This Week in Startups
Wildfire: Google announced they would be purchasing social media marketing startup Wildfire for $250 million earlier this week. Wildfire is the first social media marketing company to integrate its marketing software on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Google bought the startup in efforts to become more active in the social media world.
The four-year-old company was backed by Facebook’s fbFund, Summit Partners and 500 Startups. Currently, the 400-man operation serves over 16,000 businesses. Service fees vary from $5 to $250 depending on the level of service. The company says it will continue to stay true to its roots and stay on all social media sites rather than solely on Google +.
Urban Farming: It seems like everyone is going local. With the health scares of the past few years just over our shoulders and cities expanding to new limits, there's an overwhelming market demand for locally produced foods. This demand has triggered a movement most commonly known as urban farming.
By definition, urban farming is the act of producing food within an urban environment. Sound simple, right? Not so much. With high pollution levels, limited space and numerous other obstacles posing a challenge to city farms, many entrepreneurs have strapped on their thinking caps to meet our needs once again.
Startups such as Higher Ground Farms, from Boston, and UrbanHarvest, from Seattle, are on a mission to turn unused rooftops into a vegetation haven. Here in Cleveland, Tunnel Vision Hoops, a LaunchHouse portfolio company, is working to make urban farming an easy, year-round source of food.
Simplifying seems to be on the minds of many entrepreneurs, and it’s easy to see why. Our generation is drowning in technology. Heck, we even have several different sites for social media alone! Our previous want for more seems to be at a standstill, as we seem to be looking for ways to simplify all of our technologies.
Many startups have already hopped on board the simplifying motion, focusing mainly on social media platforms. Engagio, a Canadian startup, allows users to check all of their social media conversations, whether they are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (the list goes on and on), in your inbox. This service helps people on-the-go keep in touch without the haste of logging on to numerous sites. Hootsuite, one of my personal favorites, allows users to manage their social media accounts from one site. Social media enthusiasts and PR interns alike can schedule messages and manage social media interaction on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter all on the same page. Popular file sharing site Dropbox was also founded on simplicity with its slogan “simplify your life.”