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Shootout in Austin: Startups are Raring to Take on Major Challenges

Jan 22, 2014

The Texas sun is dipping below the horizon, setting the 16th floor of this Austin skyscraper ablaze.

Twenty-eight startups from all over the region have been working on their quick-draw one-minute pitches all day.

Now, in the moments before the Challenge Cup pitch competition begins, the startups are circling each other warily—a process made easier by the circular layout of Austin-based incubator and Challenge Cup host, Capital Factory.

Treehouse Rules: Red Frog Events Gives the Lowdown on Time Management

Jan 17, 2014 got to know Red Frog Events when the active entertainment company won the Chamber’s DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year award. The infectiously fun Chicago-based firm has created events including the Warrior Dash and Great Urban Race—it has also created an enviable company culture.

Tony Hsieh’s $350 Million Gamble on Las Vegas

Jan 16, 2014

On a cool November evening, a stream of runners wearing bright neon clothing and glowing accessories made their way along Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas for the city’s Rock’ N’ Roll Run. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, weaved through the crowd and walked up to the 40-foot preying mantis that spews out fire and guards Container Park on 7th Street.

What You Missed at CES

Jan 13, 2014

It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). With over 2 million square feet of convention space covered by 3,000 exhibitors premiering thousands of gadgets and gizmos, it is a convention of really cool stuff.

But these technologies are more than just cool stuff. They are breakthroughs, innovations, discoveries, creations, and inventions that require substantial resources and manpower to bring to life. If you ask the entrepreneurs and innovators behind these gadgets, they’ll tell you that they are so much more than "stuff." 

From the Shadow of Wall Street: New York’s Resurgent Startup Scene

Jan 14, 2014

The financial crisis rocked New York City. Tens of thousands of high-paying corporate jobs disappeared, leaving legions of smart, highly educated, and ambitious workers contemplating their next career moves. Many gave up on finding a steady 9-to-5 gig and directed their energy and talent elsewhere, thus planting the seeds of a resurgent startup culture that is blossoming today.

Phoenix Rises on the Back of Housing Recovery

Jan 13, 2014

Phoenix is rising. The Arizona capital is on the rebound, thanks in part to the healing housing market that was among the hardest hit by the economic downturn.

Just ask Tom Sertich, president of Kirk Development Company, a custom design/build remodeling company based in Phoenix, who has seen an increase in business over the past year.

"People are starting to go forward with remodeling projects,” said Sertich. “They are more confident now that they have more equity in their home."

Is NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Putting Charter Schools on the Chopping Block?

Jan 10, 2014

“I simply wouldn’t favor charters the way Mayor Bloomberg did because, in the end, our city rises or falls on our traditional public schools,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a debate just before his landslide election.

He wouldn’t? Charter schools have experienced dramatic success, growing from 17 schools in 2002 to 183 today. Demand has grown equally rapidly, with 69,000 families applied for just 18,600 slots last year.

Cost of Trade on eBay Plummets, Helping Mom and Pop Shop Go Global

Jan 9, 2014

The iconic image of a small business as a mom-and-pop store selling its wares in a small town hardly resembles the Internet-fueled global trading that drives many lean operations today. Yet engaging in global trade can be challenging for small enterprises, says Brian Bieron, senior director of global public policy at eBay Inc.

5 Startup Lessons for Fast-Growing Companies

Dec 31, 2013

Within our first month of publicly launching Ministry of Supply in June 2012, we sold more than 6,000 shirts and gained 4,000 customers. Our company grew fast because it had to. We were an adolescent trapped in a baby’s body — we had to learn how to sprint before we could learn how to walk, and we had some serious growing pains as we tried to scale production from 300 to 6,000 shirts a month. However, we quickly realized that by empowering our customers and empowering our company, we could truly grow the way we wanted. Everything we do comes down to empowering people to be their best.

The Happiness Resolution

Jan 2, 2014

Now that the ball has dropped and confetti has been swept up, it’s time to implement those 2014 resolutions. Whether you are looking to strike up a meaningful relationship with a treadmill or get serious about a budget, the intent of any New Year’s resolution is to increase personal happiness.

Before you finalize your 2014 plans (or before you abandon them), take a look at American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks’ take on happiness.

Tackling the Mystery of E-Commerce

Jan 7, 2014

Retail is about discovery—finding the perfect dress that slims and lengthens your figure or the putter that takes strokes off your golf game. Helping fishermen in their search for the perfect lure is Mystery Tackle Box. The subscription service sends a monthly delivery of new products, taking anglers beyond the bait shop and delivering some big bass benefits.

A Not So Happy New Year for Small Businesses

Dec 31, 2013

On the health care front, 2013 couldn't end fast enough for many small businesses. The year was characterized by confusion and tumult: rising premiums, a one-year delay of the government's online marketplace for small businesses, the exchange rollout debacle, and a general sense of uncertainty over compliance with the behemoth health care law. So 2014 can't possibly be any worse, right? Not so fast.

Top 10 Most Popular Free Enterprise Stories of 2013

Dec 30, 2013

What inspired, incensed, and captivated us in 2013? Health care, taxes, ridiculous lawsuits, and energy all made the list of most popular stories this year, but the post that grabbed the number one spot might surprise you. As determined by readers, here are the top 10:

10. American expats beleaguered by bad tax policy


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