Editor’s note: Each Thursday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Startup Talk,” a round-up of startup, technology and entrepreneurial news.
LITTLE ROCK TECH PARK BOARD HOSTS FOUNDER OF ATLANTA TECH VILLAGE: The Little Rock Technology Park Authority hosted the founder of the Atlanta Tech Village on Wednesday for a presentation and Q&A session with the authority’s board, which earlier this week approved a $17.5 million financing package for the first phase of the downtown development. Atlanta’s tech space closely aligns with the Little Rock startup and technology project, and CEO David Cummings shared his experiences in forming his facilities in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. Cummings founded the Atlanta Tech Village, which at 103,000 square feet is the largest technology entrepreneur center in the Southeast. To learn more, click here.
RECORD-SETTING TECH SALES EXPECTED AS BLACK FRIDAY BECOMES ‘BLACK FRIDAY WEEK’: A record-setting 91 million (37%) Americans expect to purchase tech or tech accessories during Black Friday Week, according to a new report released by the Consumer Technology Association. The 2015 Pre-Black Friday Survey finds consumer shopping behavior is moving away from the traditional, in-store Black Friday experience as Americans shop more frequently online and via mobile throughout the Thanksgiving week, alter when they shop, and visit fewer physical stores on Black Friday.
In total, a record 155 million U.S. consumers plan to shop during Black Friday and the surrounding week, with more than 70% of those shoppers (116 million Americans) planning to shop online. The most popular day to shop online this year will be Cyber Monday, with 26% of consumers planning to shop on Nov. 30 – a jump of six percentage points from last year.
ARKANSAS RANKED AMONG THE ‘LEAST FRIENDLY’ STATES FOR STARTUPS, NEW BUSINESSES: Arkansas was recently listed among the “bottom ten” states that are least-friendly for entrepreneurs and new businesses, according to a new study by GOBankingRates.com. The study was conducted to find out which U.S. states offer the best conditions for Americans wanting to start a business.
Washington, Wyoming and California were listed as the best states for entrepreneurs, while West Virginia, Hawaii and South Carolina headed the least-friendly states for new business. The survey by the GOBankingRates.com investigated the startup opportunities and existing small businesses in each state, along with how startup-friendly each state’s business climate and economy is to determine the best and worst states for entrepreneurs for 2015. To see how each state ranks and read the complete survey findings, go here.
SEC INVESTIGATING IF MUTUAL FUNDS ACCURATELY EVALUATE STARTUPS, TECH FIRMS: Federal securities regulators are looking more closely at whether U.S. mutual funds have proper procedures in place to accurately price shares of private technology companies amid signs the tech boom is wavering, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The Securities and Exchange Commission in recent months has been asking more questions of large fund firms about how they value startups and whether their process ensures an accurate estimate of a company’s worth, unnamed sources said. Some SEC examiners have shifted more of their focus in those regular reviews to possible shortcomings in the startup-valuation process, WSJ reported.