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Can you guess where the follow startups were founded-- GameStop, Woot, Words with Friends, SOFTLAYER? Probably Silicon Valley, right? No. How about Boston? Wrong again. I'll give you a hint: it's the fourth largest media market in the country, home to 18 Fortune 500 companies and boasts two major airports, serving as headquarters for two major airlines. Sounds like a pretty good place to start a company, right? Dallas, and the surrounding area called the "Metroplex", sure thinks so and it wants you to start thinking so as well. On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the emerging startup scene in Dallas. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found here.
Last night I had the privilege of watching the first ever Get in the Ring Competition in the United States. Though this competition is in its sixth year, this was the first year that the United States had participated. The process began in August with groups of judges sorting through about 300 applications from startups all across the country. After several rounds of judging, the final eight startups were invited to Kansas City to participate in the U.S. version of Get in the Ring, the American Startup Clash.
When one thinks of Mexico City, startup companies would not normally be at the top of anyone's mind. But, I had the chance to spend a few hours with some of the local entrepreneurial organizers there last week and was very impressed with what I saw.
At the Kauffman Foundation, we recently announced a grant to a group that is trying to map and track where startups are around the world. The project--Startup Genome--is working "to build the most complete and accurate database of the world's startup communities, present it in useful, beautiful ways and provide tools and reports that community builders can use to gain insight into what's happening in their community. And make better decisions about how to grow it."
Crowdfunding is a hot topic in the entrepreneurship space these days. Many startups are asking about it, and are trying to decide if seeking funding from the crowd is the right for their company. Sensing this demand, we hosted a three hour event on the subject a few days ago which you can view here and here.
On Aug. 27, we are welcoming Slava Rubin, the CEO of Indiegogo, one of the most-successful and most-recognized crowdfunding platforms, to the Kauffman Foundation. We expect a full crowd for this event, but we also will be showing his presentation entitled “How to Raise $1Million in 30 Days or Less” on a live stream that can be found here.
One of the questions I get asked the most is some version of "what do you think of crowdfunding?" I usually answer with some noncommittal answer about how it is going to be important, but no really knows how it will impact the trajectory and success of startup companies. After all, the notion of banding together through social media to fund the development of a prototype, documentary film or art project has been going on for many years now.
Last week's announcement detailing the rollout of Google's fiber optic network had the feel of a Silicon Valley big-time new product launch. It was definitely a big deal for Kansas City on both sides of the state line. Most importantly, information flowed copiously from Google about the details of their project—a welcome relief from the hitherto tight-lipped tech giant. The Google Fiber announcement lived up to the initial promise to deliver gigabit Internet speeds over a fiber optic network to homes at competitive prices.
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