This Week in Startups
What Gets the Entrepreneur Going in 2012?
It's obvious that people around the world have taken a liking to entrepreneurship. Nearly 5,000 individuals have taken the "Are You An Entrepreneur?" survey posted on Forbes.com since June 1, 2012, according to an article posted on Forbes.com.
Going over the results of the survey, Forbes put together a list of the top five most noteable skills to have before starting a business.
1. Networking- 19%
2. Persuasiveness- 16.3%
3. Market awareness- 15.6%
4. Business knowledge- 13.5%
5. Self-discipline- 9.1%
New entrepreneurs in 2012 are driven by the passion to start their own business and the determination to share their ideas with others. The survey shows how people desire to be their own bosses but their biggest obstacle is figuring out how to get started. A common fear people have is knowing how and where to get all that dough you'll need to get your startup off the ground. Roughly 36% of those who took the survey claimed "knowing where to begin" will be one of the most challenging obstacles they'll face. Surprisingly only 10% were worried about failure and 6.5% about finding a partner.
It's encouraging to know that almost all of these concerns entrepreneurs face in starting their business can be resolved through business support, mentorship, training in accelerator programs, and connections with other entrepreneurs who have been down the road before and are well versed in the do's and don'ts of starting a business.
The great thing about what this survey shows is that these skills can be developed and improved as you learn more about the market, your business, and what it takes to be on your own. Nevertheless people are interested more than ever in 2012 and are eager to see if their personalities and lifestyles match what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Take a minute out of your day and test your entrepreneurial sense here: Survey from Kauffman FastTrac: Are You an Entrepreneur?
Tech Startups Market Hot Again?
Jason Freedman, co-founder of 42 Floors discusses in an article that investors are eager to invest in tech startups, even if business plans are a bit crude.
"Y Combinator had sixty-five companies present. And we saw 500 eager investors, frenzied almost, excited to invest in entrepreneurs.
Founders with no experience fundraising and no pre-existing networks, making connections with top tier guys. It was really a sight to see," Freedman recaps.
Y Combinator holds their annual Demo Day to see what types of businesses are hot and which ones are not so hot. TechCrunch has judged the 10 best startups from the event. Although it's hard to claim 2012 the year of booming startups from this particular event, it does however show a promising trend in the market.
Investors all over are seeking to fund promising technology companies. In recent years, venture capitalists have streamed money into education-tech startups, trying to take full advantage of the market's transition into the digital world. Talented people are entering the tech world with brilliant and unique ideas- startups are back in action and are going no where but up!
Taskrabbit. The San Francisco-based startup, founded in 2008, is an online task-for-pay platform. It received $17.8 million (in early December) in series B financing and plans to expand from five cities to 12 by next year.
"For us, we would rather accelerate our growth in a smaller market, creating a continually great experience for our customers," CEO Eric Grosse told the New York Times.
Pawngo. Launched in June, Pawngo is best described as an online pawn shop. In less than six month, the Denver-based startup, has already loaded more than $2 million in 46 states to users.
CEO Todd Hills says, "We felt that with the current economic conditions and the tightening of credit, there is a new set of customers out there that this service lines up very well with."
BlackLocus. Launched in 2010, this startup lets you track competitive pricing strategy. In July, the Pittsburgh-based start-up got a $2.5 million equity investment by venture capital firm, DFJ Mercury.
Expensify, an online service that streamlines expense reports. It has raised over $6.7 million in two investment rounds. Found in 2008, the company today counts 90,000 organizations as customers and 650,000 individuals. Recently the company has expanded to phone apps.
Birchbox: a 10$ per month subscription service that sends beauty samples to members. Currently, this startup has around 45,000 users and 25 employees in their first year. It closed a $1.4 million seed round.
"We were inspired by the idea that every woman would want a best friend who's a beauty editor and is helping them curate the clutter," says Co-Founder Katia Beauchamp.
Slice. A free online service that organizes users' online purchases. In December of 2011, it announced a new "Track with Friends" feature, which let's users visually track gift packages.