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Entrepreneurs are Smoking in this BBQ Capital

What lies ahead for entrepreneurs in Memphis, TN? We talked to the people who know best.

Entrepreneurs are Smoking in this BBQ Capital

Silicon Cities | Smart government

Seattle’s Ganjapreneurs: City’s Startups Seeing Green After Pot Legalization

Legalized pot is creating a new class of entrepreneurs in the city of Seattle after Washington voted to legalize marijuana in 2012, paving the way for licensed retailers to start selling small amounts of recreational pot to adults 21 years of age or older in 2014. “Public opinion is changing, so you’re seeing more conventional businesses and entrepreneurs enter the market and bring with them a higher level of standards and increased competition,” entrepreneur Jeremy Bamford says. The small business owner is the founder of PotGuides.com—a free online resource that he describes as a “TripAdvisor for marijuana.” His site, which sells advertising space to local marijuana businesses and provides news about regulations across the country, was designed to fill the “knowledge gap” he saw emerge post-legalization. While there’s an ongoing debate over marijuana legalization and its potential implications for the country, there’s no disputing that the recent wave of legalization […]

Seattle’s Ganjapreneurs: City’s Startups Seeing Green After Pot Legalization

Silicon Cities

The 5 modern-day movies every entrepreneur should watch

Hollywood loves to recount the lives of famous entrepreneurs on the big screen, and the last few years have seen a steady stream of biopics that take a behind-the-scenes look at how contemporary innovators found success. In the process, these films often serve up helpful advice and a jolt of motivation for business leaders. Here are the top five movies entrepreneurs should watch for inspiration. Joy (2015) This biographical film is about New York-native Joy Mangano, who went from single mother to mop millionaire in the 1990s. She got her start by creating a new product called the Miracle Mop, a self-wringing mop that required less effort to use than its competitors. One of the most dramatic moments in the film is when Mangano, portrayed by Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, is devastated to learn that her mop is underperforming on home shopping network QVC and will soon be pulled. In […]

The 5 modern-day movies every entrepreneur should watch

Creating opportunity

Innovation That Matters: Inside America’s surging startup cities

America is on the cusp of a technological revolution that will impact every sector of the economy and every corner of the country. In the same way some cities rose and others faltered during the industrial era and the first technological revolution, this next wave of innovation and disruption has the potential to redraw America’s economic map as new cities emerge as leaders in the digital world. Question is, which of our nation’s urban areas are positioning themselves to thrive in this new era, and which ones are on the verge of being left behind? Not surprisingly, longstanding tech hubs like Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area remain the leaders when it comes to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and as of today, they’re the most well positioned to lead in the digital economy. However, they have mounting competition from some unlikely up-and-comers, according to the Innovation that Matters 2016 […]

Innovation That Matters: Inside America’s surging startup cities

True innovation

Seattle’s Economic Fuel? Startups and Sightseers

Seattle’s thriving tech community is no secret. Microsoft and Amazon currently call the region home, and the city ranked fifth nationally for overall startup activity in the new Innovation That Matters report we released last week in partnership with 1776 and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. In recent years, city officials have launched a Startup Seattle program to help local tech entrepreneurs start and grow new ventures. While the city’s startup scene has grabbed the spotlight, Seattle’s record-breaking tourism industry is quietly providing an unexpected boost to local businesses, as well. In a sense, it’s the unsung hero behind the city’s recent economic success. Last year, tourism generated $9.7 billion in total economic impact, according to an annual report by Visit Seattle, a nonprofit organization that promotes local tourism. That’s up an impressive 61 percent in just three years over the $6 billion visitors poured into the city in […]

Seattle’s Economic Fuel? Startups and Sightseers

Creating opportunity | Silicon Cities

5 American Success Stories From the Melting Pot

Lured by the promise of opportunity, immigrants have given their energy and entrepreneurial acumen, becoming part of the fabric of the American economy.

5 American Success Stories From the Melting Pot

Creating opportunity | Doing good

Journalist
Soledad O’Brien’s
must-hear advice for entrepreneurs

Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien is already one of America’s most recognizable on-air reporters, and now she’s approaching media mogul status. Although she still anchors programs for several news channels, O’Brien now spends a lot of her time working behind the scenes as the founder and CEO of Starfish Media Group, a multimedia production company based in New York. O’Brien has managed to build her company into an industry leader that has worked with media powerhouses such as CNN, the Al Jazeera Media Network, and HBO to create original multimedia content. She has also written two books, and helps women of color from low-income homes attend and succeed in college through the Starfish Foundation, a non-profit organization she started with her husband, Bradley Raymond. To put it simply: O’Brien is already a force to be reckoned with in the competitive television and media industry, and she isn’t slowing down. On International […]

Journalist
Soledad O’Brien’s
must-hear advice for entrepreneurs

America at work

Chef Fany Gerson Builds Culinary Empire inspired by her native Mexico

To make it in New York City’s cutthroat food and beverage industry, you really need to love what you do, because there’s a lot of competition. There are, after all, thousands of restaurants, bars, and bakeries scattered across the five boroughs that are competing for the collective attention of some 8.4 million residents and the more than 54 million people who visit the city every year. Luckily for Fany Gerson, having a passion for food has never been an issue.

Chef Fany Gerson Builds Culinary Empire inspired by her native Mexico

Creating opportunity | Top Performers

NASA through the ages: Spin-off technologies invented by the space agency

NASA may play an important role in space exploration and aviation innovation, but it’s also a driving force behind several everyday technologies. Here’s a look at some of today’s most-popular and formative products that were developed with help from the space agency. Mylar Mylar is a shining example (pun intended) of an innovative piece of NASA technology that is now used in several everyday consumer items. The product was invented in the 1950s to protect NASA spacecraft from the sun’s heat and keep them insulated, according to PBS, and it has since been used on manned space flights as well as thousands of satellites and even the iconic Hubble telescope. In addition to its continued use as a spacecraft insulator, the material is used to insulate computers (and other kinds of electrical systems) as well as balloons. Anyone who has ever participated in or watched a competitive running event will […]

NASA through the ages: Spin-off technologies invented by the space agency

True innovation

7 Business Lessons From Mixbook CEO Andrew Laffoon

When Andrew Laffoon was in fifth grade, he didn’t act his age. “I started coding when I was 10, and I was kind of known for taking electronics apart and putting them back together. I was basically the kid who liked to stay inside, code on the computer, and play with electronics,” he recalls. While his innate intellectual curiosity might not have won him any middle school popularity contests, it is one of the reasons why he is so successful now as the chief executive officer of Mixbook, the photo service company he co-founded. Originally designed to let users create customizable physical photo albums, Mixbook has evolved over time to offer card- and calendar-printing services. It has also unveiled innovative product offerings such as Mosaic, a simple-to-use mobile app, and Montage, a web-based service that streamlines the photo book-building process. You’ll Also Like: How Whitepages Thinks Like a Startup For […]

7 Business Lessons From Mixbook CEO Andrew Laffoon

Doing good

How 3 small businesses are making green by being green

On April 22, 192 countries around the world will celebrate Earth Day, an international event that first started in 1970 to raise awareness about environmental issues. In the decades that followed the first Earth Day, rising concern about pollution and global climate change has made “going green” a popular and worthy cause for both individuals and companies. Below, we highlight some of America’s most creative small businesses that are building thriving (and prosperous) green businesses. Piedmont Biofuels North Carolina might not be the first place you think of for award-winning clean energy startups, such as Piedmont Biofuels. After all, the state is nicknamed the “Tar Heel” state. But then, what’s in a name? Based in Pittsboro, Piedmont uses cooking oil it purchases from local restaurants to manufacture clean fuel for its commercial customers. It also operates two laboratories and actively researches new alternative fuel technologies. Founder Rachel Burton was presented […]

How 3 small businesses are making green by being green

Doing good

Checking in on hackathon winner Vanilla Frame

The Pac-Man machines had gone dark, the Nerf guns had been holstered, and the bean bag chairs laid scattered and unoccupied on the floor. The laptops and computer cords—which had for the past 30 hours covered every square inch of table top—had been packed away, and the sleep-deprived coders had headed home. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s first hackathon had come to a close. But for the weekend’s big winner, the adventure was just beginning. The Growth Economic Trends Map (GETMap) team which took home the top prize at the inaugural FreeEnterprise.com hackathon, has had a busy six months since that heart-pumping, data-crunching weekend in October. Most notably, the team has become a formal company with a new name: Vanilla Frame. While the five members have all maintained their day jobs, they meet occasionally on weekends to work, often sleeping on one another’s couches after evening-long coding and brainstorming sessions. […]

Checking in on hackathon winner Vanilla Frame

Creating opportunity
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