Why Salt Lake City is Suddenly Brimming with Startups and Innovation

Every month, Free Enterprise casts a spotlight on one of America’s up-and-coming Silicon Cities – those urban hotspots that are bubbling up with entrepreneurship, fostering innovation and building vibrant digital economies. In August, we took a look at why entrepreneurs are flocking to the mountainous metropolis of Salt Lake City. Here’s what we found: The Olympic Games helped create a booming startup hub The 2002 Winter Games are long gone, but the city and its entrepreneurs are still reaping the benefits. The international sporting event was a catalyst to improving local infrastructure and helped shine a global spotlight on the city, which had been better known for its ski resorts, outdoor recreation and as a headquarters for the Mormon faith. It’s thanks to the Olympics that the city upgraded its airport and created a light rail system. On the surface, these may seem like minor improvements, but making it easy […]

Why Salt Lake City is Suddenly Brimming with Startups and Innovation

Silicon Cities

Why More Older Americans are Starting New Businesses

If you hear the word entrepreneur and immediately picture a young person in a baggy hoodie working in a converted garage or dorm room, you may have some re-imagining to do. More baby boomers and senior citizens are starting their own businesses, proving that entrepreneurship really has no age limit. The rise of the so-called “seniorpreneur” (or “encore entrepreneur”) shouldn’t be surprising. As boomers age and the U.S. greys, there are simply more older Americans in the workforce than there used to be. While workers age 55 or older made up just 12 percent of the workforce in 1994, their numbers nearly doubled to 25 percent by 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “A big component of the increase in older Americans launching more businesses is a reflection of a general demographic shift in the make up of all Americans,” Derek Ozkal, a program officer at the Kauffman […]

Why More Older Americans are Starting New Businesses

Creating opportunity

Innovation that matters

 

Secrets of the Seasonal Business

How do the seasonal businesses stay afloat after the masses of seasonal tourists have returned home?

Secrets of the Seasonal Business

Doing good

The Innovative Technologies That Helped Keep Athletes & Spectators Safe in Rio

In the months leading up to the 36th Olympic Games, there were countless concerns about health and safety for the thousands of athletes and supporters who would descend on Rio; understandably so, with threats ranging from Zika and water quality issues to violent crime and terrorism. That prompted Olympic officials and Brazilian government leaders to seek out the world’s most advanced health and security innovations in an effort to keep Rio’s millions of visitors as safe as possible during the two-week event – and much of that technology was provided by American businesses. While several notable incidents took place outside of the confines of the Olympic arenas (most notably, the saga that continues to unfold with the four American swimmers), the Games wrapped up on Sunday without any major security breaches and no reported terrorist attacks (despite several credible threats). Some, if not much, of the credit falls on innovative […]

The Innovative Technologies That Helped Keep Athletes & Spectators Safe in Rio

True innovation

This Startup Crowdfunded 36 Olympic Dreams in Rio

Crowdfunding has become increasingly popular across a number of disciplines, with ambitious entrepreneurs, cash-strapped artists and political hopefuls all turning to new online funding portals to raise money to finance their dreams. Thanks to one up-and-coming startup – and with a little help from Coca-Cola and POWERADE – that’s now a possibility for Olympic athletes, too. In fact, three dozen of them are in Rio right now thanks to crowdfunding. Started in 2013, Sponsorise.me has emerged as the leading sports-focused crowdfunding site in Europe and recently started gaining popularity in the United States. In short, the site allows fans, friends, family members and any one else to financially back an athlete’s or team’s journey in exchange for unique rewards, ranging from autographed memorabilia to meeting the athletes in person. Check out an example campaign below: “Every day, millions of athletes and teams are looking for sponsors to finance their project, […]

This Startup Crowdfunded 36 Olympic Dreams in Rio

Creating opportunity

How Edtech Startups Are Enriching Salt Lake City’s Economy

Every startup hub has a unique reputation. New York City is known for its financial technology companies, Silicon Valley is king of apps and software, and Boston is driving innovation in the health care space. But what about Salt Lake City? No, this city isn’t pushing the limits of skiing technology as you might expect – rather, it’s emerged as one of America’s premier destinations for education technology companies. Salt Lake City’s edtech standouts include Pluralsight, an on-demand education training website that raised $135 million in 2014, which was the largest venture-funding investment for a Utah company at the time. Meanwhile, local technology company Instructure, creator of an online course management system called Canvas, raised $40 million last year and boasts clients around the world. Nearby, software company MasteryConnect raised $5 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, in 2015. The startup’s platform helps teachers monitor […]

How Edtech Startups Are Enriching Salt Lake City’s Economy

Silicon Cities

These Startups Have Given the Fashion Industry A Whole New Look

Looking for a personalized wardrobe picked out by your very own stylist? Seeking beauty and lifestyle goods on a budget? Or maybe you’re just looking to shop the latest indie designs from around the world? Whatever the case, a new crop of tech-centric fashion startups are stitching together solutions that are putting a new look on a centuries-old industry. Rent the Runway When entrepreneurs Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss launched Rent the Runway in 2008, they gave women the opportunity to borrow high-end apparel and accessories at relatively affordable prices. The so-called “Airbnb of couture” has merged technology and fashion to create a winning business platform that delivers bridesmaid dresses, shawls for prom, and pumps for fancy work functions right to a customer’s front door. The startup handles everything from dry cleaning to styling advice. It even offers an optional $5 insurance policy so fashionistas can sashay in style without […]

These Startups Have Given the Fashion Industry A Whole New Look

Creating opportunity

Team USA’s New Olympic Training Partner: Innovative Startups

Olympic athletes are always looking for new ways to gain an edge over the competition. Whether it’s a special diet, a unique workout routine, or the latest and greatest apparel and equipment, every competitor has those special secrets that contribute to his or her success. In Rio, some Olympic athletes and coaches (including several members of Team USA) have adopted an unexpected training partner: tech companies. Here’s an inside look at some of the innovative companies that have helped athletes from around the world train for the Olympic Games. Halo Can smart headphones make athletes faster and stronger? U.S.-based startup Halo Neuroscience thinks so. The company, founded in 2013, has created a futuristic headset that pushes gentle electrical pulses to an athlete’s brain while they work out in an effort to boost athletic performance. The technology underpinning the device is called transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, which studies have […]

Team USA’s New Olympic Training Partner: Innovative Startups

America at work