equity crowdfunding

China has been nurturing entrepreneurship for some time, but the banks haven’t been lending to startups; therefore, according to a government website, the country has decided to promote equity crowdfunding.

According to the article:

“A State Council document posted on the government’s website called for expanding equity crowdfunding projects to help small companies raise funds as a “useful complement” to traditional equity financing while underlining the need to protect investors’ rights and minimise financial risks.”

Using the platform doesn’t come without risks and also without regulation from the Chinese government. Nevertheless, it can be a helpful source of funding for startups.

Israel’s 27 hottest startups

Business Insider lifted back the veil of the startup community in Israel, and it is hot. According to the article:

“2015 has been a record-breaker for VC funding. The valuations of young companies are skyrocketing and private-equity bankers have arrived in droves, as have Chinese investors.

It all adds up to a very healthy tech community, overflowing with innovation.”

The article introduces readers to some very innovative startups. It should be interesting to see which one will be a major player globally.

Startup connects Vermont farmers to urban market

There is a bigger emphasis today on consumers buying farm fresh food. Sometimes it is a little harder for those living in the city and for small farmers to get their food to those who wish to buy.

Farmers to You hopes to help bring the two together. The Vermont startup connects small farmers in Vermont to consumers in the Boston area. According to the NPR article:

“‘They connect farmers in Vermont with families in the greater Boston area who want to be able to eat fresh food grown not too far away, but have trouble getting access to it at their local markets,’ says Candace Page, food writer for the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press. She says owner Greg Georgaklis aggregates food from about 50 Vermont farms and sells it to families in the Boston area.”

Certainly, this startup idea helps both the small farmer as well as the consumer searching for farm fresh foods.

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